The official title of this project is:
Co-production and involvement in PSBs
And our project title for our funding application was:
Mes Yn Dderw: Co-production acorns for public service oaks
But as the project officially started on 1st March 2021, Saint David's day over here in Wales, we're calling it Project Dewi for short!
In early 2021 we secured 5 years of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to work with Public Services Boards (PSBs) on their implementation of co-production and involvement, with an initial focus on well-being assessments.
We know there is a gap between the aspirations of our (still young) devolved legislation in terms of involving citizens and communities in the co-production of public services, and the reality of implementation on the ground. We believe that only by getting enough co-production and involvement happening across our Welsh public services, will we achieve the scale of impact that is required for sustainable change.
How we are working
We are working hands-on with 3 clusters of PSBs to support the development of their practice of meaningful engagement and involvement, moving towards full co-production. We are:
- Working alongside the PSB teams to support practical implementation and develop their capabilities, capacity and confidence. We are not consultants who take the work away and do it for them, instead we work with the PSBs. Through experiential learning and working on relevant and immediate issues, we contribute to shifting behaviours and cultures.
- Creating the conditions for sustainable relationships between organisations and with communities and citizens, through an ongoing involvement infrastructure. Relationships are fundamental to co-producing and operating in complexity, and contribute to the long-term sustainability of this work.
- Developing meaningful engagement opportunities including with seldom heard voices, that lead to the involvement of communities in the co-production of local solutions, where both people and professionals leverage their strengths and resources to effect positive change.
What we are doing
Work began in June 2021 with a focus on the well-being assessments, and will carry through planning and implementation over the next few years. We are fortunate to have been granted funding that will enable us to support PSBs throughout the entire 5-year cycle, and through them affect the broader public services landscape in Wales.
Each of the 3 PSBs or clusters we work with access an average of one day (8 hours) per week of consultancy, advice and support from our co-production consultants who bring to the table a broad range of skills and experience. Each PSB is paired with a primary team of two consultants, and through them access the support of the rest of our co-production team as needed.
With 50 days of collaborative support per year for 5 years, we can achieve a significant shift in practice and behaviours. While we develop specific work plans and timings around each PSB’s needs, broadly speaking we are working with them to:
- Develop and deliver the engagement and communications plan for their Well-being Assessments, utilising remote and in person approaches as applicable.
- Consolidate relationships of trust and continue to engage with local stakeholders and residents to shape the Well-being Plans that are informed by the assessments
- Build capability and confidence with co-production, facilitation, and associated skills in their teams and partners.
- Co-produce local responses to the priorities identified in the Well-being Plans (through the continued involvement of communities, community-led organisations, statutory and third-sector partner organisations).
The wider PSBs network
While we are funded to work hands-on with 3 clusters of PSBs, we are keen for all the other PSBs to also benefit from the programme. We connect with the wider PSB network and we share findings, experiences and lessons learnt, through fortnightly "co-production notes" and monthly learning and sharing events. This also fits within the wider context of the Co-production Network’s existing cross-sector community of practice, and remit of influencing change more widely across Welsh public services.
Find out more
For any further information contact Ena or Dan, who can answer any questions about the programme as a whole, and you can link you up with the consultants in the regional teams.
Cwm Taf & Bridgend
Cwm Taf & Bridgend