We want to promote and expand the use of participatory and deliberative democracy methods in Canberra. However we believe that these methods need to be used well.
We note and support the development of Deliberate ACT as a community of interest around building good deliberative and participatory practice in the ACT.
Already the ACT government has started using Citizens’ Juries and Panels to address issues.
- In 2017 we had a Carers’ Panel Citizen Jury.
- Also in 2017 the Canberra Alliance worked with the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) to develop a set of principles to assess if a jury or panel was done well.
- In 2018 we had a Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP) Citizen Jury.
Having had these two goes at deliberation, the Canberra Alliance wants to see how well they went and if the process could be improved.
To be really effective and to help with decision making about the big picture of how we want Canberra to be, these processes have to be believed in and accepted by the community; in the jargon, they have to be legitimate.
What we want to achieve
- More confidence of ACT Government and the ACT community to undertake good participatory democracy processes in the future.
- A strong community of practice in ACT between government officers, community and academics able to deal with tough and juicy conversations respectfully.
Our activities in 2018:
- Worked with other organisations for a reliable strong evaluation of the Carers’ panel and the CTP Citizens’ Jury against the ACTCOSS/CAPaD Principles;
- Shared the results of these evaluations with the community to create an open learning conversation with the intention of running more and continuously improving the process;
- Continued to promote the wise use of participatory and deliberative techniques in the ACT;
- Supported and strengthened Deliberate ACT as a community of interest around building good practice in the ACT.
Update March 2018
Heard about the Carers’ Panel at the October 2017 General Meeting
Wrote up an evaluative interview with Lisa Kelly about the Carers’ Panel process
Tested the ACTCOSS/CAPaD Principles by analysing Petra’s report against the criteria – what worked what didn’t, what we learned
Defined our focus as small e not big E evaluation
Reviewed some other processes such as the South Australian Nuclear Citizen Juries
Developed a loose evaluation framework
Continued to liaise with Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA) at University of Canberra and ACT Government Chief Ministers Directorate
Developed an evaluation framework for consultation with IGPA
Attended as observers at the Citizens’ Jury sessions
Plan to write up the Citizens’ Jury process against the Principles
We are actively supporting Deliberate ACT – two meetings now and hosting the third
Drafting an op ed and exploring other communications and publicity channels
Developed a core story line to promote deliberative practices:
Contemporary political belief: people are dumb just tell them what to do
Our line: No. People are smart when they are given balanced information and the time to deliberate
Deliberative process is better than that politicians use, so should lead to better decisions