Independent Living Fund Working Group: report and recommendations

Final report of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) Working Group, containing recommendations on opening up the fund to new users.

Annex C - Definitions of Co-Production

What is co-production?

The definition of co-production we intend to use for the ILF Working Group work is:

"Understanding that people have skills, capabilities, knowledge and experience to contribute unleashes huge potential for co-producing better outcomes across public services.

"Co-production redefines the relationship between public service professionals and their clients, from dependency to mutuality and reciprocity. Citizen leadership is also based on these values."

Source: Scottish Government: Self-Directed support: A National Strategy for Scotland (2010)

There are lots of definitions of co-production, but they usually talk about:

Working in partnership: the people responsible for developing or delivering something (for example, a service) work with the people who will eventually use it or be affected by it. They share their knowledge, skills and resources. They share responsibility for making the process and the end result successful.

Working as equals: the people working together in co-production (the 'co-production partners') are different. They do not have the same powers to act or limitations to what they can do. They have different knowledge, skills and resources. But they are all recognised to be equally important. In that way they are equal partners.

Co-producing from the start: people must work together from the very start. This means before important decisions are taken when as much as possible can still be influenced and changed.

Working together to achieve an outcome: at the start the partners agree what end result (or outcome) they all want to see. Then they work together to achieve it.

Source: Independent Living in Scotland Co-Production Toolkit (2012)

Rewards and risks

Rewards: What could stop rewards from happening?
A better outcome for all A better outcome for all will be hard to achieve if the partners don't really agree on the outcome they want to see. They each pull in different directions. They compete with each other rather than work together as partners.
Sharing knowledge leads to new, creative ideas New, creative ideas will not happen if partners have a fixed idea of what would work. They are not willing to think about new ideas that might work. They don't really listen to each other or respect each other's ideas.
Better relationships between partners Relationships will not get better if partners make wrong assumptions about each other. They behave in ways which increase distrust rather than build trust.

Source: Independent Living in Scotland Co-Production Toolkit (2012)


Email: Caroline Martin,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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