Problematising Co-production

Lead Research Organisation: De Montfort University
Department Name: Politics and Public Policy

Abstract

Co-production has emerged as a potential solution to a criticism that research conducted in communities often fails to meaningfully include communities in its design and undertaking. Co-production is now also perceived as a solution to an argued 'relevance gap' in research and to the demands of 'impact'. Co-production in research aims to put principles of empowerment into practice, working 'with' communities and offering communities greater control over the research process and providing opportunities to learn and reflect from their experience. Advocates for co-production argue that research is enhanced through including 'experiential expertise' (Collins and Evans 2007) which may highlight relevant questions otherwise neglected by 'experts' (Fischer 2000). Co-production can enhance the effectiveness of research by making it better informed by communities' preferences and needs, with communities then contributing to improved outcomes and achievable solutions (Ostrom 1996). This review takes a cross-cutting perspective, aiming to advance the theory and practice of co-production in research with communities.
 
Description Research conducted in or about communities is often criticised for failing to include communities in its design and undertaking. At the same time, academic research is increasingly being measured according to its benefit to society. Co-production of research is often identified as a means of addressing these concerns. Co-production involved working with communities, recognising the value of their expertise and experiences and offering them greater control over the research process.
This scoping study explored what doing research in co-production would mean in practice. We explored both the principles and values which may underpin co-production with communities and some of the practical approaches and methods which may be used.
Exploitation Route Our findings may be used to:
- Innovate or challenge existing research practice
- Support experimentation in research methods and approaches
- Inform new ways of working with and engaging citizens and communities
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
URL http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Research-funding/Connected-Communities/Scoping-studies-and-reviews/Documents/Towards%20Co-Production%20in%20Research%20with%20Communities.pdf
 
Description The findings of the research have been used in a variety of ways and by different groups.In academic terms, the findings have contributed to an inter-disciplinary debate on the purpose of research and research practice. Beyond academia, the findings have been used to inform engagement with communities about the potentially opportunities and benefits of engaging in research. Further, to shape understanding within government and other public bodies on the scope and practice of co-production in the delivery of public services.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services
 
Description Evaluation of asset-based skills in the Leeds gypsy traveller community
Amount £26,000 (GBP)
Organisation Lankelly Chase Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2014 
End 07/2017
 
Description Transforming Local Public Services through Co-Production 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Intellectual leadership, delivery of project outputs
Collaborator Contribution Setting parameters of project; generating audience and impact
Impact The collaboration involved a research team from the University of Birmingham, from public administration, social policy and history. The project resulted in a briefing for government and follow-on funding from AHRC and ESRC. Academic outputs are in development.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Transforming Local Public Services through Co-Production 
Organisation Government of the UK
Department Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Intellectual leadership, delivery of project outputs
Collaborator Contribution Setting parameters of project; generating audience and impact
Impact The collaboration involved a research team from the University of Birmingham, from public administration, social policy and history. The project resulted in a briefing for government and follow-on funding from AHRC and ESRC. Academic outputs are in development.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Translating across Borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process 
Organisation Government of the UK
Department Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Intellectual contribution, literature reviewing, fieldwork (undertaking case study work, interviewing)
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution, literature reviewing, fieldwork (undertaking case study work, interviewing, ethnography/ participant observation, convening workshops)
Impact Project is ongoing.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Translating across Borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual contribution, literature reviewing, fieldwork (undertaking case study work, interviewing)
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution, literature reviewing, fieldwork (undertaking case study work, interviewing, ethnography/ participant observation, convening workshops)
Impact Project is ongoing.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Translating across Borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process 
Organisation University of Stirling
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual contribution, literature reviewing, fieldwork (undertaking case study work, interviewing)
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution, literature reviewing, fieldwork (undertaking case study work, interviewing, ethnography/ participant observation, convening workshops)
Impact Project is ongoing.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Ways of knowing: Exploring the different registers, values and subjectivities of collaborative research 
Organisation Durham University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to a series of workshops and a 'zine on inter-disciplinary and multi-modal collaboration and learning.
Collaborator Contribution As above
Impact Academic outputs are forthcoming.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Ways of knowing: Exploring the different registers, values and subjectivities of collaborative research 
Organisation University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to a series of workshops and a 'zine on inter-disciplinary and multi-modal collaboration and learning.
Collaborator Contribution As above
Impact Academic outputs are forthcoming.
Start Year 2013
 
Description 'The Social Relevance and 'Impact' of Political Science' at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff (March 2013) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Approx. 80 academics attended a plenary session on 'The Social Relevance and 'Impact' of Political Science' at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff (March 2013)

NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Closing the 'relevance gap' makes more fundamental demands of academic researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Post for British Politics and Policy at LSE blog arguing that we must find alternative ways of working with communities that allow them to set the terms of engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2013/10/11/fast-scholarship-is-not-always-good-scholar...