What is co-production?

doughnut shape under gradient

Co-production is “Getting more people, more involved" – it is simultaneously an activity, an approach and an ethos which involves academics, professionals, policy makers and the public working together. 

Co-production is about widening the number of people you connect with, but also deepening the connection everyone has with each other and with the work they are part of. The assumption is that those affected by research are well placed to design and deliver it and have skills and knowledge of equal importance.

The key principles of co-production:

  • Sharing of power – people work together to achieve a joint understanding
  • Including all perspectives and skills – the research team includes all those who can contribute
  • Respecting and valuing the knowledge of all those working together on the research
  • Reciprocity – everybody benefits from working together
  • Building and maintaining relationships – there needs to be joint understanding and consensus and clarity over roles and responsibilities. It is also important to value people and unlock their potential.