User and community co-production of public services first became topical in the late 1970s, both in private and public sectors. Recent interest has been triggered by recognition that the outcomes for which public agencies strive rely on multiple stakeholders, particularly service users and the communities in which they live. Extra salience has been given to the potential of co-production due to fiscal pressures facing governments since 2008. However, there has been little quantitative empirical research on citizen co-production behaviours. The authors therefore undertook a large-sample survey in five European countries to fill this gap. This article examines an especially significant finding from this research - the major gulf between current levels of collective co-production and individual co-production. It explores the drivers of these large differences and examines what the social policy implications would be if, given the potential benefits, the government wishes to encourage greater collective co-production.
- public services
- citizen engagement