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Evidence packaging to support public deliberation

Date and Location




Friday 20 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Francois-Pierre G...

Contact person

Francois-Pierre G...
Abstract text
Background: The use of deliberative dialogues to address pressing health challenges has generated a lot of interest in recent years as a promising way to engage citizens and stakeholders. Deliberative dialogues are usually informed by a pre-circulated evidence brief that mobilizes relevant research evidence in order to spur discussion among participants about problems, policy options and implementation considerations. While there is an increasing body of evidence regarding policymakers’ preferences regarding the formats used for evidence packaging, little is known about how to effectively package research evidence to support deliberations with the public. Objectives: Drawing from the McMaster Health Forum’s experiences with stakeholder dialogues and citizen panels, this presentation aims to: 1) introduce the evaluation platform that will be launched to assess citizens’ views and experiences about evidence packaging as part of the Forum’s citizen panel program; 2) identify criteria to guide the preparation of briefs to support public deliberation; and 3) compare features of briefs targeted to policymakers and the public. Methods: The evaluation platform was developed, and a preliminary list of normative criteria identified, based on a review of the public literature on citizen engagement evaluation research (both empirical and non-empirical) and following consultation with selected organizations that have long-standing experience with citizen engagement. These criteria will be compared with those used to appraise the effective packaging of research evidence for policymakers. Results: The current state of the citizen engagement evaluation research reveals that a key challenge is to provide the right balance of research evidence to support the creation of an ‘expertise space’ for citizens. Conclusions: Cochrane reviews constitute an invaluable source of research evidence on pressing health challenges. This project offers a natural laboratory to learn about the citizens’ views about the most effective way to package research evidence in order to support and nurture public deliberation.