‘Safeguarding the sector: designing digital ethics for your charity’ - Our regular podcast highlights the challenges facing the sector, and the successful organisations that overcome them.
The Charity Digital Podcast returns for another instalment, with this episode centring on the importance of digital ethics within the charity sector. Our regular podcast highlights the challenges facing the sector, and the successful organisations that overcome them.
This week’s episode is titled: ‘Safeguarding the sector: designing digital ethics for your charity’. Charities carry the responsibility of upholding and demonstrating ethical behaviour to benefit from the trust of the general public. Their ethical conduct extends to digital ethics, as outlined by the Charity Digital Code of Practice.
“That shift towards the conversation about ethics is starting to really show up and that is a positive thing, [but] there are a lot of questions around ethics that I do not think we as a sector have fully got our heads around”.
- Julie Dodd, Parkinson’s UK’s director of transformation and communications, on the importance of digital ethics within the sector
As an introduction to our discussion of digital ethics, this episode breaks down the broader subject into three areas: digital, data and technology. This discussion will be continued in more detail throughout the next two instalments of the Charity Digital Podcast.
Charities have adopted the principle of ‘do no harm’ into their field operations. How can this be applied to their digital output? And do charities have an ethical obligation to safeguard how any innovations stemming from their use of digital could be applied in the future?
This episode examines the lessons that charities can learn from major tech and digital companies. Any innovation, whether in digital, data and technology can have unforeseen ramifications. Charities must consider how any technology they use, develop or pioneer can affect those they work with - particularly charities that work with more vulnerable beneficiaries.
As technology and data science becomes more adept at predicting behaviour, its role in the charity sector changes. This technology can be hugely useful, as seen in the partnership between DataKind and The Welcome Centre, wherein AI enabled a small charity to identify service users who were likely to require further support at first point of access. However, risks are posed by the impact of low data maturity organisations developing ambitious data science projects without building the proper foundation. This can lead to a number of ethical concerns, and can even further entrench currently existing unconscious biases.
Johnathan Chevallier welcomes Giselle Cory (Executive Director of Datakind), Chris Martin (CEO of The Mix) and James Mullarkey (Head of Digital at The British Veterinary Association) for the first instalment of an informative and thought-provoking discussion.
You can listen to the episode ‘Safeguarding the sector: designing digital ethics for your charity’ below: