Data analysis indicated the versatility of the CoP approach for individuals working in partnership across boundaries (for example voluntary, statutory and university sectors).
Strikingly, our literature review shows little application of the CoP approach to CUPs, beyond our own limited work. In the literature, CoPs are critiqued for not dealing explicitly with inequalities; while they may offer space to address differences, there is limited analysis of how CoPs work through inter-group conflicts. However our empirical data revealed more potential.
Given this promise, future research priorities include (1) empirical studies of CoPs designed to provide effective mechanisms for developing cohesion and learning, and (2) enhancing the role of community partners in co-production and community knowledge exchange.