CRESR
CRESR

Professor Peter Wells

Job title: 
Professor of Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation, BA (Hons), MA, PhD - Assistant Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Faculty of Development and Society

Phone 0114 225 6262
Email p.wells@shu.ac.uk

Peter Wells is professor of public policy analysis and evaluation, and the Assistant Dean for Research and Business Development for the Faculty of Development and Society. 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.

Research interests

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

Current research projects

Please contact me for further details about these research projects and for summaries of the findings.

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.

2014 Social Investment in Cumbria Research. Northern Rock Foundation and Charity Bank. Role: Project Director.

2013-19 Evaluation and Learning Contract for the Big Lottery Fund Talent Match Programme, Big Lottery Fund. Role: Project Director.

2013 Our Big Gig Evaluation, Superact. Role: Project Director.

2013-16 Understanding the impact of the Cathedral Archer Project's Breakthrough Project, Lankelly Chase. Role: team member.

2012-13 Formative Study into Giving by Business at a Local Level (with NAVCA, funded by SHU's Knowledge Exchange Programme)

Selected research reports

Please contact me for further details about these research projects and for summaries of the findings.

Fothergill, S., Gore, T. and Wells, P. (2017) Industrial Strategy and the Regions: The shortcomings of a narrow sectoral focus. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Pattison, B., Tyler, P., Wells, P. and Wilson, I. (2016) Regeneration revival? Making housing-led regeneration work across England. Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing.

Powell, R. and Wells, P. (2015) Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract: Briefing Report 2015. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Powell, R. and Wells, P. (2015) Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract: Briefing Report 2015. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Taylor, P., Davies, L., Wells, P., Gilbertson, J. and Tayleur, W. (2015) A review of the Social Impacts of Culture and Sport. London: Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

CRESR and IER (2014) Talent Match Programme Evaluation: Annual Report. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Macmillan, R. and Ellis Paine, A., with Kara, H., Dayson, C., Sanderson, E. and Wells, P. (2014) Building Capabilities in the Voluntary Sector: What the evidence tells us. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Bashir, N., Dayson, C., Eadson, W. and Wells, P. (2013) Local Business Giving: between the raffle prize and a new source of funding. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Bashir, N., Dayson, C. and Wells, P. (2013) Local Giving: possibilities for support and development organisations. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Dayson, C., Gilbertson, J., Pearson, S., Gore, T., Batty, E., Clifford, J., Theobald, C. and Ward, T. (2012) Research Study into Outsourcing Grantmaking. Final Report. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Wells, P., Dayson, C. with Batty, E., Crisp, R. and Parr. S. (2011) Social Investment and its Impact: The Evaluation of Charity Bank in the North. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Dayson, C., Eadson, W., Gilbertson, J., Pearson, S., Walshaw, A., Chadwick-Coule, T. and Trinnaman, J. (2011) Sustaining the benefits of capital funding: Final report. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Wells, P., Gilbertson, J., Gore, T. and Crowe, M. (2011) A Big Society in Yorkshire and Humber? Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Gilbertson, J., Gore, T. and Crowe, M. (2011) Measuring the Big Society? Approaches, problems and suggested improvements. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Hickman, P., Dayson, C., Walshaw, A., Batty, E., Gore, T., Green, S., Wilson, I. and O'Toole, C. (2011) Village SOS Project Evaluation. London: Big Lottery Fund.

Roberts, D., McNeill, T., Wells, P., Crisp, R. and Gore, T. (2010) High Level Skills in Yorkshire and Humber - Understanding the Drivers of Change: Summary. Leeds: Yorkshire Futures.

Roberts, D., McNeill, T., Wells, P., Crisp, R. and Gore, T. (2010) High Level Skills in Yorkshire and Humber: Understanding the Drivers of Change - Phase 1 High Level Skills Context. Leeds: Yorkshire Futures.

Roberts, D., McNeill, T., Wells, P., Crisp, R. and Gore, T. (2010) High Level Skills in Yorkshire and the Humber: Understanding the Drivers of Change - Phase 2 Realist Synthesis. Leeds: Yorkshire Futures.

Tyler, P., Warnock, C. and Provins, A. with Wells, P., Brennan, A., Cole, I., Gilbertson, J., Gore, T., Crisp, R., Green, A., May-Gillings, M. and Phang, Z. (2010) Valuing the Benefits of Regeneration: Economics paper 7 - Volume I - Final Report.  London: Department for Communities and Local Government.

Tyler, P., Warnock, C. and Provins, A. with Wells, P., Brennan, A., Cole, I., Gilbertson, J., Gore, T., Crisp, R., Green, A., May-Gillings, M. and Phang, Z. (2010) Valuing the Benefits of Regeneration: Economics paper 7 - Volume II - Logic chains and literature review. London: Department for Communities and Local Government.

