Establish partnerships in two African countries to launch the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction Programme. This is a one-year project aimed at forming partnerships with local partners in four African countries and to mainstream the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction programme.

TEI has crafted an online training module known as the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction (EASI) program. This initiative offers standardised, practical, and captivating training in ethical business practices. Currently, the project is in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact in Kenya and Ghana.

The fundamental premise is that upon successful completion of the training session by a senior executive or manager from an SME supplier, the business attains certification as ‘Ethically Aware,’ demonstrating a comprehensive grasp of pertinent business ethics issues. In accordance with sound business practice and regulatory compliance, companies are obliged to educate their suppliers about their ethical standards, ensuring their adherence.

We firmly believe that the proactive involvement of sizable organisations, often multinational enterprises (MNEs), in promoting robust ethical business practices among their suppliers will serve as a potent catalyst for bolstering good governance throughout the continent.

The Ethically Aware Supplier Induction (EASI) programme seamlessly aligns with the supplier codes of conduct upheld by various prominent companies and also adheres to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. The program covers the following key topics:

  1. Conducting business with integrity
  2. Equitable treatment of employees
  3. Societal impact
  4. Environmental responsibility

The Development of a Guideline Document on the Establishment of Ethics Governance and Oversight

In 2016, a consortium of multinational companies established the Coalition for Ethical Operations (CEO) in South Africa. Since its inception, they have been actively committed to upholding a pledge for ethical business practices throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The CEO’s mission revolves around a series of actions aimed at fostering ethical business conduct and mitigating bribery and corruption across the region. The specific objectives are:

Objective 1: Sharing best practices to champion ethical conduct and prevent corruption.

Objective 2: Advocating for training initiatives for small and medium enterprise (SME) suppliers to promote ethical behavior and counter corruption.

Objective 3: Engaging in voluntary and occasional collective actions and collaborations.

This endeavor is supported by voluntary contributions provided by the signatories of the Coalition.

This project seeks to enhance Mozambique’s business environment by combatting corruption and strengthening ethics management, thereby fostering organisational integrity. By adopting a collective action approach and bolstering business ethics capabilities, the project aims to curb corruption in business activities and elevate overall business practices in the country.

Objective 1: Forge a Coalition for Organisational Integrity (COI) in Mozambique, led by multinational corporations, to enhance business integrity awareness. This involves quarterly best practice dialogues and an annual integrity conference facilitated by TEI as a strategic planner and secretariat. Additionally, a sub-forum working group will focus on anti-corruption dialogues within the vital oil, gas, and energy sector.

Objective 2: Enhance ethics management capabilities among COI participants through training in institutionalising business integrity. TEI will conduct baseline assessments to gauge the existing ethical culture and management maturity, serving as benchmarks for assessing project impact.

Objective 3: Develop and implement ethics and anti-corruption training for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), targeting COI suppliers, professional associations, and the public sector. This aims to cultivate a network of engaged participants that can foster a culture of business integrity and improve procurement practices between large organisations and SME suppliers. The involvement of Mozambican certified ethics officers will ensure effective facilitation in the local context.

In summary, this project aspires to establish a robust collective action platform, allowing industry leaders to exchange best practices and drive significant improvements in business behavior. The envisioned outcomes include enhanced procurement practices, stakeholder management, and collaborations between businesses and the public sector.

Based on TEI’s extensive experience with local government, it became evident that addressing ethical challenges at the municipal level necessitates an intervention focused on the ethical conduct of political leadership. In collaboration with pertinent national government bodies, TEI conceived an initiative to establish a national code of ethical governance for municipalities. This code aims to emerge from a systematic national dialogue and consultation process, enjoy widespread societal acceptance, and offer pragmatic guidance to navigate the ethical complexities confronting political and administrative leaders within municipalities.

