Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD)
u A five-year project (2010-2015) exploring how direct participation by citizens in policymaking deliberations can enhance Alberta responses to climate change at municipal and provincial levels
u Funding through SSHRC Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) grant
u University, government, civil society and industry partners, including C2D2
u Researchers and practitioners from Canada, US, Europe, and Australia contributing their expertise to Alberta-based practice and learning
Core research questions
u How the shape of citizen deliberation
u Choices about deliberative process
u Scale, how participants are selected, duration
u Extent of linkage to policy processes
u shapes outcomes like
u Participant attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors
u Influence on policy decisions
u Attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of broader public
u Citizens Panel on Edmontons Energy and Climate Challenges (2012)
u Energy Efficiency Choices (2013)
u Water in a Changing Climate (2014)
Citizens Panel on Edmontons Energy and Climate Challenges
u From October to December, 2012 ( six Saturdays)
u Used professional polling firm to recruit 56 demographically representative and attitudinally diverse Edmontonians
u Hosts: ABCD, Centre for Public Involvement; City of Edmonton
u Panelists heard from City representatives, industry, and university experts
u Diverse forms of deliberation used, along with keypad voting
u Key documents: Edmontons Energy Transition Discussion Paper and Citizens Panel Handbook
u The Panels Final Reportwas completed in January 2013 and was presented to City Councils Executive Committee on April 15th, 2013
Citizens Panel Some Practitioner Findings
u Reinforced importance of values-based work in citizen dialogue; provided the decision-making framework to consider technical choices
u Common ground achievable with attitudinally diverse citizens critical for political credibility
u Dual framing of energy and climate challenges created more space for dialogue
u Benefits of practitioner and researcher collaboration outweigh challenges
u Working Paper coming out soon (ABCD website)
Water in a Changing Climate
- A citizen deliberation that examined the intersections between water and climate change;
-Internal aim: reframe climate change in the context of water to round out Alberta Climate Change discussions (shift from energy and mitigation to water and adaptation; local focus)
u To have an informed dialogue, including sharing hopes and concerns, about the future of the watershed;
u To identify the public values that resonate most on this issue, and where there is common ground;
u To identify key areas that warrant more community involvement and policy development, including recommendations for consideration by the Oldman Watershed Council.
u Short time frame (one day rather than multi-day deliberation);
u No existing policy question
to address climate change is not addressed by OWC;
u Very little direction / input
from sponsor organization; u Alternative framing of the
issue (ie. not mainstream)
One day event held at University of Lethbridge, Alberta on Saturday, February 22, 2014;
Informed dialogue: participants provided with background information (climate change and water; deliberative democracy Facilitated deliberation (5 facilitators and 1 lead facilitator)
33 invited participants - Diversity across gender, age, occupation,
8:30 9:00 Arrival and registrations
9:00 9:45 Introductions & Ice breaker
9:45 10:30 Guest speaker: Regional climate change and water
10:45 12:15 Initial explorations mapping of concerns
12:15 1:00 Lunch
1:00 1:30 Presentation: Oldman Watershed Council
1:30 1:45 Overview of Deliberative Democracy
1:45 2:45 Exploring perspectives on key concerns
3:00 3:50 Developing best advice moving forward
3:50 4:30 Large plenary bringing it all together
4:30 5:00 Wrap up and conclusion
u Demonstrated capacity to get to value based discussions in short time;
u Focus on delivering results within set
constraints led to some tokenistic conclusions (richness of earlier discussions not necessarily reflected in final recommendations);
u More time required to train facilitators (gap
between self-stated capacities and actual capacities to guide deliberative work).
Energy Efficiency Choices
u Developed in partnership with Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance.
u Virtual deliberation (online, with option of telephone access). Each participant spent two hours in one of six available sessions.
u Recruitment by Probit; 164 participants.
u Facilitated plenary and small group discussions.
u Draft report and follow up survey shared with participant; final report to be released soon.
Research on Energy Efficiency Choices
u Participant surveys before and after, including issues of deliberative quality, trust in government, political efficacy.
u Focus groups and questionnaires on experience of volunteer facilitators, including around training and support.
u Linking participant surveys with questions in Alberta-wide population survey.