Regional Development

Innovative Service Delivery Workshop Series


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Designing services for rural communities: the role of co-design and co-delivery
  11-12 June 2009

Innovative service delivery workshop

OECD countries agree that the scale of the demographic, geographic and fiscal challenges facing our public services requires new thinking and new practices. Solutions are likely to be found where public engagement, new technologies and public sector reform converge. This workshop is part of a series that will explore and identify emerging paradigms and approaches to innovation in public service design and delivery for, with and by people.  The first workshop focussed on the specific case of rural communities to illustrate the limits of a “one size fits all” approach to service design and delivery.


Designing services for rural communities

Differences between regions, and their populations’ needs and preferences, call for a different mix of public services adapted to regional characteristics. In this context, innovative service delivery could take many forms ranging from the pursuit of new organisational forms and arrangements, including partnerships with other levels of government and other sectors, in order to improve the delivery of programs and services, to the types of services and who delivers. It could enable programs and services that result in: more cost-effective, responsive delivery to citizens; changes in organisational culture and management practices so that the organisation performs more effectively; and the granting of greater authority to managers, thus moving decision making closer to the point of delivery, to the communities served.

The issues facing rural communities are not new. Policymakers have struggled with designing appropriate services and delivery mechanisms for some time. Innovative approaches are needed if we are to move beyond the usual range of options to explore new possibilities and to test them in practice.






Aims for this workshop

This one and a half day intensive and interactive workshop provided an opportunity for “out of the box” thinking to:

  • Develop a feasible range of solutions, using the example of rural communities, by drawing upon practitioners (max. 30) from a wide range of countries, sectors and levels of government and, 
  • Explore the benefits and limits of using co-design and co-delivery approaches in practice.

On the first day participants took part in discussions supported by facilitation followed by study visits the following day.



Contacts for information:

Betty-Ann Bryce

Marco Daglio


Other Events

Annual OECD Rural Development Conference 

Title:      Developing rural policies to meet the needs of a changing world

When:   13-15 October 2009  

Where:   Québec City Convention Centre, Québec, Canada

For more information please see the conference website or contact Betty-Ann Bryce at


More on the OECD Rural Development Programme

To learn more about the OECD Rural Development Programme please visit our website at or contact us at




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