Resource creator manifesto

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Declaration of values and commitments for resource-creators to hold ourselves and each other accountable to our stakeholders regarding the protection and preservation of resources developed from and for these stakeholders.


A draft of this manifesto currently lives as a blog post and ready for feedback


As we started talking about what we are creating. we used the example of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We agreed that this manifesto could be a declaration of this kind (to leave open the possibility of people/orgs signing it or not, and other ways for it to be used).

We started to brainstorm the topics of articles that we want to include in the manifesto. Here are some of those topics (post-it notes):

  • Have a vision of success for it
  • Follow principles of user centered design
  • Put a date on it (created, updated, exp, etc)
  • Metadata (date, why, context, who, version)
  • Reference-ready (reference formats, logical urls)
  • Don't be exploitative of communities/beneficiaries
  • Community engagement
  • Licensing
  • Creation and community engagement
  • Acknowledging that other expertise has contributed to it
  • Re-usability
  • Accessibility
  • Transparency
  • Timeliness of resource (benefits and risks of oudated resources)
  • Archiving/Preserving



Whereas ....

Now, Therefore THE PUT THE BIRD ON IT ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS RESPONSIBLE RESOURCE MANIFESTO as a common standard of ...

Good stewards to all those who supported the creation of the resource

in order to avoid rebuilding/re-creating the wheel

Content creators should not dictate the accessibility by the user, and should strive to make it accessible. When content gets removed should not be dictated by the creator, but by the user. Act in the best interest of the user. Users should be able to hold content creators accountable for their decisions.

Resource creators are accountable to the communities who benefit from the resources.


  1. To the best of your ability, make the resources accessible to communities that would find it useful. Accessibility includes physical access to the resource, language, relevance, findability (reference-ready), ability to reuse and repurpose.
  2. Be transparent on motivations for creation, including who created it, who supported it (monetarily or otherwise), and the context in which it is created and for whom, and the timeliness of the resource.
  3. Have a 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 in the resource itself, including dates (creation, updates, expiration).
  4. Put community at the center by identifying the benefit to the community and including them in the creation and use of the resource.
  5. In the creation process, be aware of the format and structure of the resource so that beneficiaries can localize, reference, reuse, repurpose.
  6. Use license that allows for re-use and modofication. Clarify ways in which the resource can be contributed to, corrected or updated.
  7. To the best of your ability, attribute all contributors particularly frontline and on-the-ground people. Acknowledge the other expertise that has contributed to the development of the resource.
  8. The benefits to the community is the foundation for evaluation of the resource.
  9. We should be accountable to the communities for which the resources are being created.
  10. We have a responsibility to the resource-creator community.

Engagement for input and starting a discussion

Where will this live?

  • On the wiki (if it's public)?
  • Blog post and ask for comments?
  • we know it needs to be transparent (as well as the input process)
  • be sure to put a timeline on the draft

How will we get input/comments?

  • Incentives: if you give me comments I will credit you
  • Listservs: responsible data listserv, IAC2009, ECF
  • Social media: twitter, FB
  • Note: asking for input helps with outreach, comments that come in will help you get that negative feedback before it's released
  • Target audience: the people who use resources, funders and other supporters of resource-creators, resource creators

Remaining questions/concerns:

  • In 50 years, where will people go to find archived resources? What info should be included?

Other resources


Target audience: the people who use resources, funders and other supporters of resource-creators, resource creators

Use case: Someone at mobile active could have used this manifesto to encourage leadership to consider these peer-created principles, and potentially prevented the disappearance of

Next steps

  • Write preamble
  • Write use case
  • Create an outreach plan to get community resource creators input and feedback
  • Write dissemination plan
  • Design the logo


Arthit, Dirk, Kristin

Resources (we <3 links!)

Feel free to link any and all background material, additional info, useful resources, etc. The more the merrier!

The post that sparked this conversation:

First draft of manifesto:

Current draft of manifesto: