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Core Principles of Dialogue and “The Dialogic Approach”

This workshop at the 2006 NCDD conference was presented by Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas – co-authors of “Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners.” They presented two concepts central to the Handbook: a definition of dialogue based on five core principles (inclusiveness, empowerment, learning, humanity, long-term perspective); and “the dialogic approach,” an operational “code of conduct” for practitioners derived from those principles.

The presentation and handouts showed how these ideas are rooted in the experience of the sponsoring institutions and others promoting dialogue processes in countries around the world. In small group and plenary conversations, workshop participants were invited to inquire into the usefulness of these concepts relative to their own experience and current practice.

A 36-page excerpt from the Democratic Dialogue Handbook was distributed to workshop participants and is available as a free download here. The excerpt includes the first section of the handbook, which provides a great introduction to the concept and theory of dialogue – defining dialogue, providing an overview of how dialogue contributes to change, and more.

“Democratic Dialogue: A Handbook for Practitioners” can be downloaded or ordered for free at www.democraticdialoguenetwork.org/documents/view.pl?s=13;ss=;t=;f_id=789 as well (you pay shipping costs for the hard copy). The handbook was written by Bettye Pruitt and Philip Thomas, and was published by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2007.

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