As individuals supporting movements working for rights and justice, we believe in transparency, collaboration, open data, and shared knowledge. We strongly believe that resource creators should strive to be accountable to the communities they aim to serve. Content creators should not dictate accessibility by the user, and should strive to make their resources as useful as possible. We, as resource creators, should act in the best interest of our users. We are merely stewards to all those who supported and contributed to the creation of the resource.
We also have a duty to other members of our resource creation community to make our materials, findable, known and accessible so there isn’t duplication of effort and to assure quality.
Therefore, we, as content creators, assert the following recommendations:
- Aim to put the community at the centre of your efforts. First establishing with them if they actually need the resource.
Clearly articulate how the resource will provide benefit and value to the community. Actively engage and collaborate with the community in the creation and your understanding of how the resource will be used.
- Strive for greater quality. Share drafts widely and often, not just with the user communities, but also to the resource creation community to assure the efficiency and effectiveness of the resource. Formalise advisory groups and review committees. Clarify ways in which the resource can be contributed-to, corrected or updated after it’s release.
- Strive for maximum transparency, particularly around the inception and development phase by stating:
- who created and supported it (monetarily or otherwise);
- The intended audience and their context;
- how it was tested for quality and effectiveness;
- the date of creation and/or release.
- Make resources accessible to all communities that would find it useful. Accessibility includes:
- physical access to the resource;
- multiple formats;
- local language;
- findability (reference-ready);
- using licensing that allows for re-use, repurposing and modification;
- having a distribution plan.
- Connected to accessibility, assure the resource is in formats and structures that can be adapted:
- as technologies, contexts, trends and needs evolve;
- for different cultures and communities to whom it might be relevant.
- Monitor & evaluate its effectiveness based on its benefit and value to the community (and not merely numbers of distribution) by building in periodic review by the user community after the resource has been launched.
- Edit, modify and improve after initial release. Change according to learnings from evaluations. Redact for security needs.
- Attribute all contributors, particularly front-line and on-the-ground people (while keeping in mind any security needs) whose experiences have provided core knowledge. Include a reference list that acknowledges past efforts and expertise which have contributed to the development of the resource.
- Make release dates clear and visible along with an estimate of how-long it is likely to remain relevant and provide indicators of its obsolescences.
- Plan for archiving that includes participatory decision-making with the community. For example, when the content is declared obsolete, how will the resource be accessed by the beneficiaries? Ensure that a description of the resource is embedded (Meta) in the resource itself, including dates (creation, updates, expiration). Ask: what will happen to the resource if the parent org/entity ceases to exist? Explore the use of existing archivers such as archive.org.
About this version
This is a second draft on FabRiders. You can view an earlier draft and background of the Manifesto here, this includes its history with the Responsible Data Forum. Special thanks to Fin (@fin), Maya Ganesh (@mayameme), Tanya Notley (@tattinot), Tom Longley (@tlongers), Willow Brugh (@willowbl00) and participants at NPDev Summit in Oakland, California on November 17th, 2014 for their invaluable input on this draft.
Next steps for the draft
- Continue to get input from the community
- Find clear examples for each article
- identify existing resources that have done some or all of the above.
What do you think?
This draft of the Responsible Resource Creator Manifesto (draft) is published here as a blog post in order to get comments from the wider community. What do you think of this draft? Do you think it’s needed? Helpful? Any thing we could add or edit that might make it better? Please leave a comment below.