Alex Carle | October 29, 2020
When something goes wrong in an international aid program, the stakeholders who are impacted often have nowhere to submit a complaint. What if there were a way for people to give feedback to aid agencies anonymously and openly, without any risk of repercussions? Loop is an accessible global digital platform that solves this problem. Any stakeholder impacted by aid organizations’ work can share their feedback anonymously on Loop for all to see.
Trust is paramount for a feedback platform to succeed. Loop must have high standards of user data protection, especially when the platform is used by at-risk communities or when safeguarding and complaints are shared.
As Loop continues to iterate and improve Loop’s design, Loop is grappling with how to balance an open, transparent ethos with privacy and protection of those raising issues and the need for authenticity and respect for the resulting data, to increase the likelihood of it being acted on. Essentially, Loop is trying to marry privacy and radically open feedback. To grapple with this challenge of privacy and open feedback, Loop came to the LabStorm group. They asked questions about building trust on the platform, authenticating users to ensure validity without compromising identity, and duty of care when serious feedback is shared. Here is what attendees had to say.
1. Define Loop’s unique place in the ecosystem. Loop is a unique platform. It is not just a software or a survey mechanism, nor is it an accountability organisation or a complaints or ombudsman service. LabStorm attendees encouraged Loop to locate the tool clearly in the aid ecosystem for people to understand its purpose. By showing who they are associated with, who they are independent from, and how people interact with and understand the platform based on their local experiences and comparisons, Loop can build trust with users.
2. Close the feedback loop to build trust. As a new platform, Loop has to build a trusted reputation with users. LabStorm attendees thought that closing the feedback loop with platform users was key to creating trust. They suggested a few different ways that Loop could close the feedback loop, from synthesis, reports and presentations for advocacy and creating change at a systems level, to information sharing and engagement on an individual level with the local population. When users see that the feedback they posted on Loop has made a difference, they will be more likely to trust the Loop platform and use it again.
3. Get inspired by similar platforms. As Loop continues to expand their platform and promote it across the globe, LabStorm attendees recommended they take lessons from similar platforms. In the business world, there are a few successful platforms that allow anonymous but moderated interaction, such as Reddit or Glassdoor. Loop can emulate some of the strategies that these social media platforms use in order to create a safe experience for their own users.
This LabStorm got us thinking about the challenges of balancing transparency, privacy, and accountability. Do you have advice for Loop as they continue to grow and connect with users around the world? Would you like to connect or work with them? If so, please send a message to [email protected].