Core Principles for Public Engagement grew out of President Obama's "Open Government Directive," a call for executive departments and agencies to take specific actions in the areas of transparency, participation, and collaboration. As you might guess, the civic engagement field was abuzz in meetings, on email discussion lists, and on phone calls considering how we could support this effort.
Everyone agreed that the field of practice, as a whole, needed to articulate what we consider to be quality public engagement. And this clarity, whether or not it impacts the Open Government Directive, would be of great benefit to the field.
A core group from the civic engagement worked together to develop a set of principles. They engaged the field in a collaborative and transparent way to encourage broad involvement among networks to create a set of principles that everyone could get behind.