This document outlines a set of project participation guidelines, and is intended as guidance for all public and private interactions around any project that Open Knowledge Foundation leads on, or partners in.

The goal of these guidelines is to make explicit the type of participation that is expected, and the behaviour that is unacceptable. These guidelines are to be adhered to by all Open Knowledge Foundation staff, all partners on a given project, and, all public participants.

These guidelines are applicable to:

  • All public areas of participation, including but not limited to discussion forums, mailing lists, issue trackers, social media, and in-person venues such as conferences and workshops.
  • All private areas of participation, including but not limited to email, and closed platforms such as Slack.

What we expect

The following behaviours are expected from all project participants, including Open Knowledge Foundation staff, project partners, and all other participants.

  • Lead by example by being considerate in your actions and decisions.
  • Be respectful in speech and action, especially in disagreement.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour and speech.
  • We all make mistakes, and when we do, we take responsibility for them.
  • Be mindful of your fellow participants. If someone is in distress, or if someone is in violation of the guidelines, reach out.

What we find unacceptable

The following behaviours are unacceptable from Open Knowledge Foundation staff, project partners, and all other participants.

  • Violence and threats of violence.
  • Derogatory comments of any form, including related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, age, or socio-economic status.
  • Sexual images or behaviour.
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of former names, or improper titles. 
  • Inappropriate photography or recording.
  • Physical contact without affirmative consent.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
  • Sustained disruption of conference events, including talks and presentations.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour.

Consequences of unacceptable behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour from any participant in any public or private forum around projects we are involved in, including those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in unacceptable behaviour, any action deemed appropriate will be taken, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from participatory forums.


If you are subject to, or witness, unacceptable behaviour, or have any other concerns, please email This email is read by the following staff at Open Knowledge Foundation: Shireen Kovoor, HR manager.

License and attribution

These project participation guidelines are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license ( It draws heavily on this Mozilla Code of Conduct - thank you Mozilla for the inspiration!