Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions

Catching the Deliberative Wave

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Public authorities from all levels of government increasingly turn to Citizens' Assemblies, Juries, Panels and other representative deliberative processes to tackle complex policy problems ranging from climate change to infrastructure investment decisions. They convene groups of people representing a wide cross-section of society for at least one full day – and often much longer – to learn, deliberate, and develop collective recommendations that consider the complexities and compromises required for solving multifaceted public issues. This "deliberative wave" has been building since the 1980s, gaining momentum since around 2010. This report has gathered close to 300 representative deliberative practices to explore trends in such processes, identify different models, and analyse the trade-offs among different design choices as well as the benefits and limits of public deliberation. It includes Good Practice Principles for Deliberative Processes for Public Decision Making, based on comparative empirical evidence gathered by the OECD and in collaboration with leading practitioners from government, civil society, and academics. Finally, the report explores the reasons and routes for embedding deliberative activities into public institutions to give citizens a more permanent and meaningful role in shaping the policies affecting their lives.


Other interesting deliberative practices

This chapter describes other deliberative practices that did not meet all three criteria for inclusion in this report: impact (commissioned by a public authority); representativeness (participants were randomly selected and demographically stratified); and deliberation (they had at least one full day of face-to-face meetings). The examples in this chapter are nonetheless valuable and relevant for the OECD’s broader work on citizen participation.The first part of the chapter looks at the other types of deliberative trends across the world: Deliberative Polls in Africa; deliberative practices in Latin America and India; as well as international and transnational deliberative processes.The second part of the chapter discusses other creative ways that deliberative processes have been used in responding to social mobilisation, designing new models of democracy, drafting constitutions, as well as in democracy festivals and 21st Century Town meetings.


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