Roundtable discussion:
What's next for the co-production of public services?

29th October 2008

Held by TSRC researcher Tony Bovaird and the Centre for Public Service Partnerships, this roundtable discussion brought together actors from key policy and practice agencies involved in service delivery. 

In the discussion, it was generally accepted that co-production is already a significant factor in many public services. At the same time, it was clear that the actual extent of co-production is still uncertain and that any estimate of this depends largely on the definition used.

Similarly, the overall benefits of co-production were generally accepted but there was lively debate on which of these benefits were most important:

  • the commitment to public services which it creates on the part of citizens and service users
  • embedding their expertise in the service planning, managing and delivering process
  • the emphasis on outcomes which it tends to encourage, or
  • the cost savings which it may allow (suggested by one participant to be at least 10% of current service costs). 

Barriers, such as the key role of professionals, as well as issues of scalability, reach and costs of co-production were discussed. The potential role of the government was also debated.

The discussion helped set directions for future research into co-production and user involvement.

Read the full report: What's next for the co-production of public services? (PDF, 72KB)