Over the past several years, the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution and Public Collaboration (MODR) has worked with the Kettering Foundation to establish a Public Policy Institute (PPI) for public deliberation at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In June 2008, the Kettering Foundation invited MODR to join other research partners across the country in a research experiment influenced by Daniel Yankelovich‟s Seven Stages of Public Understanding. The purpose of this experiment is to test how effectively a citizen court process model communicates public opinion on contentious public policy issues to public officials and the media.
MODR agreed to join in this research project in order to continue to build on its public deliberation expertise and to contribute to the advancement of the field of Deliberative Democracy. The project provided the opportunity to examine and learn new techniques for analyzing and reporting forum outcomes. Furthermore, the project provided an opportunity for MODR to engage the University of Massachusetts Boston academic departments through the involvement of graduate students as research assistants, as well as the opportunity for MODR to engage its networks of public officials, affiliate practitioners, and moderators in the project.
Breese, Courtney, "Stages of Judgment Citizen Court Experiment Report" (2009). Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration Publications. 5.