While the literature and many organizations have identified or suggested a number of core values under girding community engagement efforts those identified by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) are perhaps the most comprehensive.

These include:

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

The Core Values define the expectations and aspirations of the community engagement process. Processes based on these Core Values have been shown to be the most successful and effective.


"IAP2 Core Values." International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), 2009.