ANTI-HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Approved by the Executive Committee of IPPA, March 1, 2024

Preambule and Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide a Code of Conduct with respect to the expectations for professional conduct of all participants in IPPA meetings and activities, including its conferences, workshops, and seasonal schools. Participants in IPPA meetings and activities are all attendees, including IPPA members, IPPA staff, venue staff, exhibitors, and vendors. The Code of Conduct also applies to members of IPPA-affiliated regional, professional/pedagogical and thematic research networks.

IPPA brings together professionals from a variety of backgrounds and locations around the globe. We share an interest in the various aspects of public policy, but we may differ in our conventions of professional interaction and our cultural traditions. This diversity brings with it the potential for fruitful dialogue about research and policy, but also the possibility of disagreements among members.

IPPA recognises that harassment and discrimination of virtual and in-person attendees at its events constitute professional misconduct and undermine IPPA’s principles of equity/equality, diversity, and freedom of expression. IPPA is committed to providing a professional environment and free scholarly exchange in which all members are treated with dignity and respect.

The Code of Conduct is designed to ensure that all are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age or disability while, at the same time, not limiting the substance of our debate. Nothing in this document should be construed as a limitation on the ability of members and participants to evaluate and critique one another’s work constructively.  

The Code of Conduct does not replace legal processes available to parties to complaints with respect to discrimination and harassment. See Section XI below.

IPPA’s Code of Conduct is administered by a Code of Conduct Committee consisting of the Trustee, Vice-Trustee, the President of IPPA, and the Secretary-General of IPPA. The Trustee and Vice-Trustee are nominated by the President and ratified by the Executive Committee. They serve for a period of two years, effective June 1st of the year of the biennial ICPP conference.

Expected Behaviour

All in-person and virtual participants in all IPPA-sponsored events and activities abide by this Code of Conduct.

Participants in IPPA sponsored events and activities who witness potential harm are expected to be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid that harm.

Participants in IPPA sponsored events and activities who observe a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger are expected to alert IPPA conference and local security personnel.

IPPA activities include events occurring in conjunction with, and being attended because of, the IPPA-organized event.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Harassment is defined as:

‘unwanted conduct (actions or comments) related to a protected characteristic which has the purpose (intentional) or effect (unintentional) of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that person.’

Harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Inappropriate actions or comments related to a protected characteristic including but not limited to sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age or disability;
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation (including unwelcome sexual attention, pressure to engage in unwanted sexual activity, physical or virtual stalking, and sexual assault including unwelcome touching or groping);
  • Threatening speech or actions (including threats of physical harm and professional reputational damage).

Principles for Handling Complaints

IPPA is committed to conducting and resolving grievances in a fair and transparent manner by:

  • Resolution of complaints in an informal way, wherever possible
  • Application of punitive measures when required
  • Timely handling of complaints
  • Fair and impartial handling of complaints
  • Absolute confidentiality of information submitted to complaint investigators and its non-disclosure to non-investigator sources
  • Protecting parties to the complaint from retaliation
  • Ensuring that in cases where reported behaviour is ongoing, immediate steps will be taken to protect participants, regardless of whether a formal complaint is pursued
  • Ensuring that IPPA officers are not involved in the investigation of any complaints to which they are parties

Informal Resolution

An individual who considers they are a victim of a violation of this Code (the “Complainant”) should, if practicable, seek to resolve the matter informally with the person against whom the allegation is made (the “Respondent”). A complainant who believes that it would not be practicable to seek to resolve their complaint informally with the respondent is not required to seek to do so. If informal resolution is unsuccessful or viewed as impracticable by the complainant and not attempted, the complainant may seek redress through the procedures outlined below.

Handling and Alleged Code of Conduct Violation

Individuals who consider they are victims of a violation of the Code have the option to 1) report it to IPPA without filing a formal request for an investigation; or, 2) request a formal investigation. In the case of both options, the respondent will normally be informed of the identity of the complainant and any supporting documentation. The exception is when the complainant fears retaliation; in the latter case, the respondent will be provided with a summary of the complaint and the identity of the complainant will be kept confidential.

Option 1: Reporting the Alleged Code Violation

Complainants are invited to have a private conversation with the IPPA Trustee who will provide guidance and advice on IPPA’s Code of Conduct policy. Should they not wish to enter into a formal investigation process, IPPA can issue a notice to the respondent. In this case, the IPPA Trustee will contact the respondent, inform them of the complaint, and remind them of IPPA’s Code of Conduct policy. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to IPPA in writing, but no further formal investigation will be undertaken.

