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Co-production around the world

Co-production in Australia

Co-production of public services is firmly on the agenda of government at state and national level in Australia. As in other countries, this has partly been a matter of imitating developments elsewhere. But the distinctive characteristics of Australian society and geography have also shaped the nature and extent of co-production, prompting original initiatives in many cases, while limiting the possibilities in others.

First, its relatively small population spread over a very large area – 6th in land area, but only 52nd in population – combined with its remoteness from other developed countries, mean the ‘tyranny of distance’ looms large.

Secondly, its relatively small population is concentrated mainly in capital cities (64%), with 89% of its total population living in urban areas. Drought plays a large part in the lives of many rural Australians, as roughly 75% of the country is classified as arid or semi-arid. Much of Australia’s Indigenous population also inhabits remote or very remote areas, meaning some of its most socioeconomically disadvantaged people live the furthest from public service hubs.

These characteristics call for innovative policies, to address not only the problems of high-density urban living, but also the difficulties of delivering effective services to the relative minority living in remote and very remote areas. Community organisations play a particularly important role in remote Australia.

Co-production by another name?

The factors above have historically prompted major developments which can clearly be seen as co-production, but have not been labelled explicitly as such. A classic example is the Victorian Country Fire Authority, where a corps of ~58,000 volunteers, of whom 35,000 are trained as fire-fighters, works with a small core group of paid 1,400 paid fire service employees. This is the only practical way to economically provide fire services to Victoria’s vast outback. Similar arrangements exist in the other states, and there are many examples in other services, such as hospital services, court administration, or aged care.

Growing interest in co-production

Now, co-production is more explicitly on the Australian political agenda. Citizen engagement, consultation, co-design and co-delivery are terms to be found in many high-level strategy documents, and are championed by senior public servants such as two (former) Secretaries of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – Terry Moran and Peter Shergold – and head of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet Chris Eccles.

The 2007 Australian Public Service Blueprint, championed by Moran, recommended “enable[ing] citizens to collaborate with government in policy and service design”. There was a much publicised 2020 Summit in 2008 to draw citizens into a consultative and advisory process to assist the government to identify priorities and shape policies. Then in 2010 the Australian Government made a Declaration of Open Government, stating that “Citizen collaboration in policy and service delivery design will enhance the processes of government and improve the outcomes sought. Collaboration with citizens is to be enabled and encouraged”.

However, rhetoric is not always reality, and some commentators have noted a cultural adherence to the notion of the state as provider; the instrumentalism of government providing services to grateful citizens. Shergold notes that the NGO sector is “a raucous cacophony of organisational innovation”, and while community organisations are more crucial than ever to the delivery of human services for governments, the relationship between the public and community sectors is “mired” in the rhetoric of outsourcing.

Co-design and co-delivery in Australia

Other Australian agencies also have long-standing traditions of engaging their clients to carry out parts of their production processes – for example, the Australian Taxation Office introduced client self-assessment in the early 1990s, freeing up a large part of its resources for auditing and assistance purposes. Around the same time, many agencies began revising their service processes to make it easier for their clients to contribute information or effort to delivering the service, for example, by pre-printing renewal forms for vehicle registration.

More recently, there has been increased emphasis on co-design and consultation. The Family by Family program in South Australia is a strong example of both co-design and co-delivery. Developed by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation in conjunction with the SA Government, it is a mentoring program in which a network of families helps other families to grow and change together. It began as a collaborative project, asking the question “how can we enable more families to thrive, and fewer families to come into contact with crisis services?”

The shape of the program was strongly influenced by the consulted families, who gravitated toward the idea that struggling families would benefit immensely from support and mentoring from other families. The team realised that some families could be described as ‘positive deviants’ – they thrive despite socio-economic and other disadvantages. These ‘sharing families’ are trained and supported to link up with families who want things to improve (‘seeking families’), and through behavioural modelling, seeking families can make fundamental changes in the way they ‘do family’.

 

Other family-oriented initiatives include Tasmania’s co-designed Child and Family Centres, and the NSW Government’s Family Partnership Model, where families with young children attend a residential care unit and are supported to proactively make changes in their childcare practices.

At the federal level, the Department of Human Services, which inter alia is responsible for the entire gamut of benefits payments as well as providing numerous other services, has explicitly involved its clients in co-design as it seeks to reconfigure and fine-tune its services.

