Mark Haselkorn

Winter 2021

Understanding Stakeholder Negotiation of Socio-Ethical Requirements within Humanitarian ICTs.

Led by Asst. Prof Robin Mays
2-3 credits
Multi-quarter opportunity

In this DRG we will aim to perform qualitative analysis for forming an understanding of how technology designers/developers and humanitarian practitioners negotiate the ethical requirements of humanitarian missions in the design & development HICTs. Our study builds on a long-term collaboration between the Global Disaster Preparedness Center of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies and UW/HCDE.

We are looking for 3-4 students who want to use human-centered methods in qualitative coding, are open to challenging traditional user-centered development & design approaches, and interested in bottom-up approaches for addressing socio-ethical environments. Multi-quarter commitments are welcome and preferred, but not required.

We will plan to meet for 1- 2 hours each week via Zoom for learning, project coordination and collaboration. Approximately 4-6 additional hours of participation each week will be expected outside of our meeting time. A group meeting time will be decided based on schedules and interest.

Specifically, this quarter it is expected that we will be: transcribing interviews, executing iterative qualitative coding (individual and joint) within a shared software platform, and begin to record observations as memos. Spring quarter will further thematic analysis with the iteration of memos into themes. We will initially orient ourselves for this qualitative analysis with key academic and operational (gray literature) reading and reflection exercises on our personal assumptions.

Research Description:

This research is part of a 3-year study on ethics & technology. Even as humanitarian agencies are seeking to create more formal guidance to consider ethical impacts in HICT design, the accountability of HICT efforts to the humanitarian ethical mission currently resides primarily in informal negotiations between individual humanitarian practitioners and STEM experts. The focus of our learning this quarter is on interactions between technology creators and RC/RC practitioners to resolve tensions that emerge within the humanitarian socio-technical gap (HSTG). The HSTG demonstrates a clear space where STEM and humanitarian cultures are negotiated and shifted. It is in this informal space that humanitarians working with technology creators are pushing technology creators to adapt their methods. In our analysis we will ask questions such as:

  • How are humanitarian ethical imperatives addressed in the development, design, implementation and use of HICT?
  • What interactions, methods and strategies are being used?
  • What is working? Why?
  • What is not working? Why?

To apply: Please email Robin Mays at with a brief statement about why you are interested in joining this DRG.

Dr. Haselkorn's Research Group archive