Chwilio sylfaen wybodaeth cydgynhyrchu

Research – social justice

Co-production and social injustice (2018-19)

Co-production implies a collaborative approach to public service reform, whereby service-users and citizens are regarded as equal partners in each stage of the process. Underpinned by a philosophy which values individuals, communities and the virtues of social capital and reciprocity; co-production contrasts starkly with traditional, service-led, top-down ways of public service reform whereby decisions are made exclusively by those in positions of power. Instead, it is an approach which endorses the notion of ‘No decision about me, without me!’. Invoked directly within Welsh Health Policy, co-production is cast as the principle mechanism for making prudent healthcare happen. This distinctively ‘Welsh approach’ seems to provide fertile ground for co-production by directly appealing to longstanding traditions of mutuality, co-operation and community in Wales, as immortalised by the legacies of Robert Owen, founding father of the co-operative movement, and Aneurin Bevan, whose vision for the NHS was modelled on a Tredegar Mutual Aid Society.

Our forthcoming paper will offer some preliminary observations on theory, policy and practice in the unfolding of co-production as an alternative approach to Health Policy reform in Wales. The discussion focuses on three areas:

  • it reviews theoretical and conceptual frameworks for understanding co-production;
  • it summarises the evolution of co-production in Welsh Health Policy;
  • it examines contemporary empirical evidence on the impact of co-production.

We conclude with an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of co-production.

Keywords: co-production, social care, equality, epistemic injustice, contributive injustice

(Links to come.)

Related presentation: ‘No Decision About Me, Without Me!’ Co-production as an Alternative Approach to Health Policy Reform in Wales (2017) Jodie Croxall, Gideon Calder, BMA MedSoc Conference 2017

Contributed by: Gideon Calder, Swansea University, Jodie Croxall, Swansea University



The Women’s Centre Programme (2015-2019)

The Women’s Centre Programme has been developed to demonstrate how a gender specific, community-led, co-productive approach can support women to achieve positive outcomes at a community, individual and agency level. The two projects involved establishing a physical centre as a base for activity, adopting a whole community approach which drew on the existing assets and strengths within the community to support all women, but especially those who are at risk of negative outcomes as a result of the specific social or structural issues they face.

This mixed-method action research study commenced in May 2015 and, as a longitudinal study, is ongoing in 2019. Three thematic summaries have been published to date, each designed to share the learning with practitioners and communities. More are planned.

Introducing The Women’s Centre Programme: The Women’s Centre Programme, Thematic Summary: Issue 1. Beth Weaver, Claire Lightowler

Developing A Community-Led Women’s Space: The Women’s Centre Programme, Thematic Summary: Issue 2. Beth Weaver, Claire Lightowler, Fern Gillon

Delivering A Community-Led Women’s Space: Reflecting On Participation: The Women’s Centre Programme, Thematic Summary: Issue 3. Beth Weaver, Claire Lightowler, Fern Gillon

Keywords: co-production, women’s centres, community-led, community development

Contributed by: Beth Weaver, Claire Lightowler, Fern Gillon, University of Strathclyde



Co-producing Desistance: The Role of Social Cooperative and Enterprise Structures of Employment in Supporting Desistance from Crime (2015-2018)

This ESRC funded research study, Co-producing Desistance, examined the ways in which social cooperative structures of employment, as an example of citizen and community co-production, can support social integration and desistance with and for people with convictions. This project studied the more established social cooperatives in Italy and in Sweden to inform emerging allied social enterprises in three different justice contexts in the UK.

The full analysis of this large scale study is in progress.

Project website:

Related publications:

Co-producing Change: Resettlement as a Mutual Enterprise. (2012) Prison Service Journal No. 204, 2012. Beth Weaver, Dave Nicholson

Co-producing Desistance from Crime: The Role of Social Cooperative Structures of Employment (2016). ECAN Bulletin Issue 28, 2016. Beth Weaver

Keywords: social enterprise, social cooperatives, co-production, social economy, desistance, social integration

Contributed by: Beth Weaver, University of Strathclyde; and Dave Nicholson, Ex-Cell Solutions



Co-producing Justice: An International Social Economy Network (Established 2018)

In 2018, we received SUII funding to establish this international network.

