Data Hui


MSD’s research and evaluation team generates and shares evidence that influences the design and development of the Ministry’s programmes and services. Our researchers partner with policy and service delivery teams within the Ministry, collaborate across government and work with the wider research community. Research insights are applied to policy and practice to enhance the wellbeing of people and their families, whānau and communities.

Main research areas

Growing up in New Zealand

MSD manages the contract for this longitudinal study of around 6000 children born between 2009 and 2010. We also fund and administer the Children and Families’ Research Fund which encourages researchers to use GUiNZ data that will answer key policy questions. The Fund has supported publication of research into a range of policy-relevant areas in health, education, cultural and wellbeing domains.

Families and whanau wellbeing

From conceptual frameworks and thinking, to building the evidence base in this critical area and using it to effect change, he awa whiria guides how the Families and Whanau team operates – braiding Te Ao Maori and western science. The team’s recently published a literature review on the importance of social connectedness.

Supporting people with health conditions and disabilities

Supporting those living with disabilities and health conditions towards wellbeing and employment is a key focus for MSD. Oranga Mahi aims to do this through integrated health and employment supports.

MSD also aims to support disabled learners in their last two years of secondary school through the Employment Service in Schools programme. An evaluation of the pilot programme is available here.

We are learning that people with mental health and substance abuse issues respond better to tailored support. Individual Placement and Support trials in Auckland and Christchurch are showing promising results and funding for their expansion has been secured.

Supporting people into work

This area has always been a major focus for the Ministry and the impact and effectiveness of programmes and services is regularly evaluated. Recently published reports include a review of intensive case management services, and research on the effectiveness of intensive client support trials.

Family and sexual violence initiatives

Ministry research is aligned to and supports the work of the cross-government group coordinated by the Ministry of Justice. The team has completed an evidence review of sexual violence post-crisis care and recovery services and is developing a programme of work to support wider initiatives.

Understanding poverty and the welfare system

Our research team contributed to the work of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group and the monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives in the Families Package.