The value of

Co-Production Collective at UCL’s ‘Value of Co-production Research Project’ makes the case for co-production for individuals, organisations and for society.

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What is co-production

What is co-production?

People define co-production in different ways. For us at Co-Production Collective we talk about co-production as ‘an approach to working together in equal partnership and for equal benefit. ‘ This is something we are always aspiring for and is underpinned by our core values of being:


Valuing diversity of knowledge, experience and perspective. Building mutually beneficial relationships based on honesty and trust.


Removing barriers to participation and recognising people’s strengths and supporting their development.


Addressing power imbalances and hierarchies, sharing roles and responsibilities.


Continuous reflection, learning and improvement, embracing new ideas and ways of working.

Why we have done this research

Why we have done this research

The research aims to help people using it to overcome the following barriers to co-production:

  • Advocating for the time to do it and having resources to help
  • Resistance from people who are used to working in more hierarchical ways
  • Insufficient evidence of the value of co-production to convince people who are unfamiliar with it that it is worth trying out and investing in

We hope this resource helps a wide variety of people to be able to make the case for co-production. We have tried to provide multiple different ways to engage in the content so that you can absorb the information in whatever way works for you, including accessible formats which you can find in the reports section.

In this video Nicc and Isaac talk more about how the project came about, what was involved and why we have put it together in the way that we have.

What did we find out

What did we find out?

From our research we found that if applied in the right context and given sufficient time and investment, co-production can have many benefits. This led us to the conclusion that value of co-production lies in:

*People told us as part of this research that they felt empowered by co-production

Click on each of these key findings to find out more detail about what they mean for co-production.

Our findings show that co-production can be seen as a valid ‘method’ a way of doing research, policy or service development. But it can also be an intervention - an act designed to change or influence something - in its own right. This is not necessarily true of other ‘methods’.

The values at the heart of co-production - and the changes they bring about for all involved - distinguish it from other ‘methods’. In other words, the value of co-production is in both the journey and the destination. The value of co-production depends on the context in which co-production takes place, however. Co-production is not a fix all. It’s not always the most useful, relevant or productive approach for developing a piece of work or research.

Our evidence base

Our evidence base

Our findings are supported by a rigorous evidence base. Analysis across the board demonstrated consistent themes around the value of co-production, which been drawn out into our headline findings.

We analysed findings from:

Real life examples

Real life examples

These are three case studies from our Value of Co-production pilot projects:

Case study 01

Voices in Maternity Care

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Case study 02

Hearing Birdsong

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Case study 03


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The reports

The reports

View our findings in detail for each of these research methods here:

Recommendations from our research

Recommendations from our research

After reviewing the evidence base, we have made a number of recommendations in relation to:

  • Practicalities and conditions that can enable the optimal conditions for co-production to flourish.
  • What issues still require research in relation to co-production.

Please note these are not in any order of priority.

What's next?

What's next?

A key finding from our Rapid Review was that:

“The low level of formal evaluation of the impacts of co-production (as opposed to the impacts of the research products) suggests a need to start measuring and evaluating the claims that are being made in research [and wider] on co-production”

We also know that co-production’s benefits are not easily measurable by existing methods often used for carrying out evaluations of work conducted. Many of these methods are currently unable to easily and fully capture the full impact of co-production on the people involved in the project. To address some of these findings and recommendations outlined as part of the Value of Co-production Research project, we are using funding received from Research England for Co-Production Collective at UCL. This intends to support those who co-produce projects to also co-produce evaluation design with the aim of developing an approach that is more suited to this kind of work.

The ‘Measuring Success in Co-production: Learning by Doing' Project will fund five to seven projects; each of which will receive £10,000-15,000. Our hope is to connect and support a range of people to develop projects across the themes of - mental health and wellbeing and/or climate change – involving researchers, community partners and co-producers with lived experience to work together, learn and capture what changes as a result of meaningful co-production.

You can find out more about this funding opportunity and how you can get involved by reading our blog. To keep up to date with this project and how to get involved sign up to our newsletter.

Your feedback please

We would love to hear about how you are using this research and if there is anything else that you would find helpful from us in relation to this, or future research into co-production, as well as any feedback you have. Please email

In partnership with

Funded by

UCL and Research England

The team

For a full list of all involved see our Thank You page.