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Can a formalised model of co-production contribute to empowering indigenous communities in decisions about land use?

Alan Gillies (School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK and Alan Gillies (Learning Consultancy) Limited, Chorley, UK)

Journal of Global Responsibility

ISSN: 2041-2568

Article publication date: 8 June 2021



Co-production has been used in public services in the UK areas such as mental health to improve the participation of service users in decisions made about the services traditionally provided for them and done to them. It has also been used in areas such as mental health and to address concerns about the quality of services provided to members of minority communities. Western Australia is currently passing legislation to address the issue of aboriginal cultural heritage management in the context of recent adverse incidents such as the incident where Rio Tinto was responsible for the destruction of the site. This paper aims to show how a formalised model of co-production can assist in the implementation of this legislation.


This paper considers how effective co-production has been within the domain of mental health services in the UK and then considers whether they are lessons that may be learnt in other contexts. It considers whether concepts from co-production have a role to play in ensuring that the legislation and its implementation are not seen as actions done to or on behalf of the aboriginal communities and if a more structured approach to coproduction can produce a model, which facilitates genuinely collaborative aboriginal heritage management.


The approach has facilitated the development of a model to monitor and improve collaboration within aboriginal cultural heritage management, which complements existing participatory approaches and enables businesses to demonstrate their legislatory compliance.

Social implications

The study offers an approach, which may be used globally to empower indigenous communities in decision-making in other contexts, such as deforestation in South America and oil and gas exploitation on Inuit and First Nations land in Canada.


The use of co-production concepts and capability modelling is novel in this space.



This research was carried out independently by the author and no funding was received from any external party by the Author or by Alan Gillies (Learning Consultancy) Limited in support of this activity.


Gillies, A. (2021), "Can a formalised model of co-production contribute to empowering indigenous communities in decisions about land use?", Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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