Co-pro benefits

I asked over 90 co-production practitioners in the UK and USA to identify the benefits of co-production for their organizations, for service-users, and for themselves ( This is what they/you said…

For organizations

Relevance & effectiveness

  • Identifies & supports design of more effective services, tailored to the group and the individual – no more one-size-fits-all.
  • More responsive and relevant services, avoiding mismatch between perceived and actual needs or issues.
  • Extra capacity and better outcomes, the services that people actually want.

Creativity, flexibility, learning

  • Accesses a wide range of previously ‘hidden’ skills, knowledge, experience & networks.
  • Opportunity to listen, learn, and get things right by working with specific groups and developing outcomes together to meet identified needs.
  • Broadens our horizons and increases our creativity – more interesting for staff.
  • Helps connect people to one another – extends networks, breaks down barriers.

Partnership & collaboration

  • Opportunity to really listen to the community and service users, letting go of the responsibility of being the expert and needing to get it right.
  • Greater openness, transparency and democracy, better targeting of resources, and an improved public profile.
  • More robust in meeting mission, through greater access to resources, increased community visibility and more sustainable, viable connections.

For service-users

Influence & ownership

  • Provides an opportunity to be properly heard and to play a significant role in service design and development.
  • A real chance to influence the service for themselves, to take ownership and responsibility for their community.
  • The opportunity to develop skills & knowledge and to become more independent of statutory services.

Acknowledgement & wellbeing

  • Recognition of their expertise and their ability to address the real issues, offering more control over their lives.
  • Wellbeing benefits accrue from knowing they are making a contribution.
  • Encourages self efficacy, self confidence, and a sense of purpose.

Relevance & effectiveness

  • Participating in a collaboration which results in better services, better outcomes, a fairer system, and a more equitable relationship.
  • Offers a fuller, richer and more creative way of getting the best from yourself, your peers and the relevant services.

For practitioners


  • Allows us to learn from others and to be part of a community-building effort.
  • Interesting challenges and the chance to develop new skills.
  • More creativity, flexibility, and customization for everyone.
  • Seeing things afresh: challenging our assumptions and understanding.


  • It’s based on my community development principles: empowerment, the value of every individual, working collectively towards grassroots, locally-owned solutions.
  • Intellectually and emotionally satisfying work that is consistent with my values.
  • Demonstrates our understanding of human rights – fairness, equality, respect, dignity, autonomy & interdependence.

Job satisfaction

  • Better enabled to deliver core objectives of position, more closely connected to the community and therefore more able to support them.
  • Greater job satisfaction, knowing that projects and services developed are truly meeting the needs of beneficiaries.
  • Satisfaction through facilitating/supporting the development of community members and of projects that use the co-production approach.

About Ruth

UK National Teaching Fellow, Founder of Co-production Wales (All in this Together), co-pro trainer and consultant, working to make co-production 'the way we do things' in Wales. And having a ball!

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