The Australian Department of Sustainability and Environment effectively identifies the six C’s of successful community engagement.

These include ensuring:

  • Capability: The members are capable of dialogue.
  • Commitment: Mutual benefit beyond self-interest.
  • Contribution: Members volunteer and there is an environment that encourages members to 'have a go' or take responsibility / risks.
  • Continuity: Members share or rotate roles and, as members move on, there is a transition process that sustains and maintains the community's corporate memory.
  • Collaboration: Reliable interdependence. A clear vision with members operating in an environment of sharing and trust.
  • Conscience: Embody or invoke guiding principles / ethics of service, trust and respect that are expressed in the actions of the community.

The six-Cs can be seen as either targets, or as filters to measure the functioning of the community or the engagement process in general.