Acta Universitatis Danubius. Administratio, Vol 8, No 2 (2016)

Fostering Co-Public Marketing and Co-Production of Public Services in Romania

Ani Matei1, Corina-Georgiana Antonovici2, Carmen Săvulescu3

Abstract: The approach of several processes specific for the public sector such as innovation, public and nonprofit marketing in view of co-creation and co-production of public services is more present in the field literature, in research projects or community development strategies. Remarkable contributions, such as those of Ostrom, Osborne, Voorberg, Jacob amplify and redirect the research agenda of public sector, providing also the pillar necessary to prestigious research programmes, i.e. Horizon 2020. A core subject consists in the connection between co-production and citizen participation. In this context, the concept of “emergence of co-production” is genuine and significant for what we call “new economics foundation”. The social, democratic and even political aspects joined the new concepts, revealing the growth of trust in the public, governmental authorities and citizen connection through involvement in public policies and programmes development. The current paper aims to provide a new perspective in light to approach public marketing, using co-production as pillar of the process specific to public marketing. The new concept, co-public marketing derives from general concepts, such as co-marketing, and specificity offered to public marketing by necessity and integration of citizen participation within the decisional processes from the public sector.

Keywords: co-public marketing; co-production; public services

1. Introduction

Improving the activities of the public organisations makes more and more reference, in the last decades, to adopting and adapting the instruments that the private sector is using in order to carry out its activity more efficiently (Matei et al, 2009, p. 18). Worldwide the democratic governments of several states are approaching initiatives for reinventing the governance, especially for innovation of their relationship with the citizens. Pollitt, Bouckaert and Löffler, (2006) highlight in the field literature the necessity to identify new modalities of interaction with consumers and users of the public services, as well as with the community. There are necessary solutions of cooperation between governments, as well as between governments (at central, regional, local level), civil society associations and other stakeholders, such as media, businesses (Pollitt, Bouckaert & Löffler, 2006, p. 3). The objectives of cooperation between citizens and public institutions are generally based on the improvements in the efficiency, quality, equity, accessibility and quality of the provided services and of the degree in which these items cover the local needs (Andrei et al., 2009, p. 28).

Politicians and specialists should create a political and social climate enabling the citizens/consumers’ involvement in governance, especially in the cycle of co-production4 of the public services. The public services represent the common place where the members of community, beyond professionals and managers participate actively in modelling decisions and outcomes (Bovaird, 2007, p. 846). The cycle for public service delivery assumes several stages: planning, designing, provision and evaluation (Matei, 2004). Clearly, co-production is not a new concept – indeed, it is inherent in most services. It has been long understood that a key characteristic of many services is that production and consumption are inseparable. Both require some contribution from the service user, as pointed out by Normann (1984) and by Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry (1990). Or as Sharp (1980: 110) puts it, co-production is “the recognition that public services are the joint product of the activities of both citizens and government officials” (Löffler, pp. 2-3). When citizens, associations and stakeholders participate in accomplishment of at least one stage we may add the prefix “co” to the name of the respective stage. We may speak about co-planning when the authorities collaborate with citizens, associations or stakeholders in view of identifying the needs for services. When collaboration aims the decision-making processes concerning the operational production of services (Pollitt et al., 2006), the notion of co-design is used. Co-provision refers to services provided through collaboration and efforts of the citizens or members of the group served and professional service agents (Parks et al. 1981; Brudney & England, 1983), while co-evaluation refers to their involvement in monitoring and evaluating the service quality.

