Co-Producing a Nicer Neighbourhood: Why do People Participate in Local Community Development Projects?

  • Daphne Vanleene Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Public Governance, Management and Finance
  • Joris Voets Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Public Governance, Management and Finance
  • Bram Verschuere Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Public Governance, Management and Finance
Keywords: co-production, citizen motivation, community development, local government, Belgium


Co-production is often considered a solution to improve service quality and production efficiency, yet research on the reasons why citizens participate in the creation and/or implementation of public services is still limited to specific sectors. In this article, we study the different citizens’ motivations discussed in the literature. We distinguished two categories of motivations, personal and circumstantial. By means of a guided survey, we collected data on these different motivations in a Belgian case in the unstudied setting of community development. The results show that even in a community development case, where material incentives are used to entice citizens in a vulnerable socio-economic position to participate, the reasons behind co-production are still more diverse and complex than simple benefit maximization.

Author Biographies

Daphne Vanleene, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Public Governance, Management and Finance


Joris Voets, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Public Governance, Management and Finance

Assistant professor

Bram Verschuere, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Public Governance, Management and Finance

Assistant professor


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