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How can we promote co-creation in communities? The perspective of health promoting professionals in four European countries

Emily Joan Darlington (Health, Systemic, Process EA 4129 Research Unit, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon University, Lyon, France)
Gemma Pearce (Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Teresa Vilaça (CIEC, University of Minho Institute of Education, Braga, Portugal)
Julien Masson (Health, Systemic, Process EA 4129 Research Unit, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon University, Lyon, France)
Sandie Bernard (Health, Systemic, Process EA 4129 Research Unit, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon University, Lyon, France)
Zélia Anastácio (CIEC, University of Minho Institute of Education, Braga, Portugal)
Paul Magee (Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Frants Christensen (University College Lillebaelt–Campus Odense, Odense, Denmark)
Henriette Hansen (South Denmark European Office, Brussels, Belgium)
Graça S. Carvalho (CIEC, University of Minho Institute of Education, Braga, Portugal)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 15 November 2021

Issue publication date: 21 April 2022

221

Abstract

Purpose

The aim was to identify the competencies professionals need to promote co-creation engagement within communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Co-creation could contribute to building community capacity to promote health. Professional development is key to support co-creative practices. Participants were professionals in a position to promote co-creation processes in health-promoting welfare settings across Denmark, Portugal, France and United Kingdom. An overarching unstructured topic guide was used within interviews, focus groups, questionnaires and creative activities.

Findings

The need to develop competencies to promote co-creation was high across all countries. Creating a common understanding of co-creation and the processes involved to increase inclusivity, engagement and shared understanding was also necessary. Competencies included: How to run co-creation from the beginning of the process right through to evaluation, using feedback and communication throughout using an open action-oriented approach; initiating a perspective change and committing to the transformation of co-creation into a real-life process.

Practical implications

Overall, learning about underlying principles, process initiation, implementation and facilitation of co-creation were areas identified to be included within a co-creation training programme. This can be applied through the framework of enabling change, advocating for co-creative processes, mediating through partnership, communication, leadership, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation and research, ethical values and knowledge of co-creative processes.

Originality/value

This study provides novel findings on the competencies needed for health promoting professionals to embed co-creative processes within their practice, and the key concerns that professionals with a position to mediate co-creation have in transferring the abstract term of co-creation into a real-world practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge Helle Hende Stermose, Arnaud Zohou, Françoise Poyet, Olivier Morin, Marianne Staal Storgaard and Wendy Clyne for their contribution to data collection.

This study was undertaken within an Erasmus+ co-creation project in welfare sectors (EC project number: 2016-1-DK01-KA202-022342). However, funding for this research was not specifically included in the project.

Citation

Darlington, E.J., Pearce, G., Vilaça, T., Masson, J., Bernard, S., Anastácio, Z., Magee, P., Christensen, F., Hansen, H. and Carvalho, G.S. (2022), "How can we promote co-creation in communities? The perspective of health promoting professionals in four European countries", Health Education, Vol. 122 No. 4, pp. 402-423. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-02-2021-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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