The how, what, and when of applying to our programme & funding opportunity! Measuring Success in Co-production: Learning by Doing
September 8, 2023
Over the summer months a group of us have been working together to co-produce this exciting new programme and funding opportunity. The response to our announcement and ‘Information and Taster Event’ coming up on 12 September has been immense. Perhaps this reflects the need for more, and different, funding approaches to support co-production in more equitable ways? Or maybe it’s about a desire to be involved in understanding the difference that co-production makes and how to measure it? We hope our launch event and programme will respond to both. You can read more about the aims and objectives of our programme and the team behind it in our previous blog. Here is a reminder of the timeline for applications. All applications need to be submitted by Monday 27 November 2023.
Designing a fair and inclusive process…
From the outset we have been discussing as a co-production team, how we can make this a different online funding experience, and how we can offer something of benefit to those who generously commit their time to apply. Bringing together the skills of our team, we have created what we hope to be an inclusive yet interactive funding programme of events by applying the principles of co-production.
In this short blog, we would like to give you a little more detail about the process and what it means to get involved. We said from the start that it’s not just about the destination but about the journey through co-production, so we do hope you stick with us to the point of submission. Even if you don’t feel ready to submit an application this time around – we hope there will be benefits for everyone taking part!
How we are applying the principles of co-production…
To give you a flavour of our approach so far, and our expectations around working with you throughout this journey, this is how we have interpreted and applied the principles of co-production to the process so far…
Building and maintaining relationships – It takes time to build relationships but this is critical as it links with all the other principles. We wanted our application process to enable people to connect early on – whether you have existing relationships or want to develop new ones. We hope from our first event there will be opportunities to start off this process. If you can’t make the first event, or events are inaccessible to you, we will facilitate a process to help you network, build connections and develop your ideas through partnerships.
In our team, some of us know each other and/or have worked together before, others are new to some or all members. We’ve been trying out various ways of connecting, working together and getting to know each other and how we work. We’ve also been using a reflective Padlet (an online noticeboard, that can be anonymous, to post thoughts and queries) to help us capture and monitor how things are going!
Accessibility, inclusion and transparency – Making application processes equitable takes a lot of thought. Having the right experience, skills and commitment towards this in the team is vital.
Our team has a range of experience in this area and we have already learned a lot from potential applicants and other organisations in developing this programme. We are doing our best to offer options and flexibility to accommodate different needs. Our programme is mostly digital; however, we are keen to discuss ways to avoid digital exclusion so if you would like to contribute to this discussion please email email@example.com. We may not get everything right but are open to hearing your thoughts, we are still working out what works best within our own team!
Shared decision making, understanding and addressing unequal power dynamics – Offering everyone the same opportunities in making key decisions is important to us at Co-Production Collective. There are many considerations in creating the right conditions and environment for this to happen. This is an area we have focussed on as a team and are keen to explore throughout the programme.
Respecting and enabling ALL knowledge, skills and experience – It’s not just about connecting but how we bring people together, allowing experience to materialise and honour the value in everyone’s individual perspectives, insights and wisdom.
Within our team, we are challenging the ways we work to ensure that everyone has been involved in key decisions. This can even come down to something as simple as varying the methods and tools we use to work together, listening to feedback, and ensuring all members of the team feel sufficiently supported and able to step out of their comfort zones too!
Value/benefits for all – in our previous blog we described the benefits we would like to offer throughout this application process, as well as to those who go on to receive funding.
Since this project centres around evaluation we have already started evaluating ourselves and our own processes using a few different approaches and forms of media/interactive tools. We will be gathering insights and hope to get feedback from you throughout this process!
For those interested in understanding what the wider programme is about, we will talk more about the project-specific coaching and guidance offered to any successful funding applications during our launch event on Tuesday 12 September. A sneak peek is here along with links to our Application Pack documents below.
Our Application Pack
There are three documents in our application pack:
General funding information (available as a Word document, and as a PDF) – contains most of the detail including the scope of the programme and how this aligns with our priorities and values, eligibility, specific criteria and expectations of being involved in the wider programme and the timelines and application process.
Frequently asked questions (available on our FAQs web page) – includes common questions and some already posed by potential applicants. We will evolve this following each of the events as we respond to queries raised by you and the web page will be updated accordingly!
Application form (available as a Word document, and as a PDF) – provides the template question form for you to write your responses in, a budget template to complete and an Appendix Guidance document which also provides information on what reviewers are looking for.
In case you are not able to make the session, a video of the information parts of the session will be made available afterwards along with the frequently asked questions web page that will constantly be updated throughout the programme.
How else can we help?
We hope this provides enough information to help you feel prepared for our session next week. We look forward to seeing those of you who are joining us then.
If you have any immediate questions or would like more information on anything in this blog that may help you participate in this programme, please contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org