Regional citizen panel

Practice Solutions was commissioned by a Regional Board to set up and facilitate their citizen panel. Based on our experience of facilitating the National Social Services Citizen Panel, we were well placed to advise them regarding the recruitment of a panel with a range of diverse and valuable experiences of local services and policy.

We developed an agenda and a project plan for each meeting to ensure relevant outcomes were achieved on time and within budget. We also developed background papers to help members understand the priorities set out by the Regional Board. We drew upon the skills and knowledge of our team to produce these documents using plain, jargon-free language and Easy Read versions.

We managed the communication with panel members face to face, and via telephone, email and Skype to ensure they had timely access to the relevant information and support during meeting cycles. We encouraged the use of video and audio recordings for participants to reflect their views and provided them with support to raise awareness of, and help them manage, the opportunities and risks associated with communicating via digital videos in an online video conference (Skype).

Our facilitators made sure that people had the opportunity to ‘have their say’ in response to the subject of the discussion. After each meeting was completed, facilitators developed a written report for the Regional Board that encapsulated the Panel’s perspectives and experiences of local services. The outcomes from these reports were also shared at a national level to inform policy.

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