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Joint decision-making, co-production and meaningful community participation: what works?

By the What Works Centre for Wellbeing

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  • There are a range of potential benefits from community involvement in decision-making, for both participants and their wider communities.
  • Joint decision-making interventions can be successful in deflecting threats to the local area, maintaining and enhancing local conditions, resisting ‘hollowing out’ of neighbourhood services and facilities, and attracting resources to create better places to live.
  • The beneficial impacts identified were on a wide range of established social determinants of health and wellbeing, including the physical conditions in which people live, social relationships, individual physical and mental health, community health, individual wellbeing, and community-wide levels of wellbeing.
  • However, when done poorly, joint decision-making processes can have negative impacts, including frustration and loss of trust. The implementation of meaningful engagement across the whole process is closely related to the likelihood of experiencing positive outcomes on wellbeing.

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