Co-production refers to an arrangement where citizens (Pestoff, 2012, p. 18) or voluntary and community organizations produce (Osborne & McLaughlin, 2004), at least in part, the services they use themselves. This can be with or without direct involvement of government officials but must include public finances (Pestoff, 2012, p.18). Co-production leads to the co-creation of value for the service user (Osborne, Radnor and Strokosch, 2016, p. 7). This value comprises their satisfaction with the service, the impact of the service experience upon their well-being and the extent to which it meets their social, health or economic user needs (Osborne, Radnor & Strokosch, 2016, p. 7). Individuals can co-create the value of their own service, but can also contribute to the collective co-creation of value for other service users5. Public services also contribute to co-creation of “public value”, to the extent to which they contribute to the meeting of societal objectives or contribute to social cohesion or well-being (Osborne, Radnor & Strokosch, 2016, p. 7). Pollitt and Hupe (2011) assert the fact that social innovation and co-creation are “magic concepts”, while Bovaird (2007) highlights that the openness of public services represents a ”revolutionary concept”. “Blurring the roles between service providers and service consumers was accompanied by changes of roles in the framework of the organisations providing public services” (Pollitt and Bouckaert, 1995, p.11).

The notions of co-management and co-governance are similar with co-production, but they represent different phenomena. Co-management refers to a situation where different organisations work alongside each other to co-ordinate the delivery of a service (Pestoff, 2012, p. 18). For co-management to occur, individual actors use their respective resources to directly contribute in practical ways to the delivery of a service. Co-governance is about actors from different organisations and sectors coming together to determine policy priorities and to translate these into strategic plans for public services (Pestoff, 2012, p. 18).

Taking into consideration the above phenomena, the current paper presents the concept of co-public marketing, using co-production in the public marketing process.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Co-Production of Public Services

The periodical changes affecting governance, more precisely the modality of interaction between government and citizens have generated a great number of scientific papers highlighting the term of co-production of public services, approaching its definition, the benefits, motivation of citizens and community to participate in co-production, efficiency and effectiveness of co-production (Ostrom, 1996; Alford, 2000, 2002, 2009; Brandsen & Pestoff, 2006; Osborn, 2010; Bovaird, 2007; OECD, 2011; Pestoff, 2012; Verschuere et al., 2012; Solveig, 1996; Needham, 2007, Frederickson 1996, Bason, 2010; Parks et al. 1981; van Eijk & Steen, 2014, Jakobsen, 2013). Questions about what is the nature of co-production (Alford 2002; Strokosch and Osborne, 2010), how co-production developed in recent decades (Pestoff & Brandsen, 2008, 2009; Pestoff et al., 2012), how the relationship between individual and group participation in the provision of public services develops (Bovaird & Löffler, 2003), how co-production contributes to the development of service quality in public services (Osborne, 2010), how co-production promotes participative democracy (Fung, 2004), and how ownership and institutional set-ups are related to coproduction (Vamstad, 2007) have been widely investigated (Asquer, 2012, p. 3).

The term co-production was originally coined in the early 1970s by Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom. She observed that the provision of most of urban services were not produced by a single public authority but depended on the contribution of a range of actors, citizens, charities and private sector organisations (Ostrom, 1975). She developed the term to describe the relationship that could exist between the ‘regular producer’ (such as street-level police officers, social workers or health workers) and their clients, who wanted to be transformed by the service into safer, better-educated or healthier persons (Pestoff, 2012, p. 16). The term of co-production is also used in the field of marketing. Customers can be involved in marketing and sales, customer service, the deployment of new products and as partial employees (Zhang & Chen, 2008 apud Terblanche, 2014, p. 3). Toffler (1980) saw this process as a conflation of the roles of the producer and the consumer, and he calls it the rise of the ‘prosumer’6.

The initial introduction of co-production and co-creation in the marketing literature in all likelihood was in 1986 when Kotler used the term “prosumer”. Kotler (1986) noted an increase in people’s propensity to act as a prosumer of some of the goods and services they bought (Terblanche, 2014, p. 1). The field literature offers more and various definitions of co-production.

Table 1. Definitions of co-production



Whitaker, 1980

Three broad types of activities constitute co-production: (1) citizens requesting assistance from public agents; (2) citizens providing assistance to public agents; and (3) citizens and agents interacting to adjust each other's service expectations and actions (p. 242).

Parks et al, 1981

Coproduction involves a mixing of the productive efforts of regular and consumer producers. This mixing may occur directly, involving coordinated efforts in the same production process, or indirectly through independent, yet related efforts of regular producers and consumer producers (p. 1002).

