Project Description:

The Connection Project will connect IAP2A members to create communities of practice based on geography, skill levels or specialities (e.g. Sydney CBD, senior, infrastructure). Three groups of up to 12 members will meet (10 times each group) in person or online to learn by sharing ideas, experiences and issues. Resources will be created for people who want to set up their own groups.

Helps achieve strategic pillars: Strengthening Engagement Networks/Advancing Professional Development

Strengthening Engagement Networks:

This project addresses two of the key objectives of this pillar:

  • Members are engaged, contributing to and building the practice, both within Australasia and internationally
  • Young professionals are encouraged and supported

Communities of Practice are co-mentoring groups that provide members with a way to meet other practitioners, extend networks, learn from each other, and share ideas and issues. Members build their skills and knowledge, while supporting others. Groups can support professionals at all stages of development. This project will build groups for experienced practitioners and complement the work IAP2A is doing to form practice groups for new practitioners.

An important aspect is providing a safe, confidential space for members to share issues they may be having and access a ‘brains trust’ to benefit from the experiences of others. Many engagement practitioners work alone or in small groups, so these groups provide valuable encouragement, support, development and a sounding board.

Resources will be created for members who wish to set up their own group and the budget includes running 3 groups over the project period.

Advocating Professional Development:

The Connection Project addresses the key objective of this pillar: IAP2A offers a suite of other professional development opportunities.

The Connection Project addresses the key objective of this pillar: IAP2A offers a suite of other professional development opportunities.

The Connection Project was born from the project pitcher’s direct experience running a Community of Practice group for senior practitioners in Melbourne for the last 2.5 years, while working as part of the IAP2A Victorian Committee.She became aware that there was a need for members to connect with each other to provide and receive support in their practice.

Setting up more groups under the auspices of IAP2A provides an additional, flexible, low cost way IAP2A can support and develop members. The Connection Project will enable members to support and learn from each other.

The groups can be structured according to members’ specific needs:

  • geography (e.g. members in the Sydney CBD who meet face to face, or in a regional area who meet by videoconference)
  • sector (e.g. members working for councils)
  • skills (e.g. members using deliberative processes, facilitators).

Budget:

Resource development$2,000

  • Developing resources for people who want to run their own group
  • Developing resources required to run the program, including advertising blurb, application forms, criteria for matching
  • Reviewing applications, allocating groups, communication with group members
  • Scheduling, coordinating and chairing 30 meetings
  • Survey with group members and those running their own groups
  • Developing a short report and adjusting of resources and process as required

Setting up 3 groups and running 10 meetings per group via online teleconference $20,000

Evaluation process:$3,000

Total cost:$25,000 plus GST

Note: this budget is based on developing three groups and running 10 meetings per group (30 meetings). If the project cost needs to include GST, the number of meetings could be reduced.