This week saw the launch of the third of three reports from NESTA/nef on co-production, ‘Right Here, Right Now’.
The first report, The Challenge of Co-production, published in December 2009, explained what co-production is and why it offers the possibility of more effective and efficient public services. It offered the following definition of co-production:
"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.”
The second report, Public Services Inside Out, published in April, described a co-production framework comprising the following key characteristics:
- Recognising people as assets.
- Building on people’s existing capabilities.
- Promoting mutuality and reciprocity.
- Developing peer support networks.
This new report looks at how it can be implemented more widely. Amongst the ways it proposes for doing this are:
- building co-production into services
- building co-production into commissioning, giving priority to prevention and measuring what matters.
- launching prototypes to see how co-production could be mainstreamed in new sectors.
- government to agree a ‘co-production guarantee’ to help overcome some of the barriers to co-production.
Altogether a useful compendium of information for the emerging initiatives under The Big Society. To quote from the document:
"Co-production is central to delivering the ‘Big Society’ vision because it offers a way of integrating the public resources that are earmarked for services with the private assets of those who are intended to benefit from services. There is far more to be gained from this approach than from current practice that separates ‘users’ from ‘providers’, or from a retrenchment of the state that leaves citizens themselves to fill the gap."