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 is a Credentialed Evaluator with experience in realist, observational and participatory evaluations on topics such as throughcare, family violence, service access, employment, environmental issues and international development. She has also conducted innovative research in areas such as urban design and language acquisition and has a special interest in child empowerment and in evaluation ethics. She is a member of the RREALI (Realist Research, Evaluation and Learning Initiative) team.  

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

Professional Positions, Memberships & Awards

  • 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

  • Sarah Ajowi

Link to Research Publications

Associate Professor Emma Williams


T: +61 413 283 268

Sydney, NSW

CDU Research Webportal