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Research theme

Realist research, evaluation and learning

The realist research, evaluation and learning initiative contributes to the effectiveness of policies and programs by developing, teaching, using and promoting realist research and evaluation (RR&E) methodology and methods.


Our work contributes to social, environmental and economic well-being 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. It's a perspective that 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/are not achieved and why they vary across contexts. Our work focuses on human and community services and international development.

Research strengths 

  • Policy and project evaluation.
  • Research and evaluation ethics.
  • Observational research.
  • Research impact.
  • Evaluation utilisation.
  • Projective techniques.
  • Small group experiment design.
  • Design, monitoring and evaluation in international development.
  • Participatory approaches to international development.
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Realist research, evaluation and learning

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