The network comprises a range of international, multi-disciplinary academic and industry leaders in the respective fields of social cooperatives, social enterprise and the social economy; community justice, social work and public health; and economic sociology, criminology, governance and public. We are working together to inform the development of social enterprise and cooperative structures of employment in both work generation and integration for people involved in the justice system, by sharing international research evidence and policy and practice expertise across academic and professional disciplines that have heretofore developed separately.

Details and resources:

Keywords: social economy, community justice, social work, public health, economic sociology, criminology

Contributed by: Beth Weaver, University of Strathclyde



Evaluation of the User Voice: Prison and Community Councils (2014-2016)

This large scale, mixed method study assessed the implementation, operation and short-term outcomes of the User Voice Prison and Community Councils (which were being implemented in six prisons and three probation Community Rehabilitation Companies across England). User Voice Prison Councils represent an important example of different actors co‐producing alternative patterns of governance through innovations in democratic participation in justice contexts – in both prison and in the community.

The research report, published April 2016, details the findings of this work.

Research report:

Related publication: Co-production, Governance and Practice: The Dynamics and Effects of User Voice Prison Councils (2018). Social Policy and Administration. 53:2 2018. Beth Weaver

‘Co-production, Governance and Practice’ explores how User Voice Prison Councils in England have contributed to shifts in aspects of prison governance and practice. It discusses the cultural and policy context in which the Councils emerged and operate before exploring their perceived purposes, dynamics, and effects. Interviews with Prison Council participants, User Voice and prison staff revealed that the development of such ‘bottom–up’ participatory governance practices requires and restores interpersonal trust. The effects include enhanced institutional legitimacy; improvements in prison officer‐prisoner relations; and greater quality of life for prisoners.

Keywords: co-production, user-voice councils, prison, probation, governance

Contributed by: Beth Weaver, University of Strathclyde; Monica Barry, University of Strathclyde; Mark Liddle, ARCS; Bethany Schmidt, University of Cambridge.



Practising equality? Issues for co-creative and participatory practices addressing social justice and equality. (2013)
Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 10:2. 2013. Paul Harris, Chris Freemantle

Gray’s School of Art specialises in visual and public art and co-production, whether that’s framed in terms of participation, collaboration, interdisciplinarity or co-production/co-creativity.

We increasingly find co-creativity and participation as central aspects of practices across art and design (including architecture). The politics of social justice and equality continue to underlie and inspire these practices. The discourse on Web 2.0 addresses co-creativity and participation, but from quite different perspectives. One of the key aspects of these discourses is the extent to which they recognise context as a critical factor. The other critical factor is the understanding of equality, not in terms of a general social aspiration, but rather as a function within a creative practice. We believe that practices can offer distinctive understandings to debates on social justice and equality. Practitioners seeking social justice and equality describe the importance of involving participants and co-creators, not through evenness of participation, but rather through discernment opening out to larger audiences.

Keywords: aesthetics, art, co-creativity, design, equality, participation, Web 2.0

Contributed by: Chris Fremantle, Gray’s School of Art; Paul Harris, Robert Gordon University.




Network for the development of participatory methods to investigate current and alternative livelihoods with bidi [Indian leaf cigarette] workers in South India (April 2019 – March 2020)

We are developing a network involving co-inquiry action research with bidi (South Asian leaf cigarette) workers in India. Bidi workers represent some of the most marginalised and precarious workers in India. They face numerous forms of economic and gender and even sexual exploitation. While global tobacco control encourages alternative livelihoods to tobacco production, many initiatives have been poorly implemented and non-sustainable, with most of the effort going into alternatives to tobacco cultivation rather than later stages of the production process. We argue that this is because people have not involved the workers directly affected by such initiatives in their planning and delivery. Their voices are rarely heard in discussions of their current circumstances, the health costs of bidi production and their aspirations (or otherwise) for alternative futures. We plan to bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to investigate and address the problems faced by bidi workers in India in a bottom-up rather than top-down way. Funding has come from a Global Challenges Networking grant with PI Prof Sushil John (Christian Medical College, Vellore).

