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COGOV – Co Production and Co Governance: Strategic Management, Public Value and Co Creation in the Renewal of Public Agencies across Europe

The COGOV project is a pan-European research programme, coordinated from Northumbria University under the leadership of Professor Keith Shaw, with EU funding of 4.5 million euros over the period May 2018 to April 2022. It aims to explore and assess the strategic leadership work of local governments and other public agencies to transform themselves from ‘bureaucratic authorities’ – treating citizens as legal subjects – and ‘service providers’ – treating citizens as customers – into ‘arenas for co-creation’, in which citizens are recognised as experts in their own life and capable of providing useful inputs (in terms of resources, ideas and energy) into the process of public governance.

The project relies on strong collaboration of academic and policy partners across Europe and is strongly connected to, and informed by, practice. The partner organisations are Cardiff University, Kings College London and the Open University, Denmark’s Roskilde Universitet, TIAS Business School BV Netherlands, Universite d’Aix Marseille, France, Univerza V Ljubljani, Slovenia, and SPAN, Croatia.

COGOV responds to the policy problem of how strategic management can best enable local governments and public agencies to exploit the drivers – and overcome the barriers – to the co-production or co-creation of innovative public value outcomes at both organisational and project levels, and which lessons can be shared on undertaking strategically managed co-creation. Co-creation is understood as the process through which two or more public and private actors attempt to solve a shared problem, challenge, or task through a constructive exchange of different kinds of knowledge, resources, competences, and ideas that enhance the production of public value in terms of visions, plans, policies, strategies, regulatory frameworks, or services.

Research activities to answer this policy problem include:

  • Administering a large pan-European Survey across six national sites
  • Establishing an archive of innovative practices, based on 205 interviews in 15 case studies across Europe
  • Creating an analytical framework to examine co-production and co-creation of territorial cultural strategies in the UK and France (see working papers to find out more)
  • Organising and implementing an innovative design-experimental approach to introducing co-creation approaches in: The Slovenian Ministry of Public Administration; Newcastle City Council (UK); Vitrolles Council (France); Rijeka Local Partnership (Croatia); and Gentofte Municipality Council (Denmark)
  • Developing a 'CO-CREATOR' board game to aid policy learning
  • Identifying the relevant skills for managers and professionals engaged in co-production and co-creation via the study of key policy sectors, such as housing, education, culture, employment, education, social care, environment, planning, digital innovation (find out more)
  • Developing an e-toolkit based on four tools providing holistic support for public service renewal through co-creation.  

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 770591. 

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