Core Principles for Public Engagement
a collaboration, including the National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD)
The Seven Core Principles
In practice, people emphasize or apply these principles in many
different ways, and often embrace additional principles. These
seven principles reflect the common beliefs and understandings of those
workling in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and
1. Careful Planning and Preparation
Through adequate and inclusive planning, ensure that
the design, organization, and convening of the process serve both a
clearly defined purpose and the needs of the participants.
2. Inclusion and Demographic Diversity
Equitably incorportate diverse people, voices,
ideas, and information to lay the groundwork for
quality outcomes and demographic
3. Collaboration and Shared Purpose
Support and encourage participants, government and
community institutions, and others to work together to advance the
4. Openness and Learning
Help all involved listen to each other, explore new
ideas unconstrained by predetermined outcomes, learn and apply
information in ways that generate new options, and rigorously evaluate
public engagement activities for effectiveness.
5. Transparency and Trust
Be clear and open about the process, and
provide a public record of the organizers, sponsors, outcomes, and
range of views and ideas expressed.
6. Impact and Action
Ensure each participatory effort has real potential
to make a difference, and that participants are aware of that potential.
7. Sustained Engagement and Participatory Culture
Promote a culture of participation with programs
and institutions that support ongoing quality public engagement.
The Public Engagement Principles (PEP) Project was launched in
mid-February 2009 in response to several unrelated discussions about
how the broad dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement fields of
practice could or should support Barack Obama's January 21sy memorandum
on transparency and open government.
NCDD's Director, Sandy Heierbacher, initially posted about aa dozen
sets of principles, and another dozen were soon added by others.
Tom Atlee, of the Co0Intelligence Institute created a draft document
integrating all the statements and comments that were posted to the
forum, which was subsequently critiques by dozens of professionals and
revised numerous times under the guidance of the core working group.
For more information see: www.ncdd.org/pep/