Helen Sullivan's picture

Helen Sullivan

Director, Crawford School of Public Policy


PhD Birmingham UK, Local Government Studies ‘Community Governance: An Evaluation of Area Approaches’ 2000

Dip. Personnel Management, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK 1991

MA Women’s Studies, Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, University of York, UK. Thesis: ‘Women Workers in the Inter-War Years’ 1989

BA (Combined Hons.) Modern History and Political Science 2:1, Faculty of Arts, University of Birmingham, UK Thesis: ‘Women and Trade Unions’ 1988

Contact details

Research interests

Research Grants and Commissions

2014 ESRC ‘Collaborative Governance in Cities under Austerity: An Eight Case Comparative Study’ 2015-2017, (Project lead Prof Jonathan Davies, DMU, UK)

2013 ‘Fear and licensing in Australia: Investigating the social licence to operate of an emerging coal seam gas industry’ ARC Discovery Project 2014-16, CI with Prof Fiona Haines, Dr Sara Bice $132,605

2013 ‘The Civic Impact of Journalism’, Co-applicant with M Simons, D Muller, R Tiffen (USyd) and M Parks (USC), Melbourne School of Government Incubator Grant, $23880

2012 ‘The Citizens Agenda: Exploring Ways of Improving Political News Coverage and Increasing Political Engagement’. Co-applicant with M. Simons, D. Muller, D. Nolan, A. Martin. University of Melbourne Interdisciplinary Seed Fund, $30,000

2012 ‘The Citizens Agenda: Exploring Ways of Improving Political News Coverage and Increasing Political Engagement’ Co-applicant with M. Simons, D. Muller, D. Nolan, A. Martin, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Social Equity Institute, $20,000

2012 ‘Policy by Design: Employing Design Thinking in Addressing Wicked Problems’ Co-applicant with D. Alexander, M. Considine, J. Lewis, G. Robins, T. Kvan, Y. Kashima.. University of Melbourne Interdisciplinary Seed Grant, $27,000

2011 ‘Participatory sensing - enabling interactive local governance’ Co-applicant with S. Marusic, Y, W. Law, M. Palaniswami, J. Gubbi, University of Melbourne Interdisciplinary Seed Grant, $50,000

2011 ‘The Citizens Agenda’. Co-applicant with M. Simons, D. Muller, D. Nolan, A. Martin, University of Melbourne Research Collaboration Grant, $20,000

2010 ‘Innovation in Local Strategic Partnerships’, principal investigator, special project funded as part of the ongoing national evaluation of LAAs and LSPs (see below). Funded by CLG, UK Government, £45,000 to October

2009 ESRC seminar series: ‘Collaborative Futures’ co-applicant with UWIC, Aston, Manchester and Strathclyde universities, November 2009 – July 2011

2009 NHS SDO ‘Health and social care commissioning’, co applicant with J Glasby, H Dickinson and S Jeffares, £299,000 over 2 years from July 2009

2009 Measuring the extent of public service partnerships for consumers for Consumer Focus, principal investigator with S Jeffares. Funded by Consumer Focus, £20,000

2008 Assessment of local case studies of partnership working for the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare, 2008-9, with UWIC. Principal investigator with P Williams Funded by NLIAH, Wales, £20,000

2007 Overarching evaluation of Local Area Agreements, Local Strategic Partnerships and the wider policy framework, 2007-2010. Co-applicant with Warwick Business School, UWE, Liverpool John Moores, OPM and SQW. Funded by CLG, £1,200,000

2006 The democratic anchorage of governance networks in three European countries

2006-8, co-applicant with Chris Skelcher, INLOGOV and collaborators in Erasmus University, Netherlands and Roskilde University, Denmark, Funded by ESRC, £211,000

2005 Evaluation of the Welsh Community Planning Process, co-applicant with Swansea University, INLOGOV and UWE. Funded by Welsh Assembly Government, £70,000