Option 2: Filing a Formal complaint

To proceed with a formal investigation process, the complaint must be made in writing to the IPPA Trustee and must include: i. The name of the complainant; ii. The name of the respondent; iii. The nature of the conduct about which a complaint is being made, including, where possible, dates, times and locations; iv. If appropriate, names of any participants who may have witnessed the conduct.

IPPA will investigate complaints that are submitted up to three months after the alleged Code of Conduct violation. It will investigate complaints alleging sexual harassment that are submitted within two years of the alleged violation/event.

Investigaion of Formal Complaints

 

The Code of Conduct Committee, comprised of the Trustee, Vice-Trustee, President, and Secretary-General will review the complaint to decide on its eligibility.

Complaints deemed eligible will be investigated by the Trustee and Vice-Trustee who will:

  • Request the respondent provide a written statement in response to complaint
  • Contact witnesses or others with direct knowledge of the incident
  • Prepare a written report for the Code of Conduct Committee which includes a summary of the accumulated evidence

Based on the evidentiary findings, the Code of Conduct Committee will prepare a written report for the IPPA Executive Committee that summarizes the Code of Conduct Committee’s deliberations, its decision regarding whether the Code was violated, and its recommended resolution of the matter based on its evidentiary findings (see Section VIII.). The Executive Committee will decide by majority vote on the recommended resolution. Members of the Executive Committee who consider themselves in a conflict of interest will abstain from voting.

The IPPA President will inform the respondent and complainant of the Executive Committee’s resolution. The timeline for investigation of the complaint and informing the parties to the complaint of IPPA’s resolution will normally be 90 days.

 

 

Possible Resolutions

The resolutions available to the Code of Conduct Committee are:

i) Determination that no violation of the code occurred and dismissal of the complaint;

ii) Recommendation for informal resolution of the matter to re-establish a professional relationship between parties, including options such as mediation;

iii) Termination of IPPA conference or event participation for the respondent, including current and/or future IPPA conferences and events;

iv) Temporary or permanent restriction on the respondent assuming leadership positions in IPPA, including the Executive Committee;

v)  Temporary or permanent suspension of the respondent’s IPPA membership.

Resolutions i) and ii) are received by the Executive Committee; Resolutions iii), iv) and v) require approval of two-thirds of the members of the Executive Committee voting by secret ballot. In the event of a tied vote, the trustee will cast the deciding vote.

Guidelines For Appeal

The complainant and respondent are both entitled to appeal the outcome of the investigation. An appeal should be sent to the IPPA President within one month of notice of the decision. An appeal can only be made based on grounds of procedural error and where the outcome is deemed unreasonable on the basis of available substantive evidence.

The appeal will be reviewed by an Appeals Committee, consisting of the President and two members of the Executive Committee. The Trustee and Vice-Trustee will be ex officio members.

The Appeals Committee will not meet with the parties and will not consider issues outside of the appeal grounds stated by the appellant. The decision of the Appeals Committee will be conveyed to the appellant within one month from when the appeal was received.

Mediation

Mediation is an option available to the complainant, but it is not a required part of the formal complaint process. Mediation may be requested by the complainant prior to the formal investigation. It may also be requested by the respondent upon receipt of the notice of the formal complaint. Only if both parties agree to mediation will IPPA engage the services of a mediator. The objective of mediation will be to (re-) establish a professional and respectful working relationship between the parties.

The mediator will prepare a brief written report for the President normally within 60 days of the initiation of the mediation. The report will summarize the mediation efforts, including whether the dispute has or has not been resolved. In the event the mediation is successful in resolving the complaint, there will be no formal investigation of the complaint.

In the event the mediation does not resolve the complaint within 60 days, the mediator will advise the IPPA President on whether further mediation is likely or unlikely to resolve the complaint. The report will remain confidential, but the mediator may share it with the parties to the complaint, if desired by either party. Complainants have the option to pursue a formal complaint in the event of an unsuccessful mediation.

Legal Action

This policy is not a substitute for the rights of any of the parties to seek legal action. Any legal action on the part of the complainant will be exclusively a matter between the complainant, the respondent and the authorities in the location where the incident occurred. IPPA will not be a party to such legal action, nor will it accept any legal liability or financial responsibility for such action.

Contact

Trustee: Eduardo Araral

Contact: contact.codeofconduct.ippa@gmail.com

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