The July Coproduction Action Learning Set session heard from Tom from Good for Nothing who explained the Good for Nothing process and showed a film about the first GFN event in Lambeth which looked at healthwatch, webspace and parks / open spaces (for more info on this please click here). The next GFN event will be held in October and members of the action learning set suggested that the Lambeth country Show in September would be an ideal place to publicise it.
Tom reflected on some of the lessons that they have learned about coproduction:
- that coproduction works best when there are clear enough parameters for participants to see how they can add value and make a difference, and that these need to be published in advance of any coproduction events,
- that there cannot be so many constraints that it makes it difficult to take new ideas on board
- to increase inclusivity and ensure solutions fit the needs of a range of different kinds of people coproducers need to go out and talk to people outside the room as part of the coproduction process
- to take things forward after an initial event requires strong ownership from a range of different people and organisations (not just the council- but the council definitely needs to be one of the owners)
Officers reflected on the Good for Nothing approach and agreed:
- The council (both staff and elected members) need to be less risk averse, but recognised that this was a significant cultural challenge!
- That organisational development will be needed to help give officers the skills they need
Members of the coproduction action learning set then discussed some of the ways they were embedding coproduction and the challenges they were facing (and in some cases were overcoming!). These included
- embedding community decisions into the procurement process around youth services (a challenge overcome through joint working);
- the ongoing development of a council-wide organisational development strategy;
- working together with a range of neighbourhood groups to agree how additional council support for neighbourhood plans will be distributed and
- enabling learning disabled residents to mystery shop services.
The next coproduction action learning set session is planned for September 27th in the Town Hall and will explore how we can make sure that coproduction is inclusive and accessible to all. Please get in touch for a forward programme or for more information about the next session.