Emerging models of public deliberation—such as citizens' juries, citizens' assemblies or deliberative polls—require that the participants be randomly selected. Usually it is desirable for the random selection to be stratified: that is, to be representative of the general population along dimensions such as age, gender, nationality or socio-economic status.
This tool makes it easier to perform such stratified random selection.
Who is providing this tool?
This tool is made available by the newDemocracy Foundation, an independent, non-partisan research and development organisation. We aim to discover, develop, demonstrate, and promote complementary alternatives which will restore trust in public decision making.
Why should I trust it?
To maintain the integrity of a mini-public, it is important when selecting participants
- that the selection is genuinely random, and
- that personal information about the candidates is kept private.
To this end, this selection tool has the following features.
- Open source
The source code for this tool is publicly available and can be found in this GitHub repository.
To ensure you are using the code that is in the GitHub repository, you can access this page via the following direct link on the GitHub Pages domain.
- Runs locally
The selection algorithm will run locally in your browser. The tool will work even if you disconnect from the internet (after initially loading the tool).
The tool does not upload any data (including data that you input, such as candidate information) to the internet.
If you are using any browser extensions, it is possible that you have previously granted them permission to access the data on pages that you visit, including this tool. If privacy is a concern, we suggest you temporarily disable your browser extensions whilst performing the selection to ensure they do not have access to candidate information.
What do I need?To use the tool, you need two sets of information.
- A spreadsheet containing demographic information for each of the eligible candidates. To understand the required formatting, please refer to this example Excel spreadsheet, or this CSV file.
- A spreadsheet containing information about the distribution of demographic factors in the population for which you want your random sample to be representative. To understand the required formatting, please refer to this example Excel spreadsheet, or this CSV file.
If you need help using the tool or understanding if it is right for your situation, please contact Kyle Redman at email@example.com.
One final note
Be aware that depending on the particular makeup of your pool of candidates, and the specifications of the stratified sample you are trying to obtain, it is possible that the tool may not be able to find a valid sample. If this occurs, the tool will inform you.
First, import your candidate information...
If you just want to see how the tool works, click here to load the example data.
In this algorithm, first a number of panels are generated which satisfy the specified constraints, and then one of those panels is selected at random.Pros
- Should work every time.
- Relatively fast.
- Not always fair to individuals because some individuals will be represented in more of the panels than others.
In this algorithm, first a number of panels are generated which satisfy the specified constraints, then probabilities are assigned to each of the panels such that the minimum probability than any particular candidate is selected is maximised, and then a panel is selected according to that probability distribution.Pros
- Much fairer to individuals than the Simple algorithm.
- A bit slower.
- Might not work. The algorithm can get stuck part way through on larger problems.
Export selected candidates
Download the details of the candidates who were selected, in your preferred format.
Export everyone else
Download the candidates who were not selected. This can sometimes be helpful if you need to choose participants for a future event, or if you have someone withdraw their participation and need to select a replacement.
|Variable||Value||# Requested||# Selected|