IAP2 USA February/March Newsletter

From the Executive Manager - Erin Zimmermann


Wow. 2023 is really shaping up to be quite a year. I recently did a quick Google News search for Public Participation and was encouraged to see article after article, highlighting community engagement projects around the U.S. This is our moment. There is just so much opportunity. 

This week IAP2 representatives from regions from around the world will convene to explore opportunities for the IAP2 global network. Our North American Conference Steering committee is digging in and already has some very exciting ideas for this year’s event. The theme “Partnering for Possibility” couldn’t be more relevant. Updated training courses are underway and the energy in each session is infectious. Chapters are energized and planning incredible local events. 

It is all that momentum that makes this work worth it. This past month, I completed my certification in Association Management. As I connected with other association colleagues, I was filled with gratitude that I get to work for IAP2. Our members really are incredible and I look forward to fostering deeper connections this year. 

Erin Zimmermann, 

Executive Manager


IAP2 USA Board of Directors 

IAP2 USA is pleased to welcome Jay Anderson to the board of directors. Anderson was appointed to fill a board vacancy in January. IAP2 USA Board members also elected their executive team at the January 19, 2023 Board meeting. Selected were President Heather Imboden, Vice President Claudia Bilotti, Treasurer Kendall Martin, and Secretary Josh Stepherson. We are thrilled to have such a talented group of leaders!

2023 Board Members

2022 IAP2 USA Member Survey Results

Thank you to those who took time to answer the member survey and our snapshot poll this year. There were some very thoughtful insights on the P2 outlook for 2023. It's clear that the economy and politics as well as the pandemic has impacted P2 and practitioners. More than ever, effective P2 training will need to focus on the evolving challenges of engaging communities. When asked what skills were needed to help members grow professionally and increase their impact in public participation, facilitation was overwhelmingly the first choice. Also requested were more professional development opportunities on meeting all the needs of clients, especially around equity and inclusion; optimizing relationships; hybrid engagement; and reaching underserved communities and vulnerable groups with limited available resources. Additionally, measuring outcomes and effectiveness as well as more advanced training were mentioned.

Additional recommendations to IAP2 USA included offering more networking opportunities, less costly training options, creating networks and opportunities to engage with leaders, and opportunities for local events.  

As IAP2 USA continues its work to increase the value we provide to our members, your feedback is appreciated. Your comments help inform future strategies that will improve program offerings and the value of your membership. We will be looking at how to build out more connections with chapters, increasing chapter support, offering more affordable training opportunities and scholarships, and increasing networking opportunities. Thank you again for your engagement. 

IAP2 Midwest Chapter Spring Conference

The IAP2 USA Midwest Chapter will return to Minnesota's Twin Cities metro area from May 3-5, 2023 for its annual spring conference. Join us as we explore this year’s theme, Meeting People Where They Are in Public Participation, and delve into the ways P2 practitioners can improve our interactions with the communities we serve.

Dates: May 3-5, 2023

Location: Eagan Community Center (1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, MN 55121)

Theme: Meeting People Where They Are in Public Participation

Registration fees:

  • IAP2 Member — $175

  • Non-Member — $215

  • Student — $90

Save the Date! 2023 North American Conference

Join us in Seattle, Washington September 13 through 15, 2023

for the 2023 North American Conference hosted by IAP2 USA.

Sponsorship Opportunities are available.

The IAP2 North American Conference Steering Committee is looking for volunteers to join the 2023 Conference Program Planning Committee. This year’s conference, Partnering for Possibilities, will take place in Seattle, September 13-15. The Program Committee is responsible for developing an interesting, informative, and interactive conference in which the speakers and panelists reflect the diversity of practitioners and the communities they serve. Committee members will develop the request for proposals, evaluate submissions, and select speakers and panelists using an equity lens.

IAP2 is looking for diverse and representative members of the public engagement community to bring their perspectives to this committee. A full description of the roles and responsibilities can be found here. This commitment will run through September, 2023. Please send a brief email outlining your interest and experience to erin@iap2usa.org by March 17, 2023.