Brudney and England, 1983

Co-production consists of citizen involvement or participation (rather than bureaucratic responsiveness) in the delivery of urban services. These outcomes are intended to have a positive (rather than negative) impact on service delivery patterns. Co-production stems from voluntary cooperation on the part of citizens (rather than compliance with laws or city ordinances) and involves active (rather than passive) behaviours. Both groups and individuals may engage in coproduction, but the more important participants from both practical and equity standpoints are collectivities (p. 63).

Ostrom, 1996

Co-production is the process through which inputs used to provide a good or service are contributed by individuals who are not ‘‘in’’ the same organization (p. 1073).

Alford, 1998

Co-production is the involvement of citizens, clients, consumers, volunteers and/or community organizations in producing public services as well as consuming or otherwise benefiting from them (p. 128).

Cahn, 2004

Co-production is a framework and set of techniques used by social service organizations to enlist active client participation in service programming (apud Bason, 2013, p. XI).

Joshi and Moore, 2006

Institutionalized co-production is the provision of public services (broadly defined, to include regulation) through a regular long-term relationship between state agencies and organized groups of citizens, where both make substantial resource contributions (p. 40).

Bovaird, 2007

Co-production is the provision of services through regular, long-term relationships between professionalized service providers (in any sector) and service users or other members of the community, where all parties make substantial resource contributions (p. 847).

Brandsen and Pestoff, 2008

The term co-production was created to refer to a relationship between a public servant, as a ‘regular producer’ and their clients, the citizens who make a contribution to creating safer or cleaner neighbourhoods or become healthier or better educated citizens (apud Imani, 2012, p. 2).

Pestoff, 2009

Co-production provides a model for the mix of both public service agents and citizens who contribute to the provision of a public service. Citizen participation involves several different dimensions: economic, social, political and service specific (p.197).

Boyle and Harris, 2009

Co-production means delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, people using services, their families and their neighbours. Where activities are co-produced in this way, both services and neighbourhoods become far more effective agents of change (p. 11).

Co-production is effectiveness, but it is also about humanizing services, on broader human capacities. Co-production is certainly about effectiveness, but it is also about humanizing services – or, as Elizabeth Hoodless from Community Service Volunteers puts it (p. 13).

Bovaird and Loeffler, 2012

Co-production is public service professionals and citizens making better use of each other’s assets, resources and contributions to achieve better outcomes or improved efficiency (p. 1121).

Osborne et al., 2016

Co-production is the voluntary or involuntary involvement of public service users in any of the design, management, delivery and/or evaluation of public services (p. 2).

Further the analysis of the definitions from Table 1, we notice the fact that some authors (Whitaker, 1980; Ostrom, 1996; Cahn, 2004; Brandsen & Pestoff, 2008; Bovaird & Loeffler, 2012; Brandsen & Pestoff, 2008; Pestoff, 2009) define co-production as an individual action, while other authors (e.g. Joshi & Moore, 2003) define it as a relationship between public institutions and citizens’ organised groups; other authors (Parks et al, 1981; Brudney & England, 1983; Alford, 1998; Bovaird, 2007; Boyle & Harris, 2009; Osborne et al., 2016) present and accept both possibilities, defining co-production as active participation of any individual or groups of individuals in public service delivery.

Distinctive principles of co-production (Löffler, p. 5):

Co-production conceives of service users as active asset-holders rather than passive consumers.

Co-production promotes collaborative rather than paternalistic relationships between staff and service users.

Co-production puts the focus on delivery of outcomes rather than just ‘services’.

Co-production may be substitutive (replacing local government inputs by inputs from users/communities) or additive (adding more user/community inputs to professional inputs or introducing professional support to previous individual self-help or community self-organising).

Osborne and Strokosch (2013) present three types of co-production (Radnor et al., 2014, p. 409):

Consumer co-production (improving the quality and impact of existing public services)

Participative co-production (improving the planning of existing public services often through citizen engagement)

Enhanced co-production (bringing consumer experience together with participative planning to generate new approaches to public services – innovation).

