Agency, empowerment and the role of co-production when working with community groups #1

I’ve been thinking about co-production and discussing the subject with colleagues in the last year or so. I’m interested in individuals and communities (of place, interest or identity) having more agency in how their neighbourhoods are developed. This agency is intertwined with how services/activities that take place in neighbourhoods such as health, social care, cultural/social activities etc are developed, delivered and managed.

Co-production is a tricky word to define, being more a set of processes or approaches. But loosely speaking for the purposes of this blog, I’m describing co-production here as programmes of activity or services that are in some way designed and/or delivered by a collaboration between people receiving that same service/taking part in those activities and those professionals conventionally managing the activity or service.

It seems obvious, but if you want to enable greater agency, co-production approaches are essential to ensure participants are empowered to self-direct their own direction of travel.

I’ve recently worked on two projects with co-design and co-delivered elements, they are:

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Tales of Miles Platting (2018)

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Picture This (2019)

See up and coming Post #2 on thinking about the values and principles of co-production.

Image credits: 1 & 2 Martina Magill; 3 & 4 Sarah Spanton

About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking - www.waymarking.org.uk
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