We are proud to share the outcome of the project “You Monitor: Empowering YOUth to build MONITORial communities against corruption” with you: The You Monitor anticorruption toolkit for educators and young people. Through theoretical chapters about power and corruption and practical examples for activities, the toolkit challenges young people to think about the personal dimension of the use and abuse of power and to manage potential conflicts of interests in their own lives. It also provides a compass to guide them toward monitoring the common good by critically observing their surroundings and holding public decision-makers accountable. You Monitor is the result of a partnership of seven organisations in Europe and was funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.
What is the reason behind this guide?
The negative impacts of corruption on our democracies, societies, and economies are widely acknowledged around the world. Education plays a fundamental role in preventing and fighting corruption through internalisation of the values of integrity and construction of a collective dimension of resistance to malfeasance, abuses of power, and private and illicit interests that harm the common good and undermine the enjoyment of human rights. However, understanding how to address the issue starting at a young age is not an easy task. There is a great need to equip the education community with knowledge, skills, and confidence to empower young people to become active against corruption.
This guide offers an atypical and innovative narrative on integrity and anti-corruption, calibrated and accessible for youths. It allows youth workers to understand the topic from an unusual perspective, focusing on fostering a widespread culture of integrity and engaging them in building monitoring communities against corruption.
What is anti-corruption education for You Monitor?
This toolkit’s authors are activists as well as educators. It means that our approach is oriented not only towards enabling a widespread understanding of the issues, but also towards empowerment. According to us, anti-corruption and integrity education is (always) empowerment. Educating for active anti-corruption means giving, increasing, and restoring power to young people to do concrete things to safeguard the common good and generate positive change.
Young people may lack awareness about the daily implications of the use (and abuse) of power, and often experience frustration with their own situations, feeling that they can do little to change the context in which they live. They are the primary target of our anti-corruption training path. Empowering them means guiding them through self-reflection and helping them to use their energies more effectively through civic engagement, educating them to manage the risk of disappointment and, lastly, orienting them towards actions with social value.
Why adopt the community-based monitoring approach with youth?
The approach chosen for this toolkit, at the core of You Monitor partners’ work, leads to a deeper ownership of the topics and two-fold educational work with youth.
First of all, it challenges young people to self-monitor, i.e., to think about a personal dimension of the use (and abuse) of power, management of potential conflicts of interests, and relationships of trust and delegation of power that affect them personally.
Secondly, it provides a compass to guide them toward monitoring the common good. This means critically observing the surrounding reality, using the channels and tools for the Right to Know granted by law, holding public decision-makers accountable and advocating for change.
What does You Monitor want to reach?
The ultimate goal is to generate a future generation of young monitoring people, who place the values of integrity and care for the common good at the centre of their private and public lives. Finally, the aim is to realise the democratic model of a ‘monitory democracy’, as inspired by Keane (Keane, J., 2009. Life and death of democracy. London: Simon & Schuster).
This is a democracy having a widespread, bottom-up, participatory system of power oversight, attained through the creation of monitoring communities of young people across Europe.
Here you can find the full You Monitor toolkit in all four languages, ready to be downloaded. You are very welcome to use for free all contents in your activities and to adapt them to your group. This toolkit is licensed and released under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).
If you would like to receive a printed copy of the You Monitor Toolkit, or if you need some guidance about how to use it or just want to send us some comments and questions, please contact Giulia Norberti at giulia.norberti [at] mafianeindanke.de .
Details of the project
You Monitor: Empowering YOUth to build MONITORial communities against corruption is a project funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme, Key Action 2 – Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth (2014–2020). Project number: 2020-2-DE04-KA205-019925.
You Monitor is the result of a partnership of seven organisations: