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07 Oct 2019
a journey into the neutrality paradox

Representing Latin America in Global Conversation on Philanthropy-Platform Access

In early October, PSYDEH was among four non-profits from around the world, the only one from Latin America, invited by US-based GlobalGiving (GG) to convene GlobalGiving-Neutrality-Paradox-PSYDEH-Mexican-NGO-Womens-Rightsin Washington, DC, USA, with 20 others from the philanthropy sector to explore what GG calls the “Neutrality Paradox”.

The Neutrality Paradox, Rachel Smith, Executive Director of GlobalGiving UK, writes in her ethics of technology essay, is where

“[d]espite the unique value of technology to provide open, democratic spaces online, digital platforms are powered by organizations that need to take responsibility for how their technology is used. This means that platforms necessarily have to take a stance [on dilemmas]—departing from a position of neutrality…These platforms are [then] forced to publicly justify their responses to [these] dilemmas, often under scrutiny, whilst also trying to maintain a balance of trust and transparency with the public… [W]e are calling this problem the Neutrality Paradox.”

meeting notes - we have a responsiblity towards opennessThe multi-day conversation linked collective scoping of the problem, setting the context of the Paradox and beginning to craft a prototype solution. PSYDEH’s specific role was to bring to the “proverbial table” a case example of how such a dilemma might materialize in the 2019 Mexican context while generally representing GG’s growing network of Mexican 120 non-profits.

More generally, it is fascinating for PSYDEH to be part of this important conversation on how philanthropy platforms and intermediaries can best navigate complicated dilemmas about who’s on and who’s off.

Damon Taylor, PSYDEH Senior Advisor and representative to the convening, states,

“The conversation reinforces what we believe to be truth, how the right solutions to wicked problems are best created when uniting diverse voices in a safe space. Moreover, it’s important to PSYDEH and grassroots organizations like us that global platforms’ access-focused processes keep the “human element” central and allow for nuanced review of complex dilemmas in countries like Mexico.”

 

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PSYDEH is a non-profit civil association, which was formed by the initiative of a group of young women from the municipality of Santiago Tulantepec in the State of Hidalgo. PSYDEH is committed to working with and for the most vulnerable communities in the region through the promotion of a Sustainable Human Development.