Co-design is increasingly being used by both government and the community sector to describe a range of activities and processes used in the design of services and products that involve people who use or are affected by that service or product.

Co-design involves walking alongside people, to work with them in creating interventions, services and programs which will work in the context of their lives and will reflect their own values and goals[1]. It begins with the intention of deeply understanding target group needs and realities.

In November 2016, CVPCP hosted Chris Vanstone from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) for a Co-design workshop. The interactive session explored the questions “What is co-design, and what does it take to do it well?”  PowerPoint slides from the session are available here.

VCOSS have produced a paper Walk alongside that outlines co-design principles and practices to help bring people, community workers and the government together to best design the social programs, services and support people need  Walk alongside – Co-designing social initiatives with people experiencing vulnerabilities[1].

Co-design evaluation

There are also some interesting new resources becoming available to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your co-design efforts:

Co-production Self-assessment Framework: a working reflection tool for practitioners

Integrated Resource Framework (IRF) Co-production Learning Template



“The Parable of the Blobs and Squares” video – this video is a great resource that overviews participation and co-design in a quirky way







[1] Victorian Council of Social Service, Walk alongside: Co-designing social initiatives with people experiencing vulnerabilities, VCOSS, July 2015


Central Victoria Prevention & Population Health acknowledges the traditional owners on whose land we live and work, their rich culture and spiritual connection to country. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and celebrate their living culture and unique role in the life of our catchment.

website by