Shaping Values For A New Generation: Anti-Corruption Education In Lithuania, 2002–2006

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Abstract 

In 2002, Lithuania was struggling to defeat corruption, which had flourished during the Soviet occupation. Once viewed as the key to survival in an administered economy, offering gifts for services had become an accepted social norm. More than a decade after Lithuania regained independence, polling showed that although 77% of Lithuanians considered this form of corruption a problem, few were willing to change behaviors they saw as practical. The country’s recently created anti-corruption agency, the Special Investigation Service, faced the challenge of changing those social expectations. It decided to focus on a new generation of Lithuanians. The Modern Didactics Center, an educational nongovernmental organization, and a dedicated group of teachers stepped in to help the agency work toward the ambitious goal of changing the attitudes of students across the country. The group experimented with a variety of educational approaches both in and outside the classroom, including a curriculum that integrated anti-corruption elements into standard subjects and projects that encouraged students to become local activists. Despite resistance from educators that limited the program’s scale, the effort developed new approaches that illuminated the ethical and practical downsides of corruption for students across the country.

Maya Gainer drafted this case based on interviews conducted in Vilnius, Mažeikiai, and Anykščiai, Lithuania, during February 2015. Case published June 2015.

Keywords 
training curriculum
youth education
social norms
civil society
cross-sectoral coordination
communications
activism
Focus Area(s): 
Anti-Corruption
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Adaptive management
Building inter-agency cooperation
Organization and staffing
Overcoming corruption
Prevention
Core Challenge: 
Norm coordination
Country of Reform: 
Lithuania
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Maya Gainer