CIPAST – Citizen Participation in Science and Technology

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CIPAST developed a training programme for research and science communication professionals involved in public deliberation on science issues.

The two main CIPAST objectives were:

1.    to structure an expanded network of current and potential actors in citizen participation in science through dissemination of best practices and information sharing
2.    to design and organise training sessions and training materials.

CIPAST brought together different actors involved in citizen participation in policy deliberation and decision-making on scientific and technical issues.  The partners then collected and disseminated best practices and facilitated sharing of experience of various public participation initiatives.

The main result of the project is a training package for setting up and managing citizen participation initiatives. The material is based on case studies and is divided into three sections:

•    Practice: case studies of selected initiatives in citizen participation in science
•    Design: resources for designing participatory procedures
•    What else?: bibliography, list of experts and other material.

The target audience for this training programme is decision-makers from politics, research, NGOs and industry.

The project also organised two workshops to test the training material.

Basic information

Country: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom

Coordinator: La Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, France, http://www.cite-sciences.fr/

Programme: FP6

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, industry, policy makers, researchers

Topic: Education, Other

Start year: 2005

End year: 2008

Url: http://www.cipast.org/

Contact person: Roland SCHAER, La Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, r.schaer (at) cite-sciences.fr

The overall goal of CIPAST is to integrate public deliberation procedures in decision-making at different levels: the procedures must be identified, assessed, improved and disseminated.

Each of the three "levels of decision" implies different requirements and conditions for public participation and affects the implementation of participatory procedures, including:

•    the choice of methods
•    the types of participants involved;
•    the design of organisational structures and processes;
•    the target audiences;
•    the types of outcomes.

Therefore, the CIPAST  training program was specifically aimed at the following aspects of public participation:

•    Aims (rationale, objectives, goals)
•    Methods (tools, techniques, arrangements) appropriate for participation;
•    Participants suitable for involvement;
•    Outcomes realistically to be achieved;
•    Organisation (design, implementation, dissemination of results, budget) required;
•    Evaluation (re: process, outcomes, impacts)

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