Everything you ever wanted to know about Citizens’ Juries…

ReportInvolving communities in deliberation: A study of three citizens’ juries on onshore wind farms in Scotland

Executive Summary

Full Report

Interest in deliberative forms of public engagement is growing in Scotland. There have been many studies of deliberative participation across the globe, and in particular mini-publics such as citizens’ juries. But this new report is unique as it provides an unusually detailed account for practitioners, policy workers, decision makers and researchers interested in developing deliberative public forums.The three citizens’ juries were part of ClimateXChange’s research programme, and dealt with the issue of onshore wind farm development in Scotland.

Here is what people have said about the project and the report:

Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi MSP said: “Involving people and communities in decision-making leads to better results, more responsive services and gives communities the chance to have a say on how ideas are delivered.”

“This exciting project offers valuable lessons which will help our efforts to boost participation in local democracy and improve community engagement.”

Project Manager for ClimateXChange Ragne Low said: “This report provides robust evidence of how we can create processes that will be trusted by communities and balance different views. It also gives very practical advice about organising and facilitating good quality public engagement to support decision making.”

“Participatory forums like citizens’ juries are not an easy option. They need very careful planning and experienced facilitators who make sure that the process is balanced, inclusive and that all voices are heard. What we saw in the juries was real appreciation of getting balanced expert opinion and working through difficult questions together.”

Research Director Dr Oliver Escobar, said: “The research findings are very timely given the appetite for more participation at all levels of society in post-referendum Scotland.”

“To solve the many pressing problems of our time we need new political spaces that bring forth the voices of those seldom heard. Mini-publics like citizens’ juries may provide some of those spaces.”

For more information about the research project and the juries please click HERE.

Deliberation and Development – new free access e-book

‘Deliberation and Development: Rethinking the Role of Voice and Collective Action in Unequal Societies’, edited by Patrick Heller and Vijayendra Rao

Untitled
Deliberation and Development is a true landmark that establishes, surveys, and celebrates a rich field of study with crucial practical relevance. The striking and sometimes counterintuitive insights formulated by its contributors concerning the broad reach of deliberation should prompt rethinking of crucial questions in development, as well as reformulation of key aspects of the theory of deliberative democracy.”

Prof. John Dryzek, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra.

The book is published under a Creative Commons license and can, therefore, be downloaded for free HERE.

Description:

This book marries two fields that rarely converse with one another: deliberative democracy and development studies. The study of deliberation has emerged as a critical area of study over the past two decades. Concurrently, the field of development has seen a spurt of interest in community-led development and participation premised on the ability of groups to arrive at decisions and manage resources via a process of discussion and debate. Despite the growing interest in both fields, they have rarely engaged with one another.

This book, which brings together new essays by some of the leading scholars in the field, deepens our understanding of participatory decision making in developing countries while initiating a new field of study for scholars of deliberation. In the process, it sheds light on how to best design and implement policies to strengthen the role of participation in development. Contributors: Arjun Appadurai, Gianpaolo Biaocchi, Peter Evans, Archon Fung, Varun Gauri, Gerry Mackie, Jane Mansbridge, Paromita Sanyal, JP Singh, Ann Swidler, and Susan Watkins.

‘Participation Week’ –Impressive programme hosted by @scotgov’s Directorate for Local Government and Communities

Image courtesy of So Say Scotland, 2013 'Thinking Together Citizens' Assembly' in Glasgow

Image courtesy of democratic innovators So Say Scotland, 2013 ‘Thinking Together Citizens’ Assembly’ in Glasgow

 ‘Creating the world we want to live in’, Podcast with keynote speakers at the launch of Participation Week

Participation Week begins on the 8th of June with a fast moving Launch Event chaired by Sarah Davidson, Director General Communities at Scottish Government: “Participation and Citizen Ownership – The Challenge for Government” will explore the challenges and the benefits of putting people at the centre of the SG’s work.
You will hear from experts and participate in table discussions about how the SG can transform public services in Scotland by involving people in the decisions that affect their lives. Evidence sessions will be led by Andy Williamson, of Democratise, Oliver Escobar of What Works Scotland and Chris Yui of SCVO.

The programme includes 19 events:

Please note that some of the events take place twice, so check the website to see alternative dates.

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A deliberative system in Scotland?

oliverescobar:

Thanks to Prof. John Parkinson for two interesting days of conversations about deliberative democracy in Scotland. Here I’m re-blogging John’s initial thoughts posted originally in his blog.

Originally posted on John Parkinson:

imageThe last two days I’ve been in Edinburgh talking with academic colleagues, civil servants, activists and think tankers, journalists and interested others about deliberative systems. I’ve been interested in applying deliberative systems thinking to get a handle on the quality and extent of public debate in the run-up to, and beyond, last year’s Scottish independence referendum.

I stress the “talking with” part. It’s been a remarkable two days because I’ve been listening and learning as much as talking and debating. This is because Scotland is a hot-bed of development for deliberative and participatory democracy following the “indyref”.

The events — a public lecture followed by small group discussions and questions, and a smaller workshop on the ideals for large-scale deliberation — were organised and hosted by the Academy of Government at Edinburgh University, especially the inextinguishable Oliver Escobar. My sincere thanks to him and all the team, and to all…

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A People’s Parliament: Request for assistance

Originally posted on pdd:

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 15.01.18The Sortition Foundation (http://www.sortitionfoundation.org/) is in the initial phases of planning a People’s Parliament in the UK and is seeking help to bring the concept to fruition.
The People’s Parliament would bring a representative sample of 100 people from across the UK to deliberate on the national budget, and create their own People’s Budget to submit to Parliament.
The Sortition Foundation would like to create a steering committee made up of academics, charities and other NGOs with helpful ideas, expertise and networks. If you are interested, please contact Brett Hennig at bsh@sortitionfoundation.org.

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