Advancing the citizens’ jury implementation in Bogotá – fostering collaborative research initiatives

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    CGIAR Initiative on Low-Emission Food Systems
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By Marco Nilgen

In March 2024, a series of pivotal meetings convened in Bogotá, Colombia, aimed at continuing the organization of citizens’ juries on food system issues in the Amazon frontier region of Caqueta under the CGIAR Research Initiative on Low-Emission Food Systems (Mitigate+). These gatherings and workshops, taking place during the third and fourth weeks of the month, brought together scientists from universities in Colombia and Germany, as well as CGIAR and local NGO representatives concerned with the implementation of and research on the citizens’ juries. This article provides a brief overview of the discussions and outcomes of these meetings, highlighting the collaborative efforts undertaken to advance the citizens’ jury implementation and research endeavors associated with the project.

The inaugural meeting commenced with a gathering of stakeholders, including representatives from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, to explore avenues for collaborative research within the framework of the planned citizens’ jury activities. A specific emphasis was placed on the integration of junior researchers from Javeriana, the University of Marburg, and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, fostering cross-cultural exchange and scholarly collaboration between the research partner institutions. Discussions revolved around identifying common research interests and methodologies to potentially enrich the investigations around the citizens’ jury investigation, thereby enhancing its efficacy and scope.

A pivotal workshop ensued two days later, first focusing on administrative matters central to the successful implementation of the citizens’ juries in the coming months. Deliberations centered on the meticulous sampling of jury participants, ultimately aiming to ensure representativeness and diversity within the deliberative process. Consideration was also given to the final selection and installation of facilitators and assistants adept at guiding deliberations impartially. Furthermore, dialogue encompassed the identification of suitable neighborhoods in Bogotá to host the citizens’ juries, acknowledging the importance of accessible and inclusive venues for civic engagement. Crucially, efforts were made to curate a roster of expert witnesses from scientific backgrounds, poised to contribute invaluable insights to the deliberative proceedings of the citizens’ juries. In the afternoon, the workshop continued with an in-depth discussion on the current stage of the planned jury proceedings (i.e., specific deliberation activities, bias alleviation tasks, mental model mapping, etc.), as well as a critical investigation of quantitative survey instruments. These are planned to be employed both during the sampling stages, as well as the jury proceedings themselves.

See the rest of the article here.

See more information on the CGIAR Initiative on Low-Emission Food Systems here.

Photo credit: Max Burger / University of Marburg

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