Chapter 5. Cultivating a culture of public integrity: A challenge for Mexico City

Public sector integrity involves not only adopting regulations preventing and punishing corruption and integrity violations but transforming individual behaviour and values in society. It implies recognising that integrity violations occur amongst citizens and firms. When society shows a high level of tolerance of corruption, the impact even of strong laws and well-designed institutional arrangements may be limited. Government should thus enlist the active participation of the whole of society in promoting and adopting social norms for integrity, as a crucial element in preventing corruption. This chapter explores the level of integrity and the tolerance of corruption in Mexico City and offers recommendations for cultivating social norms for integrity through raising awareness, building capacity and eliciting changes in behaviour. The second section of the chapter provides some insights on how to instil integrity norms and values in youth, and gives proposals for including integrity and anti-corruption education into the curriculum for schools.


5.1. Introduction

Corruption involves multiple stakeholders. When citizens pay bribes to local authorities, evade taxes and try to exercise undue influence to obtain an unfair benefit, they are undermining trust in public institutions but also in markets, reducing the quality of life of the society as a whole. Similarly, unfair practices in the private sector, such as collusion, payment of bribes to public officials or illegal political contributions also have a negative impact and undermine trust in government. Citizens and the private sector are jointly responsible with government institutions for the erosion of public trust and for the poor results of initiatives intended to deter corruption.

Changing institutions and individual behaviour cannot be achieved simply by changing government regulations; it requires a transformation of individual behaviour and values. The active participation of the private sector, civil society, academia and other stakeholders at all stages of the political process entails an acknowledgement of the risks to integrity in interacting with the public sector. Moreover, citizens’ active participation in the deliberation, decision making and implementation of public policies sends a message that solutions to public issues are not only the responsibility of government but of society at large. This decreases the political risks and costs (OECD, 2009[1]).

Promoting a whole-of-society culture of public integrity and partnering with the private sector, civil society and individuals can enhance public integrity and reduce corruption in the public sector (OECD, 2017[2]). As such, it needs to be considered in any strategic approach to corruption at the national level. Government policies to promote a culture of public integrity should focus more precisely in two main actions: 1) recognising the important role they play in enhancing the public integrity system by upholding integrity norms as a shared responsibility, and 2) launching public campaigns showing the benefits of integrity and how important it is to reduce tolerance of integrity violations. The focus should be on promoting civic education on public integrity among the private sector, individuals and, more precisely, schools (OECD, 2017[2]).

Mexico’s National Anti-corruption System (SNAC) and also Mexico City’s Local Anti-corruption System (Sistema Local Anticorrupción de la Ciudad de México, SLAC-CDMX) recognise the important role civil society and private sector play, given that the Citizen Participation Committee presides over the Anti-corruption Co-ordination Committee. However, some improvements are still required. At present, no concrete initiatives are under way to disseminate integrity values following a whole society approach in Mexico City’s integrity strategy. This chapter offers recommendations on how to leverage the anti-corruption reforms to instil a culture of integrity by 1) promoting ownership and recognition amongst key stakeholder groups of the joint responsibility in cultivating integrity values in society and 2) raising awareness of the social, economic and political benefits of integrity.

5.2. Instilling a shared sense of responsibility for integrity in society

5.2.1. Encouraging a sense of shared responsibility for integrity in Mexico City among citizens and the private sector in public awareness campaigns.

In Mexico City, anti-corruption initiatives have focused in adopting laws and regulations to deter corruption in its public service. However, even clear laws and well-designed institutional arrangements may face difficulties in implementing the overall integrity strategy seeking to prevent corruption, unless citizens and representatives from the private sector also assume responsibility for acting with integrity in their interactions with the government. Reversing a culture where integrity and corruption violations are commonly accepted across society needs more than the implementation of integrity legislative reforms.

In fact, various studies demonstrate that in a context where the prevailing social norms are tolerant of corruption, any legal and institutional reform for integrity risk failure (Acemoglu and Jackson, 2014[3]). The social environment has a strong influence on individual attitudes towards corruption (Gatti, Paternostro and Rigolini, 2003[4]). In a context where the predominant social norms excuse corruption and rule-breaking behaviour, concrete steps must be taken to communicate and show the new expected social norms, to ensure that all citizens and government organisations are aware of the new standards of conduct they will be held to.

Research made by pro-social behaviour specialists confirms that spontaneous pro-social behaviour emerges at a very early age. Toddlers display pro-social and empathic behaviour by offering to help, share food and hug a crying peer, and children under the age of two demonstrate a developed sense of fairness (Eisenberg, Spinrad and Morris, 2013[5]). However, during early adolescence, this tends to decline, then recovers in due course under a new form of pro-sociality characterised by a civic and volunteering attitude. According to these specialists, if we observe a crowd, adult citizens are less likely to be pro-social than children and adolescents and only exceptional individuals become moral exemplars showing a high moral commitment or even heroic sacrifice. In a culture of corruption, individuals are more tolerant of corruption, as they may feel discouraged when trying to fight corruption.

The number of misdemeanours reported in Mexico City in comparison to the number of citizens who report that they have paid a bribe in dealing with the administration in various sectors (whether in education, the judicial system, health and medical services, police, etc.), suggests that citizens have a high tolerance for corruption (see Figure ‎5.1).

Figure ‎5.1. Number of bribes reported paid to government public officials in Mexico City

Source: Based on the (INEGI, 2015[6]), Encuesta Nacional de Calidad e Impacto Gubernamental (ENCIG), 2015, online database

This apparent indifference towards corruption is not an exclusive challenge for Mexico City but appears to be present across the country. It is reflected in the results of the National Strategy of Civic Culture 2017-2023 made by the Electoral National Institute, which notes that a high tolerance for illegal acts prevails in Mexico. These results indicate that corruption in Mexico exists not only at the institutional level but also in the social fabric, where the rule of law has lower incentives by comparison with the advantages that corruption apparently offers (Instituto Nacional Electoral, 2016[7]). The report also indicates that citizens not only seem to tolerate illegal acts but are inclined to justify them (Instituto Nacional Electoral, 2016[7]).

In this context, Mexico City could consider the whole-of-society approach as a component of its anticorruption reforms, as was suggested for the national anti-corruption strategy. Indeed, as highlighted by the OECD in its assessment of the SNAC and its future action plan, citizens and firms can play a vital role in countering corruption, which should be recognised by including explicit initiatives targeting citizens and the private sector (OECD, 2017[2]). The active participation of citizens, private sector and non-profit organisation in raising awareness can help change behaviour not only within the public sector but also in the way citizens interact with the public administration.

5.2.2. Mexico City’s experience working with civil society organisations could be leveraged to include the whole society approach as part of the Local Anti-corruption System.

Mexico City’s anti-corruption strategy recognises the participation of civil society in the implementation of the General Programme for the Development of the Federal District 2013-2018. The fifth strategic initiative of this plan notes that the government of Mexico City will include citizen participation in government planning, monitoring and assessment of government actions, follow-up on goals and providing information to increase efficiency in implementing policies, as well as programmes to hold the government accountable and fight corruption. However, none of the initiatives have been oriented toward raising public awareness of the benefits of integrity and reducing tolerance of violations of public integrity.

