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A Typology of Coproduction: Emphasizing Shared Power

From Austerity to Abundance?

ISBN: 978-1-78714-466-8, eISBN: 978-1-78714-465-1

ISSN: 2045-7944

Publication date: 12 November 2018


This work aims to identify the characteristics of the coproduction of the common good, or public services, from the models of public administration found in projects awarded by the United Nations, specifically in the 2014 United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) category of “encouraging participation in public policy decisions through innovative mechanisms.” This multicase documentary analysis uses a typology of coproduction adapted from Salm and Menegasso (2010), which integrates several typologies of public participation. The revised typology includes five models of coproduction – community-led coproduction, state-led coproduction, self-interested coproduction, symbolic coproduction, and manipulative coproduction. The typology is used in the analysis of two United Nations award-winning projects in 2014: a community participation project for the effective management of malaria at Tha Song Yang in Thailand and the Intercouncil Forum in Brazil. This first case displays a preponderance of the self-interested coproduction ideal type, due to its focus on efficiency and delivery effectiveness of the service. The second case displays a preponderance of the symbolic coproduction ideal type due to its use of consultation practices to give the impression that there is direct participation in the decision-making, without substantive effect on the outcomes. Based on this analysis, recommendations are made for revising the criteria used by the UNPSA to ensure that projects with similar participation to those in the state-led and community-led coproduction models are awarded in the future.




The support of José Francisco Salm in the original study that resulted in this revised analysis is acknowledged with gratitude. We also thank his son, João Salm, for introducing us to Margaret Stout. Finally, we would like to thank Margaret Stout for very helpful comments on the draft of this manuscript.


Souza, V.B. and Neto, L.M. (2018), "A Typology of Coproduction: Emphasizing Shared Power", From Austerity to Abundance? (Critical Perspectives on International Public Sector Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 117-139.



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