Building on a people’s movement for change…


Jump to: – About Co-productionResourcesUseful Links

What is co-production?

Co-production is a way in which organisations can relate to people, which enables people’s meaningful contribution to:

•             agreeing joint priorities for action;

•             influencing decision-making; and

•             determining quality indicators.

Co-production is one of the many ways in which organisations and people can interact. When organisations want to actively relate to the people who use their services or products, there’s a range of ways in which they can do this. Each of these has different purposes and can work well in different circumstances.

The Spectrum of Participation

We’ve developed our Spectrum of Participation which shows the various useful ways that people can be invited to input ideas and perspectives to organisations. Crucially it also shows how co-production differs and is distinct from other types of participation.

We describe the Spectrum and the key questions in more detail in our resources below. The questions help organisations choose which type of participation is most appropriate for what they want to achieve. The questions can also be used by people with lived experience to identify what type of participation is being offered by an organisation.

Why co-produce?

The purpose of co-production is to bring together the knowledge, skills and experience of the people working in an organisation, with those of the people served by an organisation, to better inform policy and practice.

When done well, effective co-production produces:

  • A combination of thinking to achieve change – either by innovation or adaptation;
  • A mutually beneficial relationship which affects the way organisations and people see each other; and
  • A service, policy, process or product which is more fit for purpose from the perspective of both the organisation and the people using it.

Peoplehub has a wealth of expertise and experience in working with organisations to implement co-production. If you would like to talk to us about how we can support your organisation with developing co-production do get in touch with us. You can email us at


Front cover of document

Read more about the Spectrum, and the other graphics and key points that we’ve developed to help clarify what co-production is all about.

Our Spectrum of Participation tool as a downloadable image file.

Strategic Co-production Webinar

COMING SOON – Originally presented for Citizen Network, join Rita and Robyn as they dive into what co-production is – and isn’t!

A Ladder of Citizen Participation – Sherry R Arnstein 1969

Arnstein’s original article about power structures in society and decision making.

Depoliticising Development: The Uses and Abuses of Participation – Sarah White 1996

White’s work on the forms and functions of participation.