To take firm actions against corruption, Mexico City took certain measures to ensure citizen participation in policy-making decisions designed to encourage an effective integrity system that prevents and fights corruption. Mexico City invited citizens and representatives of civil society to participate in a Citizen Consultative Council set up in 2013. This council worked with the Office of the Comptroller-General to assess the status of the integrity system. They were mandated to ensure that citizens receive honest, fair and equal treatment from public sector entities and that public officials comply with the values and standards of conduct set out in their ethical framework. The Council observed that while various integrity instruments and organisations were in place to oversee public sector activities and fight corruption, they were not operating in co-operation, and recommended a reform. This information was shared with the government, but it seems that no additional recommendation was provided on how to resolve these issues. As of the end of 2014, this Citizen Consultative Council has ceased its activities.

To enhance integrity in its public organisations, Mexico City has also worked with civil society organisations, in particular the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad A.C., or IMCO) and Transparencia Mexicana, both representing the civil society sector, to set out the current conflict of interest legal framework and the electronic public registry that contains the tax, assets and interests declarations currently in place. However, they have not been involved in any public campaigns to raise awareness of the integrity framework.

In December 2015, Mexico City signed an agreement creating the Inter-institutional Preparatory Council for the Implementation of the Anti-corruption System of Mexico City (COIPISA agreement) which worked with civil society organisations to establish the mechanisms for laying out the strategic pillars for the Local Anti-corruption System. COIPISA prepared a series of drafts of the future secondary laws. The conclusion of this agreement recognises the role that civil society plays in elaborating the integrity strategy to fight corruption in Mexico City.

Mexico City has taken initiatives to engage civil society in policies to fight corruption but has not yet included strategies encouraging participation of the private sector, civil society and citizens. When a government invites civil society and the private sector to fight government corruption, it recognises that distrust created by corruption alters the fundamental relationship between the government and the governed and the general welfare of society (Alford, 2012[8]). Mexico City needs to consider the possibility of including civil society in future initiatives to uphold the ethics standards in government. A co-operation agreement could encouraging civil society to help Mexico City to reduce tolerance for corruption. By working with civil society organisations, citizens and the private sector, Mexico City sends a message to all stakeholders that it cares about the trust they have in government entities, their contribution to set standards and priorities for the maintenance of public governance and reducing tolerance of integrity violations, as in Bogotá and Pereira in Colombia (Box ‎5.1) and corruption in Hong Kong (Box ‎5.3).

Box ‎5.1. Changing attitudes to rule breaking in Colombia: the experience of Bogota and Pereira

In 1994, when Dr. Antanas Mockus became mayor of Bogotá, the Colombian capital was known as the murder capital of the world, with a notoriously corrupt municipal government. In an effort to reform his city, Dr. Mockus instituted a series of unique measures to change public attitudes to rule breaking. A group of theatre students were stationed at traffic intersections around the city, wearing white face paint and tights, to help enforce traffic rules. Instead of carrying guns, the mimes carried cards with a thumbs-down picture on them. If they caught someone breaking the rules, they would flash the cards, football-referee style. Regular citizens joined in and helped them to enforce the rules with this humorous approach. In a few months, the percentage of pedestrians obeying traffic signals was reported to rise from 26% to 75%. Mockus went on to expand his reform agenda, instituting a broader range of measures to tackle the city’s violence, crime and poverty, such as closing down the transit police department, whose employees were notorious for demanding bribes, and initiating a series of large-scale public works projects to improve service delivery to the city’s poor. It was his efforts to change attitudes, however, that he felt were fundamental to all his forms, noting that the transformation of civic culture was crucial in addressing the issues Bogotá faced.

Mockus’ experiment indicates that improvement in legal reasoning and responsible behaviour on a large scale is possible. This experience inspired the “Culture of Lawfulness” (COL) project managed by the National Strategy Information Center, a Washington, DC-based non-profit educational organization in the city of Pereira. COL worked with Pereiran government and civic leaders to institute a series of programmes aiming to promote respect for the rule of law among Pereira’s citizens. It should be noted that not all the movement’s tactics were designed exclusively to fight corruption. However, promoting the broader issue in many areas of daily life can ultimately create a culture that is intolerant of corruption. Respecting the rule of law becomes a norm for everyone in society.

Under the various activities of these programmes, a major area of COL’s work in Pereira focuses on transport safety. The major cause of traffic accidents was ignorance of traffic laws. With the partnership of the police, Megabus (the city’s metrorail system), the secretary of education, the Institute of Transport, the Center for Studies of Economic Development (CEDE), COL, motorcycle repair shops and City Hall, an initiative was launched to educate Pereirans about traffic safety and reduce the number of accidents involving motorcyclists and pedestrians. This initiative included giving “proof of life” cards (cartas de prueba de vida) to cyclists. The cards carried a short three-question quiz about simple traffic laws. Cyclists were asked to sign a safety pledge and hand them in. More than 4 000 pedestrians and motorcyclists signed and returned these life pledges. In addition, several main thoroughfares in Pereira have been updated with traffic lights and new lane markings, and more than 200 citations have been issued to cyclists and motorcyclists for traffic infractions, with an emphasis on equal application of the law, regardless of political or socioeconomic status.

These two experiences in cities with major problems of compliance with the law shows the possibility of changing attitudes and transforming civic culture.

Source: (Fisman and Miguel, 2008[9]), Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence and the Poverty of Nations, Princeton University Press; and (Panth, 2011[10]), “Changing norms is key to fighting everyday corruption”, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (CommGAP) External Affairs, (accessed 20 May 2017).

Since the institutional arrangement of the Local Anti-corruption System will mirror the national setup, Mexico City’s future Citizen Participation Committee could play a key role in facilitating the inclusion of the whole-society approach. The proposed action plan by the Executive Secretariat to the Co-ordination Committee recognises the vital role civil society and the private sector have in anti-corruption initiatives. This action plan could include not only public awareness campaigns but also educational activities organised by the appropriate ministries (the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Comptroller-General, in its role as ensuring Mexico City’s public sector integrity). This will provide citizens with the skills and mechanisms to challenge a general tolerance of corruption and to reject unethical behaviour in their dealings with public sector organisations.

These proposed public initiatives could be conducted in a variety of forums, including TV commercials, public billboards and social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn). The Office of the Comptroller and other ministries in Mexico City already use social media to communicate with citizens and civil society and inform public officials of the various initiatives for fighting corruption, such as the approval of ethics and conflict of interest rules, the recruitment of additional Citizens Comptrollers to increase transparency and integrity of the public procurement activities, the publication of the penalties imposed on public servants in case of violations of integrity rules, etc. It would be feasible for Mexico City to use the means of communication already in place to disseminate information about the proposed programmes for public initiatives, and to communicate: 1) the expected social norms for integrity based on the recent anti-corruption reforms; 2) the roles and responsibilities of citizens and the private sector for upholding these social norms; and 3) the collective benefits of upholding a culture of public integrity for Mexico as a whole.

Well-designed anti-corruption awareness campaigns on reducing acceptance of corruption, ranging from reduced levels of integrity violations to changing social behaviour, should be tailored to their audience, generate community responsibility, increase a sense of agency and encourage action (see Box ‎5.2).

Box ‎5.2. Success factors for effective campaigns to change behaviour

Lessons learned from existing successful behaviour change campaigns can be leveraged to inform the development of successful anti-corruption campaigns.


Tailor the campaign to the audience:

  • Use existing attitudes.

  • Make the issue publicly accessible.

  • Make the issue culturally specific.

  • Look at the issue from the target audience’s point of view.

Generate community responsibility:

  • Make the issue socially unacceptable by framing the issue in moral terms.

  • Highlight the wider impact of the issue on society and demonstrate its impact on human life.

Increase a sense of agency:

  • Develop a sense of self-control, motivation, knowledge and skills.

  • Offer alternative behaviour.