Alford (2014) distinguishes three kinds of co-producers: consumers, suppliers and partners. Consumers stand at the end of the service delivery process and act as co-producers in their secondary role, whereas suppliers and partners do so as part of their primary role (Sicilia et al, 2016, p. 12).

There is now a lively debate as to what constitutes “real” or “full” co-production, as the term is becoming used in many different ways. A useful distinction is made by Needham and Carr (2009) who define three levels of co-production (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2014, p. 19):

People who use services may experience “simple co-production” as a description of how all services, by their very nature (including those in the private sector), rely on some productive input from users.

Intermediate” co-production can be a tool of recognition for the people who use services and their careers, acknowledging their input, valuing and harnessing the power of existing informal support networks and creating better channels for people to shape services. This approach can promote increased understanding between multiple stakeholders - people who use services come to understand the content, costs and limitations of public services and their joint responsibility for making them effective, while those who deliver services can become more aware of the circumstances, needs, preferences and potential contributions of service users.

At its most effective, “transformational” co-production can develop new user-led mechanisms of planning, delivery, management and governance, requiring and creating a relocation of power and control.

For some authors co-production involves only voluntary contribution to services (e.g. Whitaker, 1980; Brudney & England, 1983) or as Alford (2009: 183) puts it “clients taking positive actions which contribute to organizational purposes,” while other definitions (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2012) also cover coerced compliance, e.g. with laws, by-laws and other legal duties (Sharp, 1980) (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2014, p. 17).

To say that co-production is necessary in a given situation is to claim that at least three pre-conditions have been met (Alford, 2015, pp. 9-10):

That the parties depend on each other for co-productive work which is essential for the achievement of organisational purposes (at least for task completion).

That each party is capable of performing the specific work sought from them.

That no-one else is able to perform the requisite work, either because the relevant professional is not available or because only the client in question is able to undertake the self-transformation role.

Ostrom (1996) identified some organizational conditions that need to be satisfied in order to ensure success in co-production situations: defining the boundaries of the resource itself as well as the group of users; adapting the rules concerning use and provisions to local circumstances; involving co-producers in the decision-making, directly or via participation; restraining the involvement of external authorities to preserve the right of communities to self-organize; and developing a social infrastructure for resolving conflicts between actors (Sicilia et al., 2016, p. 14).

In view to implement co-production, Loeffler and Hine-Hughes (2012), Kannan and Chang (2013) present the steps, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Steps in implementing co-production

Five steps for making transformation to co-production”

(Loeffler & Hine-Hughes, 2012)

Key implementation steps”

(Kannan & Chang, 2013)

Map it – set out existing co-production initiatives.

Share your results transparently, sharing information about your initiatives.

Focus it – decide your priorities for areas in which you wish to co-produce.

Nothing succeeds like success … and thus a small successful pilot should always be the first step.

People it – find the right staff and citizens who have the appetite for co-production.

Engage participants in the development process.

Targeting participants who have the appropriate skills, motivation levels and time is very critical at the design stage.

Market it – develop incentives for ensuring that stakeholders continue to co-produce.

Co-delivery and co-production initiatives need to be marketed to the citizens in the right way to set the intended expectations and rules of engagement. Foster citizens’ civic engagement and trust.

Getting the incentives right for citizens to participate in a co-delivery initiative is important.

Grow it – find mechanisms for scaling up or scaling out the co-production approaches that work.

Invest in education and training of both government and citizen participants.

Appropriate levels of transparency should be designed into service operations.

Source (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2014, p. 25)

Also, Etgar (2008) investigated the basic links between co-production and customisation and presented co-production as a process consisting of five distinct stages that customers are involved in. Etgar’s framework maps the customer co-production process from conditions preceding the customer’s participation, to the motivations of participation, to the customer’s cost-benefit evaluation of whether to participate, to the physical act of participating and finally to the result and evaluation of their participation. The model can be used as an analytical tool for researchers or as a segmentation tool for managers to segment customers according to their tendencies to engage in co-production (Terblanche, 2014, p.4).

