Dr. Annie E. Weir has been the Director of Impact Research NZ for the past six years. She also holds academic standing as an Honorary Academic with the School of Critical Studies in Education, as Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. Having worked in research and evaluation for over 20 years, Dr. Weir holds a PhD in Education from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and has experience in management and research positions in the education, social services and health sectors in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
She returned to New Zealand in 2011 after several years of working as a researcher in the UK, primarily at the University of Edinburgh. From 2011 to 2014 Dr. Weir was a research associate of Centre Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Her research and evaluation in the social service sector spans for over several years and has included investigations into marginalized and vulnerable groups in New Zealand. Some of the groups included early intervention programmers, social housing, justice, refugees, child and youth wellbeing, and support for older adults in the community.
A large amount of her experience is in working collaboratively with Maori and Pacifica on research and evaluation projects. Dr. Weir has also mentored over 50 non government organisations in outcomes-focused evaluations. She focused on the use of evidence to inform their practice and has also worked with government agencies on scoping implementation of the Results Based Accountability Framework. She utilizes a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods: some qualitative methods include literature reviews, document reviews, focus groups, interviews and innovative methods such as photo voice. Quantitative methods include online surveys, overseeing large surveys and manipulating administrative and organizational data sets. Some mixed methods were applied to research and evaluation projects.
Dr. Weir has highly developed data analysis skills and report writing and has authored over 75 research and evaluation reports for various audiences, peer reviewed articles, literature reviews and has presented at international conferences in Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Recently, Dr. Weir had two journal articles, “Evaluating in Sensitive Contexts” and “Building Evaluation Capacity in the NGO Sector,” published in Evaluation Matters Vol 2 (1). Currently her chapter in “Cognitive Disorders” is on Effective Restorative Home Support for Older People Living with Dementia and their Caregivers: a New Zealand Case Study,” is in the final stage of publication by Intech Open. Her journal article soon to be published in the March 2018 in the Internal Medicine Review is on Dementia day programmes in the community: A New Zealand case study update. Her most current article “Evaluation of Dementia Day Programmes by Caregivers: A New Zealand Case Study” will be published in Gerontology & Geriatrics Studies, Crimson publishers.
As the Director of Impact Research NZ, Dr. Weir is keen on both national and international research and evaluation collaborations. Impact Research NZ has undertaken research and evaluation contracts in health, education and social services, ranging from a few months to multi-year. Contracting agencies include small, medium and large not-for-profit organizations, councils and government ministries. Some of their work has included: formative, process and summative evaluations, research to inform new service provision, mentoring organizational development, change management, facilitating stakeholder forums and impact studies. Part of their work involves fostering collaborative practice and collective impact – for more details see the website www.dancingwithdata.org.nz/.
Impact Research NZ maintains a Director, a core group of experienced researchers and several senior Research Associates who work as part of the team. This organisational structure provides flexibility and capacity to engage with a broad range of research and evaluation projects, and to deliver and meet contractual obligations on time and within budget. In addition, Impact Research NZ partner with specialist researchers and consultants, as appropriate, to provide clients with international quality results. For more details about Impact Research NZ check out the main website www.impactresearch.org.nz/.
During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling overseas, walking, visiting art galleries and museums, reading, going to the gym, swimming and snorkeling. She resides in New Zealand.