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Some reflections on recent experience

In this article, Professor Mollie Painter offers some reflections on recent experiences and explores the Responsibility Alignment Framework.
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As ethicists working all over the world, we often get asked to help leaders design processes that could help them think though the ethical dilemmas that have emerged because of new challenges and to assist implementing values-driven solutions. Recent times offer endless examples: whether that may be because of a public health crisis such as Covid, the worldwide social crises of increasing Gender-based Violence, political crises such as war and forced migration, or the unfolding environmental crises due to climate change.

The key to dealing with these crises, is to have a defendable process in place, underpinned by the kind of values-driven decision-making that we have discussed so far in the course.

In addition to the ethics quick test that offers normative guidelines, it is important to also have a process for how to lead values-driven implementation of the decision that was taken. Values-driven decisions are only as good as their implementation in practice!

One model that has been developed for this is called the Responsibility Alignment Framework, also called the RACI-model, which involves asking a few key questions:

  • Who is responsible for taking the decision forward and making it a reality in the organisation?
  • Who will be accountable in monitoring progress in implementation?
  • Who must be consulted in order to make this decision meaningful, fair and well-received?
  • Who must simply be informed?

All of the above of course also requires a sound stakeholder analysis (refer back to Week 2).

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