Co-creating policy and public services in Ireland

Governments, public sector and community organisations are addressing increasingly complex challenges such as the ageing society, climate change, sustainable behaviour change, youth unemployment, impacts of austerity, health, housing and homelessness.

They are doing this at a time when there is a growing gap between the needs and expectations of the public on the one hand and public sector funding and organisational capacity on the other.

This is leading to a crisis of legitimacy for many public sector organisations. This crisis of legitimacy is itself leading to new demands for innovation in organisations, processes, policies, services and systems.

While there are exemplar practices of public sector innovation the approach is typically ad-hoc and uncoordinated.There is a growing evidence base highlighting the barriers to public service innovation and co-creation in the public.

Approaches that are co-creative, experimental, behaviourally informed and future-oriented, can inform the process and conditions in which public sector innovation can happen.

The aim of the Co-Creating Ireland project is to explore these issues in the Irish context and to foster new collaborations and routes for engagement between researchers, Community and Voluntary Organisations (CVOs) and NGOs in Ireland on the topic of co-creation and co-design of public services.