Dr Melanie Atkinson


Melanie is a member of our evaluation team and is based in our Christchurch office, providing leadership in the evaluation of programmes, projects, and public policy.  She has extensive experience as an evaluator, employing a wide range of evaluation methods, frameworks, and design.

Melanie has been involved in two major evaluations since joining Evaluation Associates | Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga. Both evaluations are part of the Ministry of Education's NCEA change programme - the pilot of the Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy achievement standards and the pilot of the new NCEA Level 1 achievement standards.

Melanie has a background in primary teaching. In 2001 she returned to university to train as a community psychologist. Since that time, she has worked in a range of settings and roles, all with a focus on improving outcomes for children and young people. Her work included:

  • conducting evaluation research in the education, youth justice, social service and community sectors

  • working within organisations to lead evidence-based change and continuous improvement

  • supporting evaluative thinking in complex settings

  • designing, establishing, and evaluating programmes for children, young people and their whānau.

Using evaluation and action research to create effective collaboration and systems change with government, non-government, and kaupapa Māori organisations was a core focus for Melanie’s PhD research and this is an area of work she has remained passionate about.

Outside of work, Melanie enjoys food, fun, a good book, and getting outside with her family and friends

Here is the blog post that Dr. Melanie Atkinson has written to share her thinking with the education sector: