Here’s an initial description of the problem from Rob C:
I’m excited about the possibility that you Frome techies may be able to help us out - effectively with a home made sortition process. Although this is specifically to help with getting a Citizens’ assembly running on the Climate Emergency … if we can crack the process, it would help with further CAs or similar kinds of events. The basic idea is to find a way of arriving at somewhere between 20-50 people in a room discussing an issue (in an informed and facilitated way). The process of selecting those people needs to be demonstratively fair and achieve a convincingly representative democratic profile of the Frome population.
I think the task is this:
Optical character read the pdf version of the Electoral register into either a data base, or spreadsheet (approx. 205,000 entries)
Randomly select approx. 1750-2000 names and addresses. [letters then get sent out inviting participation in a CA]
We’d apparently normally expect approx. 3% positive response rate to those 2000 letters … the letters would ask for further information, i.e. confirming gender, nationality, educational background, etc, .
Selective randomisation selection on those 60 responses would then aim to provide a convincingly representative democratic profile of the Frome population.
We’d also need to find some way of coming up with a accurate demographic profile of the people in Frome. Not sure how we set about that.
and here’s a snapshot of the whiteboard that came out of our initial conversation: