Accountability Lab Nepal recently launched its Integrity School for 2020, a year-long program that aims to build future leaders to be the building blocks of an accountability ecosystem in the country. Madhu Sudhan Ghimire, an Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, shares the surprises, learnings and discussions of  his first three days in the program in Kathmandu.

My journey started when my friend tagged me on a Twitter post about applications for the Integrity School-2019.

Then I checked the Accountability Lab website, found the approach to be interesting and quickly filled the google form attached. A series of phone calls and a short video interview later and I soon received a letter informing me of my selection to attend the school.

I was not new to the movement that Accountability Lab is steering to name and fame the honest officials in the public service with Integrity Icon. The campaign promotes those doing good and influencing others in the profession.

To be honest I had not expected to get what I got out of the first three-day workshop. I thought they would bring some named figures, put forth some lectures on big issues like integrity, anti-corruption and so on. But my expectations could not prepare me for what they had in store.

1st day of the Integrity School-2019 (20 Nov.)

The school was different than what I thought it would be from the first day. The program started with an introduction game, and then continued with an introduction to the event’s ground rules before we had some interactive sessions on the school. We concluded the first day with a nice dinner in the cozy environment of the OpenGovHub Gairidhara premises, where we were joined by former Integrity Icon Nepal winner Pradip Raj Kanel who shared his inspirational insight on integrity in the civil service.

2nd day of the Integrity School- 2019 (21 Nov.)

The second started with a warm up before diving into a busy schedule with two lectures on “Institutionalizing Integrity and Building Resilience” by Tulsi Sharma Sigdel and Bhishma Kumar Bhusal. The lectures were a powerful way to boost the concept of integrity for all the young professionals in attendance. The lectures added to the level of knowledge we had in various aspects of institutionalizing and maintaining integrity.

The best part of the school for me was the approach of drawing out ideas from the participants through group work and discussions. This method of moderating the sessions was fantastic.

3rd day of the Integrity School- 2019 (22 Nov.)

In think the last day of was the most important day of the school. We reached a consensus among all the participants on the values we can share during our time in the public service going forward. We believe this shared value commitment will inspire us every step of the way as we go forth in public service delivery.

The next part of the day was the integrity seminar where four eminent speakers from various professional fields discussed integrity. The discussion brought forward the value of moral science and ethics in maintaining the integrity in each and every aspect of society. It also highlighted the value of integrity and professionalism in the private sector among all professions.

The opportunity to network with the first cohort of the integrity school was the most wonderful part of the event. We were all in attendance as the first cohort of integrity school had a graduation ceremony at the end of the event. I would like to thank the Accountability Lab team for such a wonderful opportunity.

See the preview for the first edition of Integrity School.