Online co-production

Web 2.0 has, not surprisingly, opened up new opportunities for co-design and co-delivery. At the planning and design level, South Australia has used web 2.0 capabilities to involve thousands of citizens in its Strategic Plan. But the possibilities reach well beyond citizen engagement: citizens experiencing similar problems can easily be connected to one another to provide support and advice; and governments can tailor information in ways that are designed to assist publicly valuable outcomes, or ease strain on public services.

Problem gamblers and their friends and families support each other through the Problem Gambling Victoria website. Another user-driven service, the ‘Your Stories’ section of the PGV site arose because the website feedback commentary feature was instead used by visitors to tell their stories, and provide tips and strategies for other users. The PGV team realised that these peer-to-peer interactions were often as helpful as counselling or advice from professionals.

 

The Victorian Government’s veteran health information website the Better Health Channel has in recent years released a mobile app to encourage users to take charge of their own health, while New South Wales’ mobile-friendly Emergency Department Waiting Times website helps to spread the load among the state’s hospital network. Users can access information including where their nearest hospitals are, how many patients are waiting at each, and plot the quickest route. In each case, these services enlist users to take on some of the work – taking steps to improve their own health, or choosing less crowded emergency rooms.

Looking to the future

The inevitable advances in technology and citizen-government connectivity bode well for co-production. Through the medium of technology, we can move beyond the idea of a ‘vending machine government’, where we pay our taxes and expect services in return. Perhaps the role of government in the future will be more like the manager of the marketplace, or the bazaar (O’Reilly 2010), where the community exchanges goods and services and actively participates in all aspects of commissioning, design, delivery and assessment. Web-facilitated ‘social machines’ are certainly one way to help conquer the tyranny of distance, and bring Australian citizens together.

 

John Alford
Professor of Public Sector Management
Australia and New Zealand School of Government 

Sophie Yates
Research Officer
Australia and New Zealand School of Government


Co-Production Around the World

Co-Production as a new perspective for the Swedish welfare state?

View on Kiruna from the old mine (Luossavaara) to the new mine (Kiirunavaara)

 

Sweden is known for its universal welfare state, high taxes and strong focus on economic and social equality. Indeed, the path towards the Swedish welfare state model has been characterised by an expanding public sector which has funded and provided professional public services to every Swedish citizen regardless of social class. Can such a model still be financed in a time of austerity? And is it still desirable?  Is public service co-production an alternative to the way public services have been commissioned and delivered in Sweden?

Co-production as a new political agenda in Sweden

The concept of co-production is regarded as new in Sweden, even if we can discern several classical examples of co-production in the Swedish welfare state. The Swedish concept of medskapande perhaps comes closest to co-production and has gained some attention in the public debate. However, with Elinor Ostrom winning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009, her academic perspective on co-production may gain more prominence in the future.

One area which has always stood out in the Swedish welfare state is childcare, where co-production is more significant. According to Johan Vamstad between 10-15 percent of child care in Sweden is provided by parent cooperatives which rely strongly on the engagement of parents. Interestingly, this form of co-production goes back a long time. The first parent cooperatives were developed in the 1970s to offer a pedagogical alternative to the childcare provided by local councils. They increased significantly in numbers after a highly controversial political reform in 1985 which allowed the cooperatives to receive public funding. Indeed, it was the well-known Prime Minister Olof Palme who famously warned against non-public childcare as making 'profits from children' and creating 'Kentucky Fried Children'. The reason why parent cooperatives were allowed public funding was because the public sector did not manage to meet the demand for childcare services at the time. Co-production was therefore introduced for financial reasons, even if better education outcomes were stipulated as the main reason in the government's proposals.

However, childcare is not the only service sector using a co-production approach in Sweden. The region of Jönköping together with the municipality of Eksjö and its neighbouring municipalities redesigned the regional health care system between 1997/1999 based on design thinking. Extensive customer journey mapping of patient pathways to recovery was complemented by a culture change program based on 'patient charters' and quality circles based on trained coaches. This so-called 'Esther approach' has already received wide-spread interest in Scotland and Wales. Involving users, particularly the elderly, has become a more and more dominant and permanent element in this concept. At such events, professionals working in elderly care in municipalities and health care employees are able to learn from users telling stories about their experiences and their needs.

