Assessing the effect of co-production on outcomes, service quality and efficiency

Loeffler, Elke and Bovaird, Tony (2018). Assessing the effect of co-production on outcomes, service quality and efficiency. In: Brandsen, Taco; Steen, Trui and Verschuere, Bram eds. Co-Production and Co-Creation: Engaging Citizens in Public Services. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 269–280.



This chapter develops a conceptual model in order to distinguish the impacts of co-production. It then summarises the current state of evidence on how co-production policies, projects and initiatives have performed in terms of improvements to outcomes, service quality, efficiency, social capital and governance principles. While the evidence is still sparse, there are indications that the potential of co-production is sufficient to justify wider experimentation in public policy and practice and deeper research into the mechanisms causing the impacts. The chapter explores how co-production can bring about different kinds of benefits and costs to public service organisations and communities. It examines the different ways in which professionals and citizens make better use of each other's assets, resources and contributions to achieve better outcomes or improved efficiency, considering the separate impacts of co-commissioning, co-design, co-delivery and co-assessment of services and of public outcomes. The chapter focuses on the effects of co-production and main costs involved for public service organisations.

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