From engagement to co-production: The contribution of users and communities to outcomes and public value

Tony Bovaird, Elke Loeffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Citations (Scopus)


User and community co-production has always been important, but rarely noticed. However, there has recently been a movement towards seeing co-production as a key driver for improving publicly valued outcomes, e. g. through triggering behaviour change and preventing future problems. However, citizens are only willing to co-produce in a relatively narrow range of activities that are genuinely important to them and are keen that their co-production effort is not wasted by public agencies. Moreover, there are concerns that co-production may involve greater risks than professionalised service provision, although services may be quality assured more successfully through involving users and embedding them in the community. While offering potential significant improvements in outcomes, and cost savings, co-production is not resource-free. Co-production may be 'value for money', but it usually cannot produce value without money.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1138
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Early online date4 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2012


  • co-production
  • community assets
  • outcomes
  • public value
  • users

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