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"Can our field present a united front to the new Administration? Let's start by seeing if we can develop a set of principles for public engagement we can all endorse..."

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    • CommentAuthorbillpotap
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2009
     

    These are drawn from the document:  Effective Deliberative Public Engagement: Nine Principles.

    Nine Principles:

    1. The process makes a difference.
    2. The process is transparent.
    3. The process has integrity.
    4. The process is tailored to the circumstances.
    5. The process involves the right number and types of people
    6. The process treats participants with respect.
    7. The process gives priority to participants' discussions.
    8. The process is reviewed and evaluated to improve practice.
    9. Participants are kept informed.

    The full document can be found here:

    http://www.involve.org.uk/assets/Publications/Deliberative-public-engagement-nine-principles.pdf

    Bill Potapchuk

    • CommentAuthorTom Atlee
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2009
     

    Tree liked these 9 principles:

    1. The process makes a difference.
    2. The process is transparent.
    3. The process has integrity.
    4. The process is tailored to the circumstances.
    5. The process involves the right number and types of people
    6. The process treats participants with respect.
    7. The process gives priority to participants' discussions.
    8. The process is reviewed and evaluated to improve practice.
    9. Participants are kept informed.

    This is a fabulous list of qualities, of comparable value to the one we've been developing, but it has its own shortcomings and I'm afraid I disagree with Tree that a shallow reading of it is any more likely to avoid pseudo-D&D than our current PEP version.

    For example, while this talks about "the right kind of people" it doesn't specify the values of inclusion and diversity.  And while it treats participants with respect and gives priority to their discussions, it does not specify the importance of people learning through the process.  So you could have someone designing a process that includes only white propertied males (they were, after all, the "right kind of people" to the founding fathers the US) in which participants argue with each other and don't change at all, and it could perfectly fit the criteria above. And of course, "integrity" can mean SO many things, it borders on the meaningless as an unexplained criteria; in this case, the deliberation described in this paragraph could be honestly undertaken by a bunch of educated white men comfortable with debate who are simply blind to their assumptions. Voila!  Integrity.   And I would call it pseudo-dialogue.

    Of course in a full reading of the source document pdf, these points are addressed.  But that is the deeper reading that Tree warned us readers would not undertake with our own set of principles.

    Luckily the creators of these "Nine principles of effective deliberative public engagement" are very explicit that this is a draft document (they solicit feedback), and that they want to influence government decisions about public engagement.  So they are very much our co-evolutionary twin in the UK and we should connect with them about our comparable efforts, in search of synergy as we proceed with our revisions of our own document.

    At this point, I find most of the points in their document are covered somewhere in the short descriptions of each principle in ours, albeit with different emphases.  I do find their one-sentence list appealing and think it might inform our next major revision of the principles, as a possible structure.  The switch would require a creative integration of our one-word principles and the subsequent one-sentence elucidations.  Unfortunately, I do not have the energy to tackle that transformation at this stage.  Other folks are free to take a try.

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