Issue 19
Monday, 06 November 2017
Charles Darwin University
Dr Gary Groot and Professor Ruth Wallace have a shared purpose
Dr Gary Groot and Professor Ruth Wallace have a shared purpose

Realist researchers reach out

By Leanne Miles

A group of visiting realist researchers from Canada has met with staff from the Northern Institute to plan future joint research projects.

Northern Institute Director Professor Ruth Wallace, who worked in the United States and Canada during her recent Fulbright Fellowship, said the visit helped to build an ongoing partnership between CDU and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

“The world is experienced in different ways by different communities,” Professor Wallace said. “Realists’ evaluation is about taking these differences into account rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.”

She said the Evaluation and Knowledge Impact team at the Northern Institute was working with Dr Gary Groot and his University of Saskatchewan team to share knowledge and build project partnerships in health, education and justice.

“We have a shared interest in using realist evaluation approaches to assess the effectiveness of current research impacts on policy, particularly in an Indigenous setting,” she said.

Dr Groot said his team was particularly interested in health equity and shared decision making in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous contexts.

“We have a shared purpose in understanding how various communities respond or experience programs so that we can build real engagement and programs that work for the community,” Dr Groot said.

The visit builds on the recent International Realist Conference run by the Northern Institute in Brisbane that gathered experts to discuss evaluation and effectiveness of current research impacts on policy. 

“It was the first international realist conference ever held outside England and the first time an Indigenous stream was included as part of the conference,” Professor Wallace said.

The teams also are planning continued collaboration through research and partnerships in the Masters of Public Policy, which supports students to examine the realities of working on policy issues.