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Advancing Public Participation in Canada: An Operational Update from the Executive Director

12 Oct 2023 8:42 AM | Anonymous

As we look ahead to the exciting opportunities that await us in the world of public participation, I would like to provide you with an operational update from IAP2 Canada. We have been actively involved in a variety of activities aimed at improving membership growth and engagement, supporting Indigenous reconciliation, promoting the value of effective P2, professional development and training, equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as an operational overhaul. All of which support IAP2 Canada’s 2021 - 2024 Strategic Plan.

Here are some highlights of what we’ve been working on:

Membership Growth and Engagement:

Our efforts towards membership growth and engagement include creating valuable content, such as articles, social media, and email messaging, to promote the value of membership and better support the member journey. We have also created a new section on our website called “Community” to increase the potential value proposition and make information easily accessible.

We've taken extra care to ensure that this valuable information is right at your fingertips, making your experience as seamless and enriching as possible.

Supporting Indigenous Reconciliation:

Our successful launch and filling of the summer cohort of the Indigenous Awareness Learning Program with 20 participants has set us on course for the next cohort that commences in January 2024. We are currently recruiting participants for the January 2024 cohort.

We've enlisted the expertise of a dedicated consultant to conduct a thorough review of the IAP2 Canada Indigenous Reconciliation Framework. The invaluable feedback we receive will be openly shared with our Indigenous Reconciliation Working Group, ensuring a collaborative and inclusive path forward. Stay tuned for progress updates!

The IAP2 Canada Indigenous Engagement Community of Practice has met regularly over the course of the year, bringing together P2 practitioners to learn from expert speakers and each other as IAP2 Canada members discuss how to advance Indigenous inclusion within the broader P2 practice in Canada. If you’re an IAP2 Canada member and would like to join the Community of Practice, please send us an email to get more information.

Promoting the Value of Effective P2:

To position ourselves as leaders and increase awareness about P2 with the public and decision-makers, we created a new “What is P2?” section on our website. The section seeks to address issues such as the importance of P2, who is involved in P2, and how one can access P2 training and resources.

Professional Development and Training:

Our unwavering commitment to enhancing the skills and knowledge of public participation practitioners has led us to introduce several new training courses and resources catering to both early-career and seasoned professionals. These include our Certificate in P2 and the new Global Learning Pathway electives, including Understanding People and Communities, Understanding Conflict in Public Participation and Engagement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Public Participation and Engagement, and Working with Conflict and High Emotions. Our goal is to equip our community with the tools they need to excel in their roles and drive positive change in their P2 activities. Course descriptions for these training courses, and others, can be found on the website. We have also added two new courses for senior leaders, Public Participation and Engagement for Senior Leaders and Public Participation and Engagement for Allied Professionals.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:

In our pursuit of excellence, we have invested in an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion audit conducted by an external consultant. We are reviewing the results in late Fall and sharing the findings with our members and the broader public participation community. Our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion also involves increasing board diversity, improving website usability and accessibility, hiring new staff from diverse backgrounds, and incorporating more diversity, equity, and inclusion focus into the trainer recruitment process.

Upcoming Conference:

Get ready for an electrifying experience at the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference! We're working on an exhilarating lineup of training, speakers, events, and activities that will redefine your conference experience. Stay tuned for updates as we unveil the secrets to making this year's event truly unforgettable.

Operational Overhaul:

We are currently undergoing an operational overhaul aimed at streamlining, updating, and documenting our processes. We have recently made changes to our staffing structure which will allow us to better support training and the membership. We have also hired an external bookkeeping firm that is working with us to create greater accountability and transparency in our accounting practices.

Our success is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our staff, volunteers, and board members. We appreciate your continued support and engagement as we work towards advancing the practice of public participation in Canada. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Your feedback is invaluable in shaping the future of public participation in our country.

Thank you for being a part of the IAP2 Canada community. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Valoree McKay, CAE (she/her/elle)

Executive Director, IAP2 Canada

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