Professor Jane South, Professor

Professor Jane South


Jane is Professor of Healthy Communities working in the field of community engagement and public health. Her research focuses on how community life and volunteering contribute to good health.

As an academic leader, Jane has been at the forefront of establishing an evidence base for integrating community-centred approaches into public health. She has published widely on community-based prevention and is an expert on volunteer and peer interventions. From 2014-2023, she worked as a national adviser on communities for Public Health England (later the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities). She authored the PHE & NHS England (2015) Guide to community centred approaches for health and wellbeing, which has had considerable impact in policy and practice.

Passionate about research that makes a difference, Jane established CommUNIty - an innovative community-campus partnership for health initiative aimed at strengthening university links with local communities. She is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.

Current Teaching

Jane teaches on the MSc Public Health - Health Promotion course. She also supervises a number of PhD and Masters students.

Research Interests

Jane leads a research theme on Healthy Communities in the Centre for Health Promotion Research. Highlights from a wide ranging portfolio of research include leading two NIHR funded studies on lay and peer roles, a national evaluation of the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund, a review on community resilience measurement for WHO Regional Office for Europe and a multi-site study of asset based community development. Her innovative methodological work on practice-based case studies has been incorporated into guidance by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. More recently, she has led research on COVID community champions to support the pandemic response.

Overall, Jane’s track record demonstrates a commitment to public engagement in research, with extensive experience of using qualitative and participatory methods.

Professor Jane South, Professor

Ask Me About

  1. Community
  2. Covid-19
  3. Health
  4. Public health
  5. Volunteering

Selected Outputs

  • South J (2022) Co-production - a public health perspective. In: Co-production Approaches to Improve Public Health’ RSPH and Behavioural Science and Public Health Network (BSPHN) conference, Virtual conference.

  • Stansfield J; MacNally L; McKane G; South J (2022) The role of community champions in emergency response and recovery. In: Communities Prepared National Group Webinar.

  • South J (2022) Community Matters: using community-centred approaches for health equity. In: Health Promotion Conference: “Health Inequity: Action for Change”., NUI Galway, Ireland.

  • South J (2021) Esperienze inglesi di community building. In: Welfare e partecipazione, University of Parma, Italy.

  • South J (2021) COVID: “Provocative ideas” for community resilience. In: The 2021 Community Development Society Virtual Conference, ‘Global challenges, Local resilience, 12 July 2021 - 15 July 2021, Dakota, United States.

  • South J; Woodall J; Kinsella K; Dixey R; Penson B; de Viggiani N (2012) Peers in Prison Settings (PiPS) Expert Symposium.

  • South J; Abdallah S; Bagnall A; Curtis S; Newton R; Pennington A; Corcoran R (2017) Building community wellbeing: a theory of change [Online]

    Available from:

  • South J; Woodall J; Stansfield J; Mapplethorpe T; Passey A; Bagnall A-M (2024) A qualitative synthesis of practice-based learning from case studies on COVID community champion programmes in England, UK. BMC Public Health, 24 pp. 1-18.

  • Hall CE; Wehling H; Stansfield J; South J; Brooks SK; Greenberg N; Amlôt R; Weston D (2023) Examining the role of community resilience and social capital on mental health in public health emergency and disaster response: a scoping review. BMC Public Health, 23 pp. 1-13.

  • Southby K; Coan S; Rushworth S; South J; Bagnall A-M; Lam T; Woodward J; Button D (2022) The contribution of peer research in evaluating complex public health interventions: examples from two UK community empowerment projects. BMC Public Health, 22 pp. 1-11.

  • South J (2022) Guest Editorial. Perspectives in Public Health, 142 (4), pp. 186-186.

  • South J; Mapplethorpe T; Gledhill R; Marsh W; Stansfield J; Evans S; Mancini M; Outhwaite H (2022) Learning from public health practice: the development of a library of community-centred practice examples. Journal of Public Health

  • den Broeder L; South J; Rothoff A; Bagnall A-M; Azarhoosh F; van der Linden G; Bharadwa M; Wagemakers A (2021) Community engagement in deprived neighbourhoods during the COVID-19 crisis: perspectives for more resilient and healthier communities. Health Promotion International

  • South J; Stansfield J; Amlôt R; Weston D (2020) Sustaining and strengthening community resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Perspectives in Public Health

  • Southby K; South J; Bagnall A (2019) A rapid review of barriers to volunteering for potentially disadvantaged groups and implications for health inequalities. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 30 (5), pp. 907-920.

