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Research & Evaluation

Supporting you to make informed decisions

Cognition Research and Evaluation (CRE) is a team of researchers and evaluators working across the public and private sector supporting our clients with the information they need to make sound decisions.

How we work

Our approach is flexible, adaptive and most importantly collaborative. We draw from diverse methodologies  to design research and evaluation that’s unique to your needs.   We harness the infrastructure of our parent company, Cognition Education Group, to ensure all of our projects are rigorously quality assured. Cognition Education Group are global leaders in education consultancy and we apply this understanding of the science of learning to ensure our work supports the positive development of individuals, organisations and communities. 

We’re an accredited Tier Two provider on the All of Government (AOG) Consultancy Panel (Policy, Research and Development). 

Our services

Primary research

We undertake primary research to advance knowledge and inform decisions and actions. We work closely with you to ensure your research questions provide the information and understanding you require.

Culturally responsive research and evaluation

Our cultural competency is based on culturally responsive approaches, cross-cultural ethical procedures and a commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Our partnerships with cultural experts and our own on-going reflexivity support the quality of our cross cultural practice.


Monitoring provides critical and continuous progress and performance review. Our expertise lies in developing state of the art monitoring frameworks that deliver high quality, focused and timely information.

Formative and process evaluation

We understanding that ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘doing things right’ are fundamental to success. We work closely with clients and stakeholders to undertake evaluations that guide programme design and provide early understanding of initial implementation, progress and results. We use range of strategies to ensure timely reporting for on-going planning and development purposes.

Needs analysis

Programme success starts with rigorous needs assessment and a clear understanding of needs, gaps, conditions and opportunities. We utilise a range of tools to provide our clients with the information they need to develop effective solutions and a shared understanding of intended results.

Secondary data analysis

New knowledge frequently resides within existing data and can be extracted through secondary analysis such as literature and document review and dataset analysis. We work hard to reveal these hidden insights and provide you with the understanding and direction you require.

Evaluation design and planninng

Evaluation is enhanced when evaluation planning begins alongside programme planning and evaluative thinking early in programme design can enhance success. Our evaluation planning frameworks support the integration of evaluation into programme development and will ensure you have appropriate evaluation information at all stages of the programme cycle.

Outcome and impact evaluation

We draw from a range of approaches to tailor outcome and impact evaluation that provides rigorous and defensible evidence of success. Whether you wish to understand short to mid-term outcomes or longer-term impact, we will work with you to design solutions that fit your needs, audience, and budget.

When you partner with us, you’re working one-on-one with some of New Zealand’s most experienced researchers and evaluators. Our flexible business model enables us to build capacity and capability via our partners to get the job done.

Our Portfolio

  • Evaluation of the Refugee Reception Programme and Refugee Resettlement Outcomes

    This project included an audit of the implementation of the refugee reception programme at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre and involves ongoing evaluation of refugee resettlement outcomes. The audit determined whether the reception programme was being delivered as articulated in the refugee resettlement strategy. The evaluation is tracking immediate, intermediate and longer-term outcomes for refugees as predicted by the resettlement strategy programme theory.

  • Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) Evaluation

    A mixed methods evaluation of the quality and success of the programme model used to fund professional development for the early childhood education sector (ECE) in New Zealand. Online surveys were used to collect data from professional development providers and from ECE managers and staff receiving professional development. Site based in-depth interviews were also conducted. Direction for on-going programme development and improvement to the funding model was provided.

  • Impact Evaluation for Futureintech Programme, Ministry for Primary Inudstries | Callaghan Innovation

    Futureintech (FiT) is a practical attempt to increase the number of young New Zealanders choosing relevant secondary and tertiary study and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and in the primary industries. The programme is funded by a number of government agencies and delivered by a national service provider. The programme works with schools and students across New Zealand and with employers and employees in STEM and primary industries related sectors.

  • Evaluation of the XL Future Leaders Programme

    Cognition undertook an evaluation of the second year of the XL Future Leaders extracurricular leadership programme for Indonesian university students. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected to examine programme implementation and outcomes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with facilitators of the programme to examine questions relating to programme quality and success. The interviews were designed to enable a comparison of findings across different facilitators as well as triangulation with other data sources and methods.

Some organisations we've worked with

Questions? We’d love to hear from you.