On April 23, the USAID New Justice Program, in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, organized and held an online presentation of the Module Series on Integrity and Ethics. The training materials were translated into Ukrainian with support from the Program and now are available to the faculty who will teach the course to students.
The series consists of 14 modules on integrity and ethics and handbook, which were developed and reviewed by experts from across the globe as part of the Education of Justice (E4J) Initiative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. This initiative aims at strengthening the rule of law worldwide by supporting educators to teach on topics related to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) №16 “Peace and Justice.”
USAID recognizes the fundamental importance of the quality of legal education to developing and maintaining a well-functioning legal profession,” pointed out Naida Zecevic‑Bean, Deputy Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID Regional Mission for Ukraine and Belarus. “Through the USAID’s New Justice Program, we initiated and supported the translation of UNODC’s Education for Justice University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics into Ukrainian, and we hope that this valuable educational tool that won the 2020 UN Sustainable Goals Award for Innovation will be instrumental for building capacity at Ukrainian universities to really deliver interactive world-class training on integrity and ethics and promote the culture of lawfulness in Ukraine.”
The presented modules and teaching guide propose a new approach to global education in the sphere of ethics, based on innovative teaching methods that help students develop critical thinking skills. They are intended to enrich existing universities’ programs with materials developed and reviewed by leading experts worldwide. Students will raise their awareness of ethical matters, aspire to promote integrity, and develop skills needed to apply and assert these standards in life, work, and society.
Education is exactly what can ensure integrity and help an individual to fight corruption. And teaching students – future legal professional – in ethics determines how they will be able to change their country in the future. The translation of the training materials into Ukrainian we are presenting here is a way to build a bridge between anti-corruption initiatives and new generations of Ukrainians,” underlined Marco Teixeira, Senior Program Officer, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
In his welcome speech, Head of the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance Serhiy Kvit expressed an opinion that Ukraine has many good laws and rules but lacks developed culture of ethical application thereof. Unlike similar programs, the presented modules combine ethical theories with practice and everyday life. Thanks to such practical orientation, students will learn how to think correctly and how to act properly.
The modules focus on such core topics as ethics and general human values; ethics and society; leadership ethics; diversity and pluralism; behavioral ethics; gender dimensions of ethics as well as how integrity and ethics are linked to such important spheres as the mass media, business, law, public service, and various professional activities. The content of each module is based on data collected in various countries and aims to solve global problems around which the UN Sustainable Development Goals are designed. Therefore, the series offers various approaches to understanding ethics, and teachers may easily adapt the modules to local cultural contexts.
Based on the modules on ethics and integrity, experts of the USAID New Justice Program, in cooperation with the University of East Anglia, Great Britain, developed an interactive training course in ethics, integrity and counteracting corruption for law school students which is scheduled for May 11-28, 2021. Trainees will be engaged also in a behavioral experiment which will provide information on the impact teaching ethics and integrity exerts on students’ actual behavior,” USAID New Justice Program Chief of Party David Vaughn shared plans for the future.
Lulua Asaad, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, talked about the importance of cooperation with higher education institutions for promoting integrity and anti-corruption standards. Alex Petkov, Project Associate, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and Speedy Rice, Professor of Practice, Washington and Lee University School of Law, went into details of each module and shared their vision of how Ukrainian faculty can use the modules. Oleh Gerasymchuk, Vice-Director of I. Malynovskyi Law Institute at the National University Ostroh Academy, Nataliya Gutorova, Professor of Poltava Law Institute at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, and Anton Demchuk, Dean of Lesia Ukrainka Volyn National University School of Law, shared their experience of practical use of training modules on integrity and ethics and told about how students perceived the modules.
The USAID New Justice Program will continue in assisting with the incorporation of the ethics and integrity modules in curricula by as many Ukrainian higher education institutions as possible in order to improve the preparation of Ukrainian legal professionals and to foster the culture of zero tolerance to corruption so that it is eradicated from Ukrainians’ life.