Tool 10b: Developing a WSI Code of Conduct

This tool is a description of key elements of a Code of Conduct (CoC).

Tool A description of key elements of a Code of Conduct (CoC). In combination with the WSI operating principles, you can use this outline to establish a CoC for your WSI.
Related Key Activities Clarify expectations of WSI behavior, development of an MoU.
Questions Addressed How do we set out expectations for proper behavior of WSI participants?
Purpose Outline expectations for behavior of WSI participants, thereby ensuring integrity issues related to conduct are taken into account, and removing the possibility of ethically dubious decision-making or action that might undermine the WSI:

  • Expectations for integrity and professional conduct are clarified.
  • Principles, values, and expectations are specified to guide conduct of WSI participants.
Possible Users WSI participants
Level of Effort The CoC should build on work completed in previous phases, therefore the CoC formalization should be a relatively simple, though significant preparatory work and can be completed in tandem with the development of an MoU and clarifying expectations of behavior.
WSI Phase 2: Formalization.

A Code of Conduct (CoC) is a “statement of principles and values that establishes a set of expectations and standards …, including minimal levels of compliance and disciplinary actions.” Most countries have a general CoC for public officials as well as relevant legislation on conflicts of interest. Where relevant, the WSI should draw on relevant legislation in the development of the CoC. Developing a shared understanding of integrity in a specific WSI is an essential exercise in stakeholder collaboration that serves to build trust among actors, share experiences and good practices, identify shared values, and clarify expectations. As a central reference, a CoC guides WSI participants when dealing with ethical dilemmas and grey areas in decision-making and engagement processes.

Guidance for implementation

The diagram below lays out the key steps to undertake to develop a CoC. To get hesitant individuals on board for the development of a CoC and build confidence in it, participatory integrity risk management exercises (see Tool 1b) can be helpful. In such a workshop, participants establish the most relevant measures that should be implemented to ensure they are adequately managed.

Additional information