inGOV project and INTERLINK held a workshop on sustainable co-creation and co-production of public services
inGOV and Interlink projects organized a joint workshop on the long-term sustainability enabled by co-creation and co-production of public services.
The workshop was held in Ghent on May 23rd and 24th and was organized by KU Leuven, University for Continuing Education Krems, Radoubd University, and Ghent University.
The workshop addressed the question of whether and how co-creation can be scaled-up and sustained over time to create long-term collaboration between professionalized service providers in public agencies and citizens.
While the COVID-19 crisis provided an opportunity to break through procedural restrictions leaving room for both government and citizen-initiated co-creation projects to materialize, the challenge that arises concerns the necessary steps that will support the continuity of these initiatives beyond the immediate crisis once the sense of urgency will disappear.
Learning more about conditions that drive the sustainability of co-creation and co-production efforts not only address a gap in our theoretical and empirical knowledge but may also provide insights for the governments on how to support the continuation the specific initiatives. As a next step, this knowledge is valuable in creating a stronger impact and a multiplier effect to our societies.
The workshop covered 16 presentations from scholars and practitioners from around Europe and beyond, including topics such as:
• co-creation and co-production in times of the COVID-19 pandemic,
• challenges in managing digital co-creation of public services,
• co-production effects and the co-creation of public values,
• co-production across different policy fields such as education or achieving peaceful neighborhoods and set against the background of different administrative traditions.
The different presentations covered a wide range of research designs, ranging from systematic literature reviews, over case studies to survey research. Empirical research included both cross-country comparative studies as well as research set in specific countries in Europa (e.g., Finland, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) and beyond (e.g., Israel, Japan, South-Africa, the USA).
Four papers were presented by inGOV partners:
1. Keith Cortis and Judie Attard presented the Malta pilot and discussed about a long-term vision for the Digital Common Household Unit Public Service.
2. Shefali Virkar presented the literature study she conducted with Valerie Albrecht, Lucy Temple and Vibor Cipan exploring the centrality of stakeholders in the co-creation of sustainable public services.
3. Natalia Oprea presented a comparative case study she conducted with Paula Rodriguez Müller and Trui Steen on crafting and managing digital co-creation of public services.
4. Noella Edelmann and Shefali Virkar concluded the paper presentations with their presentation on developing sustainable digital public services and co-creation in the public sector.
The workshop concluded ended on Tuesday afternoon May 24th with a plenary session on the sustainability of co-creation and coproduction of public services, discussing amongst others the need to contextualize co-creation initiatives, and challenges in defining and operationalizing co-creation initiatives’ aims and effects.