The CEELI Institute has long been a leader in providing intensive, interactive anti-corruption training. It was natural that one of our first comprehensive online courses would address Investigating and Prosecuting Official Corruption. CEELI has adapted what would have been a five day intensive, in-person workshop into a six week online format.

This particular version of the course was specifically designed for an audience of civil society activists and investigative journalists. The objective of the course was to provide the participants with a deep understanding, from a law enforcement prospective, of how corruption cases are assembled. The online course was highly interactive, informative, and comprehensive consisting of a combination of live and recorded lectures, live breakout sessions, and homework assignments, all conducted online.

To ensure that the course offered participants a unique perspective, the faculty for the course was made up exclusively or current and former law enforcement officials with careers in the investigation and prosecution of public corruption cases. The intent was to give representatives from the worlds of journalism and civil activism an unusual, informal opportunity to engage with their law enforcement counterpart—thereby breaking down the barriers that often prevent communication between the various groups. Faculty included former a FBI Supervisory Special Agent, a former US Department of Justice federal prosecutor, a former German prosecutor, the head of the Special Litigation Unit in the World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency, and a former Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. Each faculty member brought their decades of experience to convey useful tools and lessons to participants.

An open application process for potential participants was conducted to reach interested parties from across the Central and Eastern European region. As a result, we received over 90 applications from more than 30 countries. From these we selected the 26 participants for the course. The final mix of participants included representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

By delivering the curriculum over a six week period, with two live sessions per week, the format was designed to better enable participants to fit the course into their regular live—in much the same way participants might access an online university course. Course materials were divided into unique modules, accessed via our CEELI Online platform.  The initial session of the six week course began in May and was completed in June. Demand for the course was so significant that we will repeat it this fall. 

In developing the online curriculum, the CEELI team worked directly with the faculty to create materials and a complex fictional scenario for use as the case study for the training program. The case study focused on public procurement fraud related to government procurement made during the current pandemic circumstances and served as a way for the faculty to explore with the participants issues related to relevant steps in an anti-corruption investigation: When would law enforcement officers open an investigation? How do law enforcement officials find information, and how does such information become useable evidence? What other issues must law enforcement consider in pursuing an investigation, including legal authority, jurisdiction, venue, the statute of limitations, and burden of proof? How are these concepts applied when opening an investigation? To enhance the interactive experience, we also illustrated parts of the Case Scenario, as referenced in the illustration pictured.

If you are interested in participating in a future session of this course, please contact Lilia Festa Zaripova for more information at