What is co design and how can it help our work? 


This year North East Healthy Communities has conducted four Introduction to Co Design workshops with a total of 67 participants. We are also using this approach to develop and implement the Social Inclusion project. But what is co design and how can it help our work?

Co design (originally termed ‘cooperative design’) is not a new concept to program review and planning, however, in recent years it has gained a groundswell of support at both a local and government level. This is because co design actively involves all stakeholders (e.g. employees, partners, customers and end users) to make a creative contribution to problem solving.

What is it used for?
Co design helps strengthen collaboration across services and sectors to address complex social issues.

There is also increasing recognition of how co design theory can engage consumers to help shape the services they access, as well as increase community ownership of health promotion efforts. Participants can become part of a learning process about what works and how they can innovate to ensure maximum impact.

Examples of projects that it is commonly applied to include:

  • a new program / service;
  • identifying a need or gap in services;
  • re-designing an existing program/service; and
  • evaluating current services or programs.

To find out more about how you can use co design in your work, feel free to attend one of our workshops, or click here to access the presentation notes.

North East Healthy Communities acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land we work on. We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present and acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first people of this nation.