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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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    • CommentAuthorTim
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2009 edited
    As per Bill Potapchuk's email to the list.

    Full download here (PDF, starts on page 83):

    Please note that each principle is followed by a "To apply this principle in practice" section.



    Put principles into practice!

    When building a framework, planning strategically, using tools and ICT, governments need principles to guide their actions. Based on the experience of Member countries, the Working Group on Strengthening Government-Citizen Connections of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), proposes a set of ten guiding principles for successful information, consultation and active participation in policy-making. They represent the essential elements of good practice in OECD countries and are set out in full in the policy brief (available on-line, see Part IV for full reference).

    These principles are decisive for success.Acknowledging their importance is not enough. Success comes by putting them into practice.This chapter will show how to do that. As the principles are equally present throughout the handbook, you will find references to other sections for further review.

    1. Commitment

    Leadership and strong commitment to information, consultation and active participation in policy-making is needed at all levels, from politicians, senior managers and public officials.

    2. Rights

    Citizens’ rights to access information, provide feedback, be consulted and actively participate in policy-making must be firmly grounded in law or policy. Government obligations to respond to citizens when exercising their rights must also be clearly stated. Independent authorities for oversight, or their equivalent, are essential to enforcing these rights.

    3. Clarity

    Objectives for, and limits to, information, consultation and active participation during policy-making should be well defined from the outset. The respective roles and responsibilities of citizens (in providing input) and government (in making decisions for which they are accountable) must be clear to all.

    4. Time

    Public consultation and active participation should be undertaken as early in the policy process as possible.This allows a greater range of policy solutions to emerge. It also raises the chances of successful implementation. Adequate time must be available for consultation and participation to be effective. Information is needed at all stages of the policy cycle.

    5. Objectivity

    Information provided by government during policy-making should be objective, complete and accessible. All citizens should have equal treatment when exercising their rights of access to information and participation.

    6. Resources

    Adequate financial, human and technical resources are needed if public information, consultation and active participation in policy-making are to be effective. Government officials must have access to appropriate skills, guidance and training. An organisational culture that supports their efforts is highly important.

    7. Co-ordination

    Initiatives to inform citizens, request feedback from and consult them should be co-ordinated across government.This enhances knowledge management, ensures policy coherence, and avoids duplication. It also reduces the risk of “consultation fatigue”– negative reactions because of too much overlapping or poorly done consultation – among citizens and civil society organisations.Co-ordination efforts should not reduce the capacity of government units to ensure innovation and flexibility.

    8. Accountability

    Governments have an obligation to account for the use they make of citizens’ inputs received – be it through feedback, public consultation or active participation. To increase this accountability, governments need to ensure an open and transparent policy-making process amenable to external scrutiny and review.

    9. Evaluation

    Evaluation is essential in order to adapt to new requirements and changing conditions for policy-making. Governments need tools, information and capacity to evaluate their performance in strengthening their relations with citizens.

    10. Active citizenship

    Governments benefit from active citizens and a dynamic civil society.They can take concrete actions to facilitate citizen’s access to information and participation, raise awareness, and strengthen civic education and skills. They can support capacity building among civil society organisations.


    Bill also posted this to the NCDD listserv...

    Greetings again.  Building on my previous post, I also discovered this new OECD paper, MIND THE GAP: FOSTERING OPEN AND INCLUSIVE POLICY MAKING (AN ISSUES PAPER), which, in many ways, is a preface to principles.  We might consider using this kind of discussion to frame the principles and why they are important.

    Best . .bill

    This document can be found here:$FILE/JT03241960.PDF


    Its really an awesome information. Seems quite informative. I gonna download this one.  PDF format is fine. Hope i can report if i get any issues. thanks for this principle. Regards expert advisor


    I think clarity is one of those things that you just need to learn it, review it, and think about it early in your life, then it becomes second nature. I definitely agree to these points and always try to follow these principles. Regards, C. Medina

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    It's cool that each principle is followed up with a great way to apply it. Now if people would actually take the effort to apply them to their lives!

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