 

Another internationally widely regarded co-production approach is the new value system and patient-driven health model introduced by the consultant Jörgen Tholstrup in the gastro-enterology unit in the Highland Hospital in South Sweden. The changes introduced by Jörgen in 2001 resulted in a new relationship model between patients and the healthcare system: The traditional hierarchical relationship between consultant and patient was replaced by a network model where the team and the patients are partners and where the patients supported by their social network are responsible for their own health.



In local diabetic associations members co-produce their own health care together in various parts of the country. They illustrate a classical example of co-production based on close cooperation with public health authorities. Similarly, supervised patient self-dialysis at the Ryhovs Hospital in Jönköping provides another clear example of organised co-production in Swedish health care. The region of Norrbotten in northern Sweden covers a large sparsely populated area. The county council, responsible for health care has introduced telemedicine. Patients are both given equipment to do their own medical tests and IT equipment to be able to send the results to the doctor. They do part of the job themselves and they can minimize visits to the GP, often quite a long journey. Doctors testify that patients feel secure and that they tend to stick better than usual to the agreements they make at the outset of the treatment. Even quite old patients who have never before used a computer manage surprisingly well. This project has not yet been evaluated but is included in an ongoing large-scale EU study. Sweden also boasts a variety of self-help groups which focus on physical, psychological or social problems. However, their collaboration with public authorities varies greatly, ranging from close to distant. Many of them question the narrow scope of established professional models, and the Swedish Alcoholics Anonymous provides a good example of this.

Last but not least, the City of Umea received the European Public Sector Award in 2007 for its co-production approach in cultural services for and with children. This meant setting up the new cultural department Kulturverket in the local council which works closely with local schools to facilitate learning through creative cultural approaches. All Kulturverket projects are based on the co-production approach of 'Kids tell the pros what to do'. The ideas, thoughts and creative work of children are developed together with older pupils, students and 'the professionals' (practising artists and cultural organisations). The children and young people are the creators, and take an active part at professional exhibitions, shows and concerts but it is grown-ups with their experience, knowledge and resources who actually make it happen by implementing the ideas of the children and young people. At present, Kulturverket is working with children and artists on a number of large-scale co-production projects such as Fair Opera, Fair Ground and Fair Game which will be performed in 2014 when Umea will be the European Capital of Culture.   

© Frida Hammar

Strong professional ethos as a key barrier to co-production

However, public service co-production still remains a rather rare plant in the Swedish public sector. It is often limited by the strong professional ethos and authority of public service providers.  The common view has been that service quality is guaranteed by the training and expertise of professionals. In recent years, though, the National Board of Health and Welfare has launched the concept of evidence-based practice within welfare services. A key element of this way of looking at implementation of social welfare services is that the knowledge of users is an important ingredient, along with professional knowledge and available research. Although there are probably still some social workers who think 'we are the ones who know what is best for the family', there are valuable examples in some municipalities  of a very different approach, valuing the experiential knowledge of users. In some municipalities user boards have been established. The users are people who need support to be able to cope with their lives. The user boards have led, for example, to a rewording of application forms and to radical changes in the web pages of the municipalities.

The strong professional ethos is not the only factor that might be an obstacle when trying to promote co-production in the Swedish public sector. The longstanding strong pact between labour unions and public sector employers can mean resistance to giving power to a third party, such as users or their organisations.

Nevertheless, the research by Johan Vamstad* shows that twenty-five years of co-producing childcare have resulted in better service quality, both from a user/parent and staff perspective.

Development of co-production at local level

While Swedish policy is far from questioning the welfare state, the public sector is changing. There has traditionally been little competition between public service providers but freedom of choice has recently become a political objective in the Swedish welfare state. Both in health care and within elderly care, private providers have become more common, particularly in the urban areas around the three biggest cities.  There are also initiatives such as Famna (The Swedish Association for Non-Profit Health and Social Services) aiming to develop the capacity of third sector organisations to deliver social services. Representatives of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) have visited the UK to learn about co-production approaches and receive briefings from Governance International and leading co-production champions. This was part of preparations for SKL before the board during 2012 decided that co-production should be one of the priority issues during 2013. Quite a few other actors also have arranged conferences and initiated studies, indicating that co-production is now becoming an issue in Sweden. The National Board of Health and Welfare has recently released some guidelines for user involvement in the social area.

