Exploring institutional change: the contribution of co-production to shaping institutions
The importance of effective institutions for development is well established. There is however, a continuing debate on how to stimulate institutional reform within highly complex political and cultural contexts.
This working paper explores sociological theories of institutional change to consider how service co-production, involving organised communities and state agencies, can influence the systems of rules and behaviours that underpin urban governance. Using examples of co-production in Harare, the paper highlights how the cumulative impact of joint activity has generated small-scale adaptations in the institutionalised practices of public administration – creating spaces of engagement and negotiation leading to incremental institutional change.