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Deliberative Polling

In deliberative polling, a sample of participants are surveyed on a particular issue and are then invited to a day- or weekend-long event to discuss the issue in a facilitated environment where they are given unbiased information on the issue. After the event, participants complete the original survey for a second time.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Develop research questions relevant to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Expand and diversify stakeholder outreach far fa-scrubber Investigate best ways to successfully implement a study, based on stakeholder insights far fa-scrubber Design strategies for translating research into practice far fa-clock Time Frame

~1-2 days to conduct; ~6 months to prepare

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Actively engaging and eliciting views from a representative sample of the public far fa-scrubber Understanding diverse perspectives far fa-scrubber Increasing public understanding of issues on which the public may have little knowledge or information far fa-scrubber Understanding the impact of information on people's views far fa-scrubber Engaging those who may otherwise choose not to get involved far fa-scrubber Making policy decisions Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Gaining information to be used at the individual level far fa-scrubber Engaging stakeholders with special interests far fa-scrubber Low-budget projects Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Participant incentives far fa-scrubber Reimbursement for travel far fa-scrubber Food and refreshments during event far fa-scrubber Childcare (if needed) fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Promotion materials far fa-scrubber Balanced, unbiased information on the topic in question far fa-scrubber Resources for printing and distributing surveys (paper, printer ink, envelopes, stamps, etc.) far fa-scrubber Online platform if distributing online far fa-scrubber Transcriptions of deliberations (if audio recorded) for data analysis far fa-scrubber Venue rental (if necessary) fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber Experts to give educational presentations far fa-scrubber Skilled facilitators/moderators far fa-scrubber Note takers far fa-scrubber Individuals with experience in survey design far fa-scrubber Statistician to determine appropriate sample sizes far fa-scrubber Press and communications staff to report on event far fa-scrubber Videographers, if event will be televised How To Define the issue and research questions you wish to investigate. Select a representative sample of your population of interest based on gender, race, socio-economic background, and other factors that may be relevant to your specific population. Deliberative polling typically involves between 100 and 600 participants. Develop a survey designed to collect this information. Include demographic questions so that you are able to measure the representativeness of your actual sample. Distribute the survey and collect responses. Choose a location, day, time, and duration to hold the public event.
  1. Choose a neutral venue and time that will be convenient for your participants. Book in advance if needed.
From your first sample, invite a smaller random, representative sample to discuss the issue in a public event.
  1. You may consider providing participants with unbiased background materials on the issue being discussed prior to the event. These materials should also be made publicly available, such as on a website.
Hire a facilitator, experts who can provide balanced viewpoints on the issue, and inform the media if you are planning to televise or provide other sorts of media coverage on the event. At the event, randomly assign participants to small groups each led by a trained facilitator. Experts will answer questions from participants throughout the event, and participants will deliberate the issue in their small groups. At the conclusion of the event, participants will complete the original survey again. Results are then analyzed and made available to participants and the public, as well as media outlets.
Tips Comments from individual participants should be kept anonymous in any reports or publications. Variations For geographically dispersed populations, online deliberative polling can be used in which discussion can be facilitated in using software such as Zoom or Skype. Considerations (Potential Pitfalls) Certain groups of people are more likely to attend public meetings - Efforts should be made to ensure that those who participate in the event are as diverse as the survey sample. This may mean creating separate initiatives to recruit different groups. Examples References / Other Resources

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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