Coproduction in Practice: Participatory Action Research to Develop a Model of Community Aged Care

Goetz Ottmann, Carmel Laragy, Jacqui Allen, Peter Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Coproduction has become synonymous with innovative approaches to public service delivery in European Union countries as well as in Australia. Coproduction has the potential to bring together individuals, communities, and organisations in a process to collaboratively develop new models and services which improve public services. Yet, Australian policy makers and practitioners who would like to deploy coproduction within the context of older adult social care can only draw on a handful of papers and reports that could guide implementation. This paper fills this gap by reporting on the implementation of a multi-stakeholder coproduction approach to the development of a consumer directed care model for older people with complex health issues. The paper describes and critically highlights methodological challenges encountered during the 12 month-long participatory action research phase of a larger project involving older people with complex care needs, their carers, and government and non-government stakeholders. The paper outlines key considerations regarding (1) the involvement of older people with complex needs, (2) collaboration with industry partners, (3) engagement of government representatives, and (4) reflects on implementing participatory research projects within a context of outsourcing and interlinked supply chains. While not all challenges encountered could be resolved, the coproduction approach was successful in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders with competing agendas in an iterative process geared to resolve a plethora of concerns raised by older people, carers and services providers. This paper provides an example for others seeking to use coproduction and participatory methods to provide person-centred care services for older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Care services
  • Co-operative inquiry
  • Community aged care
  • Coproduction
  • Empowerment
  • Older people
  • Participatory action research
  • Policy development

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