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Involving Low Income Consumers in Policy Making - Developing Consultation Methods and Improving Participation Levels


The aim of this project is to examine the effectiveness of two different consultation and communication mechanisms to involve hard to reach groups in food policy.

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Semi-structured interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders to explore the effectiveness of involving hard to reach groups in policy through their representative groups.
Two public involvement methods were selected to evaluate direct methods of involving consumers. A three-day citizens jury and a one-day citizens workshop were conducted, each bringing together older citizens, to deliberate on the topic of: Does food retailing need to change in order to achieve optimal health and diet?
The citizens workshop is a method where a group of citizens are brought together to learn about, discuss and give their views on an issue. The citizens' jury is a method where a group of 12-16 people are brought together over a period of several days, to be informed about a specific issue, hear evidence from witnesses and cross-examine them.

The evaluation of the two methods assessed the participants and observers perceptions of the processes and outcomes of the methods, against a set of evaluation criteria. The criteria were representation; independence; trustworthiness; credibility; clarity and transparency; access to resources; group dynamics; efficacy of the process; fairness; transformation; group identification; task-related outcomes; and satisfaction.

<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="; target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.

University of Surrey
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