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Transparent Stewardship


People need to be confident in your project’s sustainability in order for them to contribute over the long term.


Some projects are short-term exercises in data collection; others are long-term projects that provide value to a community of organisations and/or people. These long-term projects need to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and shared value.


Ensure you have Published Policies and Visible Processes. In addition, publish and document your project goals, and be transparent about your governance and plans for sustainability.

Trustworthy stewardship is important to creating a stronger data infrastructure and a trustworthy data ecosystem.

Stewardship is particularly important for projects that involve collaboratively maintaining data. In these projects there is a range of stakeholders, including not just data users and the communities who might be impacted by the use of the data, but also a group of contributors who are investing time and effort into the maintenance of the dataset.

Those contributors might be working on behalf of a variety of organisations or belong to a number of different communities.

Being clear on your goals and outcomes will help build confidence within your community that the work and data that is being contributed to your project will create useful impacts and minimise harms.

Having Visible Processes that follow Published Policies will also build trust.

Transparency about your approach to sustainability, through funding, partnerships or a commercial business model, will also help to build trust. Contributors can then be confident that their work will not go to waste.

Clear Licensing, ideally by applying open licences, provides a means for others to build on your work in the future if you are unable to be sustainable over the long term.

Humanitarian OpenStreetmap

Open financial governance

Related patterns

Visible Processes

Trust needs to be built within the community.

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