Students Acting for Honesty, Integrity and Equality

Location
Afghanistan, DR Congo, Kenya, Nepal and oPt
Grant Amount
NOK 14,720,000 + £14,027.60
Start/Finish
Jan 2017 – Apr 2021
Donor
Norad and Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust

How can we support students to raise their voices on the way their schools are run? By training them as monitors. This is Integrity Action’s first initiative focusing solely on young monitors, and it has clearly demonstrated that monitors aged 15 - 18 can get as many problems fixed as adult monitors.

In this four-year Integrity Action-led initiative, school students identify and solve integrity problems in their schools. Within this project, some 700 Integrity Clubs are being established in secondary schools by our partner organisations in Afghanistan, DR Congo, Kenya, Nepal, and the occupied Palestinian territory.

More than 10,000 students across these countries monitor their own schools. Young people use the DevelopmentCheck app to monitor issues in their schools such as water and sanitation, teacher and student attendance and behaviour, the accessibility of the school facilities, and lack of basic supplies like desks and blackboards. Some clubs have expanded the scope of their activities by looking at services and infrastructure projects in their community, bringing the impact of monitoring outside the school’s walls. Any problems which are identified are reported using the mobile app and students then consider who to approach in order to get the issues addressed. This can be the head teacher, school management committee but it can also be contractors who are building school infrastructure or local authorities responsible for the budget. For the first time in some of these countries, this has given students a means of addressing school management committees and actually influencing decisions.

When problems have been resolved, this is also reported in the app. An integral part of the initiative is ensuring equal participation of female and male students, and also striving for diverse representation in the Integrity Clubs so that all students have the opportunity to act as monitors. This includes groups at risk of exclusion such as students with disabilities or students from ethnic minorities. What is more, students are also monitoring the accessibility of school buildings and advocating for more accessible infrastructure. This initiative is also enabling students to challenge practices that were not questioned in the past in these schools, which is contributing to harmful social norms being challenged and slowly changing.

View this initiative on Development Check