Scoping Group - Member-Wide Consultation

Scoping Group - Member-Wide Consultation

Scoping Group - Member-Wide Consultation

This section details the terms of reference for the group, which were agreed by both committees before the group was convened. It also includes details about the members of the scoping group and why they were selected. The group was convened, chaired and facilitated by Erin Mansell, Political Adviser and Researcher for the Party. 

Terms of reference


Consultation Scoping Committee




To advise the Women’s Equality Party on carrying out a Members' Assembly (based on a citizen’s assembly design) that will consider and deliberate on Self-ID. The scoping group will collectively consider the aims of the members' assembly and make recommendations on its the design and operation, taking into account the likely restrictions that will be in place as a result of COVID-19.


The Scoping Committee will make recommendations to the Policy and Steering committees of the Women’s Equality Party as to the make-up and design of a Members' Assembly and associated costs, taking into account the likely restrictions that will be in place as a result of COVID-19.

The Scoping Committee shall make recommendations that ensure WE hear from the broadest possible range of expertise and lived experience from the witnesses, while retaining a deliberative process that is as consensus-building as possible. 

Factors to be considered include: 

  • The number and makeup of the assembly and method of selection;
  • Criteria for selecting the witnesses;
  • The number of times the assembly meets (online to account for COVID-19 restrictions) and for how long;
  • Whether there are observers, an advisory panel, an expert lead, a steering group and any other variables to a typical citizen’s jury model;
  • The level of ongoing consultation needed to run the assembly.

The Committee is acting in an advisory role, it does not have powers to enact decisions on behalf of the Party.


The Scoping Committee will have no more than 12 members. 

Of those 12, there must be: 

  • One Policy Committee member
  • One Steering Committee member

Of the other people on the scoping committee, one or more of the following criteria for membership must be fulfilled: 

  • Expertise in and experience of democratic deliberative processes
  • Expertise in and experience of facilitating or organising citizens’ assemblies on contentious/polarised issues (e.g. abortion assembly)
  • Experience of participating in a citizen’s assembly
  • Facilitation expertise (including online facilitation)
  • Social research experience, specifically random stratified sampling
  • Knowledge of accessibility for group participation exercises
  • Expertise in interpreting/drafting legislation

It is a condition of membership of the committee that personal opinions must be put aside in favour of objectivity and working towards solutions.


Chair of the Scoping Committee to be elected at the first meeting of the Scoping Committee by a simple majority vote.

Ideally the Committee will meet by Zoom, at least once as a full group for half a day, repeated if needed, and from then may advise in an individual capacity as available. The Committee may conduct business about routine planning matters by email.

Scoping of the assembly is to take place in May, and the  assembly in July/ August 2020.


The Chair of the Scoping Committee will work with Erin Mansell to send the minutes of Scoping Committee meetings and recommendations to the PC, to be included in a report from the PC to the SC.


The Committee will have the use of the party’s Zoom account. 

The committee will produce its agendas in conjunction with Erin Mansell, who is the Central Office liaison. The committee will take its own minutes.

Members of the Scoping Group

Pamela Ritchie

Policy Committee 

Policy Committee random selection

Ceri Davies

Director, Deliberative Research, NatCen

Deliberative processes, social research (including sampling), WE member, online research facilitation

Helen Mooney

Steering Committee

Steering Committee elected

Clodagh Harris

Senior lecturer in the Department of Government & Politics, Cork University

Advisory board member for citizen’s assemblies on contentious issues. 

Accessibility of group participation

Louise Caldwell

Participant in Ireland citizens’ assembly


Korina Holmes


Experience of interpreting legislation, and WE member

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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