27. July 2023

Fostering peer learning and innovation on public integrity in Peru

Integrity workshop in Peru with Programa GFP

Our Subnational Public Finance Management (PFM) Strengthening Programme in Peru is ramping up efforts to encourage peer learning, capacity building and innovation on public-sector integrity, with the first joint public integrity workshop held on 14 July 2023.

Leaders from six regional governments joined representatives from Peru’s central Public Integrity Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss progress and challenges in the country’s Regional Integrity Strengthening Agenda.

Since 2015, our team of public finance management experts – Programa GFP Subnacional – has been assisting 11 subnational governments to manage public resources in an efficient, effective and transparent manner. The programme is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and implemented by our regional office in Peru.

Strengthening integrity risk management practices

Based on their hands-on experience working with subnational governments, our Programa GFP Subnacional team has been working closely with the Public Integrity Secretariat to develop guidance on managing integrity risks in public entities.

Published earlier this year, the joint guide forms the basis of the work of integrity offices in all government entities, covering ministries, other central government entities, regional governments and municipalities.

The integrity workshop provided an important opportunity for integrity officials at the regional and national levels of government to build on that work and strengthen channels of communication and cooperation. This is rare: many governments have no such channels, leading to a lack of harmony and mutual understanding on integrity risks and tools to manage them.

International donors are supporting the rollout of harmonised integrity risk management training for government officials at the national, regional and municipal levels. Earlier this year, the Public Integrity Secretariat and our Programa GFP Subnacional team developed a training course with the support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and USAID; 1,400 officials have already been trained.

Innovating for integrity

The Programa GFP Subnacional team is also working closely with UNDP to develop an innovative public integrity tool based on lessons from behavioural science. This tool targets the behaviour of individuals who may be tempted to act against ethical standards in exchange for personal gain.

Such behavioural intervention programmes are an integral element of sound and transparent public finance management. As our research has shown, addressing corruption and raising levels of integrity is not just about laws, regulations and codes, but about changing people's behaviour and the social norms that influence that behaviour.

A representative from the UNDP was at the integrity workshop to discuss the forthcoming implementation of the pilot in six regional governments supported by the Programa GFP Subnacional.

Peer learning among regional leaders

Last, initiatives such as the joint public integrity workshop are critical to fostering peer learning among regional leaders. It is important for integrity practitioners at all levels of government to have opportunities to discuss common challenges and share success stories. Innovative ideas to boost integrity and public finance management from one region – like behavioural nudges to boost tax collection – can be successfully adapted to others.

Achievements such as these underscore the importance of dialogue and collaboration in promoting sound and transparent governance, including public finance management. 

Our team looks forward to continuing to support government and subnational government partners in improving public-sector integrity and financial management for the benefit of the people of Peru.