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Coproduction – Deciding Together

Broadly speaking, this approach to influence and participation allows an equal and reciprocal relationship between staff and people with lived experience in the design and delivery of activities, projects or services. 

There are many definitions of Co-Production this one from New Economics Foundation’s National Co-production Critical Friends group provides a helpful statement explaining the concept:

“Co-production is a relationship where professionals and citizens share power to plan and deliver support together, recognising that both partners have vital contributions to make in order to improve quality of life for people and communities.”

Co-production can help to challenge the notion that people with lived experience – traditionally, those who have used services – are unable to participate on an equal level with people in professional roles. It can be an extremely effective way for people with lived experience to be able to influence change.

Find out more about co-production and access resources and case studies in the ‘Carrying out influence and participation activities: Co-production’ resource.

Case study

Peerfest is an example of successful co-production; each year, different groups of people with lived experience have responsibility for planning, shaping and delivering the overall event. Read more...

Case study

Norfolk and Suffolk recovery college coproduced a course with Szara Froud, a mental health professional and Anastacia, who has bipolar disorder. This is their story. Read more...

Things to consider:

  • Is the balance of power truly equal in relation to decision making? To be called co-production, there must be a genuinely equal and reciprocal relationship between staff and people with lived experience, and recognition that both parties’ contribution is valuable.
  • Are there mutually agreed responsibilities and expectations? 
  • Are you able to support people to take part in the development process and subsequent delivery? How will you do this?
  • Can you commit to service users playing an equal role in delivery? If not you may want to use a co-design method.

 Find out more about co-production and access resources and case studies in the ‘Carrying out influence and participation activities: Co-production’ section. 

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