GID Themes:
Reflections and Resources


Reflections and Resources for 2020
Solidarity: Confronting the Corruption of Racism.
Love truth, peace, and people.

We are standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the USA and all around the world who are fighting the corruption of entrenched racism as well as the many forms of exploitation including massive human rights violations, gross inequalities, and pervasive multi-dimensional poverty. You must not be forgotten and forsaken. In new ways in the coming days, we call on us all to not only demand change and work for change, but to be the change ourselves.  And in the process, to respect and uphold the values which underlie democratic societies, including the promotion of "social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom" (Preamble, UN Charter).

Reflections and Resources
--Letter from a Birmingham Jail (16 April 1963), Martin Luther King, Jr. One of many important principles/quotes: "Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity. "

--UN IASC Statement on Racism and Racial Discrimination in the Humanitarian Sector
(10 September 2020)

--A Love Note. Erin Noëlle, 17 June 2020.  IG: @erinnoelle.22

--World Federation for Mental Health: "Condemns all form of racism and calls for an end to inequalities, racism, and police brutality." (8 June 2020) Read the full Statement here.

--Is Racism Part of Our Reluctance to Localise Humanitarian Action? (5 June 2020). Hugo Slim, Humanitarian Practice Network

--American Psychological Association: Action Plan for Addressing Inequality (2 June 2020)
See also the website section with various resources  We Must Unmute

--Seven Ways You Can Step Up for Racial Justice Now, Global Citizen (2 June 2020)

--Another One Dead (May 2o20). Song by Kolton Harris, Ryan Parker, and Jeden Williams. Background on the song here.

--Healing Racial Trauma, Hope and Resilience Blog, Psychology Today (25 May 2020). Features an interview with Sheila Wise Rowe and her book, Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience (2020)

--Anti-Racism Resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein  (May 2020)

--The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism (2019), Jemar Tisby. Watch the book trailer here.

--United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965, entry into force 1969)

--Between the World and Me (2015). Ta-Nehisi Coates "But all our phrasing—race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy—serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body.” (page 10). Two-minute video/excerpt from book read by the author HERE

Reflections and Resources for 2021

Corruption and Poverty

Multi-dimensional probity to end multi-dimensional poverty

--"End poverty in all its forms everywhere."
Sustainable Development Goal 1
--"Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."
Sustainable Development Goal 3
--"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels."  
Sustainable Development Goal 16
--"Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms ."
Sustainable Development Goal 16.5
--"Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels ."
Sustainable Development Goal 16.6

Probity for poverty? Absolutely! That is, probity to confront corruption and its impact on poverty.
Probity: The quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency” (Oxford Lexico)


One of the main hindrances blocking the fuller realisation of the Millennium Development Goals was the devastating human and environmental impact of corruption in all its forms. The same is true for the Sustainable Development Goals now, 2015-2030. So what do you think:

To resolutely  "end poverty in all its forms everywhere" (SDG 1) how can we "substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms" (SDG 16.5)? How can multi-dimensional probity (integrity at all levels: individual, institutional, international) help to end corruption's devastating role in multi-dimensional poverty?

Think of this in terms of the 2.6T for the 1.3B. That is, the estimated $2.6 trillion dollars stolen annually via corruption (2018, WEF) and its impact on the estimated 1.3 billion humans living in multi-dimensional poverty (2018, UNDP).  Note: add an additional $1 trillion/year for the estimated bribes.

Is it appropriate (and empirically supported) to incentivize integrity? Or do we "integritize" incentives? (that is, integrity, like love/altruism, is its own reward?)

For example:
"El dinero alcanza, cuando nadie roba--There's enough money when no one steals." President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele's election platform. To which we add:
--"Y nadie roba cuando...And no one steals when...?
--la integridad alcanza...there is enough integrity--living consistently in moral wholeness."
(including widespread social and personal norms that reinforce integrity)
--"Y cuando...And when...etc."

The Costs of Corruption (UN Secretary-General Guterres' message for Anti-Corruption Day 2018). "Every year, trillions of dollars - equivalent to more than five percent of global GDP - are paid in bribes or stolen through corruption.”

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 (2021). Transparency International.  (Arabic, English, French, Russian, Spanish). Highlights HERE. "The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Like previous years, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43. The data shows that despite some progress, most countries still fail to tackle corruption effectively. The top countries on the CPI are Denmark and New Zealand, with scores of 88, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland, with scores of 85 each.The bottom countries are South Sudan and Somalia, with scores of 12 each, followed by Syria (14), Yemen (15) and Venezuela (15).”