After an initial meeting in Vellore (Tamil Nadu, South India) in April 2019, we shall be funding some pilot participatory research with the Nava Jeevan Trust which has a track record of working with disadvantaged groups in the state. The bidi workers who will take this research forward will be drawn from a cadre of 15 who attended leadership training and follow-up meetings organised by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Centre for Workers’ Management (New Delhi) in 2018. The outcomes of their work will be shared with network participants and collaborators at a workshop in Vellore in December 2019. The research planned will empower the individuals involved and build capacity within the trust to develop this work further. We hope this will be the basis for the formation of an active forum for bidi workers across India.

Related publications: Anthropology of Tobacco: Ethnographic Adventures in Non-Human Worlds (2019), Andrew Russell

Keywords: tobacco control, livelihoods, wellbeing, health, India

Contributed by: Andrew Russell – Durham University, Sushil John – Christian Medical College, Vellore



Mixed methods evaluation of a hospital group model using an embedded research approach: study protocol (2019)

The concept of knowledge co-production is used in health services research to describe partnerships (which can involve researchers, practitioners, managers, commissioners or service users) with the purpose of creating, sharing and negotiating different knowledge types used to make improvements in health services. Several knowledge co-production models have been proposed to date, some involving intermediary roles. This research explored one such model; researchers-in-residence or ‘embedded researchers’.

Embedded researchers work inside healthcare organisations, operating as staff members while also maintaining an affiliation with academic institutions. As part of the local team, researchers negotiate the meaning and use of research-based knowledge to co-produce knowledge, which is sensitive to the local context. Even though this model is spreading and appears to have potential for using co-produced knowledge to make changes in practice, a number of challenges with its use are emerging. These include challenges experienced by the researchers in embedding themselves within the practice environment, preserving a clear focus within their host organisations and maintaining academic professional identity.

The related paper offers an exploration of these challenges by examining three independent case studies implemented in the UK, each of which attempted to co-produce relevant research projects to improve the quality of care. We explore how these played out in practice and the strategies used by the researchers-in-residence to address them. In describing and analysing these strategies, we hope that participatory approaches to knowledge co-production can be used more effectively in the future.

Related publications:

Addressing the challenges of knowledge co-production in quality improvement: learning from the implementation of the researcher-in-residence model, BMJ Quality & Safety, 28, 2019, Cecilia Vindrola-Padros, Laura Eyre, Helen Baxter et al

The role of embedded research in quality improvement: a narrative review, BMJ Quality & Safety, 26, 2017, Cecilia Vindrola-Padros, Tom Pape, Martin Utley et al

Keywords: co-production, embedded research, healthcare

Contributed by: Cecilia Vindrola – University College London



Building Connections: co-locating advice services in general practices and job centres (2014 – 2017)

From November 2014 Building Connections helped develop a series of collaborative service delivery projects designed to improve social and economic outcomes for people experiencing poverty in Glasgow. Through analysing and evaluating the impact of these projects and the experiences of people delivering and engaging with them, it also sought to contribute to the evidence base on collaborative working and in particular, approaches to delivering co-located services.

Specifically, the programme developed and tested approaches to delivering advice services in two general practices and two job centres in north east Glasgow. The services included: financial and debt advice; mental health and addictions support; social security advice; and modern apprenticeship schemes for ethnic minority communities, with the main focus of the programme to improve social and economic outcomes for people living in deprived communities.

The report provides an evaluation of different models of collaboration.

Project Report:

Keywords: collaborative working, co-located services, boundary spanners

Contributed by: Jamie Sinclair – Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Joseph Rowntree Foundation – University of Glasgow, What Works Scotland



Policy Evaluation to Learn About Social Transformation (2014-2018)

This ESRC funded project develops a more participatory approach to evaluation to learn about social transformation.

It starts from the premise that the lived experiences, histories and expertise of people who know what life is like getting by on a daily basis needs more recognition in policy-making. Through paying closer attention to the everyday and the patterns of support and struggles that emerge, it is possible to support the policies, projects and actions that can make a difference to people’s daily lives and impact on their everyday experiences in a positive way.

