DataSHIELD Community Constitution Meeting Updates

Hi Everyone,

thanks to all those who have attended the first two community constitution workshops that have already taken place. For anyone who wasn’t there, it has been decided to make some further changes to the schedule to ensure the meetings fully cover everyone’s views on the topics up for discsusion. This will be combined with some new procedures to keep the debate moving forward in the sessions, which we will be trialling from next week- all good things, I promise!

Documents under discussion: the Master document containing the whole constitution is useful for reference, but we won’t be directly editing it, instead we are editing subsections of it stored in separate pads (using the framapads software). We will be compiling the final constitution to reflect all edits suggested by community members during these sessions. Therefore please use the following links to view the latest sections:

  • Constitution Introduction (link)
  • Section 1: Stakeholders, Roles, and Decision-Making Groups (link)
  • Section 2: Steering Committee (link)
  • Section 3: Decision-making and dispute resolution (link)
  • Section 4: Social Contract (link)
  • Section 5: Code of Conduct (link) + Diversity and participation statement (link)
  • Appendix: Glossary of Terms (link)

Below is the update schedule of meetings; since it has become clear that everyone has a lot to say, we are now assuming that discussions will be taking place every Tuesday morning 11.00-12.30 CEST (10.00-11.30 BST) until we wrap up all topics around early July.

Table: as of time of writing, topics already occuring are marked in italics.

date topic objectives link
17 May Stakeholders, Roles, and Decision-Making Groups Define
Key stakeholders

Community members

Decision-making groups (within DS community) e.g SC, DAB (?), working groups etc
24th May Stakeholders, Roles, and Decision-Making Groups Continue discussion of roles and decision making groups
31st May Constitution Introduction;
Stakeholders, Roles, and Decision-Making Groups
Review the context for the Community Constitution in the Introduction ( &what is the constitution for)
then use remaining time to complete the discussion of roles and decision making groups
7th Jun Steering Committee Decide make-up of SC
And any other groups
14 Jun Steering Committee Steering Committee spillover session (tbd)
21 Jun Decision-making and dispute resolution Define decision-making process by SC and any other groups
28 Jun Social Contract Reach agreement
5 Jul Scheduled spillover session (tbd)
12 Jul Code of Conduct + Diversity and participation statement Reach agreement

Link to join zoom session: Launch Meeting - Zoom - please be aware that recording will be taking place, but only for note taking purposes.

Lastly, any updates to this schedule will be published below this post as comments so that email notifications are sent out to forum subscribers, so scroll down for the most up to date news.

Hope to see many of you there over the coming weeks making YOUR views on the structure of the community known!


Here’s a new pad to create an outline for the constitution:

Link to community diagram

Just FYI, there will be constitution/governance session taking place today, Tuesday 5th July, due to a clash with the EUCAN conference in Rotterdam where many of our regular attendees will be.

See you next week!


Hello everyone, A reminder that we will have another governance session tomorrow, Tuesday 12th July 11.00-12.30 CEST (10.00-11.30 BST). Look forward to seeing you there!


At today’s session, we made several important decisions related to the development of a governance structure:

  1. We will continue to work over the summer, with regular meetings on Tuesday mornings at 11:00 CEST (10:00 BST) as we have been having already.

  2. The aim is to create a single “constitution” document - the work-in-progress can be found in the constitution outline that was already posted (above).

  3. We started to discuss decision-making processes within the community today; next week will be a continuation of this, with people encourage to read and edit the decision-making and dispute resolution document beforehand.

  4. In future sessions, we plan to finish working on the constitution and will move onto the remaining documents (particularly, the Social Contract and the Code of Conduct). It may still be necessary to re-visit the constitution after this for some minor revisions, but we would not expect bigger changes at this time.

As a reminder, we plan to finish these governance documents over the summer to allow a time for reading and reflection by community members prior to (we hope!) validation at the DataSHIELD conference in Barcelona in October.

In the meantime, we also remind you that all are invited to participate in the Tuesday morning governance workshops. If you are unable to make it, we would still value your contributions! Please post here on the forum or you can contact one of the regular attenders (some of us are listed below) to relay your thoughts.

Regular attenders include (but are not limited to): @asm, @alexwesterberg,, @Angela, @gfcg @swheater

The governance workshops on the new constitutional documents for the community have been continuing over the summer. We are making good progress and have now drawn up a timetable so that everyone can have an opportunity to review the work prior to the conference:

Date Discussion points/Action
30th August decision-making procedures
6th September continue d-m procedures
13th September complete any missing sections
20th September final review before seeking comments
21st September draft released for comments
1st October Deadline for comments
4th October Review comments and prioritise changes
11th October Make any required major changes
12th October Release final draft for review prior to conference
20th October Presentation and discussion at conference

Everyone is invited to come to the Tuesday morning sessions (link in the first post of this thread) which are continuing throughout this period. Of particular note, for the next few weeks we will be focussed on the actual decision-making procedures.

Additionally, there will be opportunity to review the preliminary documents between the 21st September and the 1st October. This is to give everyone the opportunity to comment on the work that has been done. Critical changes will be taken into account and a revised version released on the 12th October. It is expected, however, that comments suggesting more minor changes at this time will be deferred until after the conference.

As has been previously explained, the final document(s) will be presented at conference along with an opportunity for people to approve or disapprove their implementation. For those who are unable to attend (either in person or virtually), alternative provision will be made to also allow you to vote. Details of this will be forthcoming.

For me, these meetings continue to clash with a departmental meeting that I can neither move nor miss, so I won’t be able to attend. I will try and provide input directly to the online documents.