Peter Wells is professor of public policy analysis and evaluation, and the Assistant Dean for Research and Business Development for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. He has extensive experience of research on urban and regional issues, specifically in project and programme evaluation, community involvement, community economic development, the funding of the voluntary and community sector including social investment, local government, Structural Funds and EU regional policy.
Peter is the director of the Evaluation and Learning Contract for the Big Lottery Fund's Talent Match programme. This contract runs from 2013-19. He directed the Office of the Third Sector (Cabinet Office) funded national evaluation of Futurebuilders from 2005-2010. He was also involved in the National Evaluation of the New Deal for Communities as a member of the central data team. He has undertaken various research and evaluation assignments for the Big Lottery Fund, including the evaluation of its Village SOS programme and research into the outsourcing of grantmaking. He has worked in an expert advisory capacity in a range of contexts including: being a member of the CLG Local Government Research Expert Panel (2008-10); providing peer review support to the Meta Evaluation of London 2012; as a member of the DECC evaluation panel; and submitting invited evidence to the NCVO Funding Commission on the measurement of impact.
Peter has wide ranging research interests including
- evaluation and evidence based policy making
- social investment and the voluntary and community sector
- EU regional policy and the Structural Funds
- youth unemployment
- Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Please contact me for further details about these research projects and for summaries of the findings.
2017-18 Apprenticeship Levy and Youth Employment: an opportunity for social investment?. Big Society Capital. Role: Project Director.
2015-2017 Evaluation of the Early Action Neighbourhood Fund. Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, Esmée Fairburn Foundation and the Barrow Cadbury Trust. Role: Project Director.
2013-2019 Evaluation and Learning Contract for the Big Lottery Fund Talent Match Programme, Big Lottery Fund. Role: Project Director.
WELLS, Peter (2018). Evidence based policy making in an age of austerity. People, place and policy online, 11 (3), 175-183.
FOTHERGILL, Stephen, GORE, Tony and WELLS, Peter (2017). Industrial Strategy and the Regions : the shortcomings of a narrow sectoral focus. Discussion Paper. Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University.
SANDERSON, Elizabeth, WELLS, Peter and WILSON, Ian (2016). Resilience and involvement: the role of the EU's Structural and Investment Funds in addressing youth unemployment. In: BACHTLER, John, BERKOWITZ, Peter, HARDY, Sally and MURAVSKA, Tatjana, (eds.) EU cohesion policy: reassessing performance and direction. Regions and Cities (111). Abingdon, Routledge, 127-139.
PATTISON, Ben, TYLER, Peter, WELLS, Peter and WILSON, Ian (2016). Regeneration revival? Making housing-led regeneration work across England. Project Report. Sheffield, Chartered Institute of Housing.
SANDERSON, Elizabeth, WELLS, Peter and WILSON, Ian (2015). Young people's resilience and involvement : possible elements of the European Union's Structural and Investment Funds in addressing youth unemployment? In: Challenges for the New Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020 : An Academic and Policy Debate, Riga, 4-6 February, 2015.
TAYLOR, Peter, DAVIES, Larissa, WELLS, Peter, GILBERTSON, Janet and TAYLEUR, William (2015). A review of the social impacts of culture and sport. Project Report. Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
WELLS, Peter and DAYSON, Christopher (2013). Voluntary and community sector policy under the Coalition Government. People, place and policy online, 7 (2), 91-99.
WELLS, Peter (2013). When the Third Sector went to Market: the problematic use of market failure to justify social investment policy. Voluntary Sector Review, 4 (1), 77-94.
BASHIR, Nadia, DAYSON, Christopher, EADSON, William and WELLS, Peter (2013). A warm glow in all parts? : building local cause-affinity as a strategy for promoting charitable giving. People, place and policy online, 7 (3), 139-152.
WELLS, Peter (2012). Understanding Social Investment Policy: evidence from the evaluation of Futurebuilders in England. Voluntary Sector Review, 3 (2), 157-177.
WELLS, Peter (2012). Understanding social investment policy : evidence from the evaluation of Futurebuilders in England. Voluntary Sector Review, 3 (2), 157-177.
WELLS, Peter (2012). Prescriptions for regional economic dilemmas : understanding the role of think tanks in the governance of regional policy. Public Administration, 90 (1), 211-229.
GORE, Tony and WELLS, Peter (2009). Governance and evaluation : the case of EU regional policy horizontal priorities. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32 (2), 158-167.
ARMSTRONG, H. W. and WELLS, P. (2006). Evaluating the governance of structural funds programmes: the case of community economic development in South Yorkshire. European planning studies, 14 (6), 855-876.
GORE, T., POWELL, R. and WELLS, P. (2006). The contribution of rural community businesses to integrated rural development: local services for local people. Cahiers d'economie et sociologie rurales, 80 (3), 29-52.
ARMSTRONG, H. W. and WELLS, P. (2006). Structural funds and the evaluation of community economic development initiatives in the UK: a critical perspective. Regional studies, 40 (2), 259-272.
ARMSTRONG, H. W., KEHRER, B., WELLS, P. and WOOD, A. M. (2002). The evaluation of community economic development initiatives. Urban studies, 39 (3), 457-481.
ARMSTRONG, H. W., KEHRER, B. and WELLS, P. (2001). Initial impacts of community economic development initiatives in the Yorkshire and Humber structural funds programme. Regional studies, 35 (8), 673-688.
Peter is currently director of studies for two PhDs and is second supervisor on a third PhD. The topics currently supervised are
- Problematising the relationship between 'economy' and 'democracy' in worker cooperatives (Student: Kiri Langmead)
- Perceptions of social exclusion, social economy and the state in greece and the UK (Student: Ioannis Prinos)
- Can urban anchor institutions become low carbon leaders? (Student: Julian Dobson)
He would welcome discussion in supervising students in these fields and around the following areas
- evidence based policy making
- changing role of the voluntary and community sector in public policy
- youth unemployment and the role of the voluntary sector
- social investment
Peter Wells is professor of public policy analysis and evaluation, and Assistant Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. He is also leads research projects in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam.
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