In November 2012 Ersta-Sköndal University College, together with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, arranged a one day workshop in Stockholm under the heading 'From Passive Recipients to Active Co-Producers' (Från passiva mottagare till aktiva medskapare) to promote courses for social workers and health care workers about activating clients and patients as co-producers of public services. In 2013 the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions decided to elevate co-production or 'medskapande' to a 'priority area' in its own developmental work under the title 'Users and patients as active co-creators'. This will involve documenting good examples and undertaking some studies about the impact of co-production when it is more systematically introduced. In the autumn 2013, conferences are planned with politicians and managers in municipalities and county councils as the main attendants.


*Johan Vamstad (2012): Co-Production and Service Quality: A New Perspective for the Swedish Welfare State, in: New Public Governance, the Third Sector and Co-Production (edited by Victor Pestoff, Taco Brandsen and Bram Verschuere), pp. 297-316.

This blog was written by Victor Pestoff, Professor Emeritus in Political Science, Ersta-Sköndal University College, and joint editor of the book 'New Public Governance, the Third Sector and Co-Production'. 


Co-Production Around the World

Partner state, not paternalistic state - co-production in Germany to deal with the fiscal crisis?

 

When it snows in Germany, many local councils remind citizens of their legal duty to clear the snow from the footpath in front of their house. For example, Neuhofen Council, close to the BASF headquarters (where one of the authors has lived), transferred this duty to local residents in 1979. As a result, you can see a lot of local people out in the street early in the morning before they go to work, having a quick chat with each other (complaining about how cold it is or what a bad job others in the street have done with the snow) and helping elderly neighbours to clear their stretch of footpath. 

Result: Fewer falls due to slippery pavements, no school closures, more social capital and, yes, savings to the local council.

So, it is clear that user and community co-production of public outcomes is nothing new in Germany, even though most public managers would have no idea what this means (nor would they use the term Koproduktion, which sounds even more abstract in German than in English). Indeed, there was already a lively discussion in the 1990s (well before the 'Big Society' debate started in the UK) among German think tanks and academics about the 'activating state' - the idea that government needs to mobilise citizens to become more active and take more responsibility. In fact, this was the vision behind the 1999 White Paper 'Modern State - Modern Public Administration' of the 'red-green' coalition government of the time.

The paradox is that German citizens are already quite active. As a European citizen survey on the level of co-production showed in 2008, German citizens come second after the UK in terms of the extent of their co-production in public health, community safety and the local environment. When it comes to recycling, Germany actually topped the European league table in 2010, with a recycling rate of 45% compared to 25% in the UK. 

So it's not the citizens who need to be 'activated'. We would argue that it is actually the state and local authorities who need to become more active in harnessing the resources, skills and contributions of citizens. In Länder (states) such as North-Rhine Westphalia, where more than 15  percent of local councils are bankrupt and many others face severe fiscal stress, citizens and community groups are widely engaged in co-delivery of voluntary services such as leisure, culture, music, libraries or (very typical for local areas around the Rhine) the Fasching carnival. However, as the savings plans of the most indebted local councils reveal, they are much more likely to react to financial austerity by imposing tax increases or cuts in services than to involve citizens more thoroughly in the planning and delivery of public services. 

Nevertheless, there are many successful examples where involving citizens in public services has led to better outcomes or greater efficiency. A classical case in Germany is the system of voluntary fire brigades, which have existed at local level for 200 years. Indeed, all local councils, no matter what their size, have the legal duty to maintain a voluntary fire brigade (which, in bigger local councils, works side-by-side with the professional fire brigade). 

There are also co-production champions such as Offenbach Council (close to Frankfurt), which  works with 'street champions' to improve the local environment;  Weyhe Council in Northern Germany, which works with police and voluntary 'streetwatchers' to keep young people and residents safe at night; and the rural council of Brieselang, where local people run a citizen bus, which complements public transport from and to Berlin. 

  

The impact of street champions in Offenbach: before and after.

 

Great though these examples are, there remains a reluctance by social services (provided mainly by a conglomerate of powerful voluntary organisations) and health (provided by a public health care system which is completely separate from any other public agency) to recognise the potential of assets-based approaches to public services. Other forms of co-production such as involving citizens in designing public services (co-design) or assessing service quality (co-assessment) are also quite rare.

