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Changing public service delivery: learning in co-creation

Co-VAL > Blog > News > Changing public service delivery: learning in co-creation

Co-creation is often explained as the method where citizens and public organizations work together to deal with societal issues. This method has been proven over the years, a fertile solution for various public service delivery problems. During a co-creation initiative, citizens actively engage in transforming public administration and in building resilient societies.

W. Voorberg, V. Bekkers, K. Timeus, P. Tonurist & L. Tummers, in their “Changing public service delivery: learning in co-creation” study (Policy and Society Journal, 2017, Vol. 36, Issue 2, pp. 178-194), analyzed if and how state and governance traditions influence learning and policy change within a context of co-creation.

For that matter, the authors combined insights from the co-creation and learning literature. They compared actual co-creation examples within the welfare domain in childcare (Estonia), education (Germany) and community work (the Netherlands) to show that state and governance traditions may form an explanation for whether co-creation, learning and policy change occurs. As the authors actualy state in the conclusion of their study, “cases show that how policy changes is affected by the macro context of state and governance traditions in which actors and policy are embedded.”.

The aforementioned cases showed that due to the involvement of citizens as co-creators in public service design, learning is required to cause policy change. Still, the study could not support that policy change is a reliable indicator to whether learning has occurred. In fact, the analysis conducted by the authors, showed that in co-creation, the relationship between learning and policy change is more complicated.


Download the article here.