chevron icon Twitter logo Facebook logo LinkedIn logo YouTube logo download icon link icon audio icon quote icon posted icon clock icon author icon arrow icon arrow icon plus icon Search icon location icon location icon document icon menu icon plus-alt


This article explores the increasing adoption of collaborative arrangements within local authorities and asks whether they signal a new era in public service delivery—one characterized by collaborative governance and power-sharing within communities. Using qualitative data from nine partnerships in England, the article documents observed rationales for and typologizes structures of collaborative practice, as well as captures the degree to which co-creation activities are observed within each site. Findings show many of these partnerships use the rhetoric of co- creation earnestly, but that rhetoric is occasionally misapplied when describing citizen self-help and community self-organization efforts.


This article provides a framework for public service policy-makers and managers to describe, compare, and analyse key dimensions of collaborative practice. It poses important questions for actors pursuing collaborative arrangements, in particular whether co-creative elements and mechanisms for ensuring democratic accountability are meaningfully integrated into ways of working.

We coordinate a range of geographical and thematically focused peer learning groups which enable people to learn from each other.

Peer learning groups

Join us