Faculty of Education and Social Work

About the Centre

What is the Centre for Community Research and Evaluation

The Centre for Community Research and Evaluation was established in 2017 and is hosted by the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work, in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. Working in collaboration with the social services sector the Centre strives to increase research and evaluation capacity through targeted support and networking.


A social services community which has the research and evaluation skills including implementation, dissemination and utilisation to enhance practice.


To work with not-for-profit and community-based organisations to foster practice excellence and build capacity in the social services sector, through training in research and evaluation, in order to contribute evidence of what works.

Goals of the Centre

The goals of the Centre are two-fold:

1. Develop collaborations by:

  • Promoting connection with stakeholders in the not-for-profit sector and key partners both nationally and internationally.
  • Facilitating opportunities within and across sectors to enhance collective learning and engagement.

2. Increase research and evaluation capacity by:

  • Coaching and mentoring organisational leaders and human services professionals to develop their own research capabilities so that they can evaluate, refine and improve their own social programmes.
  • Supervising or facilitating research on the many exemplary or innovative programmes and interventions relevant to local communities in New Zealand.
  • Developing  and promoting collaborations with stakeholders in the not-for-profit sector and key partners both nationally and internationally.
  • Partnering with our large stable of community partners to develop sector-wide research priorities and facilitate sector collaboration.
  • Developing specialised leadership capabilities to support organisational readiness for research in the non-profit sector.
  • Ensuring the development of a robust evaluation approach to interventions.

Operating Principles

The centre is committed to collaborative evaluation research partnerships and uphold the following operating principles:

  • Jointly agreeing the direction
  • An equal partnership
  • Innovation
  • Practice will add value to research and research will add value to practice
  • Develop an atmosphere of mutual respect
  • Develop open communication
  • Recognise differences in the approach of the researcher and the organisation
  • Recognise the needs of all people
  • Respect nationally recognised ethical codes and evaluation standards
  • Evaluation research is a process not an outcome

Continue reading about the operating principles of the CCRE

History of the Centre

The Centre has its origins in 2004 with a Practice Research Forum hosted by Christa Fouche and Neil Lunt at Massey University. It concerned these researchers that there was a low profile of research activity in local social work practice. The forum explored questions related to: How much research is undertaken at the front line of social work practice? What are the impediments to research as a feature of practice? How can research undertaken in practice settings inform good social work practice? How can we grow the use of evidence in practice settings?

Continue reading about the history of the CCRE

Contact us


You are encouraged to discuss your practice research needs with us or to sign up for the workshops on offer. Email us at ccre@auckland.ac.nz if you would like to be included on the mailing list.


Director CCRE