Special Issue "Long-Term Sustainability of Co-creation and Co-production of Public Services"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2023 | Viewed by 2659

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Trui Steen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Interests: professionalism; public service motivation; professional-citizen co-production of public services; central-local government relations; public sector innovation
Prof. Dr. Taco Brandsen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Interests: public services
Dr. Noella Edelmann
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of E-Governance and Administration, Donau-Universitat Krems, Krems, Austria
Interests: online communciation; online participation; online lurking; public participation; e-participation cyberpsychology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Bram Verschuere
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Governance and Management, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Interests: general management; strategic management; organization theory; corporate governance; public management; not for profit management; public administration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The involvement of citizens in the creation and production of public services is a major topic in current Public Administration research. Co-creation and co-production refer to citizens being involved as co-designers and co-implementers of public services, alongside ‘regular’ service providers (i.e., government professionals). In this Special Issue, we address the questions of whether and how co-creation and co-production initiatives can be scaled up and sustained over time as to create long term collaboration between professionalized service providers in public agencies and citizens.

As research by Brudney and England (1983), amongst others, demonstrates, active and voluntary involvement of citizens in the delivery of public services has been a practice for many years.  However, the challenge of sustainability of co-creation and co-production (Jaspers and Steen, 2020) seems all the more pertinent in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. During the COVID-19 crisis, new co-creation and co-production practices have emerged worldwide. The crisis provided opportunity to break through procedural restrictions, leaving room for both government and citizen-initiated co-production projects to materialize. Moreover, COVID-19 displays the dependence of government on citizens not only in complying with new directives that penetrate their social and economic life, but also in co-creating and co-producing social and health care. The question arises, however, what will be necessary to support the continuation of these co-creation and co-production initiatives beyond the immediate crisis, once the sense of urgency disappears (Steen and Bransen 2020).

Literature reviews of co-creation and co-production research (Voorberg et al. 2015; Sicilia et al. 2019; Rodriguez Müller et al, 2021) identify very few studies that examine co-production from a long-term perspective. Learning more about conditions for sustainability of co-creation and co-production not only addresses a gap in our theoretical and empirical knowledge, but may also provide insights for governments on how to support the continuation of co-creation and co-production initiatives. In a next step this knowledge can contribute to co-creation and co-production initiatives having a stronger impact and a multiplier effect.

Contributions for this Special Issue should address issues of sustainability of co-creation and co-production, including, but not limited to:

Organisational and procedural conditions for sustaining and scaling up co-creation and co-production initiatives: What impact does sustainability has on the design of public services?  Is sustainability an issue of organisational design to be addressed already at the onset of a collaboration between professionalized public service providers and citizens? Are supportive legislative frameworks and structural allocation of resources necessary to support the continuation of co-production initiatives? What are thresholds for sustaining co-creation and co-production over time?

Engagement of professionals and citizen co-producers: In how far does sustaining co-creation and co-production over time depend on mutual commitment by and empowerment of professionals and citizen co-producers? What incentives are needed to induce long-term engagement and motivation of both professionals and citizen co-producers?

Digital enabled co-creation and co-production. Can new technologies help sustain and scale up co-creation and co-production initiatives? How does the combination of digital tools with face-to-face communication work in setting up long-term participation? What challenges arise from the use of digital tools in co-creation and co-production initiatives? What factors contribute to sustainable digital co-creation?

What is the legitimacy of co-creation and co-production practices as an integral and continuous part of the functioning of (local) democracy in the perspective of different actors, including political actors, public service professionals, and engaged citizens, as well as the wider public? What promises do co-creation and co-production hold for the future, including narrowing the gap between government and citizens? How sustainable are co-creation and co-production in different policy fields?

We look forward to working with you to form a Special Issue to address these topics and more.