2004 National evaluation of the local government capacity building programme, 2004-2006, co-applicant with Leeds Met. Funded by ODPM, UK Government, £290,000

2004 National evaluation of the Local Area Agreements pilot programme, co-applicant with OPM, University of Warwick, UWE, 2004-2006. Funded by ODPM, UK Government, £300,000

2003 Evaluating changes in community leadership, principal investigator. Part of the overarching evaluation of the Local Government Modernisation Agenda, 2003-2008 led by Cardiff Business School. Funded by ODPM/CLG, UK Government. £70,000

2003 National evaluation of the Well Being powers, 2003-2007, co-applicant with INLOGOV and UWE. Funded by ODPM/CLG, UK Government, £518,000

2003 ESRC seminar series, 2003-2005 ‘Accountability in a new institutional environment’, (co-applicant)

2002 National evaluation of Local Public Service Agreements, 2002-2007, co-applicant with OPM, UWE and Cardiff University. Funded by ODPM/CLG, UK Government, £1,375,000

2002 Assessing the research capacity of voluntary sector organisations in Birmingham, 2002-2003. Principal investigator, Funded by Birmingham and Solihull Learning and Skills Council/ BVSC, £20,000

2001 Early lessons from the development of Local Strategic Partnerships in England

2001, co-applicant, INLOGOV. Funded by UK Local Government Association/Improvement and Development Agency, £20,000

2000 National evaluation of Health Action Zones, 2000-2002, co-investigator with University of Glasgow, Birmingham University, London Queen Mary University. Funded by the Department of Health, UK Government, £800,000

2000 ESRC funded study of ‘Power, Participation and Political Renewal’ as part of the ESRC’s Democracy and Participation Research Programme, 2000-2002, co-applicant, with Marian Barnes and Janet Newman. Funded by ESRC, £158,168.

2000 Area based working and social inclusion, 2000-2001. Principal investigator with Warwick Local Government Centre. Funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Local Government Information Unit, £4000

1999 Evaluating a local authority public involvement programme, 1999-2000. Principal investigator. Funded by Birmingham City Council, £5,000 (part of the Public Policy partnership between UB and BCC)

1999 Developing sustainable regeneration, 1999-2000. Principal investigator. Funded by Castle Vale Housing Action Trust, £26,500

1999 Devising a community led monitoring and evaluation framework for application in regeneration environments. Principal investigator. Funded by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council. £9,000.

1998 National review of ‘cross-cutting issues’ affecting central and local government, 1998, co-applicant, Birmingham University. Funded by DETR, UK Government, £80,000

1998 Evaluation of Northumberland Health Action Zone. 1998-2000. Principal investigator. Funded by Northumberland HAZ. £40,000

1997 Examining the roles of councillors and professionals in decentralised environments, 1997-1998. Principal investigator. Funded by Birmingham City Council, £10,000 (part of the Public Policy Partnership between UB and BCC)

1997 Evaluation of the SSTARI Single Regeneration Budget Programme, 1997-1998 Principal investigator. Funded by SSTARI SRB, Birmingham, £45,000

1997 Exploring the hidden economy in an inner city area. Principal investigator. Funded by Birmingham City Challenge, £5,000

1997 Evaluating the first year of a Single Regeneration Budget community capacity building programme. Co-investigator with Lucy Gaster. Commissioned by (Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, £7,500).

1995 Good practice in ‘exit strategies’ for street prostitutes. Principal investigator. Commissioned by Birmingham City Council, 1995-6. £5,000.

