core principles for public engagement


Start: 2009-05-01, Publication: 2013-03-25


A collaborative project led by the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), the International Association for Public Participaction (IAP2), the Co-Intelligence Institute, and other leaders in public engagement, with the expectation of ongoing dialogue and periodic revision... These seven principles reflect the common beliefs and understandings of those working in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and collaboration. In practice, people apply these and additional principles in many different ways.

In a strong democracy, citizens and government work together to build a society that protects individual freedom while simultaneously ensuring liberty and justice for all. Engaging people around the issues that affect their lives and their country is a key component of a strong democratic society. Public engagement involves convening diverse, representative groups of people to wrestle with information from a variety of viewpoints all to the end of making better, often more creative decisions. Public engagement aims to provide people with direction for their own community activities, or with public judgments that will be seriously considered by policy-makers and other power-holders. The more any given public engagement effort takes into consideration the following seven Core Principles, the more it can expect to effectively build mutual understanding, meaningfully affect policy development, and/or inspire collaborative action among citizens and institutions. These seven interdependent principles serve both as ideals to pursue and as criteria for judging quality. Rather than promoting partisan agendas, the application of the Core Principles creates the conditions for authentic engagement around public issues. A note about technology: We believe the use of technology should be generally encouraged whenever appropriate to enhance and not impede these seven values -- and also that these seven principles apply to both online and offline efforts to engage the public. However, there is not yet consensus in our field on standards for the use of technology that would warrant the inclusion of specific online or electronic guidelines in this document.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation


Name:International Association for Public Participaction


Name:Co-Intelligence Institute


Name:Principles for Public Engagement Working Group


CORE PRINCIPLES for Public Engagement - Developed collaboratively in Spring 2009 by dozens of leaders in public engagement, with the expectation of ongoing dialogue and periodic revision


  • Tom AtleePEPWG Member - Director of the Co-Intelligence Institute

  • Stephen BuckleyPEPWG Member - CEO of U.S. Transparency

  • John GodecPEPWG Member - Board member of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)

  • Reynolds-Anthony HarrisPEPWG Member - Managing Director of Lyceum Patners & Co.

  • Sandy HeierbacherPEPWG Member - Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD)

  • Leanne NursePEPWG Member - Board Member of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD)

  • Steve PyserPEPWG Member - Editor of the International Journal of Public Participation

  • Stephanie Roy McCallumPEPWG Member - Past President, International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)