Promoting excellence in public participation in Southern Africa

Announcement – IAP2 Trainer Licensing Program Open for Applications

We are very pleased to announce the new IAP2 Trainer Licensing Program for Foundations in Public Participation is now open for applications. Read the full announcement here.

To support the Train-the-Trainer (T3) Pilot Program, IAP2 are inviting nominations for volunteers from various groups in the IAP2 community to serve in one of the following groups: Instructor Selection Panel, Trainer Candidate Selection Panel, and the T3 2017 Pilot Peer Review Task Force. Read more here.

IAP2’s Train-the-Trainer (T3) process provides a path for an individual to become certified as an IAP2 Licensed Trainer to deliver the Foundations in Effective Public Participation course. Read more about the process here.

CLICK HERE to download the Trainer Candidate Handbook.

Further detailed information may be found on the How to Become an IAP2 Trainer webpage.

Competed applications are due by March 31, 2017.

IAP2 Federation is organizing webinars for applicants who are interested in learning more about the Trainer Licensing Program for the Foundation in Public Participation course. The purpose is to share more information about the process and provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions.

In order to reach potential applicants across many time zones around the world, IAP2 is offering three sessions (same content):

  • Session A – March 7 at 11:00 AM PST (UTC-8)
  • Session B – March 8 at 10:00 AM WIB (UTC+7)
  • Session C – March 8 at 3:00 PM SAST/EET (UTC+2)

CLICK HERE for more info on the webinars

2017 Welcome note from chairperson – Lerato Ratsoenyane

Lerato Ratsoenyane, Chair, IAP2 Southern Africa

A warm welcome to all our IAP2 Southern Africa members, friends of IAP2, and other interested stakeholders and groups across the African Continent. It is indeed a privilege once more to be part of this growing family of IAP2 and to have the opportunity to engage with your on this platform. 2017 is surely the year of flourishing, expansion and more networking for the Affiliation.

Together with the Board Members of IAP2SA, we commit to a year of more interactive engagements aimed at sharing valuable and relevant information. Our objective is to enhance the daily activities and the profession of public participation practitioners, the image of the Affiliate and more so: to ensure that you are kept up to date on information within the public participation and stakeholder engagement field.

We hope to achieve our objective through the use of various social media, including but not limited to dedicated webinar sessions, an IAP2SA Whatsapp group, Facebook and Twitter updates, through our face-to-face board and Annual General Meetings, upcoming trainings and social events that we will be hosting during the year.

We cannot achieve this alone and thus urge you to take part in this exciting yet transforming journey with us.

Register today for the next IAP2 accredited Foundations course in PP

Are you ready to upgrade your skills in public participation? Don’t miss the next 5-day IAP2 Foundations course in Public Participation being offered in Johannesburg from 4-8 July.


The training will be delivered by Tisha Greyling, one of the most experienced trainers in P2 globally. Tisha has 35 years of experience in social and environmental management. She is the author, co-author or reviewer of more than a dozen guides on public participation, including those of IAP2, and has presented the accredited IAP2 training courses on five continents. Tisha has a vast knowledge of mining, oil and gas, energy, waste management, industrial, forestry, chemical and paper manufacturing projects and will inform the theoretical training with some interesting case studies out of her experience.

IAP2’s flagship 5-day certificate course covers the full scope of planning, communication and proven techniques for effective participation. Revised and updated by IAP2’s international community of successful trainers and practitioners, the new course is delivered in two parts:

Planning for Effective Public Participation (3 days)
Techniques for Effective Public Participation (2 days)


CLICK HERE for more info and to register


Announcing our 2016 AGM

Date: Thursday, 5th May 2016

Time: 11H00 – 12H30 (SAST)

Venue: SRK Consulting, Johannesburg Offices, 265 Oxford Road, IIlovo

2016 promises to be a year of greatness and higher expectations in the Public Participation arena and thus IAP2 Southern Africa aims to deliver a platform for sharing information and extending the social network to all public participation practitioners in Southern Africa.

We are committed and looking forward to continue:

  • Communicating with members across the region to share knowledge, experiences, and opinions on issues pertaining to Public Participation;
  • Promoting open and interactive discussions using various engagement mediums; and
  • Providing training programmes to capacitate members and ensure knowledge is applied practically in the external environment.

