Doing co-production (well): it’s not rocket science, it’s harder than that – and we need to talk about it.
When I’ve asked folk what good co-production involves, I’ve received variations of the following responses: ‘It’s just principles of good youth engagement’, ‘It’s not rocket science’ or ‘There’s a toolkit for that’.
These responses do a disservice to good co-production. It requires skills and experience to do well – and we undervalue this when we treat it as easy, or obvious. And when we undervalue these skills, or the importance of a robust process, the people who lose out are the users and practitioners who give their time, energy, and honesty.
Why is co-production important in service design?
At the Dartington Service Design Lab, we see good co-production – alongside high-quality evidence and an understanding of the wider system - as vital in designing services for children, young people and families that are needed, wanted and likely to make a difference. To unpack that a bit more:
Needed: Are there data or insig…