Category: Research


Some projects and programmes Charles has had a major role in:


  • Place-Based Initiatives – implementation and emerging outcomes evaluation. I managed the contract for this for a couple of years (when at Social Wellbeing Agency). It required some tricky decisions about right mix of qual and quant (Integrated Data Infrastructure / IDI) and respectful navigation of the central government role in such regionally led work.
  • Qualitative evaluation of a pilot change management programme at Auckland Prison (‘Right Track’). This involved interviews of prisoners and staff.

Survey management and advice

  • Led change to interactive Kupe data explorer instead of traditional survey reports (at Health Promotion Agency)
  • NZ Crime & Safety Survey: face-to-face nationwide using CAPI/CASI, n>5000, exceptionally complex questionnaire. Led fieldwork supply in 2006 (as Director at Nielsen), provided technical advice in 2009 & 2014 (as independent consultant in 2009; from within the Ministry of Justice in 2014), and helped with initial planning for the new survey that started in 2018
  • Innovative stated choice design and analysis working with University of Sydney (willingness-to-pay transport survey)

Planning / review

  • Coordinated Wellbeing Expertise programme planning at Social Wellbeing Agency in 2021
  • Review of the use (and misuse) of older driver crash statistics in policy (the ‘Sullivan Report‘). Major changes in testing requirements for older drivers followed shortly afterwards.

Administrative data / Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI)

  • Manager of Analytics team of data scientists working with IDI at Social Wellbeing Agency for 7 months in 2020
  • Coordinating several analysts working on ‘Investment Approach for Justice’ in 2016 (one of the largest projects using the IDI until then)
  • Sentencing analysis (Ministry of Justice): A series of 4 related papers quantifying major changes in sentencing over the previous 10 years and estimating impact on employment and re-offending (e.g. joint paper with Treasury)


What can he help you most with in evaluation / research / admin data analysis?

  • challenges – quantitative, research/evaluation management, survey design
  • ‘analytical synthesis’ – the crafts of mixing methods/evidence types or fostering collaboration (both multidisciplinary collaboration and getting best value when integrating generalists and specialists)
  • ‘been there done that’ – aspects of wellbeing, health, justice, transport, or tax compliance costs where Charles is already familiar with the territory
  • risk management – identifying likely major problems months/years down the track based on many years of seeing projects unfold (and based on experience built from having often deliberately chosen high-risk projects/positions)
  • recovery – prioritising steps to recover from awkward situations is surprisingly tricky (often demanding strength in all the areas listed above)

How can we help?

  • independent consultancy or in-house contracts (maximum of 4 days per week preferred)
  • scoping, planning and reviewing research/evaluations/analyses
  • coaching in research management or techniques (quantitative, survey design)
  • delivery of complete evaluation/research projects – will often require working together with others.