In 2020 The Devon Net Zero Assembly Research Project focused on Public and Political actors’ perceptions and expectations of the Devon Climate Assembly* process.

  • The Devon climate assembly formed part of the work of The Devon Climate Emergency Response Group, a multi-stakeholder partnership established following the declaration of a climate emergency by local authorities in 2019.
  • Our project identified gaps in knowledge on the legitimacy and perceived representativeness of ‘Rural’ citizens’ assemblies. Recent UK assemblies have commonly had an urban focus and the wider project aims to explore the challenges and operations of a rural based citizens’ assembly.
  • Our research contributed to a gap in knowledge by investigating public and stakeholders’ perceptions of the value of Citizens’ Assemblies. Our project compared and contrasted views of the public and those commissioning the Citizens’ Assembly, focusing on perceptions of the legitimacy and credibility and likely impacts of the assembly.


In 2021 & 2022 we continued our research on the Devon Climate Assembly with a project titled: Networks of Exchange: Developing lessons and sharing best practices on Online Public Deliberation

  • This project had 4 key aims: (i) firstly, to impact on the evolving design of the Devon Online Citizens Assembly in order to support the development of DCC/DCERG Devon pathways to Net Zero process. (ii) Second, to gather critical reflections from participants and practitioners involved in the Online Citizens Assembly. (iii) Third, to co-design a toolkit on online and digital methods for deliberative democratic processes with partners. (iv) Lastly, the project involved collaborating with leading national organisations to lead webinars on the running of online Mini-Publics.

    The outputs from our projects, including guidance and rapid reviews aimed at non-academic stakeholders such as those interested in running a citizen’s assembly or deliberative mini-public, can be found on our resources page. We welcome enquiries about these and are happy to provide further information or advice.

Images above courtesy of Bob Blob on Unsplash and Devon Climate Emergency Website

*In 2021 the Devon Net Zero Assembly was renamed the Devon Climate Assembly; the assembly took place in June & July 2021, the report and website of the Assembly can be found here.