Wells, P., Chadwick-Coule, T., Dayson, C. and Morgan, G. (2010) Evaluation of Futurebuilders. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Gilbertson, J. and Gore, T. and Crowe, M. (2010) Measuring the Big Society? Approaches, problems and suggested improvements. Final Report. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Dayson, C., Hems, L., Wells, P. and Wilson, I. (2009) Impact of the Recession of the Third Sector: an initial quantitative assessment. Birmingham: Capacitybuilders.

Duffy, D., Platts-Fowler, D. and Wells, P. (2008) Neighbourhood governance: making NDC elections a significant event for partnerships and communities? Some lessons from the New Deal for Communities Programme. London: CLG.

Wells, P. (2008) Interim Report of the Evaluation of Futurebuilders. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P. et al. (2008) Evaluation of the South Yorkshire Social infrastructure Programme. Annual Report. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Wells, P. and Macmillan, R. (2008) Evaluation of Yorkshire Forward's Investment in Charity Bank - Phase 1 Report. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Wells, P. (2007) Applying Innovative Methodologies to Evaluation Research: Final Report. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Macmillan, R. and Wells, P. (2006) Evaluation of Futurebuilders: Annual Report. London: Cabinet Office.

Wells, P. (2006) Applying Innovative Methodologies to Evaluation Research: Interim Report. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Wells, P. (2006) Evaluation of Wakefield District Partnership. Phase 3: Synthesis Report. Wakefield: Wakefield District Partnership.

Wells, P. (2006) Formative Evaluation of Community Strategies: The Use of Evidence in Community Strategies. London: CLG.

Wells, P., Mayblin, L. and Wilson, I. (2006) Evidence Review of Rotherham Ready. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Wells, P., Mayblin, L. and Wilson, I. (2006) Evidence Review of Better Deal for Business. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Wells, P., Mayblin, L. and Wilson, I. (2006) Evidence Review of Strategic Cluster Champions. Leeds: Yorkshire Forward.

Coward, S., Etherington, D., Macmillan, R. and Wells, P. (2005) Neighbourhood Wardens - more than eyes and ears?  Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Dowson, L. and Percy-Smith, J. (2005) Scoping Report: Process Evaluation of Plan Rationalisation and Formative Evaluation of Community Strategies. London: ODPM.

Wells, P. and Goudie, R. (2005) Process Evaluation of Plan Rationalisation Formative Evaluation of Community Strategies - Review of Community Strategies: Overview of all and more detailed assessment of 50. London: ODPM.

Adams, L., Ferguson, B., Eastham, J., Pintus, S., Brown, G., Wells, P. and Noble, P. (2003) NHS Plan and Regional Economic Opportunities. Leeds: Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Gore, T., Powell, R. and Wells, P. (2003) The Contribution of Community Businesses to the Rural Economy of Yorkshire and the Humber. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P., Botterill, K. and Hill, C. (2003) Availability of Jobs - NDC Research Report 16. Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wells, P. and Dowson, L. (2003) Evaluation of the Home Office Capital Modernisation Fund for the Voluntary and Community Sector. London: Home Office.

Wells, P., Hanson, S. and Gore, T. (2003) Mid Term Evaluation of the South Yorkshire Objective 1 Programme. Leeds: Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber, on behalf of the ODPM.

Academic publications

Articles

Hickman, P. and Wells, P. (2013) Place branding, rural regeneration and the role of television: the case of the Village SOS programme in the UK. Regions, 292 (4), pp. 6-9.

Wells, P. (2013) When the third sector went to market: the problematic use of Market Failure to justify social investment policy. Voluntary Sector Review, 4 (1) pp. 77-94(18) . DOI: 10.1332/204080513X663813.

Wells, P. (2012) Understanding social investment policy: evidence from the evaluation of Futurebuilders in England. Voluntary Sector Review, 3 (2), pp. 157-178. DOI: 10.1332/2040805/2X469342

Wells, P. (2011) Prescriptions for regional economic dilemmas: understanding the role of think tanks in the governance of regional policy. Public Administration, 90 (1), pp. 211-229. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01958.x.

Wells, P. (2011) Prospects for a Big Society? Special Issue of People Place and Policy Online: Guest Editorial. People, Place & Policy Online, 5 (2), pp. 50-54.

Crowe, M., Dayson, C. and Wells, P. (2010) Prospects for the Third Sector. People, Place and Policy Online, 4 (1), pp. 29-32.

Crisp, R., Macmillan, R., Robinson, D. and Wells, P. (2009) Continuity or Change: Considering the policy implications of a Conservative government. People, Place and Policy Online, 3 (1), pp. 58-74.

