In exciting news, Accountability Lab recently agreed to partner closely with the Building Integrity Programme (hosted at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford). During our recent strategy process, we realized that we want to get better at understanding the evidence base for our work to support accountability; and to better match theory with practice. Our partnership with the Building Integrity Programme will help us do this in three key ways at the outset. By Blair Glencorse

First, through a research program looking at how integrity can be supported within public institutions around the world. This will build on studies carried out by 7 amazing Building Integrity Programme students with the Lab last summer to develop case studies around our Integrity Icons. From Sri Lanka to Nigeria, they brought together the stories (coming soon!) of those individuals who are upholding integrity – even in the most difficult of circumstances – to extract broader ideas and lessons. Going forwards, the students will support the Lab to draw out other key findings through our work, including at the intersection of gender and integrity.

Second, with hands-on support to the development of creative approaches to accountability in contexts including Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. The incredible diversity of the students that are part of the Building Integrity Programme, combined with the unique perspectives the students tend to have from across government, business and civil society, means they will bring fresh thoughts to our work. At the same time, our teams are doing some cutting -edge programming with music, film and media for example – which could be adapted and shared by the students. The students will also provide broader feedback and advice to the Lab as part of an advisory group.

Finally, we will work together to better amplify the work of honest government officials and see how to jointly bolster integrity in places where it matters. This began at the recent Challenges of Government Conference (#COGC2019) which focused in particular on the role of young people in changing governance dynamics. The conference hosted Batool Asadi, the 1st female Assistant Commissioner from Balochistan in Pakistan and one of our Integrity Icons, who talked about how she has worked to push back against opacity and support good governance. We are also looking at a variety of other contexts where the Building Integrity Programme’s academic rigor and conceptual understandings of these issues can support new ways to tackle some enduring problems of corruption.

Stay tuned to our social media (@accountlab and @IntegrityBSG) for more news about this partnership as it develops and feel free to reach out to Blair ([email protected]) or Anna ([email protected]) with ideas!

Blair Glencorse is the Executive Director of Accountability Lab