As one of its core programs, the Forum convenes citizen panels to provide the opportunity for citizens to make informed judgements about addressing high-priority health-related issues. Building around a deliberative dialogue approach, this innovative program helps to uncover unique understandings of these issues and spark insights about viable solutions that are aligned with citizens’ values and preferences. Citizen panels can be organized at the local, regional, provincial or national level and may combine in-person with online/teleconferencing meetings.
Steps in a citizen panel
- Consulting with key stakeholders: We work with a steering committee created specifically for each panel and conduct 15-20 key informants to clarify the issue and identify possible ways to address it.
- Preparing a citizen brief: We prepare and circulate to panel participants a plain-language citizen brief that mobilizes relevant research evidence about an issue, options for addressing it, and key implementation considerations. Citizen briefs are made publicly available after the event has taken place.
- Convening the citizen panel: We convene a group of 10 to 16 (and occasionally several such groups to discuss the same topic) for an off-the-record deliberation where they can bring their own views and experiences to bear on the issue, learn from the evidence and from others’ views and experiences, share their newly informed views and make informed judgements about how to address the issue based on their values and preferences.
- Preparing a panel summary: We prepare and circulate a panel summary, which is a thematic analysis of the deliberations during the citizen panel. This document, along with a ‘topic overview’ that provides a brief plain-language summary of the key messages from the panel summary, is made publicly available on the Forum's website. We also provide customized post-event briefings to partners involved in funding or convening the panel, to further prepare them to address the issue.
- Evaluating key features of the citizen brief and citizen panel: We evaluate the key features of the citizen brief and citizen panel to contribute to our collective understanding about how citizens can best be engaged in shaping how society addresses health issues.
For more detail about each of the steps, please see our two-page overview of our approach to convening citizen panels.
For more information on the citizen panel program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is a list of topics for future citizen panels, and a list of the most recent panels and the related products available.