A range of benefits from co-production have been suggested for different stakeholders (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2014, p. 3):

For Service Users: Improved outcomes and quality of life; greater self-esteem and ‘political efficacy’ through empowerment; higher quality, more realistic and sustainable public services as a result of bringing in the expertise of users and their networks.

For Citizens: Increasing social capital and social cohesion; reassuring citizens about future availability and quality of services; greater self-esteem and ‘political efficacy’ through empowerment.

For Frontline Staff: More job satisfaction from working with empowered and satisfied service users.

For Service Managers: Limiting service demand; behaviour change; making services more efficient.

For Politicians: More votes through more satisfied service users; less need for public funding and therefore lower taxes or smaller funding cuts.

In the public sector, citizens are now more informed. Due to internet technologies they have access to new tools that enable them to co-produce with public institutions.

The implications of citizen co-production for public marketing are that the success of the co-production experience depends on the citizen’s knowledge and skills. Furthermore, it is evident that citizens assume different roles and co-production styles depending on their personality that result in different outcomes, and even define their quality of life7

The implications of public institution co-production in public marketing is that public institutions need to design platforms from which employees can access the necessary resources and assume the necessary responsibilities to engage in co-production with citizens. Public institutions must ensure that employees attain value from co-production and that there is open communication enabling sharing and interaction between all the stakeholders of the public institution (adapted from Terblanche, 2014, p.4).

2.2. Co-Public Marketing

In the private sector, the phenomenon of co-marketing is when two or more companies collaborate on promotional efforts for a co-branded offer (Sibley, 2013). Co-branding refers to a partnership in which two companies combine their products or expertise to create an even more valuable product or offer. In a co-marketing partnership, all companies promote a piece of content or product, and share the results of that promotion (Sibley, 2013).

This phenomenon may extend also in the public sector, using the notion of co-public marketing. Taking into consideration the definition used in the private sector for co-marketing, co-public marketing may be defined as that collaboration between two or more public and/or private institutions for promoting the public services/goods, the programmes developed and implemented by the public sector in view to improve the image of that service/public good/programme or the value added for citizens’ benefit. In view to accomplish co-public marketing, the actors involved use resources and expertise in light to contribute directly to promoting the service/public good/programme.

By means of co-public marketing, the actors involved are working together for promoting the service/public good/common programme and afterwards they share equally the outcomes of that promotion. Co-public marketing supports the improvement of the image of a service/public good/programme in citizen perception.

In accomplishing co-public marketing with a certain partner it is important that both parties share the same purpose and mission.

At the same time, in accomplishing and implementing co-public marketing, the actors involved should:

Establish very clear objectives;

Forecast expectations for collaboration;

Elaborate a joint plan of activities and allocate the tasks and responsibilities;

Establish the schedule of activities;

Ensure a mutual benefit for all the actors involved;

Formalize the collaboration;

Evaluate continuously the collaboration for eventual adjustments and corrections, and also evaluate its finality.

The actors involved in campaigns of co-public marketing may use the form of:

events (debates, conferences, workshops etc.);

video clips (for promoting the message);

chat on social networks (in view to debate the topic) etc.

The channels of marketing in view to achieve promotion may be:



Social media (promoting the contents on social media represents a very good modality to attract also visitors on the website);

Door-to-door campaigns;

E-mail and traditional mail (transmitting e-mails to citizens).

In a co-public marketing campaign, other stakeholders, including citizens, participate in management decision-making on practices such as personnel management, marketing and product design.

The structure of the public institution applying the concepts of co-production of public services and co-public marketing is obviously that of an innovative public institution: public institutions must engage and mobilise citizens across the public institutions and gather necessary resources to meet the demands of today’s citizens, who themselves are more engaged and mobilised. Therefore, public institutions need to learn how to be more responsive and flexible in their responses to citizens in order to co-create value with them; this requires a change in how public institutions are structured and the strategies they pursue8

3. Co-public Marketing and Co-Production in Romania. Case Study

The case study aims to debate the use of the phenomenon of co-marketing and co-production of public services in Romania. The case study will present a national project implemented by the Presidency of Romania.