On the other hand, in these financially hard times, more and more local councils are involving citizens in the de-commissioning of public services. So-called participatory budgeting exercises have been carried out and have received widespread public attention - in Cologne, Solingen, Essen, Stuttgart and most Berlin boroughs. They have generally involved a wide range of local public services, although they have had to exclude transfer payments and the mandatory services which local councils provide on behalf of the state government. The success of 'participatory budgeting' depends decisively on whether it helps to bring the budget into balance or not. If not, motivation for participation soon sinks - the objective has to be: budget consolidation AND co-production. 

So what are the drivers of public service co-production in Germany?

Clearly, Germany's strong local government system - based on the principle of subsidiarity, directly elected mayors and elements of direct democracy in most Länder - means that people take a real interest in their local area and identify much more with their local council than is the case in more centralised countries. Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, in particular, can build on a strong civic society with a high level of volunteering. However, the strongest driver is likely to be a factor which is very particular to Germany - the demographic change resulting from an extremely low birth rate, which means that the German population is becoming older and falling in numbers. Our European citizen survey on public service co-production in Germany, France, Czech Republic, Denmark and the UK shows that elderly people are more willing to co-produce probably because they wish to be useful but perhaps also because they know that their public agencies will soon not be able to afford to maintain the current level of public services. The second driver is probably the financial crisis, especially in North-Rhine Westphalia, as discussed above.

What is holding public agencies back from scaling up co-production?

Focus group sessions with public managers from three different public services have revealed that one factor is the strong professional culture in the German public sector, which tends to distrust citizens and does not believe that they can get it right. Indeed, in a co-production workshop a senior manager of the Interior Ministry of the State of Berlin recently insisted that there was no way a German citizen could perform the task of a 'speedwatcher', as this involved a sovereign task which could only be performed by professional police officers.  Strong trade unions, too, fear that public services could be 'privatised' into the hands of citizens, e.g. through sports clubs volunteers managing sports facilities instead of paid council workers. Most importantly, 'state-centred thinking' still influences mindsets and behaviours in the public sector, implying that 'Big Brother State' needs to look after its children and provide services FOR its citizens, not WITH them. Recent managerial reforms focussing on outputs (so-called 'product budgets') instead of outcomes have reinforced the focus on what public agencies do, while neglecting what communities actually want and what they can contribute to improve their quality of life. Last but not least: elected members of councils don't like the thought of re-delegating to citizens the decision-making powers which they believe citizens put in their hands through the election process.

The big question is whether reduced public budgets in Germany may, in time, become an eye-opener which will make public agencies more conscious, at last, of the resources available in communities? Is it possible that the German public sector today simply remains financially too well off, so that it believes it is still able to cope without using the assets, resources and contributions of citizens effectively? 

Of course, the warning signs of fiscal stress are already everywhere to be seen. Consequently, German local government associations and think tanks (such as the Bertelsmann Foundation or the Schader-Foundation in Darmstadt) have now put co-production on their agenda. For example, the Bertelsmann Foundation commissioned the authors of this blog to write a paper on co-production in German local government which was presented at a major local government conference in Berlin. The 120 participants at the workshop understood that this is nothing new as they identified co-production initiatives in all public services, starting from A like Abwasser (sewage) to Z like Zusammenhalt (social cohesion). However, the challenge in Germany is now to roll out co-production to make it more effective.  Indeed, the new strapline of Berlin, which sees itself as the 'Searching City', perhaps shows a new willingness to admit the need to open up to innovative approaches in the reform of the German welfare state.  In the German public sector of the next decade, the excellent examples of user and community co-production which already exist, including those we have cited above, may become more widely appreciated and emulated. 

 

This blog was co-produced by Dr Peter Timm-Arnold and Dr Elke Loeffler.

Dr Peter Timm-Arnold, Head of Task Force 'Local Government Efficiency Programmes', Local Audit Commission North-Rhine Westphalia

 

Dr Elke Loeffler, Chief Executive, Governance International


Co-production Around the World

The Co-Production Journey in Scotland

This new blog series highlights the current state of play of user and community co-production in public services. We will tell you who the movers and shakers are, identify cutting-edge innovations and showcase international best practice for your organisation to learn from. Join the debate and add your comments! This blog will be visiting your country soon...


© Nize Nicolai Schäfer


Like many other European countries, Scotland faces a significant increase in service demand during a time of demographic change and sustained decline in financial resources. In response the Scottish government has developed policies which specifically promote and fund co-production approaches in public services. 

Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, has been highly influential in promoting this direction of travel through his championing of an assets-based approach to planning and delivering health and wellbeing. His vision was reinforced by the publication of the Christie Commission Report on the Future of Delivery of Public Services in June 2011. This highly influential report argues that it is necessary...to ensure that our public services are built around people and communities, their needs, aspirations, capacities and skills, and work to build up their authority and resilience.

The Scottish Government has recognised this challenge and together with the Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) and other stakeholders, has developed a 10 year change programme for Reshaping Care for Older People, which promotes the development of co-production and community capacity building as key elements of public service transformation. Most importantly, the Scottish Government has invested to support the transformational change required by creating a four year older people's services Change Fund of £300 million in order to drive the necessary shift in service models and organisational cultures. Government funding has also been made available to adopt co-production approaches to deal with specific issues such as teenage pregnancies (e.g. through the Family-Nurse-Partnership Programme) and the limited access for older people to healthy food and supportive social networks (e.g. through the Food Train). 

Nicola Sturgeon, then Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing and Cities Strategy with a client of the FNP programme.
Food Train volunteers and customers check through the delivery together.

On an operational level, the Joint Improvement Team (JIT), which is co-sponsored by the Scottish Government, CoSLA and NHS Scotland, working in strategic partnership with the Third and Independent sectors, provides support to 32 locally based partnerships across Scotland (including NHS, council, third and independent sector organisations) to integrate co-production as an approach within health and social care. This work has been led by the two National Co-Production and Community Capacity Leads  Gerry Power and Andrew Jackson working with geographically based JIT Associates. Activity to date has included: 

  • Awareness raising activities, such as the first Co-Production and Community Capacity-Building Conference in Dunfermline in January 2011, which was attended by more than 300 participants. 
  • Providing case study evidence that co-production works including the publication with Governance International of Co-production in Health and Social Care: What it is and how to do it, and the building of management and front-line staff capacity across local councils, the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors by rolling out training based on the Governance International Co-Production Star.
  • Gathering good practice case studies from all of the 32 local partnerships in Scotland.
  • Strengthening networking and the exchange of experiences through the Scottish Co-Production Network.

The change management strategy of JIT is showing signs of success as a number of councils have already started to take action to roll out co-production across their services. For example, Midlothian Council have adopted a Council wide approach to co-production enabling all council services in the county to make effective use of the Governance International Co-Production Toolkit. In addition JIT has provided coaching to assist the implement of action plans being drawn up by participants in the co-production training sessions. This process has uncovered good examples of co-productive practice already taking place in the Council which are being used as drivers to convince more colleagues to adopt this way of working and promote culture change.

Co-production is also being rolled out in other public services in Scotland. For example, Strathclyde Police and the national Violence Reduction Unit have been leading an assets-based approach in a highly deprived area in North West Kilmarnock, which was previously characterised by high crime rates. The project uncovered enormous reserves of creativity and energy in the community, which have helped to turn around the quality of life of local people in the area. The lesson which Chief Inspector Tony Bone took away from his involvement with this project was: You don't know what you need in a community until you know what you already have.

In other organisations, however, full buy-in remains to be achieved and work continues to demonstrate the value of this approach in delivering better outcomes and/or efficiency savings. For example JIT is currently working with a number of partnerships on Contribution Analysis to develop an evidence base which can demonstrate the economic utility of co-production and community capacity building as well as their impact on personal outcomes. It is recognised that embedding co-production and community capacity building in organisations and services will require whole systems change which spans commissioning of public services through to organisational and individual performance improvement. One example of how this might be achieved in future is by recognising the capacity and capability of front-line staff to co-produce with users and communities in organisational competency and performance management frameworks. This will support the principle of co-production by emphasising it is more rewarding for the service user, the professional and the provider organisation to solve problems together and not simply do things to and for service users.

I am delighted to announce that Co-Production of Health and Wellbeing in Scotland, the second booklet on co-production and community capacity building in Scotland, produced in association with Governance International and other partners, will be launched by Mr Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, at the National Co-Production and Community Capacity-Building Conference on 20 February 2013 in Edinburgh. This publication includes updated and new chapters covering the background to co-production, case studies and good practice from within Scotland and from our learning partners in Sweden. This I hope will help to demonstrate the great strides that have already taken place in making co-production and community capacity building a key part of the strategy and the practice of public services in Scotland and encourage you further to making these approaches central to the way you plan and deliver services.

 

 

This guest blog has been written by Dr Margaret Whoriskey.

Director, Joint Improvement Team


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