Realist Research, Evaluation and Learning Initiative (RREALI)

Who we are & what we do

We contribute to social, environmental and economic wellbeing by improving the quality and use of research and evidence in policies and programs.

We undertake evaluations, research and literature reviews, working from a realist philosophy of science, which asks ‘What works for whom, in what respects, to what extent, in what contexts, and how?’. The aim is to explain how and why outcomes are or are not achieved, and why they vary across contexts. Our work is mainly in human and community services and international development.


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We are internationally recognised experts in realist methodology and develop realist methods in partnership with commissioners, other researchers and end users.

We provide capacity building in realist methods, through accredited higher education and by working collaboratively with partners where appropriate. We are developing an education pathway from micro-credentials to PhD level. We also support the development of hubs for realist practice in other countries.

We undertake research and evaluation in Australia (including Northern Contexts) and internationally.



Our evaluation findings have shaped policies, programs and funding decisions at organisational, national and international levels.

Our methodological work has shaped evaluation designs and methods for organisations and donors.

We are invited to join international programs as academic advisors and to participate in international initiatives to develop methods.