The Missing Link?
Tony Bovaird and Elke Loeffler
In Chapter 12 Bovaird and Loeffler argue that promotion of more intensive user and community co-production not only opens up new potential for a transformation of public services, but can also support the wider principles of public governance. The chapter explores the characteristics of co-production, its theoretical underpinnings and its different forms: co-commissioning, co-design, co-delivery and co-assessment (the four co’s). Bovaird and Loeffler then analyse how the four co’s might contribute to the ‘principles of good governance’. They suggest that the concern of many authors may be overdone about whether the governance of co-production can meet such high standards as the governance of professionally-provided services. The authors state that co-production may actually play a counterbalancing role to the over-dominance of politicians or state bureaucrats in interactive governance. Finally, Bovaird and Loeffler look at the empirical evidence and suggest some conclusions and implications arising from this analysis.