31 January 2013 - Universities and knowledge institutions are important partners for UNODC in trying to increase the global awareness of and knowledge about issues related to corruption. The Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD) is a collective academic project that UNODC has developed together with Northeastern University in Boston, USA, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Bar Association. To date, over 30 universities have participated in the Initiative which seeks to encourage the teaching of anti-corruption-related issues in graduate and post-graduate courses.
In addition to advocating the inclusion of anti-corruption modules in course syllabi, UNODC is presently finalizing a full stand-alone academic course on the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Provisionally titled Global Corruption, Good Governance and the UNCAC, the course will seek to explore the global problem of corruption through the lens of this key international treaty.
Moreover, UNODC has developed an online Menu of Topics aimed at supporting professors and students interested in teaching and studying anti-corruption issues in higher education institutions worldwide. This index contains close to 600 anti-corruption educational materials such as academic articles, course outlines, research papers and practical handbooks, structured according to twenty key anti-corruption topics.
The launch of the online Menu of Topics provides a strong platform for continued collaboration between UNODC and the academic community. Next steps envisaged under the Initiative include the development of topics into complete educational modules and the translation of the online Menu into Spanish, French and Chinese (Mandarin) to make it accessible for even wider audiences.
Each anti-corruption course topic produced as part of the ACAD initiative will be accompanied by a detailed bibliography of suggested readings, and, at a later stage, a teacher's manual to aid faculty members in using the material in the classroom. This material is intended to be multilingual and compatible with and adaptable to a variety of legal systems (common law/civil law/Islamic law), education models and traditions, also duly taking into account the needs of educational institutions in developing countries.