Core co-pro papers

Julia Slay from nef (the New Economics Foundation) has passed this co-pro resources bibliography on to us. So we’re passing it on to you! 

Introductory reading

The Challenge of Co-production Boyle D and Harris M. (2009)

This paper highlights the role of co-production in addressing the crisis of reform in public services. It contains useful explanations of what co-production is, is not, and how it works. The following definition is given: “Co-production means delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, people using services, their families and their neighbours. Where activities are co-produced in this way, both services and neighbourhoods become far more effective agents of change.”

Public services inside out Boyle D, Slay J and Stephens L. (2010)

This report is about real stories of reform, led by people who work in and use public services. It details both the potential of and the challenges for co-production in the public sector. It describes six key characteristics of co-production:

  • Recognising people as assets
  • Building on people’s existing capabilities
  • Promoting mutuality and reciprocity
  • Developing peer support networks
  • Breaking down barriers between professionals and recipients
  • Facilitating rather than delivering

The authors demonstrate that co-production can help create better, cheaper services, produced from the ground up by those who know public services best.

Co-production: Right here, Right now Boyle D, et al. (2010)

This provides the basis for a better understanding of how to bring co-production from the margins to the mainstream. It identifies four barriers to mainstreaming, which the report looks to address:

  • Commissioning co-production activity
  • Generating evidence of value
  • Taking successful co-production approaches to scale
  • Developing professionals’ skills

In This Together Slay J and Robinson B (2011)

A series of case studies and personal testimonies of how co-production has had a transformative effect across a range of sectors. The report draws out the practical processes and behaviours that co-production practitioners used and adapted to successfully co-produce the design and delivery of services. This includes asset mapping, the use of rewards, recruitment and appraisal processes, and monitoring and evaluation.

The new wealth of time: how timebanking helps people build better public services nef (2008)

This report introduces a useful typology of time-banking and develops the case for time-banking as part of the new paradigm for public services. It includes a case study section on the use of time banks in improving mental health.

Budgets and Beyond: what co-production can offer personalisation Slay J. (2011)

Explores the potential for co-production to improve outcomes for those individuals (along with their families and support networks) who are intended to benefit from the move towards greater personalisation of care and support services, including people who have personal budgets or are self funders. Includes the findings of a wide ranging literature review, and outlines a framework for exploring what co-production might offer personalisation.

Making the choice: early insights from up2us Slay J. (2011)

A short report based on the early findings of an evaluation of a project initiated by the housing action charity HACT. Up2us is a pilot scheme running in partnership with six housing associations that are enabling people with support needs to gain more power and control over their lives by pooling their individual support and care budgets. It provides an in-depth example of the challenges of adopting a fresh approach to the delivery of services. Practical recommendations are given on how to change systems, bring cultural shifts and bring people together.

A glass half-full: how an asset approach can improve community health and well-being IDeA (2011)

Explains the asset-based approach and describes how this can help tackle health inequalities. Read this for advice on asset-mapping as well as other techniques to support an asset-based approach – such as appreciative inquiry, participatory appraisal and open space technology. It is very strong on practical examples and case studies.

Co-production: an emerging evidence base for adult social care transformation Needham C. and Carr S. (2009)

This SCIE research briefing outlines the role of co-production in adult social care services. The evidence highlights that:

  • Different types of co-production in social care can fit on a scale from ‘descriptive’ models, to truly ‘transformative’ models.
  • Descriptive models in social care understand that care services cannot be produced without input from the people who use services, but are concerned with little more than service-user compliance – whether by choice or imposition.
  • Intermediate models involve a much fuller recognition and valuing of the many people who together co-produce care outcomes, with an emphasis on mutual respect.
  • Transformative models of co-production have the potential to create new relationships between the people who use services and staff. These models reposition service users as experts and ask what assets they can contribute to collaborative relationships which will transform provision. They take ‘a whole life focus’ which incorporates broader quality of life issues, rather than just clinical or service issues.

The paper concludes that the transformative approach can come closest to fulfilling the demands of the ‘Putting people first’ adult social care transformation agenda.

