Evaluating the Effectiveness of the CIR
Objective 1. Reaching Sound Judgments
One of the most important forms of data for evaluating the CIR will be transcripts of the citizen panelists' deliberation. By looking carefully at how the citizens interact with expert witnesses, pro and con advocates, and each other, we should be able to assess the extent to which they deliberated. Surveys of citizen panelists should provide further insight into their own experiences as deliberators. Using these data, we can determine whether the panels produce the following desirable outcomes:
- CIR panel deliberation should include periods of debate among the panelists on both questions of fact and more fundamental moral issues. The absence of such clash would suggest excessive consensus-seeking among citizens who surely have genuine differences in experiences and values.
- Panelists’ judgments should develop in light of the information presented, the views put forward, and the careful, honest discussions among participants. As a result, participants should demonstrate more informed and coherent views on initiative-related issues after participating in panel discussions. Participants should be able to give reasons for their views, and they should be able to explain the arguments underlying alternative points of view.
- CIR panels should be able to work through their differences and often reach broad agreement when assessing initiatives. Narrow majority views should sometimes grown into large majorities, and minority viewpoints should sometimes prevail.
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