Co-production is everywhere, but is it useful?

Durose, Catherine ORCID: 0000-0002-1712-9914, Richardson, Liz, Perry, Beth and Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place
Co-production is everywhere, but is it useful? [Report]

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Key takeaways 1. Co-production is a form of collaboration often between professionals and those usually on the receiving end of their expertise. 2. Co-production seems to be everywhere. Advocates argue that co-production is necessary to respond to contemporary challenges, such as uncertainty, complexity and contestation. But how useful an idea is it? 3. Our work sets out three tentative answers to this question. 1) Co-production now means so many things to so many people, it has lost its distinctiveness and is perhaps not as useful as it could be. 2) Nailing down definitions is less relevant if practitioners and policy-makers are already using the concept in their work, but understanding how and why co-production is used is useful for policy-making. 3) Coproduction is useful in mobilising participation as a step-change towards addressing social challenges. 4. The technical terms for these different ways of answering the question are clarification, elucidation, and provocation. A clarification perspective would judge ‘usefulness’ according to how clear the definitions of co-production are; an elucidation perspective would focus on understanding how co-production is interpreted by different people in different contexts and what this reveals about power dynamics; and a provocation perspective would assess the utility of co-production by how far it has mobilised coalitions for change and produced action on the ground. 5. Our work shows that co-production is in some ways a messy concept, and there is further work to do to define and communicate the distinctiveness of the idea. But its value lies in calling for policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and citizens to come together in ways that inspire change in existing practice to better meet the challenges of the moment.

Item Type: Report
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2024 14:36
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 14:54
DOI: 10.17638/03172461