Citizens’ Assembly

Getting Started on Your Citizens’ Assembly Playbook

Welcome! Now that you’ve determined that a citizens’ assembly or jury is the right process for you, please complete the form below to create your Playbook account and start planning your participatory program! After completing this initial stage, you will have the opportunity to complete additional sets of questions for each stage of your citizens’ assembly or jury.

Once you submit your form, you will be directed to a results page, where you will see a summary of your situation and next steps to build your playbook. 

If you already have an account, log in to the Participation Playbook before completing the form. You will receive an email with a one-time link to direct you to your account dashboard. Can’t find the confirmation email in your inbox? Check your spam folder and tag the Playbook email address as non-spam.

Note that the information you provide in this form is for your planning purposes only and will not be shared with any third parties. We will also ask you for your email address, but rest assured that this is not for commercial purposes: It is so that you can access your personal playbook now and when you return to the website later.

At which level of public decision-making will the citizens’ assembly or jury be implemented?

The playbook content was designed primarily for local governments, though it should also be generally relevant for other levels and institutions of government.


The playbook was originally designed for local governments. If this is not the case for you, you may have to skip or adapt some questions to fit your situation.

In some cases, the institution that commissions a citizens’ assembly is different from the institution that is tasked with organizing it. For example, a local government may convene an assembly, and then hire a civil society organization to organize the process and facilitate the sessions.

What is your role in the citizen assembly to be implemented? Select all that apply.

It is possible to collaborate in the implementation of a participatory process from different roles: advocating for the process as a representative of civil society organizations or within government, planning or designing as part of a government team, or as part of an independent group advising the government. Other people may be responsible for the implementation of the participatory process or for deciding to approve it, as is the case with elected officials. This playbook is intended for people who may be fulfilling any of these roles.

If you would like to advocate for a citizens’ assembly or jury, but you will not be involved in planning or implementation, we recommend completing only the Advocacy stage of the playbook. (Of course, you’re welcome to complete the other stages if you’d like!)

Do you want to build a playbook for a citizens’ assembly or jury process that specifically addresses climate change, or for a process that addresses other issues?

Many cities and institutions are using citizens’ assemblies and juries to engage people in addressing climate change and its effects. If you would like to address issues including climate change, extreme weather, the transition to renewable energy sources, water, air, and waste, then a climate assembly process could be a good fit for your situation. If you’re not sure, you can check out the Climate Democracy spotlight page for more information  and global examples of climate assemblies and juries.


Have you already won political and financial approval to move the process forward?
Do you want to build a playbook for an entire process or specifically for one or more stages of a process (for example, advocacy, planning, monitoring and evaluation etc.)?
Which stage(s) do you want guidance for?

Here’s a brief overview of what takes place during each stage:

  • Setting an enabling environment/Advocacy: Identify the problem you’ll address, pinpoint partners and decision-makers, gather relevant information, and make your case for a citizens’ assembly or jury. This section will help you assess your political context and opportunities for a citizens’ assembly in terms of remit ( framing question) and schedule.
  • Planning: Consider your context, accessibility and format; find the right team, including expert witnesses, facilitators and oversight committee, as well as other necessary resources; set up the governance bodies of the assembly; address broader public engagement; and bring the public, staff, volunteers, and partners up to speed. Plan the recruitment/invitation process as well as the civic lottery.
  • During the assembly: Execute the recruitment/invitation and civic lottery; Plan and run the last preparations for the assembly or jury; the community building phase; the learning phase; the deliberation phase; the consensus phase; and the wrap-up, as well as any decisions and adjustments needed once the sessions have started.
  • Implementation, evaluation and institutionalization: Ensure all efforts are made to implement the results of the process; develop a plan for evaluating the process and its impact; discuss and possibly advocate for the institutionalization of citizens’ assemblies and juries.
Which stage(s) do you want guidance for?

Here’s a brief overview of what takes place during each stage:

  • Setting an enabling environment: This section will help you assess whether your political context is favorable to a climate assembly.
  • Planning: This stage includes: gathering the assembly panel through a civic lottery; setting up the governance bodies of the assembly; addressing broader public engagement; and determining the agenda, format and logistics of the sessions in the learning and deliberation phases.
  • Running the climate assembly: This section deals with the last preparations, as well as any decisions and adjustments needed once the sessions of the climate assembly have started.
  • Following up and assessing the climate assembly: Once the climate assembly has submitted its proposals to the convener, planners need to follow up on how the proposals will be addressed. This step is key for the assembly’s success.
Do you want additional, personalized mentorship from an expert to help you complete your playbook?

Check out our web page to better understand the benefits of working with a mentor.