Dr Jenny Harlock


Dr Jenny Harlock

Health Services Management Centre
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Social Policy, HSMC
Park House
University of Birmingham
B15 2RT

Dr Jenny Harlock is a Research Fellow at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham. Her current research projects include a 3 year NIHR funded study into decommissioning healthcare services, and research on the role and implications for the third sector of health and social care reform. Jenny completed her doctoral thesis on the changing state-third sector relationship in public service delivery, focusing on social care for older people, in 2011. Jenny was previously a programme manager for the Department of Health Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership Programme for the National Care Forum and Voluntary Organisations Disability Group.


  • PhD Social Policy, University of Bath (2011)
  • MRes Social Policy, University of Bath (2006)
  • BSc (Hons) in Sociology and Social Policy, University of Bath (2005)


Jenny Harlock joined HSMC in June 2013. Prior to this, and following completion of her PhD in 2011 at the University of Bath, Jenny was a Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham. There she researched the impact and performance measures used by public sector commissioners to assess the effectiveness of third sector adult social care services, and their implications for third sector providers.

From 2009 - 2012 Jenny was a Programme Manager for the Department of Health Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership Programme for the National Care Forum and Voluntary Organisations Disability Group. In this role she consulted on a number of policy and practice issues and initiatives, most notably personalisation and the then Health and Social Care Reform Bill. Earlier in 2009 Jenny led research into the implications of personalisation for an ESRC funded internship at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Whilst studying for her doctoral thesis at the University of Bath Jenny was a Graduate Teaching Assistant on a number of undergraduate courses including Research Methods and the Philosophy of Social Sciences.

Jenny’s research has reflected her wider interest in health and social care reform, particularly changes in health and social care commissioning. She has particular interest in qualitative and interpretivist research methods.


Jenny contributes to the undergraduate Introduction to Social Policy course, and the Integrated Care: Policy and Theory module for HSMC’s Masters programmes.


Current research activities include:

  • Decommissioning healthcare services in the English NHS – NIHR funded study
  • Social Value and impact measurement in the third sector
  • Personalisation in adult social care: the role and implications for third sector providers
  • The changing relationship between the state and third sector in public service delivery


Harlock, J and Metcalf, L (2016), Measuring impact: Prospects and challenges for third sector organisations. Voluntary Sector Review.

Harlock, J and Miller, R (forthcoming) 'From development to delivery: Personalisation and the third sector', in Rees, J and Mullins, D (eds), The third sector's role in public service delivery: new roles and enduring challenges, Bristol: Policy Press.

Harlock, J. (2014) “Ambiguity and diversity in the English third sector: Responding to contracts and competition in public service delivery” in Brandsen, T., Trommel, W., and Verschuere, B. (eds.) Manufacturing Civil Society: Principles, Practices and Effects, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Robert, G., Harlock, J., and Williams, I. (2014) Disentangling rhetoric and reality: an international Delphi study of factors and processes that facilitate the successful implementation of decisions to decommission health care services, Implementation Science 9: 123. doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0123-y

Harlock, J. (2014) “From outcomes-based commissioning to social value? Implications for performance managing the third sector”, Third Sector Research Centre Working Paper 123, Birmingham.

Harlock, J. (2013) “Impact measurement practice in the UK third sector: a review of emerging evidence”, TSRC Working Paper 106, Birmingham: University of Birmingham.

Harlock, J. (2010) “Personalisation: emerging implications for the voluntary and community sector” in Voluntary Sector Review 1 (3): 371-378.

Harlock, J. (2009) Personalisation: Rhetoric to Reality, London: NCVO.

Carmel, E. and Harlock, J. (2008) “Instituting the ‘third sector’ as a governable terrain: Partnership, Procurement and Performance in the UK” in Policy and Politics 36 (1): 155-172.