From participation to co-production: widening and deepening the contributions of citizens to public services and outcomes

Elke Loeffler, Tony Bovaird

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades, governments have increasingly accepted the need to engage citizens in public decision-making and public services. This chapter traces the sources of this increased interest in public participation and user and community co-production. Our research suggests that they are important but still under-appreciated by policymakers. While public participation can be effective, even in countries where democracy is still not strong it is not always positive. Similarly, recent research demonstrates that public services are already partly co-produced, as this is not sufficiently recognised by public services, co-production is not being harnessed systematically. More empirical research is needed into what kind of co-production is actually occurring (where, by whom and how?), how it could be further incentivised, and what are its benefits and limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe
EditorsEdoardo Ongaro, Sandra Van Thiel
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-55269-3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2017


  • citizen engagement
  • policymakers
  • public services

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