Local Area Coordination: Family, friends, community – a good life Government of Western Australia (2010)

Outlines the vision and principles of the LAC Programme in Western Australia – an intervention which has strong and positive evidence base. Helpfully provides the role description for a Local Area Coordinator, and gives examples to illustrate seven key aspects of the position. Useful in highlighting the means by which the LAC programme made the role of navigator truly transformative.

Local Area Coordination Consultation Project
Disability Services Commission 2010

A review of LAC based on over one hundred conversations with people with disabilities, their families and carers. Contains useful sections on the ingredients for a successful working relationship between LAC and client (pp.20-21) and client-suggested improvements (pp.28-29). Also includes an overview of questions asked during the consultation which is a useful resource for designing qualitative evaluations.

Co-production with Older People Guide National Development Team for inclusion (NDTi)

This paper sets out 7 principles to help local authorities and their partners, including local communities, work together and improve older people’s influence at all levels of service commissioning and delivery. Use this resource to provoke thinking about what underpins successful collaboration with older people for a range of purposes. Includes helpful diagrams about how the 7 principles can be translated into practical steps, and case studies from social care.

Practical tools

The Coproduction Self-Assessment Audit Tool nef (2011)

This short self-assessment tool has been designed to help practitioners critically assess how deeply they have developed co-production. The framework encourages self-reflection around 8 principles:

  1. Treating people as assets
  2. Incorporating peoples’ skills and experiences into the design of services
  3. Recognizing and celebrating peoples’ contributions
  4. Sharing responsibility for the delivery of services
  5. Valuing the work everyone contributes to achieve successful outcomes
  6. Creating a culture of give and take between staff and people involved
  7. Enabling people to find ways to support one another
  8. Developing peoples’ networks as a core activity

Co-production – how are you doing? A self-reflection tool Inclusion North & Tricia Nicoll Consulting (2011)

This tool uses Edgar Cahn’s 4 key principles of co-production and helps practitioners to score their work across the four areas as red, amber or green. Questions are asked to provoke changes towards deeper and more transformative practice of co-production. This is an easy-access, user-friendly resource and works well for self-reflection at multiple levels of an organisation/project.

Conversations about inclusive and sustainable communities: six practices for creative engagement O’Brien J and Towell D. (2011)

The six practices presented in this guide offer practitioners helpful insights into how to begin conversations with citizens that develop mutual understanding and a shared desire to act together. The six practices will be useful for those trying to:

  • Discover more about local people’s perspectives
  • Bring together diverse groups to coproduce knowledge and generate new, shared insights
  • Identify local assets which are often overlooked, but which often prove key to success
  • Balance broad based engagement with in-depth understanding

Websites and short films

Coproduction Practitioners’ Network  This dedicated network is run by the new economics foundation (nef), with and for practitioners of co-production. It enables people to link up with and support one another, share ideas and case studies, and ask questions.

Spice Spice is a social enterprise that develops agency timebanking systems for communities and public services. It works to transform communities by engaging and empowering the many rather than the few in housing, schools, localities and international contexts. Includes links to evidence of the impact of time-banking.

Think Local Act Personal Partnership The TLAP Partnership is comprised of over 30 national and umbrella organisations representing the broad interest in personalisation and community-based support. The website has a resource section that can be browsed by topic and includes information on and examples of co-production commissioning, user-led organisations and personal budgets. Measuring the results on the TLAP website provides a series of reports which consider emerging approaches to developing outcome-based performance measures in social care.

Stories of Co-production new economics foundation & Feedback Films (2011). A useful introduction to co-production, set around three case studies of successful co-production in different contexts. Skillnet is a social enterprise working with people with learning difficulties and taking their views seriously, Headway East London runs a ‘Discovery’ programme to support people with acquired brain injuries to explore occupational roles, and Wells Blue School has developed an innovative programme entitled ‘Learning to Lead’ to enable students to take ownership of activities and seek change in their school and community. Running time: 7:55 mins.