Encourage action:

  • Highlight the action that needs to be taken, such as the proper procedures for reporting corrupt activities.

Source: Mann, C. (2011), “Behaviour changing campaigns: success and failure factors”, U4 Expert Answer, Transparency International”,

OECD’s adaptation from (Mann, 2011[11]), on (OECD, 2017[12]), OECD Integrity Review of Mexico: Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris.

In developing an awareness campaign that aims to change social norms, it is also important to avoid fear-based campaigns. These can have the result that the message is dismissed as too extreme, unlikely to happen, or too disturbing. Likewise, campaigns that lack a credible voice, that sensationalise the issue and avoid credible and authentic evidence, are rarely effective, as recipients do not identify with the issue at hand.

5.2.3. Public campaigns need to be complemented by training programmes for citizens, focusing on areas susceptible to fraud or corruption, and the clear assignment of responsibilities to the relevant ministries.

Raising a sense of joint responsibility for integrity and adopting social norms of integrity requires integrity and anti-corruption training programmes that go beyond raising awareness. To achieve real progress, these campaigns should focus on instilling in society collectively the commitment, confidence and motivation to make the moral choice and accept their responsibility to address ethical dilemmas as they arise. Moreover, awareness-raising initiatives should aim to change citizens’ expectations of public behaviour and the belief that they are entitled to expect a government that is not corrupt. This is only possible when the political and public wills are supported by the appropriate organisational and procedural integration (Langseth, Stapenhurst and Pope, 1997[13]).

Traditionally, integrity and anti-corruption training programmes target certain groups of citizens, in the private sector or actively involved in organized civil society activities for non-profit organisations. These training programmes have successfully provided such groups with knowledge and skills to uphold integrity within their communities. For example, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, created in 1974, has engaged in integrity and anti-corruption strategies including training programmes and public awareness-raising campaigns. More frequent reporting on corruption has since been reported (Box ‎5.3).

Box ‎5.3. Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption: fighting corruption through civic education and awareness-raising programmes

Since it was set up in 1974, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) has embraced a three-pronged approach to fight corruption, including: law enforcement, prevention and community education.

The Community Relations Department (CRD) is responsible for promoting integrity in society, and uses various methods to educate society, including civic education programmes and awareness-raising campaigns.

Civic education

The CRD offers tailor-made preventive education programmes, ranging from training workshops to integrity- building programmes, for community groups including businessmen and professionals. Training workshops cover: prevention of bribery ordinance, the pitfalls of corruption, ethical decision-making at work, and managing staff integrity. The CRD also disseminates anti-corruption messages to students in secondary schools and at institutions of higher education, though interactive dramas and discussions on personal and professional ethics. The CRD also organises regular talks and seminars for the private and non-profit sector, advising them how to incorporate corruption prevention measures into their operational systems and procedures. Topics range from knowledge on the pitfalls of corruption, risk management, ethical governance and what to do if offered bribes.

Awareness campaigns

The CRD also uses various platforms and techniques to raise awareness about corruption and publicise anti-corruption messages to different segments of society. Anti-corruption messages are disseminated through television and radio advertisements, such as the TV drama series “ICAC Investigators”, which has become a household byword.

Likewise, the CRD communicates its messages through poster campaigns and the Internet. The main ICAC website provides the public with the latest news of the Commission, information on corruption prevention, and access to ICAC audiovisual products and other publications. The website is also home to the two video channels for ICAC, including the complete ICAC TV drama series and training videos on how to prevent corruption. The ICAC show Weibo tweets about integrity-related issues to educate the general public on the evils of corruption, and the ICAC smartphone app carries all the ICAC’s latest news and activities, including the integrity videos. The ICAC eBooks Tablet App also provides users with access to the ICAC e-publications, to ensure that the general public can access anti-corruption materials at any time.

In its first year of operation, the public education campaigns resulted in 3 189 reports of alleged corruption, more than twice the number of reports received by police in the previous year (Panth, 2011[10]). More than 30 years later, the ICAC’s efforts have paid off; 7 out of 10 citizens are now willing to report corruption (Johnston, 2005[14]). As Hong Kong’s example demonstrates, preventing corruption was not solely the result of strong institutions and laws. Enhancing society’s participation to hold institutions to account, as well as continuous, concerted attention and efforts, has led to an environment in which corruption is rejected by public officials and citizens alike.

Sources: ICAC website,, accessed 31 May 2017; (Panth, 2011[10]), “Changing norms is key to fighting everyday corruption”, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (CommGAP) External Affairs,; (Johnston, 2005[14]), Syndromes of Corruption: Wealth, Power and Democracy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.

It is recommended that the future Local Anti-corruption System Citizen Participation and Co-ordination Committees assign clear responsibilities to the Office of the Comptroller, which, in co-ordination with the School of Public Administration (Escuela de Administración Pública, EAP), could develop a series of integrity and anti-corruption training programmes for citizens and civil society organisations. Rather than communicating the content of the Ethics Code and the legislative framework to citizens, civil society organisations and firms, these training programmes could include modules focusing on: 1) corruption and the impact of violations of the law on society; 2) promoting an understanding of why citizens/private sector/non-profit organisations may violate the rule of law; 3) public integrity and society’s roles and responsibilities to uphold it; 4) developing a capacity for resolving ethical dilemmas; and 5) communicating the roles and responsibilities of public officials for integrity and the activities through which citizens/private sector/non-profit organisations can support the integrity of public officials (OECD, 2017[2]).

These proposed training programmes could be offered in two forms: in-class training programmes for citizens/private sector/non-profit organisations and e-learning training programmes for citizens, using the format currently in place in the website of the School of Public Administration (Escuela de Administración Pública, or EAP) for the training on public ethics and administrative responsibilities (see Chapter 3).

This training could be made available on the Digital Platform, which will present information created by the public entities responsible for fighting corruption and ensuring compliance with the local anti-corruption system. The in-class training programme could be conducted by members of the Office of the Comptroller, in co-ordination with the EAP, and its content could be tailored to requests for training submitted by a specific business or organisation. To guarantee a high level of enrolment for these sessions, especially from members of firms or non-profit organisations, incentives for completion could be offered, such as certificates recognising attendees as “Citizen for Integrity” or “Business for Integrity” or “NGO for Integrity”. This could qualify to them, for instance, to participate in public procurement processes or for funding and support.

The Office of the Comptroller can use various means of communication to disseminate the e-learning and in-class training programmes, such as its official website, Twitter and Facebook, or even TV commercials. Mexico City could also inform citizens who benefit from various social programmes, such as from the Ministry of Social Development (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social) when Citizen Comptrollers oversee the delivery of social programmes, as required by the agreement signed by Office of the Comptroller-General and the Ministry of Social Development and implemented in April 2016. Mexico City could take advantage of the role played by Citizen Comptrollers in monitoring public spending and the effectiveness of social programmes and ask for their support to distribute leaflets in the context of their interventions.

Mexico City could also consider training programmes in areas where fraud and corruption, such as bribes paid to expedite payments or paperwork and to avoid payment of taxes, are more likely to occur (Figure ‎5.2). Mexico City needs to identify areas of vulnerability based on verification of the delivery of services of these government entities and sectors.

