Citizens’ Initiative Review: Helping Citizens Make Better Informed Voting Choices


Linn Davis is a program manager at Healthy Democracy, a US-based nonpartisan non-profit that designs and coordinates deliberative democracy programs. He manages the Citizens’ Initiative Review program, as well as design and outreach for emerging local government and high school programs.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review is a unique deliberative process. In the OECD’s forthcoming report Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave (2020), it is categorized as a distinct deliberative model. What is it about the CIR that makes it different?

Usually representative deliberative processes such as Citizens’ Assemblies are initiated when the government is interested in informed citizen recommendations on policy questions. The Citizens’ Initiative Review is set up to enable informed citizen evaluation of ballot measures that are soon to be voted on by the public. So citizens are preparing helpful material for other citizens, rather than for the government.

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