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Diane Warburton BA Hons
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Diane works mainly on research and evaluation projects, as well as writing for a wide range of audiences including academic and professional journals and publications, Government departments and agencies, national and international NGOs, and the general public through work for BBC Radio 4 and Channel 4 television. She is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Brighton, and a founding and continuing Trustee of Involve (the national participation charity).

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Diane has over 35 years experience of research, writing and providing support on public, stakeholder and community engagement for public, private and voluntary organisations. Since 1996 she has increasingly specialised in the evaluation of public and stakeholder participation on national policy issues and through national programmes. She is now one of the UK's most experienced evaluators of national public and stakeholder participation, completing 19 major evaluations since 1996.

She has evaluated public engagement programmes in recent years on climate change, health, community-based sustainable living, nuclear power, access to Lottery funding, community renewable energy initiatives, hybrid embryo research and energy research, as well as stakeholder programmes on waste, tidal power and nuclear decommissioning. She has written guidance on evaluating participatory programmes published by the Department of Constitutional Affairs (now Ministry of Justice), and InterAct.

Since 2008, she has been Evaluation Manager for the Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre (Sciencewise-ERC), which promotes public dialogue around national policy issues involving science and technology. The Sciencewise-ERC programme is part of the Science and Society team at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).


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Diane was seconded part-time to the Home Office Civil Renewal Unit (2004-5), was Senior Research Fellow at University of Brighton on a project funded by the ESRC Democracy and Participation Programme (2000-2003) and has worked for the Community Development Foundation (1976-81), Partnership Ltd (1981-89), and the National Council Voluntary Organisations (1989-94). During that time she has worked on projects including regional environmental networks; community information; development trusts; work to enable St Helens Borough Council to become a 'community authority'; various projects for the Scottish Development Agency on community involvement in regeneration including in Motherwell, Glasgow and Edinburgh; research for the Scottish Development Department on community co-operative housing; and work to establish the first Groundwork trusts and Groundwork UK. She worked freelance from 1994, until forming Shared Practice with Nigel Ordish in 2002.

Her work has included major research consultancy contracts for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defr), BIS, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Ministry of Justice, Department of Health, the Environment Agency, Countryside Agency, English Nature, Forestry Commission, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the BIG Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Town and Country Planning Association, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Shell UK, the Real World Coalition and WWF UK.


She has written extensively on participation for a wide range of public, professional and academic audiences including books, journal articles, columns and for the BBC and renewal.net websites. Her books include Community and Sustainable Development. Participation in the Future (Earthscan 1998) and From Here to Sustainability. The Politics of the Real World (Earthscan 2001).

Diane has a first class degree in Social Anthropology from University of Sussex. On a voluntary basis, she has been involved in a community campaign group in Hackney and a neighbourhood council in Hammersmith in London, and with community associations and environmental groups in Brighton.

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