A Notwestminster 2019 workshop from Miriam Levin
A Citizens’ Assembly is a way of bringing together a group of citizens to learn about an issue and to deliberate, before reaching a decision about what they think should happen. The participants are randomly selected, but are representative of the wider population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and other demographics.
8 to 10 local authorities will soon have the opportunity to run Citizens Assemblies as part of the Innovation in Democracy Programme, which is funded by the government. This will give citizens an opportunity to be involved in decision making at local government level, by deliberating and making recommendations on an issue in their area. The participating councils will also be using online tools to extend the reach, transparency and accountability of the process.
This workshop will tap into the Notwestminster hive mind to understand how we can best measure the impact of Citizens Assemblies, both as part of the Innovation in Democracy Programme and for any other Citizens Assemblies in the future. What sort of indicators do you think will best demonstrate the impact and value of opening up decision making to local residents, and how can we measure them?
We will be discussing the impacts on participants, on the wider community and for local authorities who run Citizens Assemblies. Please come along if you’re interested in Citizens Assemblies and want to find out more, and if you’re happy to help us think about how we can measure the impact of deliberative democracy in our places.
How to get involved
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About the workshop host
Head of Community Action and Giving, Office for Civil Society, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Miriam has worked in community development throughout her career. Her work has focussed on how people can be involved in shaping the places where they live and take action on the things that matter to them. In her current role, she leads on three major programmes: training citizens in community organising; supporting communities, civil society organisations and councils to work more collaboratively together to tackle issues; and piloting deliberative democracy in local authorities via Citizens’ Assemblies through the Innovation in Democracy Programme. She is as surprised as anyone that this programme is finally up and running and is very excited to see where it goes from here.
Our local democracy is a shared endeavour, often a shared frustration, but above all a shared hope. Notwestminster is about finding the people, ideas and energy we need, so that we can use our skills and experiences for a common purpose.
Together we have what we need to assemble a stronger local democracy. Are you up for the challenge? Please join us.