Figure ‎5.2. Areas where fraud and corruption acts are commonly reported in Mexico City, in comparison with other Mexican states

Source: Based on the (INEGI, 2015[6]), Encuesta Nacional de Calidad e Impacto Gubernamental (ENCIG), 2015, online database

Mexico City could also use education programmes to raise awareness of specific responsibility for public integrity, such as those carried out at the federal level by the SAT, which has incorporated civic education programmes for adults to reduce tax evasion (Box ‎5.4). The SLAC-CDMX Co-ordination Committee could consider this good practice at the federal level. Such training could be included in its Action Plan, specifying the need to work with other Mexico City government entities that deal with high-risk areas, including social programmes. Such training programmes should be tailored to specific high-risk areas (unemployment insurance fraud, health insurance fraud and other types of social benefit fraud, free-riding on public transport, etc.), identifying the roles and responsibilities for citizens in these areas, and providing citizens with knowledge and skills to resist corruption and information of the impact of their fraudulent behaviour in society as a whole.

Box ‎5.4. SAT’s role in teaching tax in higher education

In response to high levels of tax evasion, Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (Servicio de Administración Tributaria, or SAT) has been actively educating citizens on their duties and obligations to pay taxes. One such programme has been the introduction of courses on tax in universities.

Engaging with and educating future finance and accounting professionals will provide them with the tools they need to interact with the tax administration during their career. This is the basis for the SAT’s educational strategy, launched in 2004: a win-win strategy to produce informed and receptive tax professionals who can play a key role in improving tax awareness and compliance.

To carry out this initiative, a “collaboration agreement” between the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit and the Secretariat of Public Education was signed. The agreement is to co-ordinate civic education matters through tax education programmes for the public, including promoting programmes that will strengthen a culture of civic participation in the national education system.

This collaboration led to a curriculum that is relevant for university courses at all levels. It was developed as an approach to build professional competence and aims to train professionals to be ethically responsible and socially committed in their careers.

The SAT also collaborated with the Mexican Institute of Public Accountants to draw up a Tax Training and Information Guide for the curriculum. The content is divided into units, each with a specific learning objective, and provides learning activities, teaching suggestions and a glossary of frequently used fiscal terms.

The course was piloted at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, or UNAM). Once the UNAM technical committee had reviewed the Tax Training and Information Guide to check that the contents conformed to the syllabus, the subject was added to the syllabus for the final semester of each degree course.

As soon it was included in the UNAM curricular programme, the SAT’s 68 regional offices began to roll out the tax curriculum strategy across the nation, arranging support and collaboration agreements between the SAT and educational institutions in various regions. The public and private educational institutes which now offer the course include the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey; the Mexican Institute of Public Accountants (Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos A.C.) in Acapulco; the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla and the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, in Puebla; and the Universidad del Valle de México. A partnership with the European Union’s international programme EUROsociAL has supported these projects in Mexico.

The subject was initially designed to be taught on site, but can now also be accessed through distance learning. While it was originally conceived for accounting and administration undergraduates, it is now available for all university students, without requiring any prior tax knowledge.

The National Tax Education Programme involves two sets of public officials working together: 68 SAT officials and 68 public education officials. The SAT officials are responsible for supervising the project’s design and operation across the country, and for reaching agreements with universities to include the tax training and information curricula in their study programmes. The role of the public education officials is to teach the tax curriculum at the various universities and institutions. All staff are subject to a permanent review process, as well as training courses to keep teachers up to date with regulatory tax amendments.

Source: (OECD, 2015[15]), “Mexico: Teaching tax in higher education”, in Building Tax Culture, Compliance and Citizenship: A Global Source Book on Taxpayer Education, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Mexico City needs to ensure that these training programmes do not become a check-box exercise, by adopting an interactive approach where examples will have an impact on citizens’ integrity behaviour and anti-corruption culture. Mexico City could conduct surveys to monitor and evaluate the results of this training.

5.2.4. Mexico City could consider influencing citizens and private sector firms to act with integrity in interaction with public entities by piloting initiatives on behavioural science research.

Behavioural insights is an approach to policy making that embeds experimentation in the development of policies and regulations. It recognises that individuals do not behave as rational choice theory might suggest, and that public entities attempt to create evidence-based policies and interventions with a more realistic, and proven, understanding of human behaviour (OECD, 2017[12]). Evidence from research in behavioral sciences, for example, indicates that factors such as demonstrating that most people perform a desired action, and using the power of networks, enabling collective action providing mutual support and encouraging peer-to-peer interaction, can influence an individual’s behaviour. This understanding of “actual human behaviour” could be considered by Mexico City to influence ethical decisions of its citizens and private sector firms in their interactions with its various government entities.

In addition to the recommended potential initiatives to target public officials, the SLAC-CDMX Citizen Participation Committee could also consider including measures for piloting and testing innovative measures in society. Citizens can be informed of integrity decisions taken in Mexico City in the action plan submitted for approval to the Co-ordination Committee and request that the Office of the Comptroller-General to oversee its implementation by the relevant ministries. Examples of this kind of initiative can be found in other countries and could include the following:

  • Including norm messages in letters sent to non-tax payers: experiments have found that individuals are influenced by the actions of others around them. The Behavioural Insight Team in the United Kingdom conducted a series of randomised control trials to determine the impact of including social norm messages in letters to those who fail to pay tax. The trials found that including the phrase: “9 out of 10 people pay their tax on time. You are one of the few people who have not yet paid”, increased payment rates to 40.7% (Behavioural Insights Team, 2012[16]).

  • Building “moral reminders” into key reporting processes: as with using moral reminders to inform ethical decision making, moral reminders, such as requiring a signature boxes at the beginning of a property or car ownership tax declaration, hotel rooms and goods and services taxes, as well as the acquisition of real estate property tax, can help prompt more vigilance against error or false reporting from the onset. In the United States, federal vendors who make sales through the Federal Supply Schedules are required to pay the industrial funding fee, which is calculated based on the fraction of the total sales made. To calculate the fee, vendors must self-report the quantity of their total sales. To increase compliance with self-reporting, the Government Services Administration (GSA) piloted an electronic signature box at the beginning of its online reporting portal. The pilot found that the median self-reported sales amount was USD 445 higher for vendors who signed at the top of the form. This translated into an extra USD 1.59 million in international finance flows paid to the government in a single quarter (Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, n.d.[17]).

The sensitive areas where such interventions may be most needed should be identified by the Office of the Comptroller-General, which should provide this information to the SLAC-CDMX Citizen Participation Committee. The committee will determine the appropriate mechanisms to ensure citizens’ participation in integrity preventive initiatives and propose to the Co-ordination Committee the most appropriate policy to be implemented by the relevant ministries (i.e. Finance and Social Development). Later, a series of pilot experiments could be conducted to ascertain the value of scaling up and expanding intervention. To be successful, these pilot projects should be based on a clear definition of the outcome. Further, full comprehension of the context in which the intervention is conducted will be required. It should also be tailored to the specific conduct that needs to be changed and be adapted to the outcomes of the pilot projects, following the practice of the United Kingdom’s Behavioural Insight Team (Box ‎5.5).

Box ‎5.5. Good practices from the United Kingdom’s Behavioural Insight Team

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) has developed a methodology that draws on experience of developing major strategies for the UK Government, a rich understanding of the behavioural literature, and the rigorous application of tools for testing “what works”.

The EAST framework, which encourages policy makers to make behavioural interventions easy, attractive, social and timely, is at the heart of this methodology, but it cannot be applied in isolation from a thorough understanding of the nature and context of the problem.

The BIT has developed a more nuanced method for developing projects, with four main stages:

  1. 1. Define the outcome: Identify exactly what behaviour is to be influenced. Consider how this can be measured reliably and efficiently. Establish how great a change would be needed to make the project worthwhile, and over what length of time.

  2. 2. Understand the context: Visit the situations and people involved in the behaviour, and understand the context from their perspective. Use this opportunity to develop new insights and design a sensitive and practical intervention.

