Reframe it – deliberative polling with online automation

Reframe It, a technological platform, enables people to add comments and rate them. It was developed as a result of a new collaborative governance technique called deliberative polling. Deliberative polling was invented by Professor James Fishkin at Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy. It involves key steps such as administering a survey to random representative sample, selecting a random sample from this sample to receive information, participate in a poll, discussion, and develop questions, and concluding with a final questionnaire (


Reframe It allows many people to add comments, but those whom participate in deliberative polling have weight to their rating or are the only ones whom can rate the comments. This prevents certain people from skewing the results or discussion and the results can reflect the “true collective intelligence” of an organization or population (

Potential Negatives?

An obvious downside to Reframe it and Deliberative Polling is the increased effort that it takes to recruit a random sample and run in-person focus groups. In addition, the people whom volunteer must take the time to learn about the subject matter and be able to think critically.

Final Verdict?

 This is an interesting development in the field of collaborative governance in being able to seek information and recommendations from the public. The Knight Foundation recently funded a pilot program to conduct two deliberative polls on immigration reform and the National Security Agency. Reframe It is a relatively new startup so it will be interesting to see what happens with it in the future.

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