Governments around the globe are promoting co-production and community social enterprise as policy strategies to address the need for local, 21st century service provision – but can small communities engage spontaneously in social enterprise and what is the true potential for citizens to produce services?
This book addresses a clutch of contemporary societal challenges including: aging demography and the consequent need for extended care in communities; public service provision in an era of retrenching welfare and global financial crises; service provision to rural communities that are increasingly ‘hollowed out’ through lack of working age people; and, how best to engender the development of community social enterprise organizations capable of providing high quality, accessible services. It is packed with information and evidence garnered from research into the environment for developing community social enterprise and co-producing services; how communities react to being asked to co-produce; what to expect in terms of the social enterprises they can produce; and, how to make them happen.
This book is an antidote to the rhetoric of optimistic governments that pronounce co-production as a panacea to the challenges of providing local services and by drawing on the evidence from a ‘real-life’ international study will make policymakers more savvy about their aspirations for co-production, give service professionals practical strategies for working with communities, fill a gap in the academic evidence about community, as opposed to individual, social enterprise and reassure community members that they can deliver services through community social enterprise if the right partnerships and strategies are in place. Community CoProduction will appeal to students and scholars over a broad range of disciplines including development, entrepreneurship, public and social policy, economics and regional studies.