The Mediterranean Lab for Co-production 

of Social Innovation

Added value: Co-production can access assets that were previously under-used and can also deliver greater satisfaction for people who use services.Management: Difficult to manage well when dealing with larger groups.

Risk of exclusion: Can appear exclusive and unrepresentative to those users/residents who are not invited to take part.
Using the expertise of service users: Service users value approaches in which the professional assists them in achieving aims they have determined themselves. Co-productive approaches can also contribute to the development of mutual support systems which address issues before they become acute.High involvement: Requires a considerable time commitment on the part of both professionals and participants.

Building social capital: It is possible that co-production schemes can side-line already marginalised groups, as there are limits to the extent that some people can co-produce without support. Issues of social exclusion, equality and diversity need to be considered. There is also an awareness that co-production should not be a method for governments to dump its problems on the community and service users.
Practical skills: Some co-productive models, such as time banks where participants share skills and companionship, can provide practical advantages such as formal and informal skills and learning.Challenges to existing frameworks: Statutory authorities’ tendency to risk aversion, as well as tax and benefit regulations, can create problems for co-productive initiatives. Also, accountability can be threatened as private and public, formal and informal, budgets that were previously separate become entwined.
Health benefits and prevention: Co-production has been found to have a positive impact on health with a link found between time banks and reduced levels of hospitalisation. Some co-production schemes could contribute to the wellbeing and prevention agenda in health and social care.Security and independence: There can be concerns about the long-term sustainability of projects as many co-production initiatives want to be independent, relying on funding that is often short-term and unstable
Social capital: Schemes that build supportive relationships and increase the confidence and activity of participants have positive benefits for social capital. In addition to the benefits felt by the users of services, service providers and the wider community can benefit from these approaches.Staff support: For co-production to work effectively staff and service users must be empowered.