The Public Health Community Platform is a community-driven project to provide shared infrastructure, services, and applications to the Public Health enterprise. The utility of the PHCP is dependent on community representatives participating in working committees and contributing their ideas. The committees engage through multiple means, including conference calls, in-person meetings, and on-line forums.
This Code of Conduct describes general expectations for our community members so that all participants feel comfortable participating in and leading committees. We expect all community members to honor this code whenever they participate in PHCP-related activities and discussions and follow it in spirit as much as in the letter.
Since this project serves the greater public health community and is based on an understanding of a shared goal achieved through collective work, this code of conduct helps set ground rules and enable structured and productive conversations.
This code is not exhaustive and is a living document. It will change to meet community needs and goals.
The PHCP is led by an Interim Executive Committee (IEC) that oversees working sub-committees. The IEC approves the chairs and membership of all sub-committees. In order to meet the goals of the sub-committee, membership needs to be diverse and manageable. All community members are welcome to participate, but committee chairs have authority over their committee membership. This means a committee chair may specifically add community members with certain perspectives to broaden diversity or limit additional members to maintain a manageable group. We urge members to respect the committee structure and use that structure for communication. The PHCP is a community of colleagues, and as such we should be respectful of each other’s time and diversity of opinions. The PHCP website (www.thephcp.org) includes a forum for each committee, and members are encouraged to engage with each other on the open forum to promote transparent communication as outlined in the PHCP strategic goals.
Committee decisions and recommendations may not always be unanimous, but there should be efforts to work toward consensus. That consensus should be communicated with other PHCP committees, as well as other partners and stakeholders, by using the PHCP website and forums. As public health leaders, our committee members should always have the vision of the PHCP in mind when promoting ideas and making decisions.
We strive to:
· Be open and transparent. We invite anyone from the public health community to participate in the PHCP. We prefer to use public methods of communication for project-related messages unless discussing something sensitive.
· Be respectful. The PHCP is a community of colleagues, and we strive to build a culture of respect. We expect participants to behave professionally in all interactions, taking responsibility for their own words and actions.
· Be collaborative and considerate. Community members work collaboratively in PHCP committees, sharing and relying on the work of others. Decisions made by community members should consider the consequences to colleagues and other community members. Collaboration between PHCP committees that each have their own goals and vision is essential.
· Be accepting of diverse opinions. The public health community is diverse. We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a platform that serves the entire Public Health enterprise.
· Step down considerately. Members of every project come and go. When someone leaves or disengages from the PHCP project, they should inform others about their departure and take proper steps to ensure that others can continue where they left off. In doing so, they should remain respectful of those who continue to participate in the project and should not misrepresent the project's goals or achievements. Likewise, community members should respect any individual's choice to leave the project.
Conflicts of Interest
There may be members of PHCP committees that have real or perceived conflicts of interest in the work they do or other projects they are associated with. Committee members should lead by announcing their conflicts and removing themselves from decisions where they might benefit.
For a community-based project such as the PHCP, disagreements both social and technical are to be expected. We should view conflicts as a constructive process and strive to resolve them directly, seeking to understand others’ positions. When we disagree, we should try to understand why.
We expect PHCP participants to resolve disagreements constructively. When they cannot, we escalate the matter to the Interim Executive Committee to arbitrate and provide clarity and direction.
This PHCP code of conduct has been adapted from the following sources:
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