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Co-production and community governance

Two reviews commissioned by the Welsh government 

The Welsh government published two reviews in December 2014 to feed into its review of public services in Wales:

Bringing the power of the citizen into local public services” by Prof. Tony Bovaird and Dr. Elke Loeffler reviews the evidence for user and community co-production. "Community Democratic Governance: Evidence Synthesis and Advice" by Prof. Tony Bovaird synthesises existing evidence from the UK and internationally. 

The outcome-based commissioning model of services for young people in Surrey

Evaluation of achievements and implications

Can you imagine the possibility of improving outcomes for young people, while reducing the council’s budget by 25%? This is what Surrey County Council has achieved through a major transformation of services for young people.

Read the case study by Chris Tisdall of Surrey County Council to learn about the change management process toward outcome-based commissioning and co-production and download the evaluation report by Birmingham University and Governance International. To learn more about outcome-based commissioning and how to put it into practice check our training programme and get in touch with us.  

The Governance International Co-Production Star

A toolkit for public services and communities

This briefing note gives you a practical understanding of how our co-production toolkit supports organisations and communities to achieve better outcomes together. It enables you to map with your partners how much co-production is already taking place, how to make it better and how to scale it up. Mini-case studies provide you with new ideas to take forward your co-production strategy. So don't wait - explore our Co-Production Star now.



Co-Production Star flyer (English version)
Koproduktion in der Mitmach-Stadt (German version)
La Co-Production Du Service Public (French version).

Contact for further information and if you prefer a hard copy.

Co-production with people living with dementia

Faced with two huge costs - the human cost and the budget cost - we all must find better solutions to the dementia challenge.

East Dunbartonshire Council, the Joint Improvement Team and Governance International believe that co-production must be part of the answer. People living with dementia are the experts in their own lives. They can help improve public services and also help each other. This is what the co-production project PRESENT is about.

Read our full PRESENT Project Report, published in 2016, to learn about results and lessons learnt.  Our interim PRESENT Project Report already met a lot of interest at the Third National Co-Production Conference in Scotland in 2014. 

PRESENT has been recognised as one of Scotland's leading dementia projects in the shortlist of Scotland's Dementia Awards 2016. Our PRESENT case study is showcased in the Co-production Resource of the Scottish Co-Production Network, which also highlights our Co-Production Star Toolkit. Contact if you are interested in co-producing better wellbeing with people living with dementia in your local area.

Strategies for overcoming obstacles to co-production

Have a look at our overview of barriers to effective co-production, together with some suggested solutions. These have been identified in our extensive co-production training workshops across Scotland. We’re now undertaking more systematic research on barriers and ways of overcoming them. If you’re interested contact

Obstacles to co-production

Co-production of health and wellbeing in Scotland

A must-read book published by Governance International and the Joint Improvement Team with partners in 2013 - over 7000 copies distributed! 

Check out the list of chapters.

This book shows how and why Scotland has become one of the leaders in public service co-production – and how the lessons learnt so far can be applied more widely.

It includes national co-production initiatives which have already proven their worth, such as the Family Nurse Partnership and the Food Train, but also exciting local assets-based approaches such as the NW Kilmarnock project. 

The challenge of mainstreaming co-production in local government and the NHS still remains. However, Midlothian Council has already taken on the challenge to adopt a council-wide co-production strategy, supported by JIT and Governance International

Download the book (PDF) and share your comments and experiences with co-production in Scotland with  

Making health and social care personal and local: Moving from mass production to co-production

A topical book published by Governance International and the Local Government Information Unit in 2012.

Governance International and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) have published a state-of-the-art overview of public service co-production in health and social care. The 24 chapters from major national and international practitioners and thinkers in the field set out a vision for the co-production in health and social care – what it is, why it is a necessity and how to do it.

The case studies provide numerous examples of how public services can collaborate with services users and communities to improve outcomes; and discuss the challenges and opportunities that co-production presents. There is something for everyone in the book, with case studies written by national policy makers, NHS officials, local authority leaders, major service providers in public and third sectors, and expert users. 
As one of the authors, Professor Bob Hudson says: “ ...patients, neighbourhoods and communities of interest are central not only to the design of services but also their commissioning, delivery, assessment and continuous development”. 

Download our book now (pdf) to start your co-production journey.

Report on the Co-Production Star Training in Scotland

The Joint Improvement Team (JIT) of the Scottish Government commissioned Governance International to deliver a series of training workshops from January to April 2012 to provide local councils and partners with tools to develop effective co-production approaches.

We have distilled the key lessons and good co-production practices from the seven training workshops around Scotland to share our learning points more widely.  

Enjoy our report! 

From passive customers to active
The role of co-production in public services 

This popular article published on MyCustomer.comand  websites explains what co-production is and why it represents a important development in services. The article outlines and explains the motives behind this development. The authors conclude with discussing the implications of co-production for social marketing.

Read our co-production article and let us know your comments by contacting

Transforming communities, creating outcomes, improving efficiency: Governance International Co-production Roadshows UK 2011

Read this report (pdf, 3.5 MB) to learn about good practice cases and key lessons from our Co-Production Roadshow 2011 in Birmingham, Bristol, London and Manchester. 

If you are interested in an in-house co-production workshop for your staff and local communities, please contact

Co-producing the goods: How can Swansea's strategic partnerships improve the way they work with the public?

This report by Tony Bovaird, Professor of Public Management at INLOGOV and Non-Executive Director at Governance International, and Dave Mckenna, City and County of Swansea summarises the results of a series of co-production workshops with Swansea's strategic partners.
The authors explain what makes co-production different from partnership working and explore costs and benefits of co-production for different stakeholders. It also gives you an insight on how to map co-production in your local area. You'll be amazed how many co-production initiatives Tony and Dave found in Swansea using the Governance International Co-Production Star.
Download the report to learn how your council can map co-production with local partners.

Why co-production matters for local government

LARCI, the former Local Authorities and Research Councils' Initiative, commissioned a series of research papers in 2010 to promote thinking around public service co-production in local government. Elke Loeffler prepared an overview paper on 'The Future Research Agenda for Co-Production'. She also co-authored a paper with Dr. Peter Watt from Birmingham University on 'Understanding the Efficiency Implications of Co-Production'. 

If you are interested in the business case for co-production we recommend that you work with our Business Case Generator to make the case for co-production.

Innovation in public engagement and
co-production of services

This policy paper commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government in December 2008 shows how user and community co-production can build on community engagement and empowerment.  Tony Bovaird and James Downes suggest that co-production can link political decision-makers, senior managers and front-line staff to service users and the communities in which they live. They argue that this will improve democratic decision-making and public outcomes. This paper was widely cited in the Empowerment White Paper of the UK Government in 2008. 
Download this policy paper (pdf).

"If you want to go fast, walk alone.
If you want to go far, walk together":
Citizens and the co-production of public services


Increasingly we are seeing greater involvement of citizens in service delivery. Therefore, it is timely to ask citizens a new question. What role do they play and are they prepared to play in the design and delivery of those public services which matter most to them? More…

Beyond engagement and participation – user and community co-production of public services

This article published in the top public administration journal PAR provides a framework for understanding what co-production is, how it works and in what situations it is most likely to be appropriate. It demonstrates the potential gains from co-production through a series of international case studies. More...

Source: Tony Bovaird (2007), “Beyond engagement and participation – user and community co-production of public services”, Public Administration Review, 67 (5): 846-860. 

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