Blog

Key Ingredients for Co-Production

– Annie Cook, Namita Kambli At first glance the phrase ‘Co-Production’ might seem straightforward. Yet there exists a daunting array of writing on the topic, leading to as many definitions of this term as there are interpretations. Despite no single agreed upon definition, we have found that most good Co-Production does have certain key ingredients that define it:  recognition that everyone has something to contribute sharing of power giving agency to those often not included in processes that affect their lives To unpack these ideas and better understand how they work in practice, we brought together an inspiring panel of

Read more

Catch-up: Watch Back Our Event, Co-Production in 2020

A massive thank you to those who were able to join us for Public Square’s event Co-Production in 2020 – Democracy in Action, yesterday. Watch the webinar and follow the fascinating discussions in your own time. If you missed it, not to worry! We’ve shared a recording of the event on our website here alongside a record of the chat transcript. Grab a drink, put your feet up and enjoy. We will be adding subtitles to the YouTube video below very shortly.    Post-event Reflections You can read all about the event in this highlights report. Future Events If you’d

Read more

What is Co-Production in 2020? Join our webinar to find out!

Join Public Square and our panel of experts for our first event on Co-Production taking place on 8th July, 1500-1630 UK time. We’ll hear as they share how they’ve tackled issues of inclusion, empowerment and equality. We’ll explore why they believe Co-Production and greater participation may hold the answers to strengthening UK democracy whilst delivering better outcomes for all. With growing appetite among the public to be heard and involved in decision-making, the benefits of Co-Production aren’t just felt by organisations: In “a working model of Co-Production… people reported a sense of belonging and learning allowing them to manage their

Read more

Our story so far – action research in local democracy…Year One

We are excited to share reports from our Year One work with Calderdale Metropolitan Borough and Frome Town Council. Our prototyping reports document our design process, and what was learnt from prototyping some new approaches to citizen participation. And the discovery reports outline the needs we were responding to and the context in each place. If you want to follow the whole story of the first year, including our other two councils, there is also a full programme report.

Read More

What’s happening next for Public Square: Innovating Local Democracy and sharing our learning

You might have noticed that we have recently stopped producing our week notes. That’s because our first year of work with councils and communities has more or less come to an end. Instead, most of our time is now being spent on reflecting on what we’ve learnt and on our first-year report. The team are beavering away making sure all the learning from the programme is recorded and considered – so it’s a busy time but a quieter, more reflective one. We are also working on another very exciting development.  In Manchester 27-28th January 2019, we’ll be presenting our first

Read more

Fortnightly Updates: Reporting on Our Work, w/c 4th November

Headlines Much of what we are doing at the moment is creating reports of what we’ve been doing over the last year. We’ve also released two blog posts, linked below, about improving communication. Last fortnight… Wrote a first draft discovery report for our work in Frome, pulling together what we learned about the context of the town and history of the People’s Budget programme there.  Shared some options around digital tools for participation with our partners at Calderdale. This fortnight we will… Be working on a prototyping report describing all the things we tried together with Frome Town Council to

Read more

Simple Communication Part Two: How Journalists Write for Wide Audiences 

In our first part, we looked at the way people read – and how this can inform how we write. In this post we move on to look at ploys to order information, learning how journalists, storytellers and other communicators use ploys to improve communication Tips from news writing Journalists are trained to write for a wide readership with a variety of reading abilities, who have no reason to read their story at all. As a result, they are taught to write in a particular way that helps them to convey information in concise and simple way.   Talk to

Read more

Simple Communication, Part One: Understanding How We Read 

Public Square wants to make local democracy easier to understand. As a result, we are learning about how we can use simple language to make communication clearer. In our first blog post on simple language, we look at how people read – and how it can help you to use simple language.   Learning to read and understanding The team that writes the Government’s web pages on everything from how to get a passport to what happens in the event of a no-deal Brexit, shares some valuable insights into how people learn to read in the how people read guide.

Read more

‘Week’notes: Shortlisting and Voting in Frome, w/c 7th October

We’ve decided to switch to fortnightly updates (“sprint notes”?), and are hoping that this will give us more time to communicate about what we are doing in other formats alongside these notes. So this update (and those that follow) describes what we’ve been up to for the last two weeks, and what’s coming up this week and next one. Headlines Ran a shortlisting event for Frome’s Participatory Budgeting process. Go live on Frome’s online vote. Pulling together reports for Frome and Calderdale. Last fortnight… A few weekends back we ran a shortlisting event in Frome. This event was designed to

Read more

Understanding the Public

A guest blog by Dr Nikki Soo from the Crick Centre.  When we set out to develop research on the theme ‘Studying the Public’ at the Crick Centre, there was a realisation amongst colleagues here at Sheffield that the idea of the public, along with the definition of the term, was both intuitive yet highly contested. The etymology of the term suggests that ‘public’ describes something ‘open to general observation’, or something ‘concerning the public as a whole’. However, we all understand and study the public in very different ways, from nationally representative surveys, to studies of small, localised groups. What do

Read more