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Co-production in Scotland & Wales: ideas and questions

Posted November 19th 2020 by Kate

'Coproduction in Scotland and Wales: Ideas and questions. A blog for #CoProWeekScot'

Co-production ideas and questions from Scotland & Wales

Co-production learning across Scotland and Wales

As part of Co-production Week, I joined the co-production learning event hosted in partnership by the Scottish Co-production Network and the Co-Production Network for Wales. The zoom event brought people from the Scottish and Welsh Networks together to share our experiences of co-production throughout the pandemic, identify key learning and important messages that need to be shared.

It was great to hear a range of experiences from people living and working across Wales, and many of the points raised made me reflect on our Rural Wisdom Gathering that we hosted yesterday. Rural Wisdom works across Scotland and Wales with our project partner, Volunteering Matters Cymru. It explores ways that older people can shape their rural communities and wider society, and embeds a co-production shared-learning approach throughout.

Many of the issues raised at the co-production learning event were experienced across both countries; we have seen similar themes identified through Rural Wisdom so it was great to hear them from a co-production perspective. The real-life stories from both events highlighted the intrinsic link between co-production, equalities and our human rights.  These flowed through our group discussions and where some really interesting, and challenging, questions were raised.

Questions and challenges in the world of co-production

  • What are the ‘blockages’ in our systems that prevent co-production happening more readily? Who do we need to persuade and what evidence do we need to gather?
  • How do we show the ‘return on investment’ to co-produced approaches? They often take longer; they require trusting and honest relationships as well as clear and open communication, and often this doesn’t come quickly.
  • Do we know the impact of our new online engagement methods? What’s working well and what have we lost in the process?
  • Do people living in our communities across Scotland and Wales know their rights around co-production and participation?

Taking our learning forwards

I look forward to taking these questions back to my colleagues and the communities we work alongside and I sense that this will be happening across Scotland and Wales through the networks’ members. We ended the learning event on a hopeful positive note, with an agreement from all participants to get together again and move towards meaningful action.

If you would like to hear more about this event and future follow-ups please follow @otbds on Twitter, and the #RuralWisdom hashtag or Rural Wisdom’s website.

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