Gore, T. and Wells, P. (2009) Governance and Evaluation: The case of EU regional policy horizontal priorities. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32 pp. 158-167. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2008.10.007.

Wells, P. (2007) New Labour and Evidence Based Policy Making: 1997-2007. People, Place and Policy Online, 1 (1), pp. 22-29.

Darlow, A, Percy-Smith, J. and Wells, P. (2007) Reflections on Community Strategies. Local Government Studies, 31 (1), pp. 117-129.

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), pp. 855-876. doi:10.1080/09654310500496198

Armstrong, H.W. and Wells, P. (2006) The Structural Funds and the Evaluation of Community Economic Development Initiatives: A United Kingdom Perspective. Regional Studies, 40 (2), pp. 259-272. doi:10.1080/00343400600600645

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, pp. 30-52.

Gore, T., Powell, R. and Wells, P. (2004) Community businesses and the rural economy: the case of Yorkshire and the Humber. Yorkshire and Humber Regional Review, 14 (2), pp. 30-32.

Wells, P. and Hart, T. (2004) Impacts and effects of the 2000-2006 Structural Funds Programmes in Yorkshire and Humber: a mid-term assessment. Yorkshire and Humber Regional Review, 14 (1), pp. 3-5.

Armstrong, H.W, Kehrer, B. and Wells, P. (2002) The Evaluation of Community Economic Development Initiatives. Urban Studies, 39 (3), pp. 457-481.

Armstrong, H.W, and Wells, P. (2002) Economic and Social Exclusion: The Case of Yorkshire and the Humber. In: The Anglo-Japanese Academy proceedings of the conference National, Regional and Global Transition: A Common Agenda for Anglo-Japanese Relations in the Twenty First Century, 7–8 September 2001, pp. 255-284. Tokyo, ICCLP Publications.

Armstrong, H.W, Kehrer, B, Wells, P. and Wood, A. (2001) Initial Impacts of Community Economic Development Initiatives in the Yorkshire and Humber Structural Funds programme. Regional Studies, 35 (8).

Armstrong, H.W., Kehrer, B., Wells, P. and Wood, A. (2001) The evaluation of community economic development initiatives in United Kingdom Objective 2 Structural Funds programmes. In: the proceedings of Fourth European conference on evaluation of the Structural Funds - Evaluation for Quality, Edinburgh 18–19 September 2000, pp. 245-83. Brussels, European Commission.

Wells, P, Billington, H. and Keegan, R. (2001) Universities, sustainability and environmental engagement. The Regional Review, 11 (1).

Book Chapters

Wells, P. (2008) Community Cohesion and the Third Sector, In: Flint, J. and Robinson, D. (eds), Cohesion in Crisis? New Dimensions of Diversity and Difference. Bristol: Policy Press.

Armstrong, H.W. and Wells, P. (2005) Multi-Level Governance and Civil Society: The Third Sector in the Design and Delivery of EU Regional Policy. In: I. Sagan and H. Halkier (eds), Regionalism Contested: Institutions, Society and Territorial Governance. London: Ashgate.

Perraton, J. and Wells, P. (2004) Multi-Level Governance and Economic Policy. In: Bache, I. and Flinders, M. (eds), Multi-Level Governance. Abingdon: Open University Press.

Book Reviews

Wells, P. (2015, forthcoming) Book Review: This Changes Everything Review: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein. London: Allen Lane. New Technology, Work and Employment.

Wells, P. (2013) Book Review: Towards a Social Investment Welfare State? Ideas Policies and Challenges edited by Nathalie Morel, Bruno Palier and Joakim Palme. 2012: Bristol, UK, Policy Press and Chicago, IL, USA, University of Chicago Press. International Journal of Social Welfare, 22, pp. 111–115. 

Wells, P. (2012) Book Review of Kendall, J. (ed.) (2009) Handbook on third sector policy in Europe: Multi-level processes and organized civil society. Voluntary Sector Review, 3 (1), pp. 127-129.

Wells, P. (2010) Review Article - A Nudge One Way, A Nudge the Other: libertarian paternalism as political strategy. People, Place and Policy Online, 4 (3), pp. 111-118.

Wells, P. (2008) Book Review of Klein, N. (2007) The Shock Doctrine In: Community Development Journal.

Recent conference and seminar papers

Please contact me for a copy of the following

Sanderson, E., Wells, P. and Wilson, I. (2015) Young People's Resilience and Involvement: possible elements of the European Union's Structural and Investment Funds in addressing youth unemployment? Paper presented at the conference: 'Challenges to EU Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020: An Academic and Policy Debate'. Riga 4-6 February 2015.

Green, A.E., Powell, R. and Wells, P. (2014) Youth Unemployment Policy Formation: between the international policy rhetoric and the local practice reality. Paper presented to: Regional Studies Association Winter Conference 2014: Sustainable Recovery? Rebalancing Growth and the Space Economy. 27-28 November 2014.