At the same time, the case study will comprise both the description of the project and identification of the elements of co-public marketing and co-production.

The project is entitled “Romania educated”9 and it is on-going implementation.

In view to implement and achieve successfully the project during 2016-2018, the Presidency Administration initiated a broad public debate concerning education and research in Romania, structured on three stages:

The first stage (2016-2017) is dedicated to a debate aiming to involve the whole society in building a vision on long term concerning the national education and research system, vision which should support the identification of Romania’s strategic options and their transformation into country objectives.

 The second stage (2017), based on the vision and objectives assumed previously will shape a strategy and an operational plan for education and research.

The third stage (2018) involves the elaboration of a mix of clear public policies, of a governance model for the sector of education and research and if applicable the support for reviewing the legislation.

For the time being, the first stage of the project is on-going implementation, all stakeholders being invited to contribute: pupils, students, professors, parents, researchers, as well as their representative organisations, trade unions, employers, professional associations, non-governmental organisations, representatives of businesses, education or research institutions, central and county public institutions with assignments in this field, citizens.

In view to achieve the first stage, the project initiators are using several instruments, such as: an online consultation, a series of regional debates initiated by the Presidency Administration, various events organised by the actors in the field of education and research, under the aegis of the national debate.

Within this project, even since its launch, the Presidency Administration has collaborated with the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, as well as with other institutions coordinated. The strategy involves the enlargement of collaboration with all relevant institutions in view to achieve the targets.

Up to present, other partners, public and private10 institutions joined the project and initiated and organised events, such as national debates on the topic of the project.

The whole process of public consultation is achieved in partnership with the Executive Unit for Funding Higher Education, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI). The method of consultation in view to design the vision and country objectives is foresight, combining “anticipative imagination” with “prospective thinking”. The questionnaire uses an online argumentative Delphi technique, aiming to identify possible solutions for adapting the Romanian education to the national and global trends in 2030. 

During March – November 2016, regional debates have been organised in all eight development regions of Romania.

Based on a set of transparent criteria, the initiators provided the possibility to include any event with relevant results on the theme for 2016, respectively the vision and country objectives for education and research during 2018 - 2030, under the aegis of the public debate “Romania Educated”, in view to turn into account the whole gained experience. The events may be registered by any person, group of initiatives or organisation/structure interested by the field of education and research (trade unions, employers, student federations, parent associations, organisations of pupils, students, teachers, researchers, non-governmental organisations or structures of international organisations, coalitions of NGOs, representatives of businesses, research institutes, central or local public institutions etc.), willing to transmit the message of the citizens and school/academic/research community to Presidency Administration through a constructive and open dialogue.

The e-mail represents the channel used by the Presidency Administration in view to submit the candidature for registering the interested actors in events, by which a form is transmitted.

Based on the responses at the questionnaire and of the results further the regional debates, the Presidency of Romania together with the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research will create several desirable scenarios concerning the future of education, trying to strengthen the vision and country objectives of Romania for education and research. The scenarios will be again subject to public consultation and depending on the results, the main scenarios selected by respondents will be assembled in a unitary vision.

In the framework of the project we identify elements specific both for co-production and co-marketing. Within the process of co-production of the education service, both citizens at individual level (pupils, students, professors etc.), and their organisations or public institutions, NGOs and businesses are involved. They participate directly to project implementation by initiating and organising events in partnership with project initiators and by responding to the questionnaire. Also we notice that all the steps of co-production have been respected (map it, focus it, people it, market it and grow it) and we witness all its three forms: consumer co-production, participative co-production and enhanced co-production.

We identify the elements of co-public marketing in the campaign for project promotion by the initiator together with its partners on the website, on the channels of social media and in media. Whenever an event on the project theme is organised by a partner, or a promotion campaign is achieved, the promotional materials bear the logo of the Presidency of Romania and the logo of the partner organising the events.

Co-production in general, as well as co-production in public marketing and co-public marketing provide to citizens and public or private organisations the citizen involvement, the community participation in important activities, thus exercising their “power” to solve problems by direct involvement.