To better enable all members to participate and network, the meeting will be hosted at SRK Consulting Offices and will also allow members to participate virtually.

Please register your participation by RSVP to We will send you details on how to connect to the virtual platform via the phone.

The objective of the meeting will be to conduct the following business:

  1. To present an overview of activities and progress during 2015/2016 (including the Board of Director Annual Report);
  2. To consider and approve the annual financial statements for the financial year ended February 2015;
  3. To elect new board members; and
  4. To hear from members what they would like to see achieved in financial year 2016/2017.

We look forward to your participation!

Another successful AGM held on 6 May

From left to right: Ken Smith, Louise Gardiner, Lerato Ratsoenyane, Estrellita Crause, Taryn Smith, Annah Motalane, Priya Ramsaroop, Ntsako Baloyi, Nicolene Venter, Erika du Plessis

From left to right: Ken Smith, Louise Gardiner, Lerato Ratsoenyane, Estrellita Crause, Taryn Smith, Annah Motalane, Priya Ramsaroop, Ntsako Baloyi, Nicolene Venter, Erika du Plessis

Thank you to all those who attended our 3rd Annual General Meeting on 6 May at the offices of Golder Associates in Midrand, Gauteng. A big thank you to our hosts!

In addition, to reviewing the Annual Report and Financial Statements, and electing four powerful and passionate new members of the board, the meeting also provided for a rich debate over strategic priorities for the affiliate going forward.

CLICK HERE to download the Annual Report.

We welcome your feedback. Email with any comments or questions.

Incoming Chair, Lerato Ratsoenyane (right) and Vice Chair, Erika du Plessis (left)

Incoming Chair, Lerato Ratsoenyane (right) and Vice Chair, Erika du Plessis (left)

Welcome note by incoming Chair – Lerato Ratsoenyane

Lerato Ratsoenyane, Chair, IAP2 Southern Africa

Lerato Ratsoenyane, Chair, IAP2 Southern Africa

As I reflected on the meeting deliberations from our Annual General Meeting held on 6 May 2015, I am extremely proud to be the 2015 IAP2 SA Chairperson. It was evident from the participants who attended the meeting that IAP2 SA is still very relevant in our current society.

Public participation (P2) is a constantly evolving field, and we have seen in recent years a global trend of both the public and private sectors’ efforts in aligning their strategies to be more inclusive towards P2 within the context of communities and civil society.

In this context , it is more important than ever that we embrace efforts being made to ensure P2 is not just a box-ticking exercise, but something that enables practical processes which can empower industries and government to collaborate with communities.

Recognising the past Board members and the foundation that has been laid to make IAP2 SA a successful and relevant organisation, I am indeed privileged to work with people of the highest calibre who will be part of the new Board and the working groups that will be revived. Their time and dedication to IAP2 SA is truly appreciated.

As we gear up for this year, we will be reviewing our strategy as to how we can enhance our membership, and to rethink the products we offer and their relevancy to the society at large. We are excited to establish the new emeritus board, made up of previous members of the board, which will blend excellently with the enormous experience and excellence that the new Board will bring. Watch out for updates on our website.

We would love to know what you think of our organisation and the enhanced service offerings we will be presenting to you. You can email your comments to

Regards Lerato Ratsoenyane, Chair, IAP2 Southern Africa

Join us this week for our 2015 AGM

We’re very pleased to confirm our 2015 Annual General Meeting. The meeting will be held in person at the offices of Golder Associates in Midrand, as well as via a conference line. Networking starts at 9.30am and the meeting will start promptly at 10am.

Please RSVP to to let us know you will be attending and to receive dial-in details.

CLICK HERE for additional event details, including venue and google map.

Join us for a review of all we’ve achieved during the past year and discussions about strategic priorities for the coming year.

We’re celebrating our 4th year as the southern African affiliate to the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). Our network continues to grow and we’re increasingly active in regional discussions about how to improve standards and outcomes of public participation. Our trainers are helping to build capacity in the region, and our annual Awards winners have shone at international level.

Most importantly, we will be electing new directors to the Board and saying goodbye to those who are stepping down. CLICK HERE to nominate yourself or a colleague to the 2015 board and take a leadership role in this vital association.

IAP2SA contributes to roundtable hosted by Gauteng Legislature

IAP2SA incoming Chair, Lerato Ratsoenyane, speaks at the recent roundtable on public participation organised by the Gauteng Legislature.