The second objective entails implementing the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction (EASI) training and accreditation program. This initiative seeks to enable SMEs to achieve accreditation as ‘Ethically Aware Suppliers’. The ultimate goal is to foster a network of major organisations committed to engaging ethically aware suppliers, supported by a cadre of trainers who will continue to educate suppliers within their organisations. This approach aims to cultivate a culture of ethical business conduct and shared accountability that extends across all procurement relationships.

The third objective revolves around enhancing capacity within the Gauteng Provincial Government. This will be accomplished through the development of an ethics management monitoring and reporting tool. This tool is intended to assist ethics officers in structuring interventions and enhancing reporting mechanisms to oversight bodies, both at the municipal and provincial levels. By doing so, external oversight over ethics will persist as a driving force for improved governance.

Development of a Whistleblowing First Responder Guide: The guide is designed to support First Responders (FRs) in Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who handle whistleblowing reports. It includes practical guidance on responding to reports, asking pertinent questions, understanding legal protections for whistleblowers, and referring reports to appropriate organisations. Part 1 introduces key terms for FRs and encourages familiarisation before interactions with whistleblowers. Part 2 outlines interaction steps and highlights what FRs should avoid. Part 3 offers essential questions for FRs to gather comprehensive information for investigations. Part 4 summarises relevant legislation on whistleblower protection. Part 5 provides a directory of referral organisations in South Africa to aid FRs in directing reports effectively.

Development of an Anti-corruption Guide & Tools for Civil Society: Our efforts extended to empowering civil society organisations and activist networks with essential tools to effectively combat corruption. Through this initiative, we aimed to strengthen accountability and integrity within communities, fostering a culture of transparency and ethical governance.

Exxaro Resources Limited funded SEAP to implement much-needed change within South African state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The programme was designed to help employees understand various aspects of organisational ethics.

The modules are as follows:
Module 1: What is ethics and why is it important?
Module 2: Ethical challenges in organisations
Module 3: What is my role in ethics?
The programme is available in English and Portuguese.

TEI was chosen as the implementation partner for several GIZ projects, including:

The Ethics Institute launched an EASI Programme in 2020, followed by its translation into Portuguese (funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative) and French (funded by the KBA NotaSys Integrity Fund).

This training programme is available online and offers suppliers of large and multinational companies accreditation as being ethically aware. EASI is based on international standards and best practices. The interactive training programme uses practical animated scenarios to help participants reflect on the ethical issues relevant to their businesses and to provide them with tools to promote ethics within their organisations.

TEI conducts research related to organisational ethics, corruption prevention and professional ethics. Deriving from the research, TEI focuses on developing creative interventions to deal with the ethics challenges and opportunities that organisations encounter. The research findings are made publicly available as a means of creating ethics awareness and stimulating ethics debate. These publications are essential for building ethics management capacity and providing audiences with data-based sources of knowledge.

TEI instituted an Ethics Handbook series in 2012, aiming to provide practical guidance and resources to those involved in the governance and management of organisational ethics. Since then, we have published the following handbooks, guidelines, and toolkits:

Year published Handbook Title Author
2012 Social and Ethics Committee Handbook Rossouw, D.
2014 Ethics Reporting Handbook Dobie, K. and Plant, K.
2016 Ethics Risk Handbook van Vuuren, L.
2017 Ethics and Compliance Handbook Groenewald, L. and Dondé, G.
2018 Ethics Office Handbook van Vuuren, L.
2018 Social and Ethics Committee Handbook (Second Edition) Rossouw, D.
2020 Codes of Ethics Handbook Rossouw, D. and van Vuuren, L.
2020 Whistleblowing Management Handbook Groenewald, L.
2021 Ethics Ambassador Handbook Vorster, P. and Rawat, F.
2021 Institutionalising Ethics Handbook Van Vuuren, L. and Groenewald, L.
2022 Ethics Reporting and Auditing Handbook (Second Edition) Dobie, K. and Plant, K.
2022 Ethics Culture Handbook Vorster, P. and van Vuuren, L.
2022 Whistleblowing Non-Retaliation Toolkit Groenewald, L.
2022 Local Government Ethics Guidebook Dobie, K. and Rawat, F.
2023 Ethical Leadership Handbook Rossouw, D.
2023 Conflict of Interest Handbook Dobie, K.

