“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” ~ Kofi Annan
Elna has been working in the field of community development and conservation for almost thirty years. She believes in combining in depth understanding of local culture and civil society landscapes to build partnerships focusing on developing the social performance of organisations and their role in society. Working in various sectors i.e. community development, conservation, mining, waste management, water management and the oil and gas sectors in Southern Africa, confirmed her belief that no one organisation can do it all and that collaboration strengthens performance.
Her long-standing relationship with the College started in 2002 as guest lecturer, while pursuing her professional career as conservation (including Transfrontier conservation) and development programme manager and stakeholder engagement specialist. In early 2017 she became a full time volunteer at the College with a focus on mentoring and coaching teams. She joined the College as Technical Associate in June 2019.
She serves as technical specialist within the Rural Initiatives for a Sustainable Development (RISE) unit and has been instrumental in the development and lecturing of the recent institutionally accredited Module on Stakeholder Engagement and other training programmes focusing on governance in conservation, leadership and customised training for Communal Property Associations. Working with the RISE unit she provides guidance in the design and implementation of community conservation programs tailored to an area’s specific context.
As Technical Associate she works with the four Business Units of the College to develop and implement business plans aligned with the College’s overall Strategic Plan and Business Score Card. Currently she leads the development of the 3 year Social-Ecology Module as part of the College’s benchmarking Diploma initiative.
She further specializes in stakeholder engagement in national and international projects, strategic and risk communication in sensitive stakeholder environments, leading and developing/training teams to plan and undertake outcome-oriented programmes.