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.


Please provide examples where civil society organisations have successfully mobilised youth (18 – 35 yrs old) to advocate for anti-corruption reforms and/or achieve demonstrable results. If available, analysis about the factors that contributed to the success would be appreciated.


We are looking for information about successful efforts in engaging youth to drive anti-corruption reforms (the reforms need not be limited to youth-specific topics).


1. Why working with youth?
2. Youth engagement: overview of practices
3. Factors of succcess
4. References


Engaging youth is essential for success in curbing corruption; youth represent a significant portion of the population (especially in developing countries) and are generally more open to social change and political transformation, since they may have less interest in maintaining the status quo.

A significant number of activities to engage youth have been undertaken by the anti-corruption movement, especially in the last decade. These initiative range from Integrity/Democracy Camps and Summer Schools to work within schools and universities, training teachers, developing curricula and setting up Integrity Clubs. Many civil society organisations (CSOs) have also developed awareness-raising campaigns and activities targeted at young people.

Engaging youth should not be a box-ticking exercise and many questions are raised regarding success and sustainability of youth engagement efforts. Generally, projects designed and led by young people, supported by CSOs, have been more successful with outreach and sustaining individual engagement. Many CSOs working with youth have focussed the initial phase of their work on education about the concepts, thus paving the way for further involvement. Moreover, using existing structures and integrating youth engagement activities into a broader context has proved to be an effective approach in many settings.


Sofia Wickberg, Transparency International, [email protected]


Marie Chene, Transparency International; Dieter Zinnbauer, Transparency International




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