More details coming soon.

IAP2's Fundamentals of Public Participation

First course to be taken before Designing Public Participation and Applying Methods

March 27 & 28, 2023     

1 PM – 5 PM Eastern

The Fundamentals of Public Participation (P2) course is a prerequisite to other courses in the Global Learning Pathway that sets out the underpinning models and frameworks of engagement practice as defined by the IAP2 community.

The focus of this course is on understanding and applying the practices of meaningful and effective P2 and what participants need to know to do this well. The training explores best practices, and how to design and apply this knowledge to your P2.

Course objectives

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Define P2 and related terms and what makes it unique
  • Identify what makes P2 meaningful, and reflect on the benefits, risks and myths related to P2
  • Identify the role that values play in P2 work, and the leadership attributes that will serve them in practice 
  • Reflect on and apply ethical leadership actions and abilities to P2 situations
  • Apply the Profiles of P2 model to P2, and explore organization- and community-led engagement and how that impacts the engagement process
  • Reflect on and apply the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and explore the roles and impacts of power and influence
  • Apply the IAP2 Spectrum to P2 situations and practice
  • Explore the Practice Framework as a tool for effective planning and process, and assess the quality of the process

          Become a Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3)

          Certification as a Public Participation professional acknowledges your adherence to a strict set of standards recognized around the world for delivering quality, meaningful public participation. It is the premier credential for public participation professionals. 

          An Assessment Center is now scheduled for July 27 & 28, 2023 with an application deadline of April 7. 2023.

          To join a select number of colleagues a three-step process is used to assess candidates’ knowledge and skills:

          • Step One – Submit your Application and Professional Portfolio to to info@iap2usa.org.
          • Step Two – Preparation and submission of a Public Participation Plan in response to a case study

          • Step Three – Preparation for and participation in an Assessment Center.

          Prepare your CP3 application form and email to info@iap2usa.org

          Apply by April 7

          Upcoming Webinars:  Free for Members 

          Learning Webinar - Too Many Boards? Advice and Strategies for Managing and Consolidating Advisory Bodies

          March 14, 202

          Advisory boards are a popular tool for gathering and refining public input. However, without proper care and feeding, they can quickly outgrow their original mission and take on a life of their own. It can be challenging, both logistically and politically, to reign in boards that have grown way past their policy guardrails. Learn how the City of Corvallis created a public process that can help how to focus, refine, or consolidate boards.


          Taster P2 Training for Municipalities

          March 28, 2023

          This Taser highlights our upcoming four day course, P2 Training for Municipalities which covers 5 crucial aspects for effective public participation for municipalities. 

          Why Municipalities Need Effective Marketing & Communications Strategies

          • Managing change
          • Community engagement & public participation
          • Crisis communications
          • Creating community champions

          Communications Planning for Municipalities

          • Keep your lines of communication open
          • Acquire the tools and resources needed
          • Not speak – just listen
          • Be prepared to speak to the media 
          • Craft key messages

          Municipal Media Training

          • Review of current media climate, different media opportunities, in TV, digital radio, etc.
          • Preparation for live, pre-recorded, split-screen, and audio interviews, reviewing angles of stories with journalists, and what to wear
          • How to control messaging
          • Case studies of crisis communications in traditional and social media

          Building Trust in Municipalities 

          • Show honesty and integrity within your community
          • Improve communications
          • Share expertise
          • Maintain consistent messaging
          • Communicate with transparency & clarity

          Overcoming Disinformation for Municipalities

          • Identify personas and needs of residents
          • Clarify your messaging
          • Provide resources and access
          • Plan for ongoing communication

          If our current courses don't meet your needs please fill out this quick survey so we can help you become the P2 practitioner your community needs.

          Member Spotlight

          If your organization has had any recent P2 successes or thought of creative solutions we want to hear about it! Please contact info@iap2usa.org to be featured on our website or newsletter.

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