U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Are there examples of public authorities, companies or organisations using “integrity awards” for employees?


For decades, anti-corruption strategies have been based on an understanding that corrupt people were rational beings, making rational decisions when they decide to engage in corruption. As a result, the rationale was to make corruption as inconvenient as possible. However, contrary to this assumption, social psychology and behavioural economics demonstrate that human decision-making is not always rational. Mental shortcuts and intuition play an important role in shaping behaviour surrounding corruption.

This realisation has opened up a new terrain to think of anti-corruption based on how people act towards and engage in corruption. That requires first an understanding of the psychology of corruption and, second, a holistic approach to influence both the mind and the environment in which the individual makes decisions. Awards, as a form of incentive, are among some of the tools that can be considered when designing strategies meant to help curb corruption through behavioural changes.

Main points

  • Awards work as incentives to influence human behaviour.
  • The promotion of intrinsic motivation to counter corruption should produce an emotional reward obtained after doing something "right" for others.
  • Motivation can come from reinforcing the idea that what is done at the individual level matters and promotes integrity.
  • By providing genuine incentives, organisations can motivate partners to demonstrate their anti-corruption and integrity efforts proactively.


  1. Awards as anti-corruption incentives
  2. Examples of anti-corruption and integrity awards
  3. References


This answer provides examples of integrity and anti-corruption awards granted in a variety of sectors, including the public, private and non-profit. It was, however, not possible to find information regarding their impact.


Roberto Martinez B. Kukutschka, Transparency International


Mahmoud Farag, Transparency International and Saul Mullard, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre




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