Ethical Considerations for Data Collection and Sharing: Key Principles and Actions

  • Involve individuals and groups (especially sovereign rights groups and equity deserving groups) early and often in engagement efforts


  • Visit communities to engage residents (e.g., presentations) in advance of more formalized engagement efforts – engagement processes involving contentious issues and various groups of people must be sensitive to realities on the ground


  • Recognize that in many engagement processes, communities have limited capacity and may not have a great deal of technical knowledge


  • Use plain language wherever possible to improve communication, especially when communicating technical and academic language, as well in situations where English may be the second language in Indigenous communities or in recent newcomer and/or refugee communities


  • Take the initiative – engagement processes can be demanding on peoples time and energy; working with local organizations is an important approach but lead-times are crucial


  • Consider the life cycle of the engagement process (from developing initial aims to taking action); equally important to consider who designs the engagement process (e.g., if working with a sovereign nation have they been fully consulted on the best design strategy


  • Develop a statement of shared principles for ethical engagement which is agreed to and supported by all parties


  • Knowledge co-production (KCP) and knowledge mobilization (KMB) are valuable (and distinct) approaches to ensure that engagement is more ethical



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Building Sustainable Communities: Information Gathering and Sharing Copyright © 2022 by Ryan Plummer; Amanda Smits; Samantha Witkowski; Bridget McGlynn; Derek Armitage; Ella-Kari Muhl; and Jodi Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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