Two co-production events

CFH co-organised two events at the University of York in November 2020 to promote the co-production of research amongst academic staff members

Research Impact Forum

The first event served as the autumn-term installent of the University's Research Impact Forum. Entitled 'Co-production and research impact', the webinar explored some of the challenges of evidencing impact from co-produced research. Professor Tina Cooke from Liverpool Hope University gave the keynote address. One of her key observations was that the impacts from co-produced projects tend not to occur immediate but to build slowly over the time. The challenge is then that with the passing of time it can become harder to directly link these impacts to the original project intervention as, for instance, individuals associated with the work move on and other influences and interest parties enter in.

There were also two illuminating case studies in co-production presented by two University of York researchers. Professor Dawn Hadley in Archaeology talked about a community heritage project linked to the Sheffield Park Hill Estate and observed how important it is to ensure that work is guided by the interests and priorities of the communities concerned in order to fully sustain engagement and avoid fatigue and drop-off. Dr Steve Cinderby from the Stockholm Environment Institute at York described a project based in two major Kenyan cities that successfully harnessed arts engagement methods to bring together community members and urban planners to improve the safety and environmental design quality of several important city-centre thorough-fares.

The webinar was well attended and culminated in a question and answer session which enabled further exploration of some of the key points that had emerged.

Training Workshop

The second event was a training workshop organised in collaboration with the University's Research Excellence Training Team (RETT) entitled: 'Stronger Together: Co-producing research with communities outside academia'. The workshop was hosted by CFH Project Officer Philip Kerrigan and invited co-researcher Harminder Kaur from Hull.

The workshop introduced participants to the key concepts and values underpinning co-production, including power-sharing and fostering mutual respect and trust; and explored the benefits, as well as challenges, of this approach. There was also more practical advice offered. This included around how best to ensure diversity and representativeness in recruitment, how to successful induct new project members and provide continuing training and wellbeing support, and how to effectively faciliate discussions. There were a number of interactive exercises, including one which broke up the participants into several virtual groups to consider three distinct project scenarios and how they would design a co-produced approach to these.

The workshop was attended by a mixture of staff and post-graduation students who were highly engaged throughout.