Stakeholders seek application of behaviour change approach to fight corruption

By Justina Auta

Stakeholders on resolved to adopt and inculcate behavioural change approach amongst citizens to promote transparency and accountability in both private and public sectors in the country.

They made the commitment during a special session on “Harnessing Behavioural Insights to Counter Corruption” organised by the Policy Innovation Centre (PIC), an inititative of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Mrs Olubukola Balogun, board member, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) stressed the need to move from criminal justice approach to harnessing behaivoural change to tackle corruption.

” Government policies are going towards approaching the fight against corruption in other areas rather than law and order.

” There are sanctions, systems studies but everything has to be driven by the society because even if you have your sanctions, you have your system it is the society that will make tools work.

” So that is why we want to work on the society with the help of our development partners. Government has approved the national ethic and integrity policy,” she said.

According to her, the ethics and integrity policy has seven main core values, which drives the advocacy for behavioural change in the fight against corruption.

” These vales, we are taking round the country through meetings with traditional and religious leaders, youths and women groups round the six geopolitical zones and have gone to 21 states.

” We are advocating that we should all come back to the drawing boards and get our values rights in the society.

” All the behaviours that are illegal let us leave. It is for our common good so that we can have shared prosperity and we can all do it right and get it right,” she said.

Also speaking, Dr Osasiyi Dirisu, Deputy Director, Policy Innovation Centre (PIC)said the meeting was organised  to enlighten both public and private stakeholders on the different dimensions to use behavioural science to address corrupt practices.

Dirisu said the three-year PIC programme was funded by the MacArthur foundation to harness lessons from behavioural science and use them  to work on improving accountability and transperscy within different sectors in Nigeria.

” We gathered together with CSOs, NGOs, and  Government MDAs and we supported them to begin to think different about interventions that will work for accountability and transparency.

“We met to co-create what the solutions would look like and we went on to develop a four-faced cause  training program on using behavioral insights to support accountability and transparency Programmes.

”We trained organisations to think differently and help them to improve the effectiveness of the work they do.

” The next phase is to work with organisations to design solutions that they will go back to implement in the society using lessons from behavioural science that reflects on some of those solutions.

” We will test them and see which ones work and begin to support best practice for accountability and transperancy programes in Nigeria,” she said.

NAN reports that the Nigerian National Anti corruption strategy (2017-2021) recommends public engagement as a strong pillar to reduce corruption. (NAN)