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Publication - Research Publication

Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015: Attitudes to Social Networks, Civic Participation and Co-production

Published: 29 Aug 2016
Part of:
Research
ISBN:
9781786523884

Report of the findings from the 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey.

42 page PDF

818.0kB

42 page PDF

818.0kB

Contents
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015: Attitudes to Social Networks, Civic Participation and Co-production
4 Co-production

42 page PDF

818.0kB

4 Co-production

4.1 In order to explore people's attitudes towards co-production in Scotland, SSA 2015 asked a series of questions on public involvement in relation to both the design and delivery of local public services. The questions did not specify individual services but asked generally about 'local public services'. The questions asked were:

  • Do you think that people in this area should, or should not, be involved in making decisions about how local public services are planned and run?
  • Do you think that people in this area should, or should not, be involved in making decisions about how money is spent on different local public services?
  • Do you think that people in this area should, or should not, be able to volunteer alongside paid staff to provide local public services?

4.2 There has been a growing interest in recent years in involving the public more actively in reshaping how public services are designed and delivered in Scotland (Loeffler et al., 2013). One such approach is 'co-production', defined as "delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, people using services, their families and their neighbours" (Boyle and Harris, 2009). It is argued that as a result of such reciprocal relationships "both services and neighbourhoods become far more effective agents of change" (ibid).

4.3 The Scottish Government has expressed a commitment in recent years to 'co-produce' services, for example in relation to the provision of health and social care services. The Christie Commission report on the Future Delivery of Public Services argued that it is necessary "… to ensure that our public services are built around people and communities, their needs, aspirations, capacities and skills, and work to build up their autonomy and resilience" (Christie, 2011).

4.4 The findings showed that the majority of people in Scotland support the idea of co-production in both the design and delivery of local services. The highest level of support for public involvement was for people making decisions about how local public services are planned and run, with 96% of people saying that people 'definitely' or 'probably should' be involved. Around 8 out of 10 said that people should be involved in making decisions about how money is spent on different local public services (81%), and that people should be able to volunteer alongside paid staff to provide local public services (86%).

4.5 It is worth noting the strength of support for these three aspects of co-production by looking at the proportions who gave a response of 'definitely should' (see Figure 3 below). Over half (53%) felt that people 'definitely should' be involved in making decisions about how local services are planned and run; however, only around a third felt that people 'definitely should' get involved in making decisions about how money is spent (34%) or should be able to volunteer alongside paid staff (35%).

4.6 Whereas only 3% said that people 'probably' or 'definitely should not' be involved in making decisions about how local services are planned and run, around 2 in 10 said that people should not be involved in making decisions about how money is spent on local services (18%), with just over 1 in 10 saying that people should not be able to volunteer alongside paid staff to provide local services (12%).

Figure 3: Whether people should be involved in 3 different types of co-production activity

Figure 3: Whether people should be involved in 3 different types of co-production activity

Base: All respondents

Planning and running of public services

4.7 The variation between subgroups was different in relation to the three different types of co-production (see Tables A16-A18 in Annex A for details). In relation to people's involvement in making decisions about the planning and running of local public services, the following groups were more likely to have said that people 'definitely should' be involved:

  • Those educated to degree level (58% compared with 43% of those with no formal qualifications)
  • Those with a long term illness or disability (57% compared with those 50% of those without a long term illness or disability) [11]
  • Those who thought that 'most people can be trusted' (56% compared with 49% of those who think that 'you can't be too careful in dealing with people').

Making decisions about how money is spent on local public services

4.8 Those who were more likely to have said that people 'definitely should' be involved in making decisions about how money is spent on local public serices were:

  • Social renters (40% compared with 27% of private renters)
  • Those living in the most deprived quintile (41% compared with 27% of those in the least deprived quintile).

Volunteering alongside paid staff to provide local public services

4.9 Those who were more likely to have said that people 'definitely should' be able to volunteer alongside paid staff to provide local services were:

  • Younger people (45% of those aged 18-39 compared with 28% of those aged 65 and over)
  • Those with some level of formal qualification (37% compared with 27% of those with no formal qualifications) [12]
  • Those in work (37% compared with 27% of retired people)
  • Those with children (aged 0 to 17 years old) living in the household (42% compared with 32% of those with no children living in the household).

4.10 The strength of support for the idea of co-production was also associated with whether people agreed or disagreed that 'people in this area are able to improve things around here when they want to' and whether they felt that their local council was good at listening before it takes decisions.

4.11 Those who agreed that 'people in this area are able to improve things around here when they want to' were more likely than those who disagreed with this statement to say that people 'definitely should' get involved in all three aspects of co-production. For example, around 3 in 5 who agreed that 'people in this area are able to improve things around here' said that people 'definitely should' be involved in making decisions about how local services are planned and run (59%). For those who disagreed that 'people in this area are able to improve things around here', around 2 in 5 (43%) said that people 'definitely should' be involved in making decisions about how local services are planned and run.

4.12 People who thought that their local council was 'not at all good' at listening to people's views before taking decisions were more likely to think that the public should definitely get involved in making decisions about how local services are planned and how money is spent. For example, about half (52%) who thought their local council was 'not at all good' at listening said people 'definitely should' be involved in making decisions about how money is spent on different local public services. For those who thought that their local council was 'very good' or 'good' at listening to people's views before taking decisions, around a third (34%) said people 'definitely should' be involved in making decisions about how money is spent on different local public services.


Contact

Email: Paul Sloan, socialresearch@gov.scot