Code of Conduct – Crowdsourcing for Good

/ November 17, 2014

Kate ChapmanBrooke Simons and Patrick Meier have drafted a code of conduct for digital crowd-sourcing projects in the humanitarian, development and human rights spaces, setting out a list of things that any organization that launches a digital crowdsourcing project must and should do. The whole code is worth reading, but here are the points that relate to using data responsibly.


  • Must: Disclose the purpose of the project, exactly which entities will be using and/or have access to the resulting data, to what end exactly, over what period of time and what the expected impact of the project is likely to be.
  • Should: Share as much of the resulting data with volunteers as possible without violating data privacy or the principle of Do No Harm.

The code is set out in this open, editable Google Doc, where people are invited to comment.

About the contributor

Tom started out writing and editing for newspapers, consultancies and think tanks on topics including politics and corruption in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, then moved into designing and managing election-related projects in countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Bolivia. After getting interested in what data and technology could add in those areas and elsewhere, he made a beeline for The Engine Room. Tom is trying to read all of the Internet, but mostly spends his time picking out useful resources and trends for organisations using technology in their work.

See Tom's Articles

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