  3. 3. Build your intervention: Use the EAST framework to generate behavioural insights. This is likely to be an interactive process that returns to the two steps above.

  4. 4. Test, learn and adapt: Put the intervention into practice so its effects can be reliably measured. Wherever possible, BIT attempts to use randomised controlled trials to evaluate its interventions. These introduce a control group to help assess what would have happened if nothing had been done.

Source: (Behavioural Insights Team, 2012[16]), “Applying behavioural insights to reduce fraud, error and debt”,, accessed 3 October 2016.

5.3. Educating the new generation to take a stand against corruption

The previous section focused on the tools Mexico City could use to instil a culture of integrity in society, while this section will review inspiring a culture of integrity amongst children and youth. Youths go through significant cognitive development between the ages of 10-12, when they develop a respect for rules and the construct of “justice”. They also begin to experience intense emotions, such as shame, pride, guilt and remorse, which influence the way they think and act (Macera, 2014[18]). Introducing a generation to an awareness of the negative effects of corruption at an early age can help future generations build a society with values of integrity that clearly identifies corruption as a negative behaviour. Integrity education can be integrated into the primary and secondary school curriculum, providing children with the skills and knowledge they require to face the challenges of society. Indeed, educating youth to be critical of corruption is, in the long term, a more cost-efficient approach to reducing corruption than penalties and monitoring (Hauk and Saez-Marti, 2002[19]). Education campaigns work if government investment in public education is great enough during the campaign and the campaign lasts long enough. Both conditions seem to have been essential in the successful Hong Kong initiative (see Box ‎5.3).

5.3.1. The SLAC-CDMX Co-ordination Committee could include in its action plan a recommendation to develop content and didactic tools for ethics education.

Including a requirement for integrity education into the action plan of the SLAC-CDMX is a good way to mainstream integrity and anti-corruption lessons into Mexico City educational curricula at the elementary, secondary and high school levels. Mexico City could consider making integrity education a component of the local anti-corruption strategy, which can support its inclusion in the curriculum (Box ‎5.6).

Box ‎5.6. Changing attitudes towards corruption through education in Lithuania

Article 10 of Lithuania’s Law on Corruption Prevention stipulates the inclusion of anti-corruption in the curricula of schools of general education. As a result, as part of the Lithuania’s 2002 National Anti-corruption Programme, anti-corruption education was identified as a key priority. Specifically, the Programme committed to “by various means promoting intolerance of the manifestation of corruption”. Close co-operation was established with non-governmental organisations and the media for incorporating anti-corruption programmes in the education system. The long-term strategy for incorporating anti-corruption curriculum into the school system was “to build public intolerance toward corruption and promote a new national mind-set that would influence all areas of Lithuanian life”. Working with the Modern Didactics Centre (MDC), a centre of excellence for curriculum and teaching methods and a select group of teachers, the anti-corruption body (the Special Investigation Service or STT) integrated anti-corruption concepts into core subjects like history, civics and ethics. The project was also supported by Lithuania’s Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Transparency International – Lithuania, the Open Society Fund – Lithuania and the Royal Danish Embassy.

The working group worked on three key challenges: 1) to find the balance between lecturing on corruption and engaging the students in meaningful dialogues and projects that would make the learning more applicable to their daily lives; 2) to address the problem of cynicism and frustration that could arise amongst students learning about anti-corruption whilst experiencing it as the social norm; and 3) to engage students in such a way to empower them to see corruption as something they could have a positive impact on.

From 2002 to 2008, the MDC and the STT collaborated on several approaches to the anti-corruption education. A team of teachers with experience in grades 5-12 helped develop and implement each strategy on a trial basis. These teachers came from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and regions in Lithuania, to ensure a representative sample. Instead of focusing on narrowly defined anti-corruption concepts, the resulting curriculum incorporated the broader concepts of values and ethics, looking at issues such as fairness, honesty and community impact. The focus of the curriculum was on students learning why corrupt activities were wrong and how ethical behaviour could be applied in their personal lives to address these dilemmas.

The curriculum was initially introduced in a handful of schools, but it has been expanded, even though it is still an optional part of the curriculum. The curriculum has expanded from classroom-based learning to engaging students with local anti-corruption NGOs and municipal governments, to apply their knowledge in a tangible way. In one Lithuanian city, students were introduced by the local anti-corruption adviser to areas at risk for corruption within the local administration and the municipality’s plans to address these risks. The students were then involved in inspecting employee logs, just as a government official would, to check for irregularities and potential areas of abuse of public resources, such as government vehicles and fuel cards.

In a poll on the goals of the anti-corruption programme, an NGO devoted to promoting civic activity, the Civil Society Institute, found that Lithuanian high school students were more willing than adults to organise activities in response to problems their society faced. A study conducted by the institute in 2012 found that on average, 33.6% of students were willing to promote civic activity, as compared with 13.6% of adults. These results are promising, as the rise in young people’s attitudes towards engagement in society is a positive trend for changing behaviour.

Sources: (Modern Didactics Centre, 2004[20]), “Integrated Programme of Anti-corruption Education for a School of General Education”; (Gainer, 2015[21]) Shaping Values for a New Generation: Anti-corruption Education in Lithuania, 2002–2006.

Some aspects of civic culture are addressed in the regular curriculum in Mexico City. The state assignment (asignatura estatal), in secondary education, focuses on history, geography, cultural heritage, environmental education for sustainability, strategies to help students to face problems and situations of risk, and language and culture of indigenous people. In the curriculum component that focuses on teaching strategies to help students to face problems and risks, schools include subjects such as democratic citizenship. In the context of the legality culture, students are taught how to exercise their rights, respect others, fulfil their responsibilities, develop critical thinking, participate actively in subjects of common interest and establish ways of living in an inclusive and equitable environment.

The current structure of the educational curriculum in Mexico City will change after federal educational reforms, which give more autonomy to the states to set curriculum. In this new context, Mexico City could consider including lessons on integrity and anti-corruption in the curriculum for its basic and secondary schools, using it as a key tool in fighting corruption.

Since 2013, a pilot programme namely Project for School Co-existence (Proyecto a Favor de la Convivencia Escolar, or PACE) was introduced in every state in Mexico, including Mexico City, and has been upgraded as the National School Coexistence Programme (Programa Nacional de Convivencia Escolar, or PNCE) (Secretaría de Educación Pública, 2014[22]). The PNCE programme aims to cultivate rights and values to develop a civic culture based on respect for diversity and promotes social coexistence in a healthy and harmonious way, in schools and more broadly in society (Secretaría de Educación Pública, 2017[23]). The PNCE’s core components seek to develop social and emotional skills; strengthen self-esteem; the assertive management of emotions; appreciation of diversity; respect for the rules; the ability to make agreements and decisions; peaceful resolution of conflict; and the exercise of values for coexistence (OECD, 2017[2]). Within this core component framework, the following six learning blocks have been developed by the federal Education Ministry:

  • I know myself and like myself the way I am.

  • I recognise and manage my emotions.

  • I can live with others and I can respect others.

  • The rules of living together in harmony in society.

  • Managing and resolving conflicts.

  • All families are important.

Each learning block involves a series of activities and reflection questions intended to teach children the skills to live together peacefully. One of the programme’s learning blocks includes activities to engage students in critical analysis of the role of rules in society and to identify solutions to solve problems they observe in their classroom and school (see Box ‎5.7 for an overview of materials and activities developed for students grades three and six). This learning block involves teaching students how to engage in constructive debate when they disagree with the rules.

