Corruption occurs when those in power (like government officials) behave dishonestly. Corrupt behavior includes bribery, under-the-table transactions, election manipulation, money laundering, and fraud. According to the World Bank Group, corruption hinders two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and increasing prosperity for the poorest 40% of people from developing countries. Corruption affects society’s most vulnerable by increasing costs and reducing access to vital services like education, justice, and healthcare. Corruption also damages trust in the government, leading to discontent, extremism, and conflict. To end corruption, people need to understand the forms it takes, how it works, and how to fight it. Here are five courses available online:
University of Pennsylvania
This course explores what corruption is, where it can be found, and its effects. Students will also learn practical strategies for creating compliance policies that deal with corruption. They’ll also learn about various anti-corruption laws that the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. Syllabus topics include the definition of corruption and how to prevent it. The course takes about 11 hours to complete. Deadlines are flexible. Subtitles in English and Ukrainian are available.
This course is the fourth (and last) course in the Regulatory Compliance Specialization. With this specialization, you’ll be able to create a risk profile for your organization, as well as a compliance program and strategies needed for a privacy compliance program. You’ll also be able to understand why anti-corruption laws are so important.
Wharton University of Pennsylvania
This course is part of the Business Strategies for a Better World Specialization. This course posits that no one can understand the world today if they don’t understand corruption. To improve the world, corruption must be understood and controlled. This course takes a global perspective with examples from around the globe. Students will hear about corruption from a variety of perspectives, including governments, businesses, and citizens. Syllabus topics include “What is Corruption?” “Societal Level Effects,” and Corruption Control.”
The intermediate course takes about 7 hours to complete. It has flexible deadlines. Taught in English, there are a handful of subtitle languages available, such as French, Afrikaans, Russian, Spanish, and French.
RMIT University/Global Compact Cities Programme
In this course, students get an in-depth look at the challenges facing cities today. By comparing experiences with other students and learning about the power of different entities in cities, you’ll see how to build an ethical city. This course explores issues like social justice, ethical practice, and corporate responsibility within cities. Through practical examples, expert interviews, and other resources, students learn how to get involved in transforming cities. Topics include major challenges facing cities, how corruption impacts development, and how ethical cities can improve urban life.
Any student interested in urban planning and social change will benefit from this course. It takes 5 weeks with 2 hours of weekly study.
SOAS University of London
This course provides students with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and evaluate financial management in the public sector. It’s a great course for anyone with questions like, “How does Covid-19 affect public finances?” or “How did Detroit’s city government go from wealth to bankruptcy?” With the guidance of the Centre for Financial and Management Studies at SOAS, students examine how governments and public sector organizations get financial resources, how they decide where to use the money, and how they report to the public.
By the end of the course, which is 4 weeks with 4 hours of weekly study, students will understand things like the basics of public financial management, how to explain the national and sub-national budget process, and how public sector organizations are held accountable. While this is a general course, basic knowledge of political science, economics, and accounting can help students.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This course is part of the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. It examines the major theoretical and empirical ideas on how politics and institutions impact economic development. With this course, students will develop a critical thinking foundation about the political economy’s role in economic development and how to understand empirical evidence. Syllabus topics include voting systems, corruption, and media. The course takes 11 weeks with 12-14 hours of weekly study. It’s an advanced course, so recommended prerequisites include 14.110x (Microenomics) and 14.310x (Data Analysis for Social Scientists). A basic understanding of statistics and microeconomics will help students. Students from Iran, Cuba, and the Crimea region of Ukraine are not able to take this course.