Co-design 02: Develop

In this second part of the co-design process we are focusing on developing new content by working together and learning from each other as we engage in and then create the content.

Learning together

In the video you can see people engaging with each other and learning from each other.

Consider the following questions:

  • How could we make the content work for people with mental health issues?
  • Working cross-culturally, what does this mean when we talk about individual consumer rights?
  • Knowing that people may be fearful of government controlling people’s lives, how can we talk about asking for help?

One way to learn together is to make sure we speak about those issues that are more difficult to speak about, the issues that are often ignored or swept under the carpet. This is why the previous Discovery element is so important - building deeper relationships and trust.

As you watch the videos, the theme of trust and of building deeper relationships pops up quite a bit. Now that we are in the Developing element of the framework, it’s important that we keep thinking about the relationships alongside our focus on the content.

To remind us, here are seven tips to build trusting relationships:

  1. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
  2. Be vulnerable - gradually.
  3. Remember the role of respect.
  4. Give the benefit of the doubt.
  5. Express your feelings functionally, especially when it's tough.
  6. Take a risk together.
  7. Be willing to give as well as receive.

(A. Bonior (2018.) '7 ways to build trust in a relationship', Psychology Today)

In the video you can see how Belinda and Leonie work together in a trusting way. Both were stretched by the other, open to learning more and opening up about new ideas.

Belinda is really clear that she learned a lot from Leonie about how to make things work for people with intellectual disability. Belinda will be much more aware of people with intellectual disability in the future and she will be better at communicating and connecting with people.

Learning together can occur in many different forms, but it seems we do learn better from each other, if we are meaningfully connected and if we have positive regard for each other.

Learn more:

  • If you are interested in learning more on how to accelerate learning from each other, either in co-design or when working with your colleagues, read this article.

Developing content

People from the communities talked about their experiences and the strength that comes from telling real stories. It’s a theme that was repeated throughout the TnT project and as trust developed between the communities and the Government partner, more people felt comfortable sharing their stories and experiences.

In the TnT project, we developed a whole host of new content including:

  • workshops presentations
  • promotion materials
  • role plays, and
  • stories.

One of the stories we told is of how Kelli negotiated a new contract with a new service provider, a local gym.

Have a look at this video:

You can also watch the other stories and top tips videos we developed.


Developing new content by working together and learning from each other as we engage with the content is sometimes referred to as co-production.

From the independent evaluation, we learned that when it comes to co-production, people valued:

  • strong relationships between project officers, peer facilitators and Fair Trading co-facilitators on the ground
  • having people with the right attitude who are open to listening and learning, and trying new things
  • having everyone involved from the beginning
  • having regular communication
  • some liked starting without a structure for the process.

Learn more: