Co-production means delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, people using services, their families and their neighbours. When activities are co-produced in this way, both services and neighbourhoods become far more effective agents of change.
Six elements are considered the foundation of co-production:
1. Building on people’s existing capabilities
2. Reciprocity and mutuality
3. Peer support networks
4. Blurring distinctions between professionals and recipients, and between producers and consumers of services, by reconfiguring the way services are developed and delivered
5. Facilitating rather than delivering. Enabling public service agencies to become catalysts and facilitators rather than central providers themselves
6. Asset based and transforming the perception of people from passive recipients of services and burdens on the system into one where they are equal partners in designing and delivering services
What is clear is how much these definitions overlap with each other. Co-production in practice will involve alignment with all of these features, and they are all underpinned by similar values.