Danny Burns


Danny Burns

Danny Burns has been Professor of Social & Organisational Learning at the University of the West of England since 2002.  Prior to this he was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. There he was Programme Director of the M.Sc. in Management Development and Social Responsibility. Previously Danny worked as the Director of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service for Scotland and prior to that as Director of the Decentralisation Research and Information Centre. Over the past twenty years, he has supported political leaders, chief executives and senior management teams in over 50 public and voluntary sector organisations. Over the past eight years he has directed or co-directed more than fifteen action research projects.

Currently he is directing a major action research programme for the National Co-ordination Centre for Public Engagement in Higher Education; he is advising on the design and implementation of a learning architecture to support a UN Habitat programme which will bring clean water and sanitation to over a million people in small towns surrounding Lake Victoria; and he is helping to underpin the Universidad del Medio Ambiente in Mexico with a systemic action research process; He is providing support to WWF and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, and is advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Change in Action programme (previously Unheard Voices). He runs the Social Research Associations advanced training programme in Participatory Research with Cathy Sharpe. Danny has also been working closely with the Berghoff Foundation for Peace Support in Berlin on systemic approaches to conflict transformation.


Selected Publications

Burns, D. (2007) Systemic Action Research: A Strategy for Whole System Change, Bristol: Policy Press.

Burns, D. (2006) 'Evaluation in Complex Governance Arenas: The Potential of Large System Action Research' (PDF), in B. Williams and I. Imam, Using systems concepts in evaluation, Fairhaven, MA: American Evaluation Association.

Burns, D., Heywood, F., Taylor, M., Wilson, M. and Wilde, P. (2004) Making Community Participation Meaningful, Bristol: Policy Press.

Burns, D., Heywood, F., Taylor, M., Wilson, M. and Wilde, P. (2004) What Works in Assessing Community Participation? Bristol: Policy Press and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Burns, D., Williams, C. and Windebank, J. (2004) Community Self-Help, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Burns, D. and Taylor, M. (2000) Auditing Community Participation (PDF), Bristol: Policy Press, ISBN 1 86134 271 3
[This original framework for assessing community participation was developed in 2000 by Danny Burns and Marilyn Taylor. This has been superceded by the publication Making Community Participation Meaningful which is available from Amazon and Policy Press.]

Burns, D. and Taylor, M. (1998) Mutual Aid and Self-Help: Coping Strategies for Excluded Communities (PDF), Bristol: Policy Press, ISBN 1 86134 122 9

Burns, D., Hoggett, P. and Hambleton, R. (1994) The Politics of Decentralisation: Revitalising Local Democracy, Basingstoke: Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-52164-1, 304pp

Burns, D. (1992) Poll Tax Rebellion, Edinburgh: AK Press/ Attack ISBN 1 873176 50 3, 208pp


Current Projects

Assessing the Impact of Community Anchor Organisations, 2009-10

Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative, 2009-10

WWF Sustainable Development Team, 2009-10

Universidad del Medio Ambiente, 2009-10

National Co-ordination Centre for Public Engagement in Higher Education, 2008-11

email icondanny.burns@uwe.ac.uk