Thus, the fundamental concepts as the public marketing, co-public marketing, co-production, and so on, become adjacent and determinant for the level of the governance performance11

4. Conclusions

Co-production represents a dynamic process as it implies the interaction between citizen, the public institution and other stakeholders. The citizen co-produces the public service/good, thus will feel accountable for the outcome. Co-production is different in relation with the traditional model for production and delivery of the public services, where the power belonged only to the public authorities. The phenomena related to creation, delivery and management of public services do not anymore belong only to the public authorities and institutions, they also belong to the community members, who hold an increasing important role in modelling the decisions and results. The users bring into the system their own needs, as well as important contributions such as skills, knowledge and experience, being perceived as resources for the system, and secondly as its beneficiaries.

Co-public marketing redefines in essence the relationship of dependency between creation and promotion of a single public service by a public institution/authority, enabling a new relationship of mutuality between two or several public institutions aiming the promotion of the same public service.

Co-public marketing positively influences public service innovation, because the collaboration is moderated by the actors’ innovation orientation. The degree to which co-public marketing influences service innovation depends on the collaborative actor’s expertise (adapted from Chen, Tsou & Ching, 2011).

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1 Professor, PhD, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania. Address: 6 Povernei Street, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania, Tel.:+4021.318.08.97, fax: +4021.312.25.35, E-mail:

2 Lecturer, PhD, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania. Address: 6 Povernei Street, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania, Tel.:+4021.318.08.97, fax: +4021.312.25.35, Corresponding author:

3 Lecturer, PhD, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania. Address: 6 Povernei Street, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania, Tel.:+4021.318.08.97, fax: +4021.312.25.35, E-mail:

AUDA, vol. 8, no. 2/2016, pp. 5-23

4 During the recent years, the field literature has paid special attention to the conceptual framework of co-production, co-governance and co-management in the public sector. At the European level, the issue of co-production was put firmly on the agenda of EU Ministries of Public Administration at the 4th European Quality Conference for Public Agencies in the EU in 2006 (Pollitt, Bouckaert and Löffler) and it was chosen as the core theme of the 5th European Quality Conference in 2008. Recently, the OECD has also started to focus on co-production within its agenda of promoting innovative public services (Löffler, p. 2). Thus we have witnessed the increase of the number of publications, as well as the increasing number of papers presented at international conferences, congresses and workshops focused on those topics (see EGPA Conference, IIAS International Congress, workshops in the framework of research projects). In May 2013, 122 studies were identified (articles and books), just in English and only on the topic of co-creation and co-production. The search was achieved by Voorberg W.H., Bekkers V.J.J.M. and Tummers L.G. in the paper ”A systematic review of co-creation and co-production: Embarking on the social innovation journey”.

5 The term co-creation is used in regard to citizen’s knowledge input and the interaction between the citizen and the organization and co-production is used in terms of citizen participation in new product and service development.

6 See (Handy, 1989, 81–2; Bettencourt et al., 2002 apud Terblanche, 2014, p. 1)

7 Adapted from (Terblanche, 2014, p.4).

8 Adapted from (Leavy, 2012).

9 Website of the Presidency of Romania,

10 National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania (ANOSR); Child and Youth Finance International; OMV Petrom, Students Union in Romania (USR); North-West Regional Pact for Employment and Social Inclusion (PROIS-NV); MetruCub Association – resources for culture; National College „Alexandru Ioan Cuza", Ploiești; Theoretical High School „Zajzoni Rab Istvan” in Săcele; Federation „Coalition for Education”; Pro Vita Departament from the Sector of Mission, Statistics and Pastoral Prognosis of Arhiepiscopia Iași (Mitropolia Moldova and Bucovina); AIESEC Romania; Center for Public Innovation; University Babeș-Bolyai; University Transilvania of Brașov; West University of Timișoara etc. (organizations which already participated as project partner by organization of events).

11 Adapted after (Matei & Matei, 2009, p. 5).


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