More than 4,000 people from across the farming community in England are now working with us to design, pilot, test and trial new farming policies and schemes.
In this post, we'll explain how we're working with the farming community. We'll also share the 7 co-design principles we're encouraging groups to follow.
Our work in 2021
Last year's work has given us a much better understanding of what people expect from us.
In September 2021, we published a blog post about what we learned when we undertook co-design at agricultural shows.
Since then, we have been working to address the feedback from the farming community on:
- The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway
- The Sustainable Farming Incentive
- The Farming Investment Fund
- The Lump Sum Exit Scheme
The feedback and lessons we've learned have not only helped us to shape policy, but 7 new co-design principles.
The principles, which we will share below, act as a standard for people to follow. They exist to show:
- our commitment to working in the open
- we listen and act on what people say is important to them
- taking part in co-design truly shapes our policies and schemes.
These principles will help us to make sure that co-design is applied consistently, whatever area we're working on.
Our co-design principles
1.Understand the scope
Clearly set out the problem that needs to be addressed through a policy or scheme change. Agree with those participating in co-design what we can change, taking government commitments into account.
2. Have a wide view of the problem space
We need to work with everyone, not just in the farming community, to make sure we understand the impact of any policy changes across the whole system. For example: supermarkets, academics, and water companies.
3. Share power
People need to feel confident their voice is being heard. They need know they are helping to influence our policy and service design decisions.
4. Build trusting relationships
Take the time to engage with everyone involved in the process to build long-term relationships in which people feel valued.
5. Communicate clearly and effectively
Communicate with co-design participants in a clear, timely way and delivered in a format that works for participants. Updates should follow co-design sessions.
6.Make evidence-based decisions
Decisions should be taken after considering user needs, data, statistics, and people's lived experience.
7. Continuously learn, invite and share feedback
Explain clearly and honestly what will happen and what won't happen following co-design. To improve, we must continually encourage feedback.
Coming in 2022
As our new farming schemes gradually roll out, we will step up our work supporting new projects to incorporate co-design.
We will publish more posts to set out exactly how we have been applying the principles, what members can expect at the discussion groups, and what we are learning as a community through co-design.
Get involved in co-design
If you work in farming, why not get involved in informing and shaping future Defra policy? We hope to have more in-person events this year as restrictions ease. You can choose how much time you commit to the group, with most activities taking place online.
Sign up to take part in co-design. We'll send email updates on the events taking place for your subjects of interest.