Image of a man and a woman sitting across from each other in a meeting room.

The expertise of experts-by-experience – struggles over experience-based knowledge in Finnish participatory arrangements

In the Finnish context, the term expert-by-experience is used to refer to people with prior social problems who have been invited to act as ‘experts’ in CSOs and public sector organisations. The term was introduced in the Finnish context by mental health organisations, following the introduction of a strong participatory emphasis on the Finnish social policy outlines. Now, it is a hugely popular concept and an approach that is largely developed in projects – both in the public and the third sector. Despite its popularity, the term remains ambiguous and is used to signify a variety of people and activities.