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Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation

IAP2 Canada adheres to the core values developed by the Federation with broad international input. These identify the aspects of public participation which cross national, cultural, and religious boundaries. The purpose of these core values is to help make better decisions which reflect the interests and concerns of potentially affected people and entities.

Version française

Read and download the IAP2 Core Values here. Contact the IAP2 Federation for permission to use the IAP2 Core Values.

Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation

  1. Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
  2. Public participation includes the promise that the public's contribution will influence the decision.
  3. Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.
  4. Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.
  5. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.
  6. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.
  7. Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.

Code of Ethics

The International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Code of Ethics for Public Participation Practitioners supports and reflects IAP2's Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation. The Core Values define the expectations and aspirations of the public participation process. The Code of Ethics speaks to the actions of practitioners.

Version française

Read and download the IAP2 Code of Ethics here. Contact the IAP2 Federation for permission to use the IAP2 Code of Ethics.

Preamble

As members of IAP2, we recognize the importance of a Code of Ethics, which guides the actions of those who advocate including all affected parties in public decision-making process. In order to fully discharge our duties as public participation practitioners, we define terms used explicitly throughout our Code of Ethics. We define stakeholders as any individual, group of individuals, organizations, or political entity with a stake in the outcome of a decision. We define the public as those stakeholders who are not part of the decision-making entity or entities. We define public participation as any process that involves the public in problem-solving or decision-making and that uses public input to make better decisions.

This Code of Ethics is a set of principles, which guides us in our practice of enhancing the integrity of the public participation process. As practitioners, we hold ourselves accountable for these principles and strive to hold all participants to the same standards.

PURPOSE. We support public participation as a process to make better decisions that incorporate the interests and concerns of all affected stakeholders and meet the needs of the decision-making body.

ROLE OF PRACTITIONER. We will enhance the public's participation in the decision-making process and assist decision-makers in being responsive to the public's concerns and suggestions.

TRUST. We will undertake and encourage actions that build trust and credibility for the process among all the participants.

DEFINING THE PUBLIC'S ROLE. We will carefully consider and accurately portray the public's role in the decision-making process.

OPENNESS. We will encourage the disclosure of all information relevant to the public's understanding and evaluation of a decision.

ACCESS TO THE PROCESS. We will ensure that stakeholders have fair and equal access to the public participation process and the opportunity to influence decisions.

RESPECT FOR COMMUNITIES. We will avoid strategies that risk polarizing community interests or that appear to "divide and conquer."

ADVOCACY. We will advocate for the public participation process and will not advocate for interest, party, or project outcome.

COMMITMENTS. We ensure that all commitments made to the public, including those by the decision-maker, are made in good faith.

SUPPORT OF THE PRACTICE. We will mentor new practitioners in the field and educate decision-makers and the public about the value and use of public participation.

Public Participation Spectrum


INFORM CONSULT INVOLVE COLLABORATE EMPOWER
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION GOAL To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problems, alternatives and/or solutions. To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decision. To work directly with the public throughout the process to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered. To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution. To place final decision-making in the hands of the public.
PROMISE TO THE PUBLIC We will keep you informed. We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision. We will work with you to ensure that your concerns and aspirations are directly reflected in the alternatives developed and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision. We will look to you for advice and innovation in formulating solutions and incorporate your advice and recommendations into the decisions to the maximum extent possible. We will implement what you decide.

Read and download the IAP2 Spectrum here; version française. Contact the IAP2 Federation for permission to use the IAP2 Spectrum.

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