Review of User Guide for PPNs – Have Your Say

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Consultation on Review of Public Participation Network User Guide.

Review  of the framework for running PPNs: Public Participation Networks have been in existence since 2014. When they were established, guidelines were issued for how they should be run. The latest version of this, PPN User Guide, was issued May 2017.

Review PPN User Guide 2017

Following workshops at the National PPN Conference 2018, this Guide is up for review.

You are invited to submit your thoughts and comments as Groups, Individuals, and/or other agencies that have contact with PPNs.

This can be done on paper or online – CLICK HERE – or at one of 5 regional review meetings- Carrick on Shannon Meeting 30/04/19

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 3pm on 30 April 2019


If you need information to help you in completing the review, please contact us at   or   087 183 1253


For more on the background and process involved…


  1. What are PPNs?

PPNs are a framework for public engagement, a structure to facilitate the two-way flow of information and participation between local authorities and the community and voluntary, social inclusion and environmental groups within communities.

The purpose of PPNs is to enable the public to take an active formal role in relevant policy making and oversight committees of the local authority. They have been established in all local authority areas, supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD). A PPN National Advisory Group, representative of all stakeholders and designed to advise and support the Department in the operation and development of PPNs, has been in place since 2016 and has overseen the production of two Annual Reports on the operation of PPNs, copies of which are available here – PPN Annual Report 2016,      PPN Annual Report 2017

  1. PPN User Guide/Handbook

The PPN User Guide was developed by the DRCDt, with the assistance of Social Justice Ireland. It’s designed to be a practical guide to support all PPN stakeholders – member organisations, secretariats, Resource Workers and local authorities – in progressing a nationally consistent framework for PPNs.

The initial draft Guide was circulated to all PPNs in May 2016, with a request for feedback on the content of the draft document or suggestions as to other issues which should be included in the draft document.  Some limited feedback was received from a number of PPNs and, where agreed by the National Advisory Group, was incorporated into the User Guide.  It was always envisaged that the document would effectively be a “live” document, updated to reflect emerging issues in relation to PPNs. The most recent version of the User Guide dates from March 2017 and is available above.

  1. Proposed Review of User Guide

Given the experience to date in the operation of PPNs, it is now considered necessary, by both the Department and the National Advisory Group (NAG), to review the content of the User Guide to ensure it properly captures the range of issues impacting on the operation of PPNs and is fit for purpose in terms of supporting the on-going growth and development of PPNs.

A sub-group of the NAG has been established to review and update the User Guide, having regard to submissions received following a public consultation process.

As a first step, it has been decided to consult with all stakeholders in relation to the current User Guide and obtain their views on how a future guide/handbook might assist stakeholders with a concise resource of information that informs, guides and instructs in a user friendly way that is understood by all users.

  1. Scope of Review

It is important to note that this consultation process/review relates specifically to the content of the PPN User Guide, and is not a review of PPNs generally. This is an important distinction which should be borne in mind by those responding to the consultative process.

You are also asked to consider as part of your response the specific areas of the User Guide that should be made mandatory in order to assist with the smooth operation of the PPN.

  1. Structure of Review

Submissions are invited in relation to the updating of the PPN User Guide under the following headings.

  • Structure of PPNs
    • County/City Plenary
    • Secretariat
    • Municipal Districts PPNs
    • Linkage Groups
    • Membership


  • Activities of PPNs
    • Participation and Representation on Decision/Policy Making Bodies
    • Capacity Building and Training
    • Information Sharing and Communication


  • Operation of PPNs
    • Budget and Work plan
    • Resource Worker
    • Support Worker


  • Relationships between the PPN and the respective local authority
    • Budget
    • Work plan
    • Resource Worker


  • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Budget
    • Work plan
    • Resource Worker


  • What Templates would you regard as being helpful to include in a revised PPN User Guide (Constitution, Grievance Procedure, Representatives Charter, Expense Policy, Memorandum of Understanding etc.)


  • Any other Recommendations in relation to the review of the User Guide?


  1. Who can submit views?

It is open to any individual or organisations to submit their views on the review of the PPN User Guide.

It should be noted that in the interests of transparency, all written submissions received will be made publicly available on the Department’s website.


  1. Submission Details

Submissions may be made:

  • By email to

Please use the tagline “User Guide Review” on all emails


  • In writing to:

             Alan Monks

            Department of Rural and Community Development

            Trinity Point, 10-11 Leinster Street South,

             Dublin 2, D02 EF85



  • By attending one of the 5 Regional Meetings organised by Social Justice Ireland for this purpose (details below).
Leitrim –

Tues 30th April – Leitrim, The Hive, Carrick on Shannon. BOOK HERE


Tues 12th March – Dublin, Carmelite Community Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 1. BOOK HERE

Thurs 21st March – Prince of Wales Hotel, AthloneBOOK HERE

Tues 26th March – Limerick, Maldron Hotel. BOOK HERE

Wed, 10th April – Committee Room, Waterford City & County Offices, Waterford. BOOK HERE


A report of each meeting will be drafted, circulated to attendees for approval and submitted by Social Justice Ireland on your behalf. Each meeting will take place from 2-4pm and a light lunch will be provided from 1pm.  To register for one of these information meetings please book at the links above.


  1. Freedom of Information


All materials received by the Department will be subject to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. This means that all materials submitted during the CFI could be released to a wider audience on request.


  1. What will happen to submissions?

Submissions will be assessed and key themes identified. The feedback received will be considered by the sub-group* of the National Advisory Group and inform the review and updating of the User Guide. The revised document will then be circulated widely to all stakeholders and a copy posted on the Department’s website

* Catherine Lane Woman’s Council of Ireland, Helen Howes Wicklow PPN, Jamie Moore Fingal PPN, Sean Healy Social Justice Ireland, Bibiana Savin South Dublin PPN, Michael Ewing Environmental Pillar, Deirdre Kearney DRCD.

Please note that submission made directly to any of the above named individuals will be considered invalid.


  1. Other queries on submissions

Please contact or Alan Monks at (076) 100 6907


  1. Closing Date


The closing date for receipt of submissions is 3pm on 30 April 2019.



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