The Program for Deliberative Democracy strives to improve local and regional decision-making through informed citizen deliberations. The Program utilizes Deliberative Polling® and other forms of democratic dialogue in order to indicate what the population would think about a particular issue if it had time to become immersed in a deeply deliberative process.
Program announces the The Art of Democracy
The initiative is housed at Carnegie Mellon University within the Center for Ethics and Policy. There are two main outreach activities of the Program: Citizen Forums and Campus Conversations.
By providing background materials from the deliberative events and a
report on the deliberation results to the press, libraries, community
organizations and in other public venues, we believe that we can
raise the level of community-wide awareness of and involvement in
the pressing issues of social choice that face us in our lives as
citizens. We have also found that deliberative democratic practice not only informs stakeholders of what our citizens think, but it also
empowers individuals and strenghtens civic engagement.
In 2008 the program received a Good Government Award from the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh. In 2013 Mayor Bill Peduto endorced a recommendation that Pittsburgh become a center for deliberative democracy. In 2014 the City introduced Deliberative Community Forums and, with a newly formed PDD spin-off consulting group, produced a Handbook (2016). Today the program is working with Kenya Dworkin (CubaCivica) and Public Agenda on a far reaching initiative to introduce deliberative democracy in Cuba.
Carnegie Mellon University
Materials for discussing this issue (with a focus on Campus Reproductive Resources) are available for use by groups and organizations.
Pittsburgh uses deliberative forums to validate and comment upon the selection criteria for selecting its new Chief of Police.
State of Maryland citizen deliberations on the allocation of scarce medical resources during a public health disaster.
An innovative approach to the challenges and opportunities of The Marcellus Shale, produced by WQED.
September 25, 2010
A public discussion about municipal services in Allegheny County, supported by The Pittsburgh Foundation.
September 27, 2008
The first ever statewide deliberative poll on same-sex marriage.
A district-level deliberative poll on issues of relevance to
City Council as well as local organizations and associations.
The nation's first systematic use of deliberative polling techniques
at the college and university level. Topics have included "Faculty
Course Evaluations," "Public Art Policy" and "Climate Change and Campus Policy."
The Program for Deliberative Democracy is an independent, non-partisan organization devoted to the deliberation of issues that shape the lives and future of people in our region.
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