Pitch for the Practice - an update from our winners

IAP2 Australasia's first participatory budgeting process

Last year, IAP2 Australasia invited members on a participatory budgeting journey. Five winning projects were selected by members, and we are delighted to give you an opportunity to hear from the winners directly on how these projects are now very much a reality.

Evaluating the Engagement Sector
Early results from the State of the Practice survey are in …

But we’d love more responses. We currently have hundreds of responses from across Australia and New Zealand, however make this a truly representative survey of Australasian community and stakeholder engagement practitioners across Australasia, we need more!

One of the preliminary findings is that 90% practitioners believe face-to-face methods provide high quality engagement, compared with 75% of practitioners who believe online engagement provides high quality engagement.

Stay tuned for our deep dive webinar looking more closely at other emerging trends.

In the meantime help us by sharing your practice experience by taking the online survey

Mendleson Consulting
IAP2A Knowledge Exchange Program
One of the Pitch for the Practice projects that is being delivered by Mendleson Engagement has established a pro bono mentoring program for IAP2 where members volunteer their time to mentor fellow members. The IAP2 mentoring program was launched in November 2018 and 25 mentees were paired with volunteer mentors who matched their skills and experience requirements. As of March, almost all the pairs have met and a recent survey showed that mentees are getting great value out of the relationships.

Double Arrow Consulting
Deliberation in schools
This project is being conducted by a team of researcher/practitioners (Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra) and aims to build the capacity of school children to listen, reason, think, communicate and collaborate, so they have the resources and motivation to engage productively as citizens in our democracy, both now and in the future.

The project has involved programs in two public schools in the ACT (Ainslie Primary and Hawker College). The sessions were co-designed with teachers to fit with the curriculum and the learning needs of the class (the year 5 class explored ideas on ‘How to make the school better’, and the year 11 group explored ‘Is Australia a peaceful nation?’ as part of a Global Studies unit on War and Conflict).

What we have learnt is that a deliberation in Schools program can build communication, collaboration and student agency in the classroom, and can contribute to embracing and harnessing diversity in schools. The students demonstrated an appetite for democratic engagement at a school level, with a sense of the responsibility that goes with this. We also learnt about the value of disagreement, and of building capacity to explore disagreement in constructive ways, in order to learn and collaborate across difference.

We hope that our approach can be used by teachers and practitioners/facilitators who work with young people. We’re developing professional development (PD) resources to provide guidance and resources based on our learning. We also hope to gain some research funding to explore some of the research questions that are emerging, including how to work with power imbalances within deliberative processes.

Digital Community Engagement in Australia
ArneTech is happy to announce that the final report for “Digital Community Engagement in Australia” is almost ready and will be released soon. The report contains many useful insights and findings that you can use to improve your digital community engagement practise. The report will be made available to all IAP2 members. If you would like to be among the first ones to receive the report, feel free to sign up for the report here.

We will also host a webinar and events in Melbourne and Sydney to publish and explain in more details the results of the project. The events are your chance to ask questions and learn ever more about the findings of the project. The dates for these will be published along with the report.

We want to thank the almost 200 people that contributed into the research in one way or another!

Mendleson Consulting
The Connection Project
Another of the Pitch for the Practice projects that is being delivered by Mendleson Engagement has established three communities of practice for engagement practitioners working in the following sectors: Infrastructure, Emergency Services and Environment and Sustainability. After an EOI process held in November, groups were established and contain members from a range of backgrounds, organisations and locations. All groups meet via videoconference and include people from around Australia and New Zealand. Each group has now met three times, voted on themes for meetings and had some excellent conversations. Each meeting features a member presenting a project that they have worked on and what they learned. Members can put questions and issues to their peers in a safe, supportive space and a number of people have shared challenges and received useful advice.

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