This is new report on co-production in Birmingham’s neighbourhoods which proposes a Neighbourhood Equity Model. (Download as a pdf here). The Model argues that if government works to help communities empower themselves through taking on commissions to provide public services it triggers a virtuous cycle of wealth creaton, particulalrly in poorer neighbourhoods:
The brokerage or commissioning of public services coproduced between agencies and between agencies and communities leads to better outcomes which strengthen social capital. This leads to increased asset values – including the price of housing – and results in greater neighbourhood equity (the equivalent of the ‘share value’ of the neighbourhood). Wealth created in this way could be used to fund further coproduction.
This is how the report views the process:
In the foreword Councillor Ayoub Khan says:
Birmingham over the last ten years has pioneered an approach to localism and neighbourhood working through a combination of neighbourhood agencies such as Balsall Heath Forum, Castle Vale CHA and Witton Lodge Community Association and through public sector applications of neighbourhood management. There have been significant gains for those who live and work in particular neighbourhoods in Birmingham as a consequence of this and there is a firm belief and commitment that such an approach linked in to macro regeneration and growth programmes is at the heart of building a “global city with a local heart.”
The author, Paul Slatter of the Chamberlain Forum, has broken down the work into
Section 1 Coproduction in Theory
Section 2 Coproduction in Practice
Section 3 Valuing Coproduction
1 Case Studies
2 Alternative Approaches to Valuation
3 Measures of Social Capital and National Indicators
4 House Prices Variations in Birmingham
The whole way we think of public services and the part they play in making neighbourhoods may need to change. The challenge, identified in Looking Sideways, is to look beyond the management of individual public services and instead at how they work together, and with communities, to create more, or less, good places to live. As the local State shrinks, the only way it can gain influence is by working better with communities. Government calls this idea ‘Big Society’. It requires better use of local assets and the local State to work with the grain of community interest. This is coproduction. It is the new Municipalism.