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 (http://coproductionresource.wordpress.com). This is what they/you said…
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.