In a Nutshell

System-Level Decision-Making

As a policy-maker, you are responsible for making system-level decisions. How should you think about the ethics-dimensions of system-level decisions?

In a Few Words…

It’s about integrity:

Integrity matters – for individuals and groups of people. Living with integrity requires being in community with others. Trust is required for community to happen. Respectful engagement is the most effective way to build trust.

A good decision:

Ethically justified system-level decisions are…

a) based on the best information available and a well considered and justified understanding of what’s important; and

b) implemented in a manner that brings this understanding and decision to life.

The standards in (a) are best met through a transparent, inclusive, respectful, fact-and-value-based dialogical process that features consultation with experts and those affected.

Bringing a decision to life per (b) requires a sound execution and follow- up plan that includes careful attention to implementation, education, sustainability, evaluation, and downstream ethics support.

In many contexts decisions are made without explicit attention to these key elements. This can lead to various types of problems, from alienation and disengagement to moral distress and inefficiency (as issues remain unresolved).

The approach in this resource seeks to assist decision leaders or teams to make better decisions and realize the benefits of quality, legitimacy, and compliance – and most important, greater integrity for all concerned.