Values and Principles of Community Participation

Values of Community Participation

– People have the right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

– Beneficiaries of public policy can add value to its development and implementation (also for private sector policy and practices).

– The benefits of participation must be shared equitably.

– Participation will build trust through dialogue, collaboration and shared problem solving.

Principles of a Successful Community Participation Program

– The scope of activities each level of the CPP is authorized to consider must be clear.

– The chain of authority flowing from neighborhoods and communities must be clear.

– There must be formal city authorization to establish the force of law in the CPP.

– Transparency, honesty and clarity about the purpose, the limits of what can and cannot be changed, who can be involved and how, and what happens as a result.

– The CPP must have adequate resources to manage the process well and to deliver the anticipated results.

– Participation must be as inclusive as possible, with traditionally excluded groups given special support and encouragement for their involvement. Outreach must be genuine and open

– Maximum accessibility so that no participant is excluded because of lack of access to meeting places, timing, language, appropriate support (e.g. child care), etc.

– Accountability: the CPP must be accountable to all those involved. This requires good record-keeping and reporting of both processes and outcomes.

– Learning and development: participatory processes should support a climate of learning and growth among all those involved. This should include ongoing civic education for effective participation by residents and government officials.

– Authority: the CPP must have sufficient legal authority to achieve the agreed objectives.