ANNEX A. Outline of the review methodology

Approach and guiding questions

Reviews of integrity in education systems are designed to support governments and stakeholders with evidence and analysis of the policy failures that provide education participants with incentives and opportunities to engage in malpractice – in behaviours such as cheating, undue recognition of achievement, misappropriation of funds, and favouritism in staffing. They understand malpractice in education as originating in factors that create incentives for problematic behaviour by participants in education, and that open an opportunity for that behaviour, and together result in malpractice, or integrity violations (OECD, 2012; Milovanovitch, 2013, 2015).

Integrity violations may be reported by new organisations, by public accountability and auditing bodies, or by non-governmental organisations. Public opinion surveys frequently provide evidence of the frequency with which these violations are perceived to occur. Integrity reviews also rely upon site visits and interviews with stakeholders and civil society. Evidence is also obtained through focus groups and interviews with stakeholders and participants in the education system, and its credibility is established through the frequency and consistency with which it is reported. Evidence developed in integrity reviews serves policy analytic and improvement purposes rather than investigative purposes, and does not attempt to establish individual wrongdoing.

This analytic approach is guided by four questions which shape the structure of the review report:

  1. What is the violation? The answers are provided in section A of each chapter, describing the integrity violation.

  2. How does it happen? The answers are provided in section B of each chapter, describing factors and policy shortcomings that create opportunities for the violation.

  3. Why does it happen? The answers are provided in section C of each chapter, describing factors and shortcomings that create incentives for the violation.

  4. What can be done to prevent it from happening? The answers are listed in section D of each chapter, suggesting policy options.

Review process

The review process relies on desk research, site visits and consultations with national stakeholders to validate the findings and define options for feasible follow-up action. It follows a sequence of steps divided into three phases of implementation.

Phase 1 is devoted to an initial selection of violations for review and an inventory of integrity issues to be analysed in the course of review. The phase begins with a planning visit and the nomination of a national co-ordinator and institution (usually the Ministry of Education or a subsidiary of the ministry), followed by formation of a review team, preparation of an agenda for the site visits, and the provision of an initial selection of data and information. The latter includes translation of the documentation in the official language of the review report.

Phase 2 consists of an in-depth analysis of violations based on desk research and site visits, and preparation of a first draft of the review report, excluding recommendations. Phase 2 involves the visit of the review team to the country (see Annexs B and C), followed by continuous provision of data and information to support the subsequent analysis.

Phase 3 comprises the validation of analysis with national stakeholders, the elaboration of recommendations and finalisation of the integrity review. This phase features the organisation of a validation workshop with stakeholders and national experts, and a dissemination meeting for the final review report.

The present review was informed by the Integrity of Education Systems (INTES) methodology developed by Mihaylo Milovanovitch. This report is the result of desk research; site visits in five regions during October and November 2015; a seminar in Kyiv (March 2016) to present initial findings to a wide range of stakeholders and discuss ways to address the key challenges; and consultations within the OECD and with national authorities.


Milovanovitch, M. (2013), “Understanding integrity, fighting corruption: What can be done?”, in Transparency International Global Corruption Report: Education, Routledge, New York, pp. 232-239,

Milovanovitch, M. et al. (2015), Strengthening Integrity and Fighting Corruption in Education in Armenia, Open Society Foundations, Yerevan,

OECD (2012), Strengthening Integrity and Fighting Corruption in Education: Serbia, OECD Publishing, Paris,