Seeking Justice throughout Honduras--Interactive MapClick the previous link to watch: Turning on the Lights for Justice (3 minutes). " investigation into Honduras' national electric company...the poor are the ones fronting most of that cost."  Beyond the Badge--Police Purge in Honduras (mini-documentary, 16 minutes).  See also Transforming Education in Honduras (3 minutes). Association for a More Just Society (ASJ): Honduras and USA.

Our Anti-Corruption Pretense "How poor countries indulge in rituals of fighting corruption even when it is the glue that holds things together." Andrew Wenda. The Magazine (Uganda) 13 December 2021.

Social determinants of mental disorders and sustainable development goals: A systematic review of reviews. Lund et al., (2018).  The Lancet: Psychiatry (5)4, 357-369. "The aim of this study was to develop a conceptual framework for the social determinants of mental disorders that is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, to use this framework to systematically review evidence regarding these social determinants...comprising demographic, economic, neighbourhood, environmental events, and social and culture domains." Note: This key review is relevant for confronting corruption because poverty influences mental health and corruption influences poverty.

 The True Cost of Global Corruption. "Graft results in lost tax revenue, but it also takes a social toll." (September 2019). Finance and Development, International Monetary Fund.  "Curbing corruption can be a daunting task, but it is necessary to restore public trust in government. The fight against corruption can also bring significant economic and social gains over time. It starts with domestic political will, continuous strengthening of institutions to promote integrity and accountability, and global cooperation." (concluding paragraph)

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (2012) Katherine Boo
"The effect of corruption I find most underacknowledged is a contraction not of economic possibility but of our moral universe....It is easy, from a safe distance, to overlook the fact that in undercities governed by corruption, where exhausted people vie on scant terrain for very little, it is blistering hard to be good. The astonishment is that some people are good, and that many people try to be - all those invisible people who every day find themselves faced with dilemmas [of survival and of injustice]" (pages 253-254).

ONEis a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity. We believe the fight against poverty isn’t about charity, but about justice and equality.”….“Every year developing countries lose $1,000,000,000,000 — a TRILLION dollars — through a web of shady and corrupt activities that involve phantom firms, money laundering, and illegal tax evasion. That’s money that, if recovered and taxed, could be invested in healthcare or education in the poorest counties. Instead, it fuels inequality and instability, keeping millions of people in developing countries trapped in the cycle of poverty.” (website)

United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Civil Society Coalition“The UNCAC Coalition is a global network of over 350 civil society organisations (CSOs) in over 100 countries, committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Established in August 2006, it mobilises civil society action for UNCAC at international, regional and national levels. The Coalition’s office is registered and based in Vienna, Austria.” (quote from website)

Why Can't Grace Go to School?  EXPOSED Campaign (advocacy video, 2014)
Corruption is closer to home than you might think - or admit.

Reflections and Resources for  2022
Integrity and Corruption in thhe Health Sector
Moral Health for a More Whole World

Linking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Poverty SDG 1-Health SDG 3-Corruption SDG 16

--"End poverty in all its forms everywhere."
Sustainable Development Goal 1
--"Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."
Sustainable Development Goal 3
--"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels."  
Sustainable Development Goal 16
--"Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms ."
Sustainable Development Goal 16.5
--"Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels ."
Sustainable Development Goal 16.6



--Integrity in the health sector and government—Decisive faith-based input! “England's former Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, says he first thought about leaving Boris Johnson's Conservative government a week ago. What resolved him to quit, he told the BBC's Sunday Morning show, was hearing a sermon on integrity at a prayer breakfast in Parliament on Tuesday." Read the story at  BBC News, 10 July 2022

--Great example of what can be done to investigate-confront and prosecute-punish corporate financial corrupton (with adequate resources and resolve)! "Glencore pays more than $1 billion in four-agency settlementThe Swiss commodities trader admitted paying bribes throughout Africa and South America in settlements with four agencies in the US, UK and Brazil. Corruption probes in Switzerland and the Netherlands, however, continue."  Global Investigative Report 25 May 2022.  See also the Summary from the Department of Justice (DOJ)--US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York as well as this two-minute video announcement and overview by the DOJ " one, not even multinational corporations, is above the law."

