We have used ‘appreciative enquiry’ to find out about how a new Lambeth sustainable and healthy food strategy is being coproduced.
- Demand for a food strategy has come from citizens via the huge interest in food-growing. Incredible Edible Lambeth, a loose network of food growing projects, is represented in the Food Partnership
- Coproduction allows citizens to take a leadership role
- The Council has an ambition for the food strategy to be an exemplar of a co-produced strategy
What is different?
- The Council is not leading the process – it is a partner (although the Council is providing some resources – funding from Invest to Save fund)
- We are expecting the food strategy to be written over a long time, and that untraditionally, some actions may happen before the strategy is agreed
- The first focus is to form a Partnership working group (often strategy is written first and then partnership set up to deliver the strategy)
What coproduction tools are you using?
- Appreciative Inquiry – got people to tell stories, amazing ‘project’ food brought into event – very inspiring
- Asset Mapping/Activity Mapping
- Participatory Appraisal (essentially talking to people in the street)
- World Cafe-style workshops and events
- Social networking
- Use of networks
What is working?
- We are building a strong partnership / collaborative
- We are building up a body of evidence
- Events have been well attended and they have created a ‘buzz’
What are the benefits?
- Buy-in from the partners so far is very strong
- We are bringing in new partners
- We seem to have a high degree of credibility
What isn’t working so far?
- We have had to keep the working group small to start with – this doesn’t feel very open and cooperative
- Writing the strategy is likely to take a long time – is this a problem?
- We don’t have a very clear ‘mission’ statement – communicating what a food strategy might do outside of the council or NHS is difficult
- It is difficult to reach decisions because we want a lot of change and to affect a lot of different groups
What would you do differently next time?
- Ensure that Incredible Edible Lambeth (citizen group) properly resourced. They have had to secure some external funding for capacity building to get themselves into a position to be an equal ‘partner’.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Lambeth Food Partnership please contact Sue Sheehan email@example.com