“User participation may not be a panacea for all service problems; but it is a window to the emotional and sensory experiences in service use that inspire innovative solutions."
Professor Terry Leung
Institute for User Participation (IUP)
Service designers often struggle with engaging their end-users. IUP is here to ensure these stakeholders get their voices heard.
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Institute for User Participation (IUP)

The issue

Hong Kong’s welfare expenditure in year 2019/20 exceeds 80 billion. In principle, all social service organisations operating with public funding, planning and managing their services, are required to “involve” their users as a manifestation of service quality. Nevertheless, inadequate training and relevant knowledge leave these service providers straining to build collaborative relationships and cope with opinion collection — they simply don’t know how to.

The solution

With her expertise in user participation in social service management, Prof Terry Leung set up IUP for users’ voice to be heard by service providers when designing and operating their services. Through training courses, workshops and consultancy services, social service organisations learn how to involve their service users and frontline service practitioners in an inclusive environment for collaborative decision-making, for example, by taking an active part as board members, as consultants in service development, or trainers.

Targeting at stakeholders in NGOs at its early stage, IUP is extending their services to the public sector and governmental bodies.


Service users, practitioners and management in social service organisations and public bodies


IUP believes that facilitating trust and mutuality among stakeholders is crucial in continuous quality improvement and innovation in social services. Enabling users to take part in the planning and management of services that directly affect their daily lives, organisations enhance their service experience and tackle challenges in their everyday service reality. IUP is initiating a crucial paradigm shift from “expert-designed” to “person-oriented” services.

Project Team

Prof Terry Leung
Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Science
Prof Terry Leung
Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Science

Terry is a registered social worker with nearly 20 years of field experience. She now dedicates herself to research on user participation in welfare service management and supporting participatory practices in the welfare sector. Prior to setting up her social enterprise, Terry launched an online resources hub to transfer her knowledge and experience to the welfare sector. Terry received her PhD from CUHK.