Original Research

Doing it together: How co-production underpins the use of social innovation during service delivery

Maréve I.M. Biljohn, Liezel Lues
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 8, No 1 | a411 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v8i1.411 | © 2020 Maréve I.M. Biljohn, Liezel Lues | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 2020 | Published: 18 December 2020

About the author(s)

Maréve I.M. Biljohn, Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Liezel Lues, Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: This article focused on the use of social innovation (SI) during local government (LG) service delivery, and how it could enable citizens to participate meaningfully through co-production. The two variables underpinning the conceptualisation of SI in the context of its dual purpose, and that are relevant in this article, are co-production and citizen participation.

Aim: The aim of this article was to investigate how the use of SI could enable citizens to participate meaningfully during the local governance of service delivery through co-production.

Setting: Through a comparative approach, the research presented in this article investigates the use of SI in LG service delivery in the cases of the City of Ghent (Belgium) and Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (South Africa).

Methods: The methodology of this study entailed using a qualitative research design that was combined with a case study approach.

Results: It was evident that citizen participation during the co-production of services was influenced by the divergent circumstances and needs of citizens, infrastructure and the availability of resources.

Conclusion: Significantly, this research found that meaningful citizen participation starts with the individual duty of every citizen to protect, preserve and sustainably use the collective goods and services provided by the state.


Keywords

local government; social innovation; co-production; service delivery; citizen participation.

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