Decidim’s Social Contract
Code for democratic guarantees and open collaboration
This is the social contract that all members of the Decidim project are committed to follow.
The use and development of the Decidim platform by an institution or social group of any kind involves the full and integral acceptance of, and commitment to, this social-contract.
The code of the platform, along with the modules, libraries or any other code that is developed for its functioning and deployment, will always be Free Open Source Software with an Affero GPLv3 license or later versions [https://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.en.html] whenever the code is newly developed and with licenses that are compatible with the above one when code re-used.
Likewise, the content, data, APIs and/or any other interfaces that are deployed to interact with any type of user must follow open and interoperable standards (ex. OpenID, RSS, OStatus, etc.), always tending to maximize their integration with the most widely used open standards.
In order to maximize transparency and citizen collaboration in participatory processes, organs and mechanisms, the content, text, graphics, fonts, audio, video or other design elements will be published under a Creative Commons By-SA [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode].
The data available through the platform, especially all data that can be collected in a systematic way through scrappers or other techniques of massive consultation, will be published and licensed under Open Data Commons Open Database License [http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl], published under standardized and accessible formats (such as CSV, JSON, etc.) and, whenever possible, with tools that facilitate the analysis and visualization of data.
The platform, and its current or future configuration, development, deployment and use must ensure and maximize, at all times, the transparency, traceability and integrity of documents, proposals, debates, decisions, or any other object, mechanism or participatory process.
By transparency we understand that all data related to all such participatory mechanisms and processes are available for download, analysis and treatment, following the most demanding standards and formats to share information (accessibility, multi-format, etc.).
Transparency is a necessary condition for monitoring of participatory processes and mechanisms, but should never, in any case, be applied for the treatment of personal data or against the defense of the privacy of the people participating in the platform.
We understand by traceability the ability to fully track backward (past) and forward (future) what happened to the proposals, plans, regulations, or any other object of participation or decision included in a process or mechanism. The platform must at all times show how, why, by whom and with what guarantees a certain type of object of a participatory process was dismissed, approved or blocked.
We understand by integrity the authenticity of a specific content, and ensuring that it has not been tampered with or altered without this modification being clearly recorded and visibly verifiable and auditable. The goal of integrity is to avoid manipulation of proposals or results of participatory processes or mechanisms.
Alongside the guarantees previously defined, the platform promises to ensure equal opportunities for all people, as well as for their proposals or other contributions the platform might host. The platform will offer equal starting opportunities to all participatory objects (proposals, debates, etc.) for them to be viewed, discussed, commented, evaluated or treated without discrimination of any kind. In this sense, the digital identity of the users of the platform will always be personal and not transferable, the verification that confers decision rights on the platform should also be unique, and it is the administrative entity in charge of the platform who should be responsible for ensuring non-impersonation of a person or entity.
The platform should promote, with the aim of ensuring its democratic quality, the use of quality indicators developed on the basis of the data obtained from participatory processes, mechanism and user activity. Sharing of the setting of the different components as well as open data will be promoted for the definition of these indicators
Equality in political participation of citizens is one of the fundamental principles of any democratic system and the platform, not only has to ensure equal opportunities with respect to the uses and functions, but also the access right. In this sense the entity in charge of the platform assumes the commitment to promote actions that advance in the direction of providing access and support to the platform for all citizens alike universally Giving tools and resources appropriate to the platform is available to anyone who wants to use.
The confidentiality and privacy of the personal data that people might provide to participate in any of the functionalities and/or possibilities of participation that the platform provides shall be guaranteed at all times. In no case shall personal data be transferred to third parties. Personal data will not be used beyond what is strictly necessary for the purposes of user registration and improvements on the usability of the platform. Whenever platform technology makes it possible, the expression of political preferences or will in decision-making processes shall remain inaccessible even for the administrator of the platform or the server/s that host it.
A commitment to citizens shall be taken to respond to all queries and contributions in the shortest time possible. A commitment shall also be adopted to follow-up the results of participatory processes and to respond to those demands which specifically request it. Finally, a commitment shall be taken to study the incorporation of indicators to monitor the participation processes once they are finalized, in order to systematically evaluate its implementation.
Mechanisms for periodic review and evaluation will be provided in order to facilitate the continuous improvement of the platform.
Priority will be given to the collaboration and the exchange of experiences between the institutions involved in the project, with the aim to improve, fix and build new developments for the continuous improvement of the platform.
In this sense, collaborative conditions and environments will be facilitated when moving forward improvements that point to a common benefit of the entire platform, enabling inter-agency coordination mechanisms when necessary.