Creating new curricula, education methods and training courses for professionals in the welfare sector working with co-creation
Co-creation is highlighted on the European agenda, and while previous EU funded projects have shown that co-creation is a significant profit to the European society they have also shown that local authorities lack the ability to implement the concept sufficiently.
The overall aim with the Co-creating Welfare project is thus to improve the implementation of co-creation in the welfare sector on a local level trough development and testing of a common European set of training material for professional practitioners.
All of this is done in order to push forward the needed re-organisation and effectiveness in the public welfare sector in a Europe, where local authorities are still struggling with cut-downs to recover from the worldwide financial crisis.
Aims and education
Co-creation is a method that is highly appreciated in the public welfare sector, and previous project has shown that local authorities across Europe are very happy to engage volunteers in their daily work. Unfortunately the system and the staff are not always prepared to apply the method simply because they are educated to work differently.
The Co-Creating Welfare project aims to changes these circumstances by developing training material trough a bottom-up approach based on dialogue and local cases and challenges to ensure that the target group understands an acknowledges the need of co-creation while also feeling motivated and willing to promote and use co-creation as a part of their work.
By educating the professional practitioners to be able to facilitate and lead the co-creation processes the hope is to transform the use of the method to a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Moreover, the local authorities can benefit from staff that has developed skills to reflect on the potential of rethinking and redesigning local solutions. This will be of great importance when implementing new ways of working in the future.
Throughout the entire project process the target group – the professionals working with public welfare on a daily bases – will be involved. All of this to ensure relevance, usability, availability and sustainability
The main target groups for the Co-creating Welfare project activities are:
Professional practitioners for training activities.
Local authorities such as local political system
Citizens and their participation in local pilot projects
Local stakeholders such as voluntary organisations, civil society organisations and local NGOs .
The Co-creating Welfare project supports the development of personal and inter personal skills within professional practitioners working in the healthcare, social care, educational and youth sectors. These kind of skills are premodial for the sustainable and inclusive development of the European welfare society, where more multidiscplinary collaboration between departments within the public service and a closer dialogue with citizens and civil society organisations is strongly needed to develop more sustainable and cost effective welfare services.
In this context the Co-creating welfare project presents the following results:
A needs analysis focusing on the needs for skills and competences within professional practitioners in order for them to facilitate co-creating processes together with colleagues and the citizens benefiting from the welfare services from the organization where they work.
The needs analysis, is based on interviews within the 12 pilot sites that the project collaborates with in Denmark, UK, France and Portugal. Based on the interviews and clustering of results into a set of manageable needs for competences, the conclusion within the analysis is that health professionals are in need of the following skills and competences to be able to facilitate co-creating processes;
Promoting sense of legitimacy among the participants in the co-creation process
Creating a shared understanding of co-creation processes
Collaborative problem formulation and problem-solving
Training Course material, with the learning objective to enable professional practitioners to create, implement and evaluate co-creating processes with the citizens benefitting from the welfare services of their organization.The training course material consists of 4 training themes / training days, with “bridging home activities” between them, which will enable the participants to apply the obtained competences in practical working life, together with their colleagues. The 4 training themes are the following;
Creating a common understanding of co-creation
Initiating the co-creation process through collaborative problem formulation
Managing the co-creation process
Dissemination and communication of the co-creation process and its results
All training resources developed by the project are presented as a Co-creation Toolbox, where all materials are presented with process explanations and good practice examples, which can inspire other stakeholders around Europe, to start working with co-creation as an innovation and development tool within the welfare sector.
You can find the co-creating welfare training toolkit here
A set of policy and implementation recommendations will be available also in spring 2019, which will be presented as a kind of roadmap for how to start working with co-creation as a strategic tool to develop and implement new and / or updated welfare services.