The Education for Justice initiative (E4J) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in which The Open University has played a pivotal role, has won the United Nations Secretary-General 2020 Innovation award.
The prestigious global award recognises the vital work that E4J does to directly engage children, youth, teachers and academics to promote crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law through accessible educational tools. The Open University played a key role in the success of the project by using its extensive online learning expertise to create educational resources aimed at increasing the capability and knowledge of educators to engage their students in discussing difficult ideas around ethics, justice and anti-corruption.
The five-hour online course designed by the Open Justice Centre in partnership with the UNODC has so far reached 5000 educators across the and has since been translated into Spanish, with other translations planned.
Hugh McFaul, Senior Lecturer in Law and a Director of The OU’s Open Justice Centre, was the driving force behind the OU’s involvement and on winning the award he said:
“I’m delighted that the Open Justice Centre has been able to support the success of Education For Justice and this prestigious award is important recognition of the innovative role universities can play in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The E4J initiative was launched in 2016 off the back of the Doha Declaration with the aim of fulfilling the UN’s sustainability goals, particularly Goal 16 – Peace Justice and strong institutions – and its chief objective was to build a global culture of lawfulness.
Hugh has been supporting E4J by delivering lectures and workshops worldwide and it was through his continued work with the UNODC that he has been appointed as a consultant for their latest project, GRACE – (Global Resources for Anti-Corruption Education) which aims to develop a community of academics engaged in integrity and anti-corruption education and research. He comments:
“My appointment as a consultant on the development of the United Nations GRACE platform is a great opportunity to utilise the OU’s expertise in open access education to support the development of a global community of anti-corruption academics”