Tool Guideline

How to run a citizens’ assembly | A handbook for local authorities

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 27 July 2020

A catalogue of ideas & questions for anyone using methods of deliberative engagement

This handbook is aimed primarily at local authority officers or councillors who want to run a citizens’ assembly in their local area. But  it can also be of use to others who are interested in deliberative democracy: process designers, facilitators, advocates, researchers or anyone else.

While some of the guidance is specific to local citizens’ assemblies, lots of the suggestions apply to regional, national and even transnational deliberations.

The insights shared in this report are drawn from three different sources:

  • Reflections on the three IiDP citizens’ assemblies and other assemblies that have recently taken place at a local level.
  • The ideas that have emerged from the various peer-learning events that were run as part of IiDP
  • The best guidance written by practitioners around the world.

Lots of the advice in this report is illustrated in the IiDP Case Studies report, which is a trove of real-world examples and personal stories co-authored by council staff that led the three IiDP assemblies




  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Citizen´s assemblies

Before the citizens’ assembly

  • Deciding whether or not to run a Citizens’ assembly
  • Designing the assembly
  • Recruitment & communications

During the assembly

  • Facilitation
  • The learning stage
  • The deliberation stage
  • The decision stage
  • Communications & engagement

After the assembly

  • Impact



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