Research Associate | Co-lead of Collaborative Action Research workstream

Head and shoulders photo of Dr Hayley Bennett Dr Hayley Bennett’s research interests are the design and delivery of policies aimed at reducing unemployment, inequality, and poverty.

By employing a wide range of qualitative methods she researches how various levels of government, public and non-public organisations, are involved in social security, economic development, and anti-poverty policies in different localities across the UK. She has a particular interest in third sector organisations and multi-agency working.

At Work Works Scotland she led the work with community planning partners in Fife, offering both policy and methodological expertise.

About Hayley’s research interests

Hayley has over 15 years’ experience researching, designing, or delivering social and public policies to tackle inequality. 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 former mining villages in Carmarthenshire in South Wales, and deprived areas 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. Funded through an ESRC-CASE studentship, her PhD focused on the role of quasi-markets in the delivery of social policies. Hayley has published findings from this research, in academic journals, at academic and non-academic conferences, and in third sector commentaries. During the PhD Hayley also spent a number of months leading a research teamin the third sector, guest lectured on welfare markets, and was a visiting fellow in the Non-Profit Management group, Business School, at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Following the successful completion of her PhD and directly prior to starting What Works Scotland, Hayley gained 18 months post-doctoral experience employed as a Research Fellow based in the University of Edinburgh’s Social Policy department working on Combating Poverty in Europe, a comparative international European Union FP7 project focusing on active inclusion and anti-poverty policies and minimum income provision from a multi-level governance perspective in six European countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Norway.

She joined the What Works Scotland team in February 2015.

What Works Scotland publications

What Works Scotland blog posts

Contact Hayley

Hayley is based at the Academy of Government at University of Edinburgh.

See Hayley’s profile on the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science website