Dr Hayley Bennett is an applied social scientist, with a particular interest in the third sector organisations.
At Work Works Scotland she supports the community planning partners in Fife, offering both policy and methodological expertise.
She is particularly interested in exploring how evidence can support decision-making when actors possess different organisational logics.
About Hayley’s research interests
Both inside and outside of academia Hayley’s interests and expertise lie broadly in the design of anti-poverty programmes in post-industrial localities. She has worked on this topic in areas with disadvantaged labour markets throughout the UK.
After completing her undergraduate degree and postgraduate masters degree in Economic Geography at Aberystwyth University Hayley spent three years working in regeneration and economic development positions in the public and third sector. This includes community development and capacity building in former mining villages in Carmarthenshire in South Wales, and business growth and economic development in towns in Lancashire in northwest England.
Hayley returned to academic studies in 2007 to undertake an MSc in social policy (by research) and a PhD in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Through a multi-methods case study of The Wise Group in Glasgow in her PhD thesis she explores the characteristics of the UK’s competitive welfare-to-work quasi-market for the delivery of employment programmes. Drawing on multiple theories of organisational change she critically reflects on contract based relationships and systems for the delivery of public services.
Hayley has published findings from this research, funded through an ESRC Case studentship, in academic journals, conferences and in third sector commentaries. During the PhD Hayley spent a number of months working in the third sector, guest lectured on welfare markets, and was a visiting fellow in the Non-Profit Management group at Trinity College Dublin.
Following the successful completion of her PhD and in the 18 months directly prior to starting What Works Scotland, Hayley was a Research Fellow based in the University of Edinburgh’s Social Policy department working on a comparative international European Union FP7 project focussing on multi-level policy making for active inclusion and anti-poverty policies. As part of this project she researched EU, UK and Scottish policies for active inclusion, undertook a case study of the local welfare system in Glasgow, and interviewed people experiencing poverty.
She joined the What Works Scotland team in February 2015.
What Works Scotland Publications
- Reflecting on what works in developing authentic relationships in complex settings (December 2016) – Co-authored
- “Challenge current practice and assumptions! Make waves!!” What Works Scotland Collaborative Learning Event (June 2016) – Co-authored
- Collaborative Action Research Fife Home Retreat Report (January 2016)
- Collaborative Action Retreat Report – Summary of retreat held in June 2015 (October 2015) – Co-authored
What Works Scotland blog posts
- Understanding and utilising social security sanctions data at the local level (January 2016)
- Can we tackle poverty by changing how we talk about it? (May 2015)
- Why Can’t We Trust the Word ‘Welfare’ in Policy Making? (April 2015)
Hayley is based at the Academy of Government at University of Edinburgh.