  • South J; Bagnall A; Stansfield J; Southby K; Mehta P (2019) An evidence-based framework on community-centred approaches for health: England, UK. Health Promotion International, 34 (2), pp. 356-366.

  • South J; Connolly AM; Stansfield JA; Johnstone P; Henderson G; Fenton KA (2019) Putting the public (back) into public health: leadership, evidence and action. Journal of Public Health, 41 (1), pp. 10-17.

  • Stansfield J; South J (2018) A knowledge translation project on community-centred approaches in public health. Journal of Public Health

  • South J; Giuntoli G; Kinsella K; Carless D; Long J; McKenna J (2017) Walking, connecting and befriending: a qualitative pilot study of participation in a lay-led walking group intervention. Journal of Transport and Health, 5 pp. 16-26.

  • South J; Bagnall A; Woodall J (2017) Developing a typology for peer education and peer support delivered by prisoners. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 23 (2), pp. 214-229.

  • South J; Giuntoli G; Kinsella K (2017) Getting past the dual logic: findings from a pilot asset mapping exercise in Sheffield, UK. Health and Social Care in the Community, 25 (1), pp. 105-113.

  • South J; Woodall; Kinsella; Bagnall (2016) A qualitative synthesis of the positive and negative impacts related to delivery of peer-based health interventions in prison settings. BMC Health Services Research

  • South J; Stansfield J; Fenton K (2015) Putting communities at the heart of public health. Perspectives in Public Health, 135 (6), pp. 291-293.

  • Woodall JR; South J; Dixey R; de Viggiani N; Penson W (2015) Factors that determine the effectiveness of peer interventions in prisons in England and Wales. Prison Service Journal, 219 pp. 30-37.

  • Bagnall AM; South J; Hulme C; Woodall J; Vinall-Collier K; Raine G; Kinsella K; Dixey R; Harris L; Wright NMJ (2015) A systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of peer education and peer support in prisons. BMC Public Health, 15

  • South J (2014) Health promotion by communities and in communities: Current issues for research and practice. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42 (15_suppl), pp. 82-87.

  • South J; Bagnall A; Hulme C; Woodall J; Longo R; Dixey R; Kinsella K; Raine G; Vinall-Collier K; Wright J (2014) A systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of peer-based interventions to maintain and improve offender health in prison settings. Health Services and Delivery Research, 2 (35),

  • South J; Phillips G (2014) Evaluating community engagement as part of the public health system. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68 (7), pp. 692-696.

  • South J; Purcell ME; Branney P; Gamsu M; White J (2014) Rewarding altruism: addressing the issue of payments for volunteers in public health initiatives. Social Science & Medicine, 104 pp. 80-87.

  • South J; Cattan M (2014) Developing evidence for public health policy and practice: The implementation of a knowledge translation approach in a staged, multi-methods study in England, 2007-09. Evidence and Policy, 10 (3), pp. 379-396.

  • South J; White J; Branney P; Kinsella K (2013) Public health skills for a lay workforce: findings on skills and attributes from a qualitative study of lay health worker roles. Public Health, 127 (5), pp. 419-426.

  • South J; Meah A; Bagnall AM; Jones R (2013) Dimensions of lay health worker programmes: results of a scoping study and production of a descriptive framework. Global Health Promotion, 20 (1), pp. 5-15.

  • SOUTH J; BRANNEY P; KINSELLA K (2012) Citizens bridging the gap? Interpretations of volunteering roles in two public health projects. Voluntary Sector Review, 2 (3), pp. 297-315.

  • SOUTH J; KISELLA K; MEAH A (2012) Lay perspectives on lay health worker roles, boundaries and participation within three UK community-based health promotion projects. Health Education Research, 27 (4), pp. 656-670.

  • South J; Meah A; Branney PE (2012) 'Think differently and be prepared to demonstrate trust': findings from public hearings, England, on supporting lay people in public health roles. Health Promotion International, 27 (2), pp. 284-294.

  • South J; Jackson KL; Warwick-Booth L (2011) The community health apprentices project-the outcomes of an intermediate labour market project in the community health sector. Community, Work and Family, 14 (1), pp. 1-18.

  • South J; Sahota P (2010) Harnessing people power in health promotion. Primary Health Care, 20 (8), pp. 16-21.

  • SOUTH J; DARBY F; BAGNALL AM; WHITE AK (2010) Implementing a community-based self care initiative: a process evaluation. , 18 (6), pp. 662-670.

  • South J; White J; Gamsu M (2012) People-centred Public Health. Policy Press.

  • Green J; South J (2006) Evaluation. Open University Press.