Where Next for Co-creating Public Services? Emerging lessons and new questions from CoSIE
This publication draws together some of the ‘big ideas’ emerging from the Horizon2020 project CoSIE (Co-creation of Service innovation in Europe) in the form of a discussion paper aimed at European, national and regional policy-makers. The big ideas emerging from CoSIE can be grouped together as ideas associated with 1) conceptualising co-creation, 2) implementing co-creation and 3) evidencing and evaluating co-creation in public service reform.
CoSIE assumes that co-creation becomes innovative if it not only concerns the reduction of the public expenditure, but if it manages also to meet social needs, and to empower the beneficiaries of policies, by changing socio-political relations and redistributing socio-political responsibilities.
More specifically, it aims to a) advance the active shaping of service priorities by end users and their informal support network and b) engage citizens, especially groups often called ’hard to reach’, in the collaborative design of public services. One way it does this is through the development of ten pilot cases, embedded in national contexts, which strongly differ in socio-cultural, socio-political and socio-economical dimensions.
CoSIE Policy Brief II
Complex societal challenges, such as an ageing society in conjunction with austerity in public services are immune to quick-fix solutions. Societal challenges are wicked in a sense that they have multiple possible solutions and the ‘goodness’ of each solution always depends on the adopted approach.
This policy brief acknowledges the conventional approach to social innovation in terms of innovative activities and services that are motivated by the goal of meeting societal needs. Such needs are predominantly disseminated through organisations whose primary purposes are societal, and who call for changes in both our thinking and our actions. Wicked challenges should not be thought of as problems to be solved per se, but conditions to be managed.
Drawing on public service logic, service-dominant logic for value (co)-creation and complexity thinking, this policy aims to broaden policymakers’ mindsets and provide heuristic tools to practitioners to capture emergent social innovation.
It proposes the following five recommendations: 1) support self-organisation and enable emergence, 2) cultivate the ecosystem of social innovation, 3) tackle uncertainty by providing small wins, 4) ensure diversity by promoting feedback and sense-making and 5) enrich interaction through digital technology. The recommendations emphasise the interactive nature of social innovation and speak of the need for systemic change.
The policy brief includes several highlights from the CoSIE project.
Co-creation of Public Service Innovation - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Tech – CoSIE White Paper
Various ‘co-processes’ (co-initiation, co-design, co-production, co-implementation) are enthusiastically celebrated initiatives for improving public services. While there are many similarities between the concepts, the distinctions lie in the role of key stakeholders particularly citizens and their representatives.
This paper argues that complexity of public innovation cannot be ‘solved’, but rather must be ‘managed’ in collaborative ways. Innovation is not seen as something that can be created in isolation in ‘laboratory settings’ and then delivered to the users/citizens. Instead, the paper’s rationale is based on the premises that public service innovations should be co-created with citizens and relevant stakeholders. Theoretically, the paper draws on public service logic and service-dominant logic for value (co)creation.
This paper draws together ideas about co-creation, social innovation, social investment and individual and collective values that underpin the CoSIE project and shows the relationship between these concepts and how they can support innovation in public services.