Core Values Revision Process (2002-2005?)
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The Core Values Revision Process
by Vivien Twyford, IAP2 Past President


Many people, when they first read the IAP2 Core Values, are struck by how well the Core Values resonate with their own values regarding public participation. However, I am also aware that there are IAP2 members or students in the Certificate Course who, when introduced for the first time to the IAP2 Core Values, struggle to understand what a few of them really mean.

As an IAP2 trainer, I have frequently been put in the position of having to clarify the underlying meaning of a couple of the Core Values; difficult when the meaning wasn't totally clear to me. I put this to the IAP2 Board in 2002 and asked for some clarification. The Board's response was to ask Lewis Michaelson (a past President of IAP2 and a member of the original Core Value development team) and a current Board Member, Margie Harvie from Australia, to take charge of a Core Values renewal process.

The process was announced to the IAP2 membership at the annual conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 2003. Members were asked for their thoughts and ideas over the following year. A session was held at the annual conference in Madison, Wisconsin, USA in May 2004 to discuss the issues raised. Finally, at the board meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA in January 2005 it was decided to summarise all the input and propose revisions to the Core Values to the Board.

So, what has changed? Essentially the renewal team found the Core Values to be a strong set of principles for practitioners, which have stood the test of time and are currently well-supported by the membership. However, the renewal process identified a need for some clarity, particularly with Core Value 3. A small change was also made to Core Values 4 and 5. Consideration was given to the introduction of a new Core Value about managing the diversity of perspectives and interests in a public participation process. This new value was not recommended for inclusion at this time.

The proposed revised Core Values are:

  1. The public should have a say in decisions about actions that could affect their lives. (Unchanged)
  2. Public participation includes the promise that the public's contribution will influence the decision. (Unchanged)
  3. Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers. (Changed)
  4. Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision. (Slightly changed)
  5. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate. (Slightly changed)
  6. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way. (Very slightly changed)
  7. Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision. (Very slightly changed).

If you would like to comment on these proposed changes, please send an email to The Board will consider any comments before formally announcing the revised Core Values during the Annual General Meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA in October.

The Core Values renewal has been a useful process. It has demonstrated the strength of the Core Values and the wisdom of those who initially developed them. We thank all of those founders of IAP2 and all of the members and board members who have worked on the renewal process.


IAP2 has 501(3)(c) charity status in USA and is able to receive donations from within the USA.

Federation of International Association of Public Participation
PO Box 270723, Louisville, CO 80027 USA