“Seeing” the Difference: The Importance of Visibility and Action as a Mark of “Authenticity” in Co-production; Comment on “Collaboration and Co-production of Knowledge in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”

Document Type : Commentary


1 NIHR Collaboration and Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Yorkshire and Humber (CLAHRC YH), Sheffield, UK

2 Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

3 Translating Knowledge Into Action, NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber, Sheffield, UK

4 Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, Doncaster, UK


The Rycroft-Malone paper states that co-production relies on ‘authentic’ collaboration as a context for action. Our commentary supports and extends this assertion. We suggest that ‘authentic’ co-production involves processes where participants can ‘see’ the difference that they have made within the project and beyond. We provide examples including: the use of design in health projects which seek to address power issues and make contributions visible through iteration and prototyping; and the development of ‘actionable outputs’ from research that are the physical embodiment of coproduction. Finally, we highlight the elements of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) architecture that enables the inclusion of such collaborative techniques that demonstrate visible co-production. We reinforce the notion that maintaining collaboration requires time, flexible resources, blurring of knowledge produceruser boundaries, and leaders who promote epistemological tolerance and methodological exploration.


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  • Receive Date: 11 August 2016
  • Revise Date: 04 October 2016
  • Accept Date: 04 October 2016
  • First Publish Date: 01 June 2017