Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions
Catching the Deliberative Wave
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.
The OECD has collected a wealth of evidence as to how deliberative processes work across different countries. While there are a wide variety of models, analysis of the evidence collected reveals a number of common principles and good practices that may be of useful guidance to policy makers seeking to develop and implement such processes.
The full database of case studies is available here.
The figures featured in the report are available here.
The diagrams of the different deliberative models are available here.
For further resources for representative deliberative processes, please see our up-to-date Trello Board.