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Principal Analyst

Date:  23-Feb-2021

Wellington, NZ

Principal Analyst - Research & Evaluation



Calling all social-development thought leaders and expert analysts!


  • Make a difference across the social sector
  • A unique opportunity for a current or aspiring Principal Analyst and research expert who is passionate about driving evidence-informed decision making use of your stakeholder management skills
  • Apply your expertise and experience in mixed methods research in community development and partnering, youth, income and/or housing
  • Lead an analytical work stream, provide advice on complex projects, policy and service delivery initiatives.



About the Role


Join us as a social sector practitioner wishing to take on a permanent role with the MSD Research and Evaluation team.
This is a fantastic chance to make a difference on social outcomes for New Zealanders by working to ensure decision making is informed by sound evidence and insights. We are looking for someone who is passionate about effective communication of evidence, excels in stakeholder management and engagement, and can use their technical expertise in research and evaluation to develop a forward-thinking programme of analytical work. 
Be a thought leader within the Ministry and social sector, lead a programme of analytical work, provide advice on complex initiatives, and manage stakeholder relationships to drive through results and ensure evidence informs policy and practice across the Ministry and sector. This role will have a specific focus on leading research and evaluation workstreams specialising in community development and partnering, youth, income and/or housing.
In particular you will have:


  • Proven experience with research and evaluation, including extensive experience of designing and conducting mixed methods research projects, conducting interviews and focus groups
  • Deep thematic expertise in a social development areas, ideally community development and partnering, youth, income and/or housing
  • Organisational skills and proven capability to manage effectively project manage a portfolio of work including contracts with external research providers
  • Proven acumen in proactively managing a range of stakeholders, influencing and brining players together to define forward research agenda that positions evidence in time to inform decision making
  • Strong knowledge and application of qualitative and quantitative research ethics, informed consent processes and participant safety
  • A strong depth and breadth of intellectual leadership that means you can be innovative and strategic; contribute outside of our your area, challenge current thinking, anticipate future issues and promote debate
  • Knowledge of intervention logic, results and outcome frameworks, evaluative monitoring, research and evaluation - and ability to lead and build organisational capability in these spaces
  • An ability to present research findings in different ways, to suit different audiences
  • Be a people leader who displays strong interpersonal skills; coaches and mentors other staff to lift our capability; and is visible, approachable and proactive


About You



You are experienced in building and communicating across a range of networks in the social sector. You will work with people across MSD, government agencies, and others who have an interest in evidence for social policy. You’ll thrive on developing these relationships.
You care about team growth and colleague’s professional development. You and the Research and Evaluation managers will lead the unit; providing mentoring and support to develop others in the team.

About the Team

The MSD Research and Evaluation team has a work programme that spans the Ministry’s sector, policy and service delivery responsibilities. We take a broad approach to the development of evidence and advice that spans quantitative and qualitative methods, and a variety of products to support our clients’ decisions.
Our work programme includes research and evaluation to inform decision-making in areas of critical importance to New Zealander’s wellbeing:

  • Developing frameworks and evidence to support the social development policy and services;
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of MSD’s programmes;
  • Progressing our research agenda across the full variety of thematic areas within MSD’s remit,
  • Supporting strategic, policy and service delivery decisions with evidence about young people, older people, and people with health and disability issues, and
  • Data advocacy and cross-agency work, including championing ethics, privacy and quality practices.



How to Apply


To apply, click the 'Apply Now' button to upload your CV, cover letter and complete the online application form.  Note: Your cover letter will be a key part of our assessment process, so please highlight how your experience relates to the competencies listed in the position description. 

All applications must be made online.  If this is not possible or if you have any queries, please contact us at 

Internal MSD Employees – please apply through your myHR portal at work.  This will ensure that your myHR employee profile is visible as internal candidate.

Applications close: Monday 8 March 2021.

Joining us


Joining MSD means being part of a whānau that celebrates the diversity each individual represents.  We show manaaki, we care about the wellbeing and success of people and want everyone to thrive, and be who they are in a supportive and inclusive working environment. We work together to make a difference for communities while doing the right thing with integrity. We are a Treaty partner committed to strengthening relationships with Māori, Hapū, Iwi and communities to realise their own potential and aspirations.


If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so we can assist you through the recruitment process.