Green, A.E., Powell, R. and Wells, P. (2014) Youth Unemployment Policy Formation: between the international policy rhetoric and the local practice reality. Paper presented to Regional Studies Association European Conference June 2014, Izmir, Turkey: Diverse Regions: Building Resilient Communities and Territories.

Sanderson, E., Wells, P. and Wilson, I. (2014) New approaches for addressing youth unemployment? Early findings from the Big Lottery Fund's Talent Match Programme. Seminar presentation to the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. 20 November.

Wells, P. (2013) Place branding, rural regeneration and the role of television: the case of the Village SOS Programme in the United Kingdom. Regional Studies Association Conference: 'Shape and be Shaped: The Future Dynamics of Regional Development'. Tampere, Finland. 5-8 May. 

Wells, P. (2013) Rhetoric and Reality in the Social Investment Market. Presentation to the ESRC Seminar Series: Reconstructing Social Enterprise. Sheffield. 8 January.

Wells, P. (2013) Greater Manchester State of the Voluntary and Community Sector: A report on social and economic impact. Report Launch Event and Discussion Panel. Salford Media Centre. 10 May.

Wells, P. (2013) Can loans support the development of the voluntary and community sector? Presentation to the hlw Keeble Hawson Charities Seminar. Sheffield, 21 March 2013.

Wells, P. (2013) Policy learning from project evaluation: the case of Charity Bank in the North. Social Investment and Investment Readiness in Northern Ireland: What Role for Government? Policy Seminar organised by the Build Change Trust for OFMDFMNI and other Government Departments. 19 February 2013.

Dayson, C. and Wells, P. (2012) Outcome and Impact Measurement in austere times: possibilities and pitfalls. CRESR Seminar. Sheffield, 28 November. 

Wells, P. (2012) After the Big Society: Future Funding of the Sector. South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau AGM Lecture. Sheffield. 23 November. 

Wells, P. (2012) Making an impact: making impact measurement work for you. Presentation to Making an Impact, CRESR-Involve Yorkshire and Humber workshop, Sheffield, 15 November. 

Wells, P. (2012) The marketization of funding for the third sector: evidence from the evaluation of Futurebuilders. ESRC Festival of Social Science. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield. 6 November.

Wells, P. (2012) The marketization of funding for the third sector: evidence from the evaluation of Futurebuilders. ESRC Festival of Social Science. Cass Business School, City University, London. 6 November.

Wells, P. (2012) Caught Between the State and the Market: voluntary and community sector policy making in the UK. Inaugural Professorial Lecture. Sheffield 3 October.

Wells, P. (2012) Creating socially impactful organisations: measuring impact. Presentation to Charity Bank’s Forum: More than Money. York, 13 June. 

Wells, P. (2012) The Big Society in Yorkshire and Humber: regional disparities. Presentation to Called to the Big Society, Churches Regional Commission, Leeds, 22 March. 

Wells, P. and Hickman, P. (2012) Key Findings from the Evaluation of Village SOS. Presentation to the Big Lottery Fund’s UK Funding Committee. London. 28 February.

Wells, P. (2011) Social Investment and its Impact. Presentation to York CVS and Big Lottery Fund’s Funding Landscapes: Mapping the Future of the Voluntary and Community Sector. York, 18 November.

Crowe, M. and Wells, P. (2011) Show me the evidence: findings from two research projects. Involve Yorkshire and Humber Show me the evidence seminar and AGM. 9 November. 

Pearson, S. and Wells, P. (2011) Sustaining the benefits of Capital Funding. Presentation to the Big Lottery Fund. London, 3 August. 

Wells, P. (2011) Market Failure or Financialisation? evidence from the evaluation of Futurebuilders. Presentation to the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre seminar series. University of Birmingham. 13 April. 

Wells, P. (2011) Social Investment and its Impact: the Evaluation of Charity Bank in the North. Presentation to Charity Bank’s Annual Conference. 12 May, York.

Wells, P. (2011) The role of the Third Sector in Government and Policy. ESRC Seminar Series: The Third Sector and Criminal Justice. University of Leeds, 10 February.

Wells, P. (2011) The Role of the Third Sector in Government and Policy. University of Leeds, ESRC Seminar Series, The Third Sector and Criminal Justice. 10 February 2011

Wells, P. (2009) Researching the Impact of the Recession. Presentation to: Beating the Recession, Voluntary Action Sheffield, Sheffield Friday 8 May 2009.

PhD supervision

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.

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Key clients

Big Lottery Fund
Capacitybuilders
Involve Yorkshire and Humber
Milburn Trinnaman Court (MTL)
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
Third Sector European Network
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Forward
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