The PNCE programme includes training for teachers, equipping them with the skills to deliver curriculum in the classroom, as well as materials for parents to support the lessons students learn in the classroom. These materials, which include posters, short videos, activity books and teaching companions, for students, teachers and parents, are available online, increasing access to resources for both schools and students. Mexico City could consider using free video clips on the website created by a Mexican non-profit organisation. This includes more than 900 video clips for a variety of audiences starting at 6 years old. Based on the results of this programme, Mexico City could ask the SEP to provide funds for its full implementation.

Box ‎5.7. Building Block 4 for the PNCE programme
Figure ‎5.3. School poster for Building Block 4 (rules of living together in harmony in society)

Source: Mexico’s Government website (2016),

Activities for students in grade 3 on rules for living together in harmony in society.

Learning outcome


Lesson 1: A world where rules are not followed

The student will recognise the role of rules and how they encourage coexistence.

Students imagine a game in which there are no rules and discuss together what would happen.

Lesson 2: Let’s investigate together to live in peace

The student will identify some problems of coexistence in the school, and propose alternatives to help solve them.

Students identify problems in the school and brainstorm solutions to these problems.

Lesson 3: My voice counts and so do others’!

The student will understand that listening to the opinions of his peers and complying with the rules improves coexistence in the school.

Students identify problems they see in their school.

Lesson 4: Taking action together

The student will propose actions that allow to them know and respect the rules to improve school coexistence

Students organise and participate in a school assembly to jointly identify solutions to these problems.

Source: (OECD, 2017[12]), OECD Integrity Review of Mexico: Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, p. 110.

Based on the positive results of federal initiatives to gradually incorporate education for integrity in its integrity strategy, the Office of the Comptroller could consider recommending to the SLAC-CDMX Co-Ordination Committee a co-operation agreement between the Ministry of Education of Mexico City and the Secretariat of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública, or SEP) to develop content and didactic tools for ethics education that could be used for the future strategy of education for integrity.

While reference to the negative influence of corruption are mentioned in the various initiatives undertaken at the federal level that are part of the current curriculum, the focus was not on the development of integrity knowledge, skills, values and attitudes for a successful society, since it was not considered a building block for the federal public integrity strategy. Activities such as those identified in the learning block to help students constructively identify and solve problems in their community are key skills that can be translated into active citizenship as they become adults (OECD, 2017[2]). Mexico City thus needs to consider equipping children with the skills to think about problems and develop solutions together. This may result in a future stakeholder engagement in solving complex societal problems, including corruption.

Most of the initiatives that are part of the educational curriculum focus on preventing violence in the school system and society and not on preventing corruption, but they are creating an environment in which integrity can be discussed openly. In working towards an inclusive, peaceful classroom environment where respect and fairness are the norm, young people will be more likely to internalise the values of integrity.

To reduce tolerance for corruption, the OECD has recommended that the PNCE programme ensure that lessons and activities on integrity and anti-corruption are included; and that the basic curriculum, teaching manuals and textbooks refer to corruption as a problem that needs to be solved. At the secondary level, activities seeking to engage students in discussion, debate and understanding the negative impact of corruption and integrity violations on a successful society need to be part of the PNCE activities. Mexico City could consider international good practices, lessons learned and activities successfully implemented to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to resist corruption. This educational programme can help Mexico City’s youth identify ethical behaviour and assume their responsibility for it, understand how to resolve ethical dilemmas, and integrate integrity into their everyday activities. Other aspects that could be considered include elements raised in extracurricular activities of examples of the negative effects of cheating, misusing school property and stealing, to help students think about the impact of integrity violations. The educational programme should include activities that invite students to apply their knowledge in classroom activities (see Box ‎5.8 and Box ‎5.9).

Box ‎5.8. Model Student Ethics Programme in Miami-Dade County Public Schools

In the United States, where education is a responsibility of the states, the state of Florida has regulated a state-wide requirement to educate students in character education (e.g. values education).

Created in 1996, the Miami-Dade Commission was entrusted with four key responsibilities, one of which was education and community outreach. The Commission designed, implemented and funded the Model Ethics Course. With support from principals, teachers and the school district, the programme was launched in three public high schools in the 2001-2002 school year. Schools in the Miami-Dade distract have the option of using the programme as their character education curriculum.

The key objectives of programme are to teach students:

  • the process of resolving ethical dilemmas;

  • elements of critical and analytical thinking, and how to apply these elements in daily life;

  • the art of negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution and consensus-building skills (through Mock Public Hearings);

  • help students recognise and apply different approaches to ethical decision making.

The programme consists of eight modules, delivered over eight months. The modules are integrated into social science/government classes twice a month, meaning that students receive 4 hours per month of instruction, or a total of 32 hours.

The programme is administered by the Outreach and Training Specialists at the Ethics Commission, whose trainers are responsible for preparing the curriculum (e.g. lectures, case studies) for the programme. The course consists of two components, a lecture component and a role-playing case study. The beginning of the course involves lectures on various topics – such as problem-solving, decision-making and the major ethical theories. The second half of the course includes case studies known as Mock Ethics Trials. Students are randomly selected to take on different roles (e.g. the role of the defendant, defence attorney or prosecutor) and debate ethical case studies.

During each programme, five students are randomly selected to serve as members of the Ethics Commission for the entire module. In addition, other students are randomly selected to participate in the case studies, which involve role-playing (public hearing before the Ethics commission), discussion/debate and a decision being rendered by the Ethics Commission.

Source: (Federal Bureau of Anti-corruption, 2013[24]), “Anti-corruption training for students of 14-18 Years”, presentation to the 4th UNCAC Working Group 26-28 August 2013.

Another activity that could be included in the future educational initiative for youth in Mexico City is to involve them in the Local Citizen Participation Committee. Measures in the action plan for the SLAC-CDMX could set out a sub-committee for youth, as proposed at the federal level by the OECD (OECD, 2017[2]). Mexico City could consider involving youth in developing policies and ensuring that the SLAC-CDMX activities are aligned to address the key problem areas. Following the proposed strategy at the federal level for ensuring youth participation in these committees, Mexico City could open the participation to any interested secondary school student. Leadership and the selection of these participants could be through a contest inviting those interested to submit an essay, poster or audiovisual presentation on a topic related to anti-corruption and integrity, for instance. The participants in the committee could be chosen from the top five submissions voted by members from the youth committee and members of the Citizen Participation Committee.

5.3.2. Mexico City could consider increasing resources for extracurricular activities and programmes to include content that explicitly addresses integrity and anti-corruption.

Mexico City has established various extra-curricular activities focusing on developing knowledge, attitudes and skills in children and youth, to face the different challenges in their life and receive a better education for life. Initiatives have been introduced by the Ministry of Education, the Office of the Comptroller and the Office of the Prosecutor General of Mexico City (Procuraduría General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México) to explain to children and youth what corruption is and how to fight it. All of the materials for these programmes are disseminated on the anti-corruption website managed by the Office of the Comptroller.

Since 2013, the Office of the Comptroller has introduced various initiatives to raise awareness and promote civic education on public integrity. These include the programme Anti-corruption for children (Anticorrupción para Peques), the “Growing up without corruption” initiative (Creciendo sin corrupción), and the Chiquicontraloría programme.

The first programme was launched to develop a website that children can access and find cartoons, games and basic information on corruption and misconduct, such as bullying, that affect their life, as well as information on their rights and obligations. This website also contains information on public safety and justice administration.

The Growing Up Without Corruption initiative (Creciendo sin corrupción) was created to explain what corruption is, how to avoid it, the type of corruption and applicable penalties, which government entities in the city fight corruption, the role of the Office of the Comptroller and its public servants. This initiative also provides example of corrupt actions and the appropriate actions to avoid being a recidivist.