Consultancy projects

2007 Literature review and practice guide on collaborative practice in health and social care for the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Health Care in Wales (with UWIC) Funded by NLIAH £17000

2006 Background paper for the annual conference of the Commonwealth Local Government Foundation on ‘local leadership’ (with Warwick LGC). Commissioned by CLGF. £3000

2002 Briefing paper for the Review of Public Administration in Northern Ireland on ‘joined-up governance’. Funded by RPANI. £6000

2000 Feasibility study for neighbourhood management scheme in Castle Value, Birmingham. 2000-2001 Funded by Castle Vale Housing Action Trust. £6000

2000 Feasibility work on the development of a prospectus for ‘Regeneration Zone’ status for Black Country local authorities. 2000-2001. Funded by Government Office West Midlands, £8,000

1999 Investigating opportunities for Social Economy/Third Sector Support in the Voluntary Sector in Birmingham (with The Phoenix Partnership). Funded by BVSC. Value £6000

1999 Developing a consultation programme in preparation for SRB V led by Birmingham Voluntary Services Council (with The Phoenix Partnership). Funded by BVSC. £5,000

1998 Designing and running consensus building programme for local residents, professionals and politicians in relation to future developments for transportation in Frankley, Birmingham. Funded by Birmingham City Council. £5,000

1997 Advising on partnership design for Health Action Zone bid (with HSMC). Funded by North Staffs HA.

1997 Examining the potential for multi agency collaboration in local service delivery initiatives to promote family support in Birmingham. Funded by City Challenge. £5000


University of Melbourne

Administrative Challenges in Practice (MPA capstone) 2015-2016

Public Policy in the Asian Century (Masters elective) 2013-2016

Politics and Policy Research Workshop (PhD coursework) 2012

University of Birmingham

Working across Boundaries (MBA module), 1997-2002

Strategic Partnerships and Alliances (Advanced Management in Local Government Programme module), 1998-2002

Strategic Partnerships and Alliances program (Executive development, LG) 1998-2004 Public Consultation, (Executive development, LG) 1999-2001

Collaboration and Social Inclusion (Executive development, Home Office, and LG) 2000-1

Public Policy Making (BSc Public Policy, Government and Management core module), 1997-2002



Fadil Putra (2016)

Mario Puecker (2015) ‘Active Citizenship of Muslims in Australia and Germany: Civic and political participation of a socially marginalized group’ (2nd supervisor), University of Melbourne, Australia

Lucy Grimshaw (2009) ‘Women and Regeneration’ (1st supervisor), UWE, UK.

Sam Shepherd (2006) ‘Quality of Life indicators: Factors that affect their utility to decision makers in the public sector’ (2nd supervisor), UWE, UK

I am currently supervising two PhD students

Masters thesis

20+ students completing MBA/MSc dissertations, University of Birmingham (1996 -2002) Honours

4 Honours students, University of Melbourne 2011-15

External examiner

Examiner of programmes

2010 External examiner, Aston University, BSc Public Policy and Management, 2010-2012

2006 External examiner, Glasgow University, Department of Urban Studies, postgraduate studies, 2006-11

2000 External examiner, Sussex University, Certificate programme for managing voluntary organizations, 2000-4

Examiner of research degrees

2011 PhD internal examiner, University of Birmingham, 2011, The blended separation of powers and the organisation of party groups: The case of English local government

2010 PhD internal examiner, University of Birmingham, 2010, thesis ‘Spaces of New Labour Youth Policy’

2009 PhD internal examiner, University of Birmingham, 2009, thesis ‘The importance of being efficacious. Health and social care partnerships in England’

2008 + 2010. PhD external examiner, Liverpool John Moores, 2008, thesis ‘Process evaluation of Merseyside Health Action Zone’

2008 PhD external examiner, Sheffield University, 2008, thesis ‘Participation and engagement in local governance: A perspective from ‘grassroots’ civil organizations’

2006 DBA external examiner, Sheffield Hallam University, 2006 thesis ‘Joining-up public services: a critical realist framework for holistic governance’

2006 PhD external examiner, Cardiff University, 2006, thesis ‘Evaluating local authority regeneration initiatives, unpacking a regeneration role; a study of government and governance’

2004 PhD external examiner, Bristol University 2004, thesis ‘Competencies of Boundary Spanners

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