The fieldwork outcomes included: ‘Everyday life in Salford’, stories and photographs that provide an insight into the lives of the six co-authors; and a video about ‘Mums Mart’, the story of a group of parents who have come together to support each other, socialise, share meals, raise money, and run the Mum’s Mart.

Journal articles forthcoming.

Keywords: evaluation, participatory, policy learning


Everyday life in Salford

Mums Mart (video)

Contributed by: Daniel Silver – University of Manchester



Everyday Radicals (2018-ongoing)

The prevalence of social injustice suggests the need for radical transformation of political economy and governance. This article develops the concept of ‘everyday radicalism’, which positions the everyday as a potential site of social change. Everyday radicalism is based on three main elements: dissensus and a rupture with dominant practices; collective rebellion and the creation of alternatives on a micro-scale; and the connection of these practices with utopian ideas to be able to develop strategies for social justice.

The work involves developing policy ideas with the voluntary and community sector to broaden the frames of social policy, based on these ideas.

The potential application of everyday radicalism is illustrated through a case study of a women’s social intervention in Manchester. The article aims to show how everyday radicalism has the potential to contribute knowledge towards the transformation of everyday life and the institutions that govern society.

The two follow-up case studies are from Liverpool City Region. One offers an overview of ‘Womxn is Work’, an art-led campaign built around a critique of gender based marginalisation that was developed under FACT’s Future World of Work programme. The group is made up of school students, mothers, carers, teachers and retired women who are united in the fight against unrecognised labour.

The second profiles the Merseyside Youth Association who work with young people across the Liverpool City Region to support the development of meaningful careers that provide a sense of purpose, while making sure that genuine opportunities are more evenly distributed throughout the population. Through the Talent Match programme, MYA works with some of the most marginalised young people across Merseyside who aren’t in any form of training, education or employment. The impact of their work on the young people involved is life-changing.

Manchester case study: Everyday Radicalism and the Democratic Imagination: Dissensus, Rebellion and Utopia

Liverpool case studies: ‘We deserve the right to exist on our own terms’. Womxn is Work campaign. (2018), Open Democracy 2018, Dan Silver, Steph Niciu

Finding purpose in the future of work: Supporting disadvantaged young people to find meaningful careers benefits both them and the rest of society. Open Democracy 2018

Contributed by: Daniel Silver, University of Manchester



Poverty and Truth Commissions Learning Project (on-going)

This Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded project has developed learning about the approach of the Poverty and Truth Commissions.

Publication forthcoming.

Keywords: poverty, lived experience, co-production, learning

Related publications: Jam and Justice: Everyday Politics

Contributed by: Daniel Silver, University of Manchester


Epistemic injustice: power and the ethics of knowing (2007)

Miranda Fricker

Justice is one of the oldest and most central themes of philosophy, but sometimes we would do well to focus instead on injustice. In epistemology, the very idea that there is a first-order ethical dimension to our epistemic practices — the idea that there is such a thing as epistemic justice — remains obscure until we adjust the philosophical lens so that we see through to the negative space that is epistemic injustice. This book argues that there is a distinctively epistemic genus of injustice, in which someone is wronged specifically in their capacity as a knower, wronged therefore in a capacity essential to human value. The book identifies two forms of epistemic injustice: testimonial injustice and hermeneutical injustice. In doing so, it charts the ethical dimension of two fundamental epistemic practices: gaining knowledge by being told and making sense of our social experiences. As the account unfolds, the book travels through a range of philosophical problems. Thus, the book finds an analysis of social power; an account of prejudicial stereotypes; a characterization of two hybrid intellectual-ethical virtues; a revised account of the State of Nature used in genealogical explanations of the concept of knowledge; a discussion of objectification and ‘silencing’; and a framework for a virtue epistemological account of testimony. The book reveals epistemic injustice as a potent yet largely silent dimension of discrimination, analyses the wrong it perpetrates, and constructs two hybrid ethical-intellectual virtues of epistemic justice which aim to forestall it.

Keywords: social power, credibility, prejudice, stereotype, epistemology of testimony, virtue epistemology, genealogy, objectification, silencing




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