Applying Ethics in Codesign

Okay, so you’re committed to doing some youth co-design. Great! Of course, this means working alongside young people and bringing their voices into your work.

How do you do this in an ethical way? How do you do this in a way that benefits them, not just you and your mission?

During Te Koānga, we invited the teams to consider some traditional ethical concepts and apply them to the codesign process they were creating.

They considered 7 key concepts:

Autonomy – how does the participant maintain their freedom of choice, right to chose and independence when engaging in this intervention?

Nonmaleficence – causing no harm to others, above all doing no harm. What if things don’t go right – what are your responsibilities for the wellbeing of people involved with your project?

Beneficence – How does your intervention contribute to the wellbeing of the person or people you are serving?

Justice – treating equals equally and unequals unequally but in proportion to their relevant differences.

Fidelity – How do you intend to follow through with what you said you would? What happens if you don’t?

Legal – What is the legislation that you need to be aware of? eg are you working with young people, how are you intending on keeping private information confidential?

Key points of safety when working with a target group what things will keep them well and safe? How do you enable people to tool-up before engaging in the conversation? How much of your own experience do you intend on sharing, to what ends and why?

There’s a fair bit of jargon in there, so if that’s not your style, you might like to instead read our method blog post on enabling participation in codesign.

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