UOL, UNODC equip 22 young graduates with skills of ethical leadership

Lahore, January 24, 2023 (PPI-OT):Maintaining a strong foundation in ethical doctrines and sustaining the capability of staff to avert and counter corruption in the private sector remain challenging worldwide. In response to this challenge, the University of Lahore (UOL), in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), prepared ethics ambassadors in Pakistan to serve as a beacon of light in the corporate sector.

UOL provided a platform to enhance students’ ethical awareness and commitment to acting with integrity through the UNODC Global Integrity Education Project (GIEP). Under this project, 22 fresh graduate students from the UOL, University of Central Punjab (UCP), and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) were equipped with the skills to develop an ethical mind-set that they can apply at their future workplace. The 22 nominees were selected after a thorough screening process that also included a written exam and an interview.

Creating ethical corporate workspace

The UNODC panel of companies will have the opportunity to hire these graduate students for internships, traineeships, or other types of employment. Once students join the companies, they are expected to serve as “Ethics Ambassadors” and to contribute to the on-the-job ethics training for companies alongside other tasks.

With the help of UNODC and the company representatives, the recruited ethics ambassadors will develop innovative materials for on-the-job ethics training for companies. They will, therefore, make use of the UNODC university modules and existing company resources. The staff of the participating companies will receive on-the-job ethics training courses.

Training the future leaders in Pakistan

UNODC’s Ethics Ambassadors Training Program (EATP)/Integrity Leadership Training Program (ILTP) 2022-2023 is a five-week hybrid training programme launched under the UNODC’s GIEP. The main objective of the project is to create a talent supply chain of university graduates who are empowered to act as ethics ambassadors and seek to join public or private sector organizations.

Orientation session

The training was conducted in the UOL based on a hybrid model. It was initiated on October 7, 2022, with an orientation session where all the trainers and panellists of the training programme joined. During this session, Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf (Rector, UOL) elaborated on the importance of lifelong networking and assured the organizers, panellists, and participants of the UOL’s full support.

Prof Syed Hussain Haider (Integrity and Advocacy Expert, UNODC), Mr Haroon Ahmed Shabbir (Senior Vice President, Amentis Technologies Pvt Limited), Mr Muhammad Adil (CEO, Amentis Technologies Group), Mr Shan-e-Muhammad Malik (Gloria Jeans and Ideas Pakistan), and faculty members from the UOL, UCP, and LUMS also addressed the orientation ceremony.

E4J modules on integrity, ethics, and anti-corruption

The participants were provided with the four E4J modules developed and contextualised by UNODC that included challenges of ethical living, detecting and investigating corruption, behavioural ethics, and ethical leadership. These modules were a localised version of global modules with case studies depicting problems and challenges in Pakistan and how to counter them.

Training sessions

The first day of training was conducted by Prof Haider with discussions on ethical dilemmas, team-building exercises, and question-and-answer sessions on the case studies from UNODC modules on ethical living, transparency, integrity, and anti-corruption.

On the second day, a workshop on time management, corporate decorum, and office diversity was conducted by Mr Shabir. It was a full-day workshop with models, videos, demonstrations, and illustrations.

On the third day, top corporate trainers comprising Mr Kazim Ali, Mr Kashif Afzal, and Mr Basharatullah Malik conducted trainings in communication, ethical negotiation, and the power of persistent incremental change.

On day 4, Mr Shoaib Baig (Managing Director of 360 Consultancy) shared his experience of working for 30 years with numerous multinational companies, including Coca-Cola. It was then followed by two young guest speakers, Ms Ayesha Manzoor (Head of Operations at Priceoye) and Mr Noreel Abbas (CEO of Wheelchairwala), who also shared their success stories.

The training sessions ended with an extensive written exam and presentation-based evaluations of the teams. These evaluations comprised individual exams of 4 hours and group presentations based on the GIE case studies and other related material. Presentations were followed by back-to-back question-and-answer sessions between each group.

Several new concepts and arenas of ethical conduct emerged as a result of this engaging dialogue. The grading of the exam and presentation was based on intra-group as well as inter-group peer evaluation.

Passing out of the first batch

The first batch of GIEP trainees was commissioned during a closing ceremony held at UOL on November 15, 2022. Ms Ammara Awais (Director, OSA) graced the occasion as the chief guest in the presence of Mr Jahanzaib Iqbal (Senior Programme Associate, UNODC Pakistan), corporate gurus, and trainers, honourable faculty members from various Universities and Mr Saad Zafar (Manager, Office of Sustainability, QEC) along with his team. Some of the students also shared their experience of training sessions and the learning they acquired throughout these sessions.

Mr Iqbal thanked all the institutes, faculty, corporate panel, business practitioners, and especially the UOL for hosting this unique five-week hybrid training programme. He also appreciated the trainees for their consistency and hard work.

Mrs Awais as chief guest reiterated that it is the need of the hour and extremely important to scale up this program so that more future leaders can be sensitized on the subjects of integrity, accountability, transparency, and anti-corruption.

She appreciated all the stakeholders of the programme and expressed her confidence that all 22 graduates would be selected as ethical ambassadors in the UNODC corporate panel companies. She also assured the audience of the UOL’s total support for the GIEP and the ethical ambassadorship program.

Later, the chief guest distributed certificates among the Batch-1 graduate students, cups of distinction to the winning teams, and mementos of appreciation to the experts, trainers, and guest speakers.

In the end, Mr Saad gave a vote of thanks and a sweeping appreciation to all stakeholders for synchronization and unfettered contribution. Similar training programmes will be conducted by UNODC in collaboration with the academic partners in January and March 2023.

For more information, contact:
The University of Lahore
1 – KM Defence Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-865-865, +92-42-35322501 +92-42-35321761