Where Can Organizations Start in Defining Their Approach to Public Participation?

Organizations that are strong in conducting public participation commonly adopt a set of principles. This ensures that a common set of values characterize any public participation effort, while permitting the flexibility necessary to cater to the range of public participation settings. Outlined below are examples of commonly used principles for engaging in public participation:


The decision has not been made and the decision-maker commits to be influenced to a specific level that will be communicated in advance.


The decision-maker will demonstrate that results and outcomes are consistent with the commitment that was made to stakeholder groups and the public at the outset of the initiative.


The decision-maker will make every reasonable effort to include the stakeholder groups and the public affected by the pending decision.


The decision-maker will ensure that stakeholder groups and the public that are affected understand the scope of the pending decision, the decision process and procedures, and any constraints facing the decision-maker.


The decision-maker will provide appropriate time and resources to ensure that those involved can participate in a meaningful way.


The decision-maker will address public and stakeholder group concerns in an honest and forthright way.