Co-production as a strategy for enhanced equal representation in public service delivery: The case of Rotterdam

Leila Cornips*, William Voorberg, Ingmar van Meerkerk, Roos Kramer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Co-production, in its various forms, may add to urban vitality by giving shape to relationships between governmental institutions and local communities, providing spaces for citizens and active groups of residents to co-produce public services. Although various authors have argued that co-production may empower citizens and lead to enhanced equality in public service delivery (Jo & Nabatchi, 2018; Meijer, 2016; Needham, 2008), empirical evidence to support such claims remains relatively slim. This article aims to evaluate to what extent co-production enables local government to include a representative part of the population, and if this leads to enhanced inclusiveness. We build on both quantitative and qualitative data of citizens participating in co-production instruments implemented by the Municipality of Rotterdam. Whether or not co-production by default leads to urban vitality should be questioned, as the inclusiveness of various groups of citizens participating within co-production instruments is limited. Our findings show that citizens with a higher socioeconomic status (SES), especially in terms of education, take up a much larger part of the participants in the different instrument than citizens with a lower SES. Our qualitative data analysis goes deeper into social and cultural capital, institutional knowledge, skills and personal resources as explanatory conditions for who is included in participation. More research is needed on non-participants, and their reasons for not participating in co-production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104480
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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