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Citizens assemblies

Citizens assemblies are a type of mini public. All round they’re a good way to involve people in decision making.

Alliance for Useful Evidence’s report sets out the major challenges that mini-publics must confront and draws out key lessons on how mini-publics can address these challenges and have real impact on policy.

Find it here:



July 2019 Guardian article:

Britain’s first climate assembly: can it help fix democracy too?

“I am interested in the idea of citizens assemblies and not just for climate change,” said the local MP Keir Starmer, a Labour frontbencher. “I think they might turn out to be a way to have a different kind of political dialogue to avoid the shouty tribalism of the last few years.”



July 2019 Institute of Welsh Affairs article (Click on Wales):

Impressions from Wales’ first citizens’ assembly

The true tests, if citizens’ assemblies are to become a part of Welsh democracy, is how the recommendations are received (…) and whether the right balance of informing without steering participants can be achieved across a wider range of issues. If such citizens’ assemblies are built into the decision-making process – on whatever level of Welsh democracy – it feels like they can only serve to benefit us.



From the Involve newsletter in August 2019:

A summer of citizens’ assemblies:

This summer kicked off with a wave of citizens’ assemblies announced on different topics across the nations of the UK and at different levels of government – from local and national citizens’ assemblies on climate change, to the first-ever citizens’ assemblies by the Scottish Government and National Assembly for Wales.

But to ensure future citizens’ assemblies are successful, what can we learn so far from previous ones? Here are some of our top tips and reflections.

  • Could a citizens’ assembly on Brexit happen? Last week, Sarah Allan, our Head of Engagement, gave evidence on citizens’ assemblies to the Exiting the EU Committee, as part of its over-arching inquiry examining the progress of Brexit. Watch/Read Sarah’s Q&A

  • Why do they work? Evidence from the citizens’ assemblies on Brexit and Social Care: Sarah Allan and Rebecca McKee, Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit, explain how and why citizens’ assemblies can assist and improve the policy-making process.

  • Six things I learnt from the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: Just before launching the results from the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit, we shared six observations from the two weekends. Read the six key observations here.

  • How can practitioners respond to growing demand for citizens’ assemblies? We ran a half-day workshop with facilitation and deliberative democracy practioners to discuss how to respond to the growing demand for citizens’ assemblies on climate change. Check out their ideas.

  • A citizens’ assembly on climate change: how would it work? We outline in this article what key principles would need to underpin a citizens’ assembly on climate change, now that it is on the agenda in a serious way.

  • What was it like to facilitate at the National Assembly for Wales Citizens’ Assembly: In this opinion piece, Dom Ward, Project Officer, gives us his four take-aways from the National Assembly for Wales Citizens’ Assembly and why democracy doesn’t have to be a battleground.




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