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The path to co-creation – the JCP Harlesden case

Co-VAL > Blog > News > The path to co-creation – the JCP Harlesden case

Discussion on co-creation for public administration is quite old. Yet, in case you are just now starting to get acquainted with the concept, we think that a good starting point is the article of Francis Gouillart & Tina Hallett [as published in the Stanford Social innovation Review, Spring 2015 issue].

The authors lead the reader to the journey of this organizational change method by first presenting actual examples of how co-creation transformed certain parts of the business world. Following, the present ample evidence on how co-creation can facilitate innovation in government. In their own words, the article “shows how co-creation differs from the traditional model of how government operates, provides examples of public sector entities that have overcome challenges to pursuing co-creation, and draws lessons from those examples.

The thing that stroke us derives from a pilot project of 2013, conducted in the Harlesden office of Jobcentre Plus (JCP), a public sector organization that deals with unemployment. According to the article, the project aimed to turn the JCP office as “a venue where employees and outside service providers—along with the constituencies that they serve—could develop new community-based approaches to the challenge of unemployment”. With that vision in mind, the project team set out a 5-step plan:

  1. Identify target communities (main and secondary) whose members will take part in that effort.
  2. Provide these communities with physical or virtual platforms where their members can interact.
  3. Foster interactions among stakeholders via these engagement platform (or platforms) to enable new kinds of relationships.
  4. Ensure that new interactions lead to valuable experiences for all stakeholders, in terms of fundamentally improving their life quality.
  5. Verify that the sponsoring organization has generated new value by assessing measurable economic value.

A detailed analysis of the Harlesden office of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) co-creation case study, can be found here.