The Chiquicontraloría also seeks to promote positive social participation of children in promoting civic culture in the City, through recreational activities focusing on the respect of the rule of law and values for a better co-existence in society. It aims to introduce children to the concepts of transparency, accountability and combat against corruption. As structured, however, it does not conduct children to analyse their behaviour and environment to develop critical thinking, learn from past experiences and develop solutions to fight corruption in their environment.

The activities associated with each of the above programmes are accessible through the anti-corruption portal, managed by the Office of the Comptroller-General.

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Mexico City has a programme for children on its website, Procura Peques, which includes entertaining videos and other activities to familiarise them with the work the office does and to learn about other subjects concerning law enforcement, including the protection of children’s rights.

In addition to these initiatives and to reach a higher number of children, the Office of the Comptroller signed a co-operation agreement with the Ministry of Education of Mexico City (Secretaría de Educación de la Ciudad de México) to organise the first circuit of SaludArte, Guardianes de los Valores. ¡Formando Chiquicontralores!. This consists of a series of blocks of play activities to instil the values of friendship, solidarity, honesty, justice, respect and equality. This initiative launched on 26 November 2016 at the Jesús Martínez Palillo Stadium, and covered a population of 3 000 primary school students enrolled in the SaludArte Services Programme. To give continuity to these activities, the Office of the Comptroller is developing a training plan for the Chiquicontraloría initiative, aiming to give children can apply the knowledge acquired through supervision and monitoring actions in their immediate environment.

The Ministry of Education of Mexico City launched the SaludArte programme, initially as a strategy to fight obesity in children in the most vulnerable communities. It was transformed into a broad strategic initiative for the development of children, as detailed in Box ‎5.9, as a result of the challenges observed in the community of the target population of 18 000 children. Workshops were organised to focus on seven values rather than rules, giving tools to children to deal with conflicting values and to take independent decisions after identifying solutions to solve problems in their communities, classrooms and schools.

The results of this programme have been monitored, and positive changes have been reported in children’s behaviour, and in that of their parents and households. This could be extended to more students at public schools in other territorial demarcations (delegaciones) than the ones already identified. Indeed, Mexico City could consider implementing a similar experience in territorial demarcations where there is high perception of corruption.

Box ‎5.9. The SaludArte Programme: An initiative to educate children in vulnerable zones of Mexico City

SaludArte was started in 2013, as an extracurricular activity to fight obesity and improve the health of kids living in vulnerable zones of Mexico City. It evolved into an initiative to educate kids for life, built as a complementary education programme for children in 110 schools in Mexico City. The programme focuses on the development of socio-emotional abilities through three aspects: enhancing the capacity in schools that participate in SaludArte, working with children on nutrition and artistic expressions, involvement in family to create a safe and peaceful scholarly environment. All these aspects are developed through such activities as dance, music, arts and yoga.

This programme has been intensively monitored not only by Mexico City but other foreign institutions. As a result, the component for building socio-emotional ability was reoriented to give children tools to help them manage different situations they will face in life and living with others. The programme has since started targeting how to resolve conflicts and ensure a peaceful environment for children. The evolution of well-being of children in their immediate environment, their interactions with others and their self-esteem are now reviewed. The resilience of children was also measured, to observe how they face various situations in their daily life (ability to ask for help, to apologise, maintain perseverance in frustrating situations). The programme launched in 110 schools was expanded to 120 in 2017, reaching 41 000 kids, and will train facilitators from the children’s communities.

Figure ‎5.4. Design of the SaludArte Programme

Source: Official Journal of Mexico City (2017), “Rules of operation of the Saludarte programme for the year 2017”.

A second initiative, Learning to Live Together (Aprendiendo a Convivir), was introduced by the Ministry of Education of Mexico City at the primary level (elementary school). It seeks to prevent and resolve the problem of violence in schools, encouraging students to become agents of change and to participate actively in building a culture of peace through educational activities. In the last quarter of 2015, some educational activities were organised and 109 parents and 116 children participated in workshops in schools to promote peaceful coexistence in schools. The goal is to help them move forward from a lack of tolerance to a collective commitment to respect differences, and to build new ways to live together in a peaceful environment where human rights are respected. Under one of the activities of this initiative, 16 authorities from Mexico City: the Integral Development of Family (Sistema para el desarrollo integral de la familia de la Ciudad de México, DIF-CDMX), the Youth Insitute (Instituto para la Juventud, INJUVE-CDMX), Women’s Institute (Instituto de las Mujeres de la Ciudad de México, INMUJERES-CDMX), the Council to Prevent and Eliminate discrimination, (Consejo para prevenir y eliminar la discriminación, COPRED-CDMX) and the Human Rights Commission (Comisión de derechos humanos de la Ciudad de México, CDH-CDMX) visited various schools to reach a larger group. Similar activities have been also introduced at the secondary level, as well as a workshop on how to live together, focusing on developing skills to manage difficult situations.

While there is a budget for each of these initiatives to raise awareness on children and youth population in Mexico City, these programmes are not widely disseminated. It is, recommended that the scope of, for instance, the SaludArte programme be increased, to cover a larger group of children not only in areas at risk but in the territorial demarcations (delegaciones) with a high level of corruption. Appropriate funds should be made available for this. The Office of the Comptroller, vested under the amendments made to the Organic Law for the establishment of the SLAC-CDMX, could propose to the Co-ordination Committee that this subject be included in its action plan to fight corruption.

5.3.3. The Office of the Comptroller could recommend to the Co-ordination Committee that the Ministry of Education develop training programmes for teachers on integrity and anti-corruption.

Teacher training on anti-corruption and integrity concepts is an essential component of successful curriculum reform. Lessons and activities for students from the early years and into young adulthood are vital for integrity or anti-corruption initiatives. Teacher training can equip trainee and experienced professionals with the skills, knowledge and confidence to counter contemporary societal challenges, such as corruption and integrity (Starkey, 2013[25]). An effective teacher training programme can transmit knowledge of normative framework and instil in teachers the notion of moral obligation (Starkey, 2013[25]).

Just as at the federal and state level, Mexico City has a tradition of teacher training. Initial preparation for pre-school, primary and secondary teachers is provided by higher education institutions known as teachers’ colleges (Escuelas Normales). Students with bachelor degrees can apply through the Federal Administration of Educational Services of Mexico City (Administración Federal de Servicios Educativos en el Distrito Federal, or AFSEDF) to one of the six public teaching schools and institutes or to 17 private schools offering bachelor degrees for basic education (pre-school, primary and secondary schools).

The Office of the Comptroller, which is responsible for drafting general policy for the public administration in Mexico City (see Article 34, clause LI of the Organic Law of the Public Administration of Mexico City), could recommend to the SLAC-CDMX Co-ordination Committee that the Ministry of Education develop an official course for teachers at all educational levels, focusing on enhancing integrity in the public service. The Office of the Comptroller could propose to the Co-ordination Committee that agreements be signed between the Ministry of Education of Mexico City and the School of Administration to build, as recommended at the federal level, a training course that includes modules introducing teachers to the basic concepts of corruption and integrity, as well as strategies for teaching anti-corruption and integrity in schools (see Box ‎5.10 on Lithuania).

