Postdoc – “Faire Ensemble: The co-creation of community projects”


My postdoctoral research takes my PhD research forward by studying community co-production in Montreal – a unique context that exhibits a coexistence between an emphasis on community that parallels the English experience, as well as notions of solidarity and co-construction that are more in line with the cases previously studied in France. In particular, the project considers how local institutions, governance arrangements and conceptualizations of participation impact day-to-day collaborative practices in community development projects.

PhD dissertation: Co-production and the third sector: A comparative study of England and France

My thesis explores co-production between citizens and third sector professionals (in community regeneration, parents’ organisations, and older people’s services) in Sheffield, England and Lyon, France. I employ an analytical framework of institutional logics to explore how the rules, practices and narratives of the organisations are specific to their contexts and how these shape co-production practices. The study finds that while the Sheffield organisations are characterised by an assimilation of the state, community and market logics, the Lyon organisations demonstrate a blend of a ‘Napoleonic state’ logic, and a ‘local solidarity’ logic. These combinations of logics illuminate two approaches to co-production. In France, co-production is informed by notions of citizenship, solidarity and participative democracy, leading to a greater focus on citizen involvement in organisational governance and influence of rules as an enabler and constraint to co-production. In Sheffield, co-production is seen as a way to improve communities, services and outcomes, and we therefore see more pragmatic attention to co-design and co-delivery activities.

Financial mechanisms for innovative social and solidarity economy ecosystems

Quebec researcher, International Labour Organization (2018-2019)

The project considers the following questions:

What elements (actors, the relationships, etc.) make up an innovative social and solidarity economy (SSE) ecosystem?

What are the specificities of the SSE that require distinct and dedicated financial mechanisms?

What financial mechanisms exist within these ecosystems that allow the SSE organizations and enterprises to grow and innovate? What conditions are required for these ecosystems to be fully effective?

The role of mutuals in public service innovation

Research Assistant, Middlesex University (2012 – 2014)

There is growing interest in the role of social enterprise and mutual spin outs from the public sector, where staff leave the public sector to set up their own staff and user owned organisation. By looking at ‘mutual spin outs’ this two year project was able to see how innovation occurs and what effect there is on services and staff. Encouraging mutuals is a key feature of the Government’s public service reform agenda, although little is known about the potential new services and ways of doing things that may emerge. Research focused on the health and social care sector and compared recently set up spin-outs with similar more established organisations in the leisure sector, a sector which went through major reform in the 1990s.