How to systematically analyze co-production to inform future policies? Introducing 5Ws of co-production

Artur Steiner*, Jane Farmer, Sophie Yates, Michael Moran, Karen Carlisle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
177 Downloads (Pure)


The “woolliness” and “methodological hurdles” of co-production make it challenging to compare and contrast different co-production policy initiatives and their outcomes, and distil “what works”, for whom and in what circumstances. Inspired by Nabatchi et al. (2017) 3Ws typology of the Who, When, and What of coproduction, we draw on co-production theory deriving from a narrative literature review and empirical research of co-production cases in Scotland and Australia. We propose a new “5Ws” co-production framework of Who, When, What, Why, and Where, arguing that the context (where) should be an integral part of co-production analyses as socio-political, geographical conditions, and service settings influence the processes and outcomes of co-production, and that the reasons (why) behind co-production determine who is involved in co-production. The paper suggests that the 5Ws of co-production can offer a useful theoretical lens for analyzing a variety of international co-production cases to inform future policies and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-521
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number3
Early online date25 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • co-production theory
  • future policies
  • systematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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