Prof. Dr. Trui Steen
Prof. Dr. Taco Brandsen
Dr. Noella Edelmann
Prof. Dr. Bram Verschuere
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • public services
  • co-creation
  • co-production
  • involvement of citizens
  • sustainability over time

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
The Persistent Constraints of New Public Management on Sustainable Co-Production between Non-Profit Professionals and Service Users
Adm. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13020037 - 29 Jan 2023
Viewed by 215
Abstract
In this paper, I explore whether and how New Public Management (NPM) inhibits the long-term sustainability of co-production between non-profit practitioners and service users in the United Kingdom. I show how the key elements of NPM (contracts and competitive tendering, performance measurement, a [...] Read more.
In this paper, I explore whether and how New Public Management (NPM) inhibits the long-term sustainability of co-production between non-profit practitioners and service users in the United Kingdom. I show how the key elements of NPM (contracts and competitive tendering, performance measurement, a pressure for non-profits to become more ‘business-like’, and the framing of citizens as ‘customers’) provide distinct barriers for non-profits to engage in co-production over the longer term, inhibiting the long-term creation of value for citizens. Through an analysis of seven case study organisations, this paper contributes to building theory about the sustainability of co-production, the factors that shape enduring co-production, and the compatibility/incompatibility of NPM tools with co-production. Full article
Article
A Study on the Enablers and Challenges of Co-Creation for the Digital Common Household Unit Integrated Public Service in Malta
Adm. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci13020029 - 18 Jan 2023
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Several public services in Malta operate under the stewardship of different governmental bodies, ministries, or departments. This results in considerable effort in the delivery of public services, especially ones that require the use of multiple registries, such as integrated public services (IPSs). Co-creation [...] Read more.
Several public services in Malta operate under the stewardship of different governmental bodies, ministries, or departments. This results in considerable effort in the delivery of public services, especially ones that require the use of multiple registries, such as integrated public services (IPSs). Co-creation and co-production are increasingly being seen by public administrations as an approach toward mitigating issues stemming from such a siloed environment. Indeed, they are seen as a means to improve service provision through the delivery of citizen-centric public services that are more efficient and effective. This paper presents the Malta pilot as part of the inGOV project. The latter aims to develop and deploy a comprehensive IPS holistic framework and ICT mobile tools that will support IPS co-creation and governance. The Malta pilot focuses on modernising the Digital Common Household Unit public service. Improving considerably upon the previous ad hoc solution, the Digital Common Household Unit public service implements an iterative co-creation and co-production approach with the various stakeholders. This paper therefore presents the applied methodology in researching current challenges and enablers to the co-creation and co-production of a digital common household unit public service, with a specific focus on sustainability. Full article
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Article
Invigorating Care Farm Ecosystem Based on Public Service Innovation: Case of South Korea
Adm. Sci. 2022, 12(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci12020058 - 09 May 2022
Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Recently, the importance of care farming has been emphasized worldwide for the purpose of public health and healing, and, in particular, discussions on innovative transformation and expansion of the care farm ecosystem have continued in terms of convergence of agriculture and welfare. This [...] Read more.
Recently, the importance of care farming has been emphasized worldwide for the purpose of public health and healing, and, in particular, discussions on innovative transformation and expansion of the care farm ecosystem have continued in terms of convergence of agriculture and welfare. This study aims to present influencing factors based on a hierarchical concept framework for revitalizing care farm ecosystem based on public service innovation. To this end, the AHP methodology was used. Through previous studies, 16 variables were derived within four categories: recognition, structure, leadership, process, and recognition of variables that affect the activation of the care farm ecosystem and conceptualized them through Delphi techniques. In addition, a survey was conducted on 28 stakeholders in care farming to derive the importance of each variable. As a result of the analysis, ‘reliability’ was derived as the most important factor, followed by factors such as human competence, vision, civic participation, and innovation awareness. Hence, it was confirmed that trust and communication between stakeholders are important to lead the innovative public service ecosystem of care farm, and above all, human competence is an important influencing factor. Full article
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