IAP2SA incoming Chair, Lerato Ratsoenyane, speaks at the recent roundtable on public participation organised by the Gauteng Legislature.

IAP2SA was recently invited to attend a roundtable hosted by the Gauteng Legislature on 3 March 2015.

The Theme for the day: “Reflecting on 20 years of Public Participation from 1994- 2014”.

The roundtable was attended by official delegates from the Legislature, officials from the Department of the Public Protectors office, as well as representatives from various NGO and civil society organisations.

IAP2 SA’s incoming Chairperson, Lerato Ratsoenyane, and our former chair and current representative to the international board, Ken Smith, attended on our behalf. They contributed practical insights based on IAP2’s internationally recognised approach to making public participation more effective.

Participants were given a platform to engage on the following questions:

  • What is meaningful public participation?
  • What are the preconditions for meaningful public participation?
  • How should meaningful public participation be conducted?
  • What are the noticeable achievements to be celebrated in terms of public participation?
  • What are the current deficits of public participation? • Way forward in the area of public participation.

Download our summary of the discussions

KZN environmental practitioners learn about latest developments in public participation

"Public Participation in Environmental Authorisation", mini-training cohosted by IAP2 SA and IAIA South Africa KZN branch

Mini-training facilitated by Erika du Plessis, IAPSA board member

IAP2 SA and the KZN branch of IAIA South Africa today successfully co-hosted a special mini-training on public participation for over 50 environmental impact practitioners in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Delivered by Erika du Plessis, IAP2SA Board Member, the session was based on a 1-day course and handbook – “Guide to Public Participation in Environmental Authorization: Theory and Practice”- developed by Tisha Greyling and Erika, both of Golder Associates Africa.

The course and Guide are based on over 30 years of experience in participatory processes, including the design and facilitation of public participation processes for more than 500 Environmental Impact Assessments in Southern Africa.

Participants discuss strategies for effective public participation

Participants discuss effective public participation


The session also included insights into recent dramatic changes in SA legislation, such as the shorter time frames for scoping and no more comment periods for Final Reports. There were also discussions around new methodologies for consultation, such as social media.

Interested to know more about the course? Email

Message from the Chair – Celebrating 4 years of success

Louise Gardiner

Louise Gardiner, Chair, IAP2SA

2015 is in full swing and a very exciting year indeed. IAP2 Southern Africa is celebrating 4 years of existence as the local affiliate of IAP2 and now close to 100 members representing the top ranks of the industry.

The 4-year mark is a crucial milestone for any organisation and a sign we’re here to stay. We’ve proven the value we can add to regulatory discussions on good practice, while supporting public participation practitioners to get the recognition they deserve.

Having run our regional Core Values Awards competition for the second time last year, we couldn’t have been more thrilled that our local winners of “Project of the Year” went on to also top this category at international level. Well done to the Alchemy team for their passion and dedication to excellence!

With this momentum, and a steadily growing network of members and friends supporting us, we intend to run the regional Core Values Awards annually going forward. So, start working on your entries for either “Project of the Year” or “Organisation of the Year”. We will soon announce the call for submissions for 2015.

More importantly, over the last 4 years we have established an organisation that’s more member focused and committed to supporting you as a public participation professional to develop your skills and share your knowledge.

Although our IAP2 Foundations Course continues to draw new practitioners to the fold, there is a definite need to offer more advanced and tailored courses to help you progress on your learning journey.

Finally, our internal systems and governance remain the bedrock that enables us to serve your interests. Driven by our volunteer board, we continue to develop better and faster ways to run our membership systems and events. But there is still much work to do. Our marketing could be much better and we have a much wider network to establish – particularly with a view to African members outside of South Africa.

With these opportunities in mind, we will be calling for nominations for new directors to join our board in 2015 and we really hope to hear from you. Check out our director portfolios to get a sense of the work we do. We also welcome volunteers who just want to offer their time and talents without standing for the board. We look forward to your ideas and new energy!

There are lots of other highlights to share, and not enough space to cover them all here. Please stay tuned by renewing your membership. We are excited to now offer easier and more secure online payment options. This will keep you on our newsletter and up-to-date with our latest activities.

Wishing you a prosperous year ahead!


Louise Gardiner,

Chair, IAP2 Southern Africa