Citizens Juries

Citizen Review Panels convene panels of everyday people, who are randomly selected and representative, to help elected officials tackle tough policy questions.

Following a highly structured process, each panel conducts research, interviews experts and staff, deliberates on policy alternatives, and recommends a course of action to decision-makers. Because the panel is a microcosm of the public – in terms of age, ethnicity, political party, gender, and other factors – its resulting report comes with an inherent legitimacy that sets it apart from conventional citizen advisory committees.

Local governments in Canada, Australia, and across Europe often employ Citizen Review Panels as public decision-making tools. In the US, Healthy Democracy uses a specialized, research-tested Review Panel, called the Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR), to provide voters with trustworthy information about ballot measures. Oregon enshrined the CIR in law in 2011 and publishes CIR statements in the state’s voters’ pamphlet.

The Review Panel Process

More About Citizen Review Panels

Citizen Review Panels 1-Pager (PDF)

Our brief introduction to the Review Panels (formerly branded Citizens Juries).

2019 Pilot – Milwaukie, Oregon

Milwaukie, Oregon, was the first city selected to participate in a pilot Review Panel (branded a Citizens Jury at the time), in summer 2019. Look for more announcements on this project page.


Have a difficult or divisive policy question in your city? Want to explore a new kind of democratic engagement?