GMCVO researcher Susanne Martikke and Manchester Metropolitan University Business School academic Claire Hannibal are conducting a small research study about value co-production with service users in the health and social care VCSE sector in Greater Manchester.
We are planning to conduct joint interviews that bring together an organisational representative and a service user who have been involved in a process of co-production. We hope that bringing the two sides of a partnership together in an interview will create a valuable space for reflection, potentially unlocking learning for the participants themselves.
The output of the project will be five case studies (or exemplars), which will be produced as easy to interpret posters, complemented by a report that expands upon these exemplars by providing a rich set of ‘how to’ examples for VSCE organisations that are considering co-production. The posters will focus on the most important findings about what works in co-production and the processes involved. While they will be used by Claire and Susanne to disseminate their findings, if applicable and desired, they could also be used by the VCSE organisations that participated in the research to showcase their own achievements and market their work to potential funders.
This research project is funded by the Community University Partnership Initiative (CUPI), a partnership of National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, University of the West of England, Power to Change, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Connected Communities programme.
There is a strong interest in value co-production among VCSE sector audiences and Greater Manchester policymakers
Why are we doing it?
It is likely that co-productive approaches will play a role in the transformation of health and social care in Greater Manchester. Therefore, the funding and policy environment that Greater Manchester VCSE organisations are operating in is characterised by a receptiveness to organisations that can demonstrate experience in co-production.
Although funders and policy makers see co-production as desirable, there is a lack of practical examples as to how it can be incorporated into VCSE operations. VCSE practitioners who are involved in co-production usually do not get the opportunity to reflect on their experience in the co-production process. This leads to co-production being embraced as a panacea, without real knowledge of what it actually is and how to go about it.
The research study is a starting point for offering VCSE staff, volunteers and service users the opportunity to step back from their busy practice and reflect on their experience with co-production. Starting from self-described examples of co-production by VCSE organisations the study is aiming to develop a more nuanced understanding of whether value has been co-produced and how this worked in practice.