Applying citizens’ juries as a driver of the sustainability transformation in the Global South – the case for the application of qualitative content analysis

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    CGIAR Initiative on Low-Emission Food Systems
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By Marco Nilgen

One of our research project’s main objectives is to unlock the transformative potential of Citizens’ Juries (CJs) on our journey to more sustainable food systems. On the individual and group level, i.e., among the participants of the juries themselves, this is supposed to be achieved through the facilitation of a creative and integrated decision-making process with a high degree of perceived legitimacy. In this process, the activities contributing to this objective aim to further our common understanding of the internal dynamics of CJs – i.e., how and why exactly jurors arrive at their decisions.

A key research task within this larger objective is to conduct a thorough examination of both the content and results of the CJs. This includes the analysis of connections between CJ discussion dynamics and outcomes with specific socioeconomic characteristics of CJ participants, particularly focusing on factors such as age, gender, and general status within the society. Additionally, we seek to investigate the link between the mental models of CJ participants and their effect on the quality and content of the group deliberations during the jury proceedings. Of particular significance is understanding how the CJ’s decisions correlate with the individual future orientation and the CJ members’ ability to adapt their thinking to the socioecological complexities within the food systems at the heart of the living labs in Caquetá, Colombia.

In combination with the individual survey-based measures we aim to collect before and after the CJs (see previous blog posts for more detailed information), our overall approach can thus be regarded as a mixed-method design. This specific combination of quantitative and qualitative research approaches can help us acquire a better understanding of the complex dynamics that are at play in deliberation-based policymaking approaches such as CJs. Naturally, the qualitative research dimension can additionally help in identifying issues to be tackled in future research endeavors concerning either the CJ methodology itself or the sustainability of food systems in the Global South.

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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