Associate Professor Emma Williams

Credentialed Evaluator

Principal Research Fellow

Emma Williams has had a long career in evaluation, research and program development in Canada and Australia, moving between academia, public service and private practice.

She has won national and international awards for her research and evaluation work, and has worked closely with land planners, communities and governance groups on the impact of growth and change. 

From 2004 to 2009, she was a senior public servant in the Northern Territory managing the NT social policy agenda, and subsequently the development and evaluation of Indigenous-staffed anti-violence programs, including the creation of safe houses in remote Territory communities as part of the NTER. In 2009/10 she became a Principal Research Fellow with the Centre for Social Partnerships in Lifelong Learning (CDU) where she evaluated one aspect of NTER while researching remote workforce development, and the linkages between policy, practice and research/evaluation. She was recently a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at ANU working on issues of service delivery for Indigenous people with disabilities, and is currently a Principal Scientist in the Evaluations for Northern Contexts area at the Northern Institute of Charles Darwin University.

Research Interests

  • Evaluation
  • Research and evaluation ethics
  • Observational research
  • Research impact
  • Evaluation utilisation
  • Projective techniques
  • Small group experiment design

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Publications and Resources

Book Chapters

Williams, E., & Tomison, A.M. (2013). Monitoring and evaluating community-based interventions for children and families in the Asia-Pacific region. In R.N. Srivastava, R. Seth & J. van Niekerk (eds.), Child Abuse and Neglect: Challenges and Opportunities (pp.159-172). New Delhi: JayPee.

Journal Articles

Williams, E. (forthcoming). Reflections over time: Indigenous roles in Australasian evaluation conferences. Evaluative Voices 1(3).

Grey, K., Yamaguchi, J., Williams E., Davis V., Foster, D., Gibson, J., Tomison A., & Dunnett D. (forthcoming) ‘A snapshot of the strength of Indigenous Australian evaluators: A view from the 2014 Darwin conference of the Australasian Evaluation Society’. New Directions in Evaluation.

Myers, B., Williams, E., & Hobgen, S. (2016) Irrigation water everywhere, but is it fit to drink? Prakarsa: Journal of the Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative: issue 23.

Williams, E. (2015). Panel studies: The Wyndham Household Panel. SAGE Handbook of Research Methods Cases.

Williams, E. (2015). Analysing Public Disposal Behaviour: Observational Research. SAGE Handbook of Research Methods Cases.

Williams, E. (2014). Informed consent in evaluation: Informed of what, exactly? Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 14, 180-203.

Conference Proceedings & Papers

Williams, E., & Westhorp, G. (2014). How realist do you have to be to really be realist? Presented at the 1st International Conference on Realist Approaches, Liverpool, UK, October 2014.

Williams, E. (2014). Learning from each other: regional approaches in Australia. Presented at the 35th conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society, June 2014, Ottawa.

Williams, E. (2014). Tools and techniques for self-evaluating communities. Presented at the 35th conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society, June 2014, Ottawa.

Williams, E., Dunbar, T., Arnott, A., & Cummings, E. (2012). Evaluation ethics in Indigenous contexts. AES conference, Adelaide.

Research Reports

Williams, E., Cummings, E., Newcastle, J., & Coulthard, J. (2016, forthcoming) ‘I’m moving on’: a realist informed formative evaluation of the Kunga Stopping Violence program. Prepared for CAALAS (Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service).

Williams, E., & Nutton, G. (2016). Evaluation report on DARS and the Education Health Research Nexus. Prepared for CDU Faculty of Law, Education, Business & Arts.

Myers, B., Williams, E., Hobgen, S., Evans, K., Lalel, H., Wurm, P., Markus, J., & Fairfield, C. (2016). AIIRA report Improving Infrastructure in Irrigation Areas: Towards Greater Food and Water Security in Eastern Indonesia. AIIRA Research Report.

Blagg, H., Bluett-Boyd, N., & Williams, E. (2015). Innovative models in addressing violence against Indigenous women: State of knowledge paper. Landscapes 08. ANROWS, Sydney. 

Morgan, A., Williams, E., Renshaw, L., & Funk, J. (2014). Safe Streets Audit. Northern Institute and Australian Institute of Criminology joint publication.

Williams, E., & Biddle, N. (2013). ‘It’s an investment’: summative evaluation of the DiversityWISE enhanced refugee employment program. Prepared for WISE Employment: an evaluation report from The Northern Institute.

Biddle, N., Al-Yaman, F., Gourley, M., Gray, M., Bray, J.R., Brady, B., Pham, L.A., Williams, E., & Montaigne, M. (2012). Indigenous Australians and the National Disability Insurance Scheme: The extent and nature of disability, measurement issues and service delivery models. Report for FAHCSIA from ANU and AIHW.

Williams, E., & Arnott, A. (2012). ‘I hope to spend the rest of my career here’: Recruitment and retention of Aboriginal Police Officers in the Northern Territory. Prepared for NT Police Union, an evaluation report from The Northern Institute.

Professional Positions, Memberships & Awards

Professional Positions

  • Credentialed Evaluator
  • Co-convenor, AES Realist Evaluation and Realist Synthesis Special Interest Group 


  • Member, Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) 
  • Member, Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) 
  • Member, American Evaluation Association (AEA) 


  • 2012, Women’s Safe Houses chosen for 2012 Chief Minister’s Awards for Excellence in the Public Sector (designer and original overseer) 
  • 2002, Household Panel chosen as one of five international examples of ‘world’s best practice in local government’ at ICMA Symposium, Sydney
  • 2001, National Award for Innovation in Local Government, Community Services Award 
  • 2000, Australasian Evaluation Society Award for littering evaluation (primary author and field manager)  

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Sarah Ajowi
Associate Professor Emma Williams


T: +61 413 283 268

Sydney, NSW

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