The Manifesto of Non-Hostile Communication for public administration
What it is
Designed to manage the relations between citizens and public administrations, the aim of this tool is to effectively help define a few, simple rules which enable “non-hostile” communication, an essential element of civic involvement.
This Manifesto is the result of a group effort which saw the contribution of all the organisations of civil society and the administrations involved in the implementation of the third Italian action plan for an open government.
Virtual is real
There is no good administration without good communication. I do my best to make my communication simple, accessible, understandable, transparent and courteous, both online and offline. I am aware that what I write on the Internet has real consequences.
You are what you communicate
I know that more effective communication means better administration: people have the right to access data, documents, information and services without delay or deception, to be involved in the decision-making process and to understand and verify my actions.
Words shape the way I think
I shall avoid using unclear terms, oppressive legalese and misleading foreign words. I understand this is every citizen’s right. If the way I speak is not clear, nor are my thoughts or actions. I should encourage dialogue.
Listen before you speak
I listen to people’s opinions and suggestions. I choose cooperation and adopt means of communication that favour constructive and civilised dialogue. If questioned, I answer promptly. If discomfort is shown, I take it into account and explore the causes and the possible solutions.
Words are bridges
I choose the right words and tools to communicate with everyone, including the elderly, foreigners and the less well educated. I should make sure that what I say or write is understood by the public. It is my responsibility to make myself understood through positive and proactive communication. Words have consequences. I am aware that all the messages I write and the actions I take have a real and significant impact on peoples’ everyday lives. I am accessible, I provide information, clarify duties and streamline procedures.
Words have consequences
I am aware that all the messages I write and the actions I take have a real and significant impact on peoples’ everyday lives. I am easy to reach, provide information, clarify duties and streamline procedures.
Share with care
I know that everything I share on the Internet may influence people’s perception of my work. I keep information and data updated and make it available, possibly in open format. I do not share misleading or non-transparent messages. I inform people about their rights: knowledge, privacy and security.
Ideas can be discussed.
People must be respected
Mutual respect is fundamental for civil coexistence and improves cooperation and participation. I ensure that my communication is respectful both in style and content and I promote a culture of respect within the community.
An insult is not an argument
Insults are always humiliating – not only for the insulted but also for those who insult and for onlookers. I encourage those who insult to express their own opinions differently. I do not tolerate insults, even when they favour me. I spread netiquette for the good use of my online communication channels.
Silence says something too
I am aware that people’s attention and time are precious, and am therefore concise. I communicate only when necessary, to promote awareness and participation and not for propaganda. My communication is useful, needed and relevant at all times.