Funding to develop and publish the handbooks was received from donors such as the KBA NotaSys Integrity Fund, the Siemens Integrity Initiative, and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

The Local Government Ethical Leadership Initiative (LGELI) was officially launched in December 2020 as a collaborative project involving The Ethics Institute, the National Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM).

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The Ethics Institute (TEI) was awarded projects in all three funding rounds of the Siemens Integrity Initiative which ran from 2009 to 2024. With this generous funding, we were able to implement numerous projects that would otherwise never have seen the light. Among the projects initiated under this funding were:

Mozambique: Coalition for Organisational Integrity in Mozambique

The Coalition for Organisational Integrity (COI) faces sustained demand for participation, fostering responsible leadership in Mozambique. Ongoing requests for Portuguese Ethics Specialists emphasise the need for engaging in public dialogues on topical integrity matters. In partnership with the Mozambique Enterprise Development Center (MozUp), 182 suppliers expressed interest in the Ethically Aware Supplier Induction (EASI) programme. An impact study has confirmed a positive shift in perceptions and awareness of supplier-related ethics.

A media event hosted to launch the Ethical Leadership Handbook attracted 72 representatives from business, media, and academic sectors. Ethics management capacity was strengthened by certifying seven additional delegates as ethics officers, two ethics ambassadors, and enabling two ethics specialists to attain an international anti-corruption qualification. TEI actively supported business ethics-related seminars and conferences, including OECD and the Basel Institute on Corporate Governance events, as well as the 2023 Annual Business Ethics Network of Africa conference.

Gauteng Municipal Integrity Project

TEI collaborated with the Gauteng Provincial Government and Gauteng municipalities to develop their ethics management capacity and ensure a maturing of their ethics and anti-corruption programmes. This programme lives on in the Gauteng Municipal Ethics Officer Forum.

Local Government Ethical Leadership Initiative (LGELI)

Through the funding, TEI forged strong relationships with the national Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM). Together, we initiated a project to develop a Code for Ethical Leadership in Local Government. Using a research-based, consultative approach, we engaged with stakeholders across nine provinces. The final Code was launched by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in March 2024. The project is led by a strong Advisory Committee of societal leaders and continues post-funding.

Ethically Aware Supplier Induction Programme (EASI)

This project aimed to leverage the purchasing power in the supply chains of large organisations to promote ethical business practices among small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We achieved this through a comprehensive and accessible business ethics e-learning programme for SMEs. Over the course of the project, we certified more than 650 individuals as ‘Ethically Aware’ and trained over 40 trainers to deliver the course within their organisations. The programme facilitated the training of participants in South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Liberia, and Namibia.

Funders


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Grant Sponsors, whose generous contributions drive us closer to realising our vision of building an ethically responsible society.

Siemens Integrity Initiative

In 2009, Siemens launched the global Siemens Integrity Initiative, pledging over 100 million US dollars over a fifteen-year period to aid organisations combating corruption and fraud through Collective Action, education, and training.

The Ethics Institute (TEI) successfully secured funding from the Siemens Integrity Initiative across all three funding rounds. The first round commenced in 2009, followed by the second round in 2014, and the third round in 2019.

During the initial funding round, spanning from 2009 to 2013, TEI initiated two projects: ‘Collective Action for fighting corruption in Angola’ and ‘Collective Action for fighting corruption in South Africa’. In 2013, Siemens provided additional funding to TEI for two more projects: ‘Collective Action for fighting corruption in Gauteng Province’ and ‘Collective Action for fighting corruption in Mozambique’.

In the final funding round, TEI’s Collective Action efforts were once again supported by Siemens, funding two projects: ‘Combating municipal and procurement corruption in South Africa’ and ‘Collective action to advance business integrity in Mozambique’.