--COVID Care: Reflections and Resources (updated February 2022). Member Care Associates. "Pandemics, like many crises, bring out the best and the worst in us--our selfless and our selfish qualities. The reality of the uncertainties and anxieties of life, and indeed survival--existential risk--is heavy upon the world. Positively, the current COVID-19 pandemic certainly provides plenty of opportunities for us all, individually and collectively, to reflect on the types of people we want to be, the types of societies we need to build, and the types of changes we have to make.

We acknowledge that there are different views about this pandemic including how best to manage it and future health emergencies via science, public health policy, human rights principles, and international cooperation. We also note that the many overlapping, problems in our world continue unabated--shadow pandemics--even as this covid pandemic dominates the center stage globally: multi-dimensional poverty, protracted violence, human rights violations, gross inequalities, racism, mental ill health, environmental degradation, etc. This is the ongoing, cascading context--full of challenges and opportunities--for relentlessly pursuing sustainable development and wellbeing for all people-peoples and the planet."

--Dark Patterns--BBC Documentary, 30 minutes, aired on 16 February 2022. This podcast episode deals with the practical and psychological "tricks" for intentionally designing manipulation and exploitation into websites. Corruption is ubiquitous and "solutions" are elusive. In view of this year's GID theme, have a listen to consider how these dark practices can influence your own "choices," mental health, and overall wellbeing. And that of the public. We see this "intentional trickery" as yet another major example of the challenges for 'substantially reducing corruption in all its forms'--as per Sustainable Development Goal 16.5--including the systemic-business cultures of corruption into which we are immersed every day via the internet!

Episode description."Trying to cancel some online accounts can be a maze of searches and false hopes, multiple clicks through a puzzle of seemingly unrelated destinations. This is what has become known as a 'dark pattern'; complex web design that makes it hard for you to do something the website does not want you to do, and employs behavioural psychology to make you do things it does want you to do. It is just one of the techniques used to make us click, buy or subscribe..."

Healing Moral Injury: Reflections and Resources for Wounded Souls (March 2022) Member Care Update. “In this Update we overview moral injury--an area which is gaining increasing attention across disciplines (e.g., psychology, theology, medicine) and sectors (e.g., humanitarian, health, military). ‘Moral injury is the suffering [we] experience when we are in high stakes situations, things go wrong, and harm results that challenges our deepest moral codes and ability to trust in others or ourselves. The harm may be something we did, something we witnessed, or something that was done to us. It results in moral emotions such as shame, guilt, self-condemnation, outrage, and sorrow.’ Moral Injury--Volunteers of America” ...[The materials are] divided into three sections: definitions, descriptions, and recovery...[Have] a look at this very good and brief overview, "Moral Injury: The Effect on Mental Health and Implications for Treatment" in the The Lancet--Psychiatry (Volume 8, Issue 6, 1 June 2021, pages 453-455).” This Update is oriented towards the international Christian and health communities and is also relevant for colleagues from all backgrouunds. 

--The Ignored Pandemic (2019). Transparency International (TI). “Universal health coverage, meaning that all individuals and communities can access essential quality health services without suffering financial hardship, has become the top priority of the World Health Organisation. Achieving the ambitious goal of universal health coverage will require more resources, and the better use of existing resources. At the same time, efforts to achieve universal health coverage are being significantly undermined by widespread corruption in frontline healthcare service delivery. Corruption in the health sector kills an estimated 140,000 children a year, fuels the global rise in anti-microbial resistance, and hinders the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Unless the most harmful forms of corruption are curbed, universal health coverage is unlikely to be achieved.”  You can access additional TI publications on corruption and health HERE

--Reinforcing the Focus on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability in National Health Policies, Strategies and Plans (2019). World Health Organization and UKaid. “The top strategic priority for the World Health Organization (WHO) is to support countries to progress towards universal health coverage. To achieve this aim, WHO supports countries to develop health policies, strategies and plans aimed at increasing access to quality health services for all, without people needing to suffer financial hardship in paying for them. Corruption causes significant losses of public money and may impede the ability of nations to make evidence-based policy choices and build consensus on the most effective approaches to transform health systems as part of the universal health coverage agenda. Corruption in the health sector has high costs both in terms of lives lost and resources wasted. Researchers estimate global average annual losses from health care fraud and error to be 6.19% of total expenditures, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars (Gee & Button, 2015). Corruption is also a significant predictor of child mortality and other negative health outcomes. One researcher calculated that 140 000 child deaths per year are attributable to corruption, more than those caused by Ebola, cholera and rabies combined (Hanf et al., 2011) Recognizing that corruption may slow progress toward achieving universal health coverage, WHO Member States and development partners are working to prevent and control corruption (Mackey, Vian & Kohler, 2018)....”

--Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Health Care: Why do we speak so little about them?  Webinar on 13 December 2021 organised by the Faith and Public Integrity Network.  Link to watch the one hour recording of the webinar HERE.

--Perilous Medicine: The Struggle to Protect Health Care from the Violence of War (2021). Leonard Rubenstein. "Bringing together extensive research, firsthand experience, and compelling personal stories, Perilous Medicine also offers a path forward, detailing the lessons the international community needs to learn to protect people already suffering in war and those on the front lines of health care in conflict-ridden places around the world.”  

--Global Integrity Day: Courage against corruption during COVID. Faith and Public Integrity Network. This weinar on 9 June 2021 featured the work of the Association for a More Just Society-Honduras (ASJ) an also included a short overview about global Intitatives for integrity and anti-corruption. Videos/audios and the two power point presentations HERE.

--The World We Want: Actions Towards a Sustainable, Fairer, and Healthier Society. A Short-film Trilogy, produced by People’s Health Movement (PHM), supported by Prince Mahidol Award Conference, 2022 Film I.  Building Equitable Health Systems. “The first film records the voices of community health workers and health care professionals and health rights activists from across the globe, on the learning’s from the COVID pandemic for the design of healthcare systems...” Film II. Rethinking the SDGs.… in the Pandemic Aftermath…“The second film shines a spotlight on the Sustainable Development Goals - in what political economic context and what unequal power relations they arose and have continued to perpetuate...” Film III. Post-Pandemic Global Economics. Re-structure, Reform or just Re-vitalize. “The third film delves into the hegemonic, extractive and grossly unequal economic model, which prevails today...[and] underscores the need for a transformative shift...premised on fairness and justice that would ensure human survival...”

--Corruption and Mental Health: Evidence from Vietnam (May 2021). Smriti Sharma, Saurabh Singhal, and Finn Tarp. Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization. Highlights: "We examine the relationship between exposure to local corruption and mental health in rural Vietnam. Using two datasets, we find strong and consistent evidence that petty corruption is positively associated with psychological distress. Suggestive evidence that a recent anti-corruption campaign had significant positive effects on mental health. There may be substantial psychosocial and mental health benefits from efforts to reduce corruption and improve governance."

--Anticorruption in the Health Sector--Strategies for Transparency and Accountability (2010). Edited by Tara Vian, William Savedoff and Harald Mathisen. “[This book] brings practical experience to bear on anticorruption approaches tailored specifically to health. The contributors, all skilled practitioners, address the consequences of different types of corruption and show how agencies can more effectively address these challenges as an integral part of their development work. Both practitioner and classroom-friendly, this book finally addresses a neglected issue that has so much bearing on global health and governance.”

Psychological Insights on Integrity and Corruption
--Healing Moral Injury: Reflections and Resources for Wounded Souls (March 2022). Member Care Update.  One of the featured resources is "Moral Injury: The Effect on Mental Health and Implications for Treatment" (The Lancet--Psychiatry,  1 June 2021).

--Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Behaviors (2020, 3rd edition). Caroll Tavris and Elliot Aronson.  See the Table of Contents, Preface, Introduction,  and Chapter 1 in the Amazon book preview.

--Moral Disengagement​: How People Do Harm and Live with Themselves (2016). Albert Bandura.  See this short overview of Bandura's "eight mechanisms of moral disengagement."

--The Social Psychology of Good and Evil (2016,  2nd edition). Edited by Arthur Miller. See the Table of Contents, Introduction-Overview, and Index in the Amazon book preview.

--Health for Peace: Contributions from Peace Psychology. This is a 25-minute presentation by Dr. Kelly O’Donnell given during Geneva Peace Week, held at United Nations (7 November 2018). It overviews a) the field of Peace Psychology and its relevance for peace and wellbeing and b) three psychological processes that can interfere with moral health: cognitive dissonance, the bystander effect, and intractable conflicts. You can access the power point HERE and the video HERE. Note that “moral health” is a crucial part of human development and wellbeing and hence its inclusion in this year’s GID spotlight. 

--Positive Psychology--resources. “Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.” Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Also see the related materials from the Authentic Happiness website including free self-assessments for wellbeing, character strengths-virtues, etc.