Civic Engagement - Citizen Juries

Civic Engagement - Citizen Juries

12 February 2015

As we continue to profile our civic activism tools, which are all available in our online directory, today we look at Citizen Juries.

Similar to the larger scale Citizen Assemblies, Citizen Juries are a useful way to find consensus when there is a lot of information which needs to be evaluated first.

Applicable on a local or a national scale, this participatory process can be used to consider issues of concern, with expert witnesses called before a jury hearing.

Who is Involved?

The jury is made up of a fair representative group of citizens. The desired outcome is that a solution or recommendation can then be passed on to decision makers.

Subsequent decisions can then be made based on the understanding of the types of values, concerns and ideals of the members of public have been considered. Wider benefits in terms of increased engagement and awareness amongst members of the public more widely are also often cited.

Where Does this Happen?

Close to home and there is one example of an ongoing Citizen Jury process that has been gaining strong engagement from its followers.

PeopleTalk, based in Ireland, launched in June 2013 with the aim to ultimately find the answers to two questions: how can government organise itself better to serve citizens?; and how can citizens have a greater say in the design and delivery of public services?

They are seeking to rebuild trust in public life and have started to hold listening meetings as well as juries to gain feedback in to the issues most prominent in the minds of the people.

To find out more about this engagement tool, click here.

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