A similar exercise could be conducted to draft an educational programme for trainee teachers. It could include a refresher of the previous training received to obtain their authorisation to teach in primary and secondary schools. This training course could focus on key challenges and good practices on: how to effectively disseminate the modules; the most receptive methodology for students learning process; and innovative ways to encourage students to use their knowledge to solve integrity issues. Continuing training programmes for teachers could also take the form of courses taken during teacher trainee programmes and professional training, and seminars and resource kits including videos prepared by government institutions and/or civil society actors. Mexico City could consider using the teacher training programmes offered under its continuing education programme (Modelo de Operación del Programa de Formación Continua para docentes de Educación Básica) set out in accordance with the Law on Professional Teaching Service.

Box ‎5.10. Preparing teachers to teach anti-corruption in Lithuania

As part of anti-corruption curriculum development in Lithuania, two project goals were identified to help teachers introducing anti-corruption content in their lesson plans: 1) to prepare an in-service training programme of anti-corruption education; and 2) to prepare a team of trainers to consult with and train other teachers.

In February 2004, the project team prepared a training course for teachers, as well as an in service training programme. From March to August 2004, a series of workshops and training seminars were held for teachers, addressing the following themes:

  • critical thinking methodology for anti-corruption education

  • foundations of adult education

  • principles of strategic planning

  • development of in-service training programme for anti-corruption education.

From September to December 2004, the in-service training programme was prepared and piloted in the regions. The results of the pilot project were used to draft updates to the programme. The resulting programme, Anti-corruption Education Opportunities for Secondary School, is part of the permanent training offered by the Modern Didactics Centre, a centre of excellence for curriculum and teaching methods. The programme aims to provide teachers with information about corruption and anti-corruption education, and to encourage them to apply elements of anti-corruption education in their lesson planning and extra-curricular activities.

Source: (Modern Didactics Centre, 2004[26]), “Education against corruption”.

The current continuing education programme includes three objectives: 1) improving the professional teaching service; 2) strengthening the school; and 3) adhering to national educational priorities, with seven associated training paths (Table ‎5.1). The third objective focuses on training teaching staff in pertinent and socially relevant priority issues, such as inclusion and human rights (Secretaría de Educación Pública, 2016[27]). The recommended continuing education training on anti-corruption could be included under this latter objective.

Table ‎5.1. Continuing education programme for teachers

Objectives of the strategy

Training paths

Improving the professional teaching service

• Continuing education for the required professional profile.

• Developing skills for the use of information and communications technology in collaborative work.

Strengthening the school

• Training for assistant support staff (SATE programme)

• Development of leadership skills and school management.

• Skills development for internal evaluation.

• Mastering the disciplinary content.

Adhering to national school priorities

• Update on the new educational model and institutional programmes for inclusion and equity.

Source: (Secretaría de Educación Pública, 2016[27]), “Modelo de Operación del Programa de Formación Continua para docentes de Educación Básica”, Ministry of Public Education.

Proposals for action

A whole society approach needs to be introduced in Mexico City integrity strategy to change institutional and individual behaviour towards corruption and to ensure the effectiveness of the measures taken to reduce corruption in its public sector. The following measures could be considered:

Instilling a shared sense of responsibility on integrity in society

  • Mexico City should encourage shared responsibility for integrity among citizens and the private sector by awareness-raising activities seeking their active participation to reduce tolerance for corruption and to enforce the new standards of conduct espoused by its public officials and organisations.

  • Mexico City’s experience in working with civil society organisations could be leveraged to include the whole society approach, as component of the Local Anti-corruption System. Recognising its vital role can help instil a culture of integrity and fighting corruption.

  • In designing its anti-corruption strategy, the Local Anti-corruption System should include tailored public awareness campaigns and training programmes for citizens. Care should be taken not to send too extreme a message, but to generate engagement that can be translated into action.

  • These public campaigns could be complemented by training programmes for citizens, focusing on key areas susceptible to fraud or corruption. The SLAC-CDMX Citizen Participation and Co-ordination Committees could recommend that the Office of the Comptroller, in co-ordination with the School of Public Administration, develop training that would focus on the impact corruption and violations of regulations can have on society, and on their role on preserving and enhancing public integrity.

  • Mexico City could influence citizens and private sector firms to act with integrity in their interactions with public entities, by piloting initiatives on behavioural science research consisting of including moral messages sent to taxpayers, moral reminders to inform ethical decision making at the beginning of standard transactions with the government, etc. Sensitive areas where such intervention is most needed could be identified by the Office of the Comptroller-General and submitted to the SLAC-CDMX Committee.

Educating the new generation to combat corruption

  • Since the proposed educational system reform will give states more autonomy over the content of the basic and secondary curriculum, the SLAC-CDMX Co-ordination Committee could include in its action plan a recommendation to the Ministry of Education of Mexico City to develop content and didactic tools for ethics education as a component of the new public integrity strategy.

  • Mexico City could consider the positive results of federal initiatives such as the PNCE, to phase in education for integrity in the curriculum. Other didactic tools could also be considered, including free video clips available from the website of a non-profit organisation that produces videos targeting a variety of audiences starting at age 6. This could be added to existing materials and resources used by this programme.

  • The Office of the Comptroller-General could recommend to the Co-ordination Committee a co-operation agreement between the Ministry of Education of Mexico City and the Ministry of Public Education to develop the content and didactic tools for ethics education, which could be included in the SLAC-CDMX strategy.

  • Mexico City could consider also good practices, lessons learned and activities successfully implemented to develop skills, attitudes and values to resist corruption. Children and youth could be taught to identify both integrity and corruption, assume their responsibility for integrity and understand how to resolve ethical dilemmas.

  • Mexico City could scale up resources for the implementation of current extracurricular activities and programmes, to include content that explicitly addresses values for integrity and anti-corruption and consider the success of the newly introduced initiative such as the programme Anti-corruption for children.

  • Mexico City could consider giving continuity to the activities of SaludArte, Guardianes de los Valores, and Chiquicontralores activity, so chidren can apply the knowledge acquired in their immediate environment.

  • Mexico City could consider expanding the programme to children living in territorial demarcations with a high level of corruption.

  • Finally, the Office of the Comptroller could recommend to the Co-ordination Committee that the Ministry of Education of Mexico City develop training programmes for teachers on integrity and anti-corruption, as a complementary measure to promote integrity.


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[11] Mann, C. (2011), Behaviour changing campaigns: success and failure factors, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Bergen, /behaviour-changing-campaigns-success-and-failure-factors/.

[26] Modern Didactics Centre (2004), Education Against Corruption/in-service training, (accessed on 12 March 2018).

[20] Modern Didactics Centre (2004), Integrated programme of anti-corruption education for a school of general education,

[12] OECD (2017), OECD Integrity Review of Mexico: Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[2] OECD (2017), OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity,

[15] OECD (2015), “Mexico: Teaching tax in higher education”, in Building Tax Culture, Compliance and Citizenship: A Global Source Book on Taxpayer Education, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[1] OECD (2009), Focus on Citizens: Public Engagement for Better Policy and Services, OECD Studies on Public Engagement, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[10] Panth, S. (2011), Changing norms is key to fighting everyday corruption, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank Communication for Governance and Accountability Program (CommGAP) External Affairs,

[23] Secretaría de Educación Pública (2017), Documento base del Programa Nacional de Convivencia Escolar, SEP,

[27] Secretaría de Educación Pública (2016), Modelo de operación del Programa de Formación Continua para docentes de Educación Básica.

[22] Secretaría de Educación Pública (2014), Proyecto a faor de la convivnencia escolar, SEP,

[17] Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (n.d.), Industrial Funding Fee Reports.

[25] Starkey, H. (2013), “Teaching the Teachers”, in, Transparency International: Global Corruption Report Education,

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