Agency, empowerment and the role of co-production when working with community groups #3

This is the last (for the time being) of three consecutive blog posts thinking around issues to do with co-production. I was particularly interested in Beth Perry’s presentation at this Jam and Justice event, where she identified that co-production might be categorised according to who and how it has been initiated, giving four examples:

  • Voluntary sector initiated
  • Public sector initiated
  • University research initiated
  • Community initiated

Given that I retrained to work with communities on planning, regeneration and economic development – the issues of who initiates and how this takes place, is a key one for me. I feel that there is a real challenge for communities wanting to initiate co-production, to find and match up with relevant professionals with the skills to work in a facilitated and empowerment focussed way.

It is my experience that my work with communities is always deeper and ultimately more successful when I’ve been invited in. However, it is also a challenge as a professional, to find appropriate ways to meet communities, so that an invitation might be extended to come and work with them.

I’ll be continuing to think through issues and ideas around co-design and co-production during my working practice and may come back to this theme in future blog posts.

About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking -
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