T10P07 - Methodologies for Studying Innovative Policy Practices in Urban Context

Topic : Methodologies

Panel Chair : Liisa Häikiö - liisa.haikio@uta.fi

Panel Second Chair : Helena Leino - helena.leino@uta.fi

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

The objectives are

  1. to discuss study designs and methodological choices to examine innovative policy practices,
  2. to reflect relations between research and practices,
  3. to conceptualize co-creation, co-production and social innovation in urban contexts.

Scientific relevance: Co-creation, co-production and social innovations have become catch words in reforming public policies and services as they are now more integrated to the discussion of over-coming social problems in the era of austerity. So far, there is more open questions than answers. How to establish co-creation and co-production practices? How to create and sustain social innovations? All this pose a huge challenge for policy research: How to study these practices in a meaningful way? How can research engage with innovative policy practices for promoting sustainable urban future for all members of society? There is a need for methodological consideration on these topics so that future research can better address these issues both by having a critical stand and by interacting with society for creating new solutions. 

Call for papers

The panel will discuss on how to design and study innovative practices in urban context. By innovative practices we refer to new ways of doing policies and providing services such as co-creating new solutions for local problems or co-producing public goods in neighbourhoods. These approaches connect in some cases for incremental improvement and in some case for more fundamental social change. They connect with shared understanding that members of society enact policies and services jointly, be they public or private actors, collectives or individuals. In this these concepts are effective as co-creation, co-production and social innovation speak to ordinary people, market actors as well as to public authorities. They emphasise participation, co-operation and new affordable and need-based solutions to the local problems.

These ideas are not totally new. Co-creation, co-production and social innovations have become catch words in reforming public policies and services as they are now more integrated to the discussion of over-coming social problems in the era of austerity.  So far, there are more open questions than answers. How to establish co-creation and co-production practices? How to create and sustain social innovations? All this pose a huge challenge for research: How to study these practices in a meaningful way?

We welcome papers that address methodological issues for studying urban policy practices on co-creation, co-production and social innovation. These practices may have they foundation in grassroots activism or administrative practices, and they may aim to reform established practices or build new approaches. They may focus on various issues in the city, for example social services, environmental protection or mobile applications can be grounds for co-creation, co-production and social innovation.

We are especially interested on papers

  1. discussing study designs and methodological choices to examine innovative policy practices,
  2. reflecting relations between research and practices
  3. conceptualizing co-creation, co-production and social innovation in urban contexts.         
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