Jane Cullingworth is a PhD student supported by What Works Scotland.

About Jane’s research

Jane photo 2Jane’s research explores the relationship between the state and the third sector (broadly defined as charities, non-profits, community organisations and social enterprises).

The study focuses on third sector interfaces (TSIs) as a site for examining the third sector-state relationship. TSIs are organisations that support and represent the third sector in each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

The TSI model was instituted by the Scottish Government in 2011 with a four-fold remit to: build capacity, support volunteerism, encourage social enterprise, and represent the third sector in local community planning partnerships (CPPs).

Research on the relationship between the third sector and the state has focused on whether the sector’s active role as a delivery vehicle for the state has compromised its independence. Of lesser focus, but of increasing significance, is the question of whether the sector’s independence is impacted by its active role as a partner in governance networks, such as Scotland’s CPPs.

This research uses a case study approach to explore the sector’s involvement in governance networks through the TSIs and considers the impact on the sector’s independence. The research also considers how TSIs negotiate issues of representation.

More about Jane

Jane’s interest in the third sector’s relationship with the state is rooted in her work and volunteer involvement in the sector over the past thirty years.  Most of her experience has been in Toronto, Canada, where she moved as a teenager; she has been in Scotland since 2010. She has worked primarily in the immigrant and refugee community and in the women’s community.

Over the past ten years Jane has held chief executive roles, with key responsibility for the financial health of organisations; this health was primarily underwritten by funding from the state. She became increasingly concerned that this new paradigm was leading to compromises being made by organisations delivering services on behalf of the state. Jane has experienced first-hand the compromises that third sector organisations make in order to keep the money come in.  These experiences have directly shaped her PhD research.

She has a M.Ed from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University.

What Works Scotland blog posts

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