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  • Writer's pictureRohney Saggar

My real passion and experience has been developing services and solutions where communities lead. We have seen the fast pace that co-production principles have influenced the development of services, strategy and delivery plans. Our ICBs and local government strategies and delivery plans have placed community engagement at the core of strategy, delivery, review and commissioning. From Digital Transformation to influencing the development of commissioned services and everything in-between

 

My work over the years has been driven by these principles, shaping innovation by creating opportunities to hear the voice of the community and those seldom heard with lived experience. Experience has shown continuous engagement is key, not a tick box exercise, but “this is what we heard, did we get it right?”

 

To be truly innovative we must ensure our community, in its various forms and those organisations representing them have an equal place at the decision-making table. Developing an engagement model that becomes an integral part of any organisation’s day to day business requires time, effort, capacity and support. Many of our community groups, stakeholders, lived experience voices and service users do not have the capacity or resources to develop engagement processes and/or understand corporate language. The key is to keep it simple, be time generous, supportive and develop meaningful resources.

 

My experience has allowed me the opportunity to work across a variety of organisations, including:

 

  • Developing public sector community engagement strategies

  • Developing and delivering engagement models and projects to deliver specific targeted hard to reach and minoritised community voices

  • Developing community and lived experience events to influence and develop commissioning projects

  • Working with and mentoring community, stakeholders and lived experience to engage with statutory public services to better develop skills needed to influence and ‘make a difference’ to strategy and development of these bodies

 

One project that I am particularly proud of and enabled me to develop and deliver co-production principles was the creation of an independent Young Futures Commission Hackney Young Futures Commission - Young Hackney , which put young people at the core of consultation design and delivery. This ensured that the diversity of voices of young people were heard and reflected in policy making, delivered through an innovative engagement programme, for example using young peer researchers and digital story-telling techniques.   




 

“I loved being part of the project group, it was a really transparent space which allowed us to explore so much and create such a useful document. It’s a pleasure to know a government body cared enough to invest in and understand the views of the future generation.”

Young People’s Engagement Toolkit Group Member


Collaborating with community and Third Sector organisations ignites a dynamic approach to stakeholder engagement and service transformation. At the heart of innovative strategies is the seamless integration of co-production principles, creating policies and services that champion social inclusion, community cohesion, and urban regeneration.

We need to go beyond the limitations of published reports and data, recognising that true diversity lies in the unique experiences of those directly impacted by engagement strategies. Committed to breaking barriers, we must actively seek the authentic views and experiences of target communities e.g. because of intersectional identities and needs.  

At Scale are committed to directly seeking views and experiences of target communities - to better understand what has been tried, what is failing in current approaches and why, and what needs to change to improve future inclusive engagement.

By adopting co-production principles, as our experience shows, that given the opportunity communities from seldom heard communities are more willing and able to identify solutions to meet their own needs.

 

In our passion to delivering communities and coproduction, we recognise that people crave acknowledgment and a genuine sense of importance. Our commitment extends beyond mere consultancy; we believe in 'doing with, not doing to.' Through collaborative partnerships with communities, stakeholders, and the public sector, we deliver in a way that transcends traditional approaches. By transferring skills and capacity, we unlock insights that identify barriers and enablers, paving the way for effective solutions that engage and empower the under-represented within our global majority communities. Join us in shaping a future where everyone's voice matters.

For an informal chat please contact me on rohney.saggar@atscale.co.uk

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