Deliberation involves carefully weighing different options, access to accurate, relevant, and diverse information, and participants finding common ground to reach shared recommendations.

Demographic factors

These are factors that are used to define the characteristics of a person or a population. For example, these can include variables such as race, age, experience of a disability, marital status, and educational achievement, among others.


The fact of being equal in rights, status, advantages, opportunities, etc.

Feedback Loops

A feedback loop is the part of a system in which some portion of that system’s output is used as input for future behavior. It is a part of the system that focuses on improving the process and the final output. In a Lottery-Selected Panel, Panelists engage in multiple in-depth feedback loops with technical staff, to review proposed policies in detail and work with staff to apply its principles.

Informational Advisory Committee

A politically diverse selection of stakeholders that oversees the fairness and quality of information in the process.

Information Inputs

Information sources provided to the Panel during its initial phase of work, including presentations, surveys, listening sessions, workshops, walking tours, site visits, charettes, and Panelists’ own lived experiences.

Interest Groups

A group of people that seeks to influence public policy on the basis of a particular common interest or concern.

Language Access Services

Language access is a service that we use to facilitate communication between people who do not speak the same language. For example: competent bilingual staff, staff interpreters, contracts or formal arrangements with local organizations providing interpretation or translation services, or technology and telephonic interpretation services.

Lottery Selection

This is a selection process that allows us to select across 7-9 different demographic factors and ultimately select a group of random residents that are demographically representative of the city.


These are professionally trained contractors who help ensure fairness and productivity throughout small and large group discussion. Along with design elements, they help reduce the influence of political bias and instead put the focus on collaborative problem solving and evidence.


A group of everyday, demographically representative residents who have agreed to participate in the examination of an important public issue. Panels hold inherent legitimacy and therefore are the most important player within the deliberative process – with all project partners supporting their participation and decisions.


Panelists are randomly selected to participate in an in-depth deliberation about a policy question. Panelists have full authority over their process and the support to impact real policy decisions. We refer to ‘Panelists’ rather than ‘participants’ to convey the significance of this role.

Panel Deliverables

The Panel’s output is substantial, including both: criteria on which it believes any decision should rest, and detailed, approval-ready policy proposals (or a review of existing proposals). The recommendations are presented to City Staff and decision makers who must respond to each.

Presenter Menu

A list of background experts and stakeholders, selected by the Information Advisory Committee, that the Panel may consider inviting to present and/or answer questions after it has heard from the initial pre-selected presenters.


A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation.


A person who lives within the city permanently or on a long-term basis, including those with and without permanent residential addresses.


Those that have an interest or stake in an issue, such as individuals, interest groups, communities) that have the opportunity to influence decisions that affect their lives.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation is when an interpreter translates the message from the source language to the target language in real-time.

Independent evaluation

Independent evaluation means an evaluation performed by an academic group of researchers or third-party practitioners who are not employed by Healthy Democracy or our process Partner.

Universal Accessibility

Universal accessibility means acknowledging the rights of people affected by the various barriers imposed by the environment, and the advantages that accessibility offers to everyone, regardless of their situation.


Refer to a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.