Community Engagement Model

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) developed three pillars for effective P2 processes. Created with broad international input, these pillars cross national, cultural and religious boundaries, and they form the foundation of P2 processes that reflect the interests and concerns of all stakeholders.

IAP2 developed The Spectrum of Public Participation to help groups define the public’s role in any public engagement process. The Spectrum shows that differing levels of public participation are legitimate depending on the goals, time frames, resources and levels of impact of the decision to be made.

Hobart City Exemplar

The City of Hobart document Community Engagement Framework reflects and implements the IAP2’S PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SPECTRUM to help groups define the public’s role in any public participation process. By adopting the IAP2 core values for community and stakeholder engagement and using the IAP2 code of ethics it enhanced the council’s integrity of their practice.

The five levels of public participation are: Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate and Empower


The IAP2’S PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SPECTRUM  is below in accordion format as well, click to reveal each area;

To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, opportunities and/or solutions.

To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.

To work directly with the public throughout the process to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.

To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution.

To place final decision making in the hands of the public.

Types of communities

Communities come in all shapes and sizes: they are not simply geographic areas. There are communities that are bound by a common interest, lifestyle, culture, circumstances, age and/or degree of isolation or remoteness. Communities are not static – they change constantly. Engagement activities need to be cognisant of the characteristics of the communities we are trying to reach and must be planned and implemented accordingly.

An Example from Western Australia

DFES WA suggest that the community plays a key role in its own safety and building resilience requires a deeper level of engagement and active participation than simply providing one‑way communication of safety information.

‘Community and stakeholder engagement is now required and accepted as a standard component of any significant project as much as planning, development and implementation. Engagement is in fact intrinsic to the successful functioning of all of these conventional disciplines, as the outcomes should ultimately influence project development and completion’
IAP2 Quality Assurance Standard 2015.