Holi | Co-productive research in Wales
Researching co-production, and co-producing research
Our ambition is for Wales to be a global leader in researching co-production and co-producing research. We are helping Wales achieve this by connecting people, sharing ideas, posing critical questions and developing projects.
Who we are
Holi is an evolving group of diverse people from across Wales with an interest in researching co-production, and co-producing research. We come from various professional backgrounds: local councils, charities, universities, public services, campaigning groups and organisations working with particular groups of people. Our interests might be purely practical, or policy-focused, or primarily theoretical – and everything in between. We put time into Holi because we would like to improve the links between people working, thinking, talking and getting things done in these different fields.
How the group works
The group works as a meeting place of people and ideas – a way of sharing plans, expertise, problems and priorities connected with co-production. We aspire to reflect the ethnic and professional diversity of Wales. It is important to us that we combine as wide a range of different backgrounds and perspectives as we can, in our regular activities. We encourage Holi members to become members of Co-Production Network for Wales, and aim to help with their work but also supplement it within our own particular areas of interest. We also work alongside researchers who are part of the Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure (such as the Wales School for Social Care Research, PRIME Centre Wales) and other Centres of Excellence funded by the Welsh Government. We have no formal office-holders, though the group has so far been informally convened by Gideon Calder and Nicola Blunden.
What we do
We meet every two months in alternating venues across Wales. We run an email list as a way of keeping in touch in between. Our members share information about their co-production related training, speaking engagements, research and other activities. We plan our own events, on specific aspects of co-productive research. Through these and other routes, we try to make understanding co-production – how it works, whom it works for, what it's like when it works, and what are the challenges and questions it poses – something which Wales is in the habit of talking critically about.
What makes us different
As researchers, we are joined by our mutual professional interest in co-production as a vibrant, changing and increasingly crucial field of inquiry. As co-producers, we are joined by our interest in research. Our ethos is pluralist: we believe that there are different ways of achieving important knowledge and skills connected to co-production, and that these should flourish alongside each other. We believe that pursuing knowledge in an inclusive and pluralist way is the truest embodiment of what co-production means. We also recognise that for all the value and promise of co-production, we should not simply be romantic about it. It won't solve all problems. It may throw up fresh and vexing problems of its own. It will pose deep questions for which we do not, already, have ready answers. Yet all of this is part of what makes it such a fertile and exciting set of issues to work on – and of what makes the work itself so vital.
Follow Holi on Twitter @HoliCopro for updates and more information.