Associate Professor

Francesca Caló


Universities & Institutions

  • Open University

Areas of Interest

  • Collaborative governance,
  • Social innovation
  • Social enterprise
  • Third sector
  • Impact evaluation

Dr. Francesca Caló (PhD) is an Associate Professor in Management at the Department of Public Leadership & Social Enterprise, where she brings academic experience from posts held in the UK and Italy.

Prior to joining the Open University, she was a Post Doc Researcher at the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, working as researcher and project manager at the EU H2020 funded project SIRIUS and a Research fellow at CERGAS Bocconi University. She holds a PhD from Glasgow Caledonian University and a Double Degree MSc in International Management from Bocconi University and Fudan University.

Research interests
Dr Caló research interests include collaborative governance, social innovation, social enterprise, third sector, impact evaluation. Some of the topics she is currently researching are: coproduction and relation between third sector and public sector; third sector as a facilitator of integration of migrants and refugees; methods for the evaluation of social enterprise and third sector contribution to health and well-being; social innovation processes in rural area. Her research was funded by European Commission, Scottish Government and Italian philanthropic foundations.

Teaching interests
Dr Caló teaching interests centre around the areas of third sector and social enterprise management. In the past she has taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules on social enterprise and social innovation at Glasgow Caledonian University and third sector management at Bocconi University. At the Open University, she is part of team of sustainable entrepreneurship courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Impact and engagement
Dr Caló has collaborated to the organisation of international policy dialogue workshops in Bruxelles. She has been invited to participate to the Scottish Government New Scots Refugees Integration Strategy Evidence Group and she was the main coordinator of the “Flash Mob for integration” during the Glasgow Science Festival 2018.

International links
She collaborates with the following research network:

  • EMES (International Research Network);
  • ISIRC (Social Innovation Research Conference);
  • ISTR (International Society for Third Sector Research)

Recent Works

Caló, F., Numerato, D., Bontenbal, I., Kourachanis, N., & Scognamiglio, F. (2023). Negotiating autonomy in the public sector and nonprofits “collaborations” in politically contested fields. Governance, 1–25.

Caló, F., Collins, M., Donaldson, C., & Roy, M. (2023). The economic contribution of third sector initiatives for older people: a systematic review and development of a framework for evaluation. Voluntary Sector Review (published online ahead of print 2023). Retrieved Dec 20, 2023, from

Caló F., Scognamiglio F., Bellazzecca E., Ongaro E. (2023). Social innovation during turbulent times: a systematic literature review and research agenda. Public Management Review. In Press  View article (

Caló, F., Teasdale, S., Roy, M. J., Bellazzecca, E., & Mazzei, M. (2023). Exploring Collaborative Governance Processes Involving Nonprofits. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly0(0).

See all work by this Author