Co-production and co-design seems to be a common theme in recent conferences, articles and reform communications. I have been to a lot of events recently where the word ‘co-design’ or ‘co-production’ are used in the title but I am often left often left questioning where is the real or authentic co-design and coproduction?
More often than not it is simply consultation which has been packaged, labelled and sold as co-design, causing me great frustration. My understanding of genuine co-production and co-design has been gained from completing a literature review on the topic, writing a ‘how-to’ toolkit and coaching organisations and their staff.
If you’re interested in co-design or co-production and want to do it authentically, where your project stays true to the values of this work, I believe there are five crucial ingredients. If you can incorporate these five ingredients into your ‘co-production pie’ then you are well on your way to truly understanding what it’s all about and the transformational change it offers.
Here are my five essential ingredients of authentic co-production:
- Who makes the decision?
- Power and support
- Skilful facilitation
- Creative fun
These five ingredients will be explained further over the next few weeks, with case examples of how you can apply them in your next co-production project. When working in the field of co-design and co-production I work closely with the organisation’s senior management to ensure these ingredients are implemented at the beginning of the process.