Here are some definitions of the terms we use on The Hub

Abstract: A short summary of a piece of research.

Administrative data: Data collected by government agencies or private organisations in the course of conducting their business or services. These data are used for operations such as delivering a service, or legal requirements to register events or as a record of transactions or events.

Bibliography: A list of all sources of information consulted for a study including both cited and uncited work.

Commissioned: A piece of work that has been contracted to an external person or organisation to complete.

Completed: Shows that this project has been completed and that no more publications are expected.

Developmental evaluation: Aims to create sound change in complex or uncertain environments. It facilitates rapid feedback as a project or programme develops.

Ethnography: Detailed observations and interviews to explore social interactions, behaviours and perceptions that occur within groups, organisations and communities. Ethnographic research provides rich, holistic insight into people’s worlds.

Evaluation: the systematic assessment of a project, programme or policy, its design, implementation and results.

Evaluation design: The technical part of an evaluation that sets out the evaluation questions, how the data will be collected and analysed, and on what basis judgements will be made.

Formative evaluation: Generally takes place during a project's implementation. It focuses largely on implementation procedures, their effectiveness and relevance.

Focus group: A group of people whose reactions and views are studied in open or guided discussion. The moderator uses a discussion guide that has been prepared in advance of the focus group to guide the discussion.

Interviews: discussion between a researcher and participant. Interviews are often used as a technique to understand the experiences, ideas, feelings on a topic, issue or phenomenon under study.

Kaupapa Māori: Is research in which the philosophy and practice of being Māori is the norm. This position accepts the validity of Māori concepts, values and practices and positions them as central to the whole research enterprise. Taken together Māori epistemology (Māori cultural theory), Māori ontology (Māori cultural practices) and Māori methodology (Māori methods) comprise the Māori worldview.

Literature review: summarises and examines existing research publications on a particular topic area. Literature reviews discuss the theorising, research designs, data collection methods, findings, strengths, limitations and contexts of the existing works under study.

Local government: Non-trading organisations that are created for and by local government.

Longitudinal study: A study that collects a range of data from the same population at different points in time.

Methodology: The way a piece of research has been carried out. It explains what the researchers did and how. Methodology also refers to a wider philosophy that deals with science issues in social sciences.

Monitoring: information or data sampling which is repeated at certain intervals of times for scientific or management purposes.

Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO): An organisation outside of government that commonly focusses on social or environmental issues.

Not for Profit: A type of organisation that does not earn profits for its members or owners.

Peer reviewed: Evidence which has been read and commented on by external experts in the field before being published. Peer reviewing helps ensure work is of a high standard

Primary data: Data which is collected to directly answer research or evaluation questions for a project.

Publication: An individual document which may be available as a PDF, Word document, Excel file, video or audio file.

Review: An assessment of an intervention, periodically or on an ad-hoc basis. Frequently “evaluation” is used for a more comprehensive and/or in-depth assessment than “review”. The terms “review” and “evaluation” are often used to mean the same thing.

Secondary data: Data such as administrative, census and monitoring data used to help inform a research or evaluation project. The data were not collected to directly answer research or evaluation questions.

Social service: Government services provided for the benefit of the individual, family and community. These services are often evaluated by research institutes and government funded agencies.

Survey: A technique for gathering the opinions or experience of a group of people. They are often used to summarise results at a larger population level.

Qualitative research: Research which explores issues in depth. This generally focuses on the why and how of an issue. Common methods include in-depth interviews and focus groups.

Quantitative research: Research which explores issues in breadth. It generally focuses on the what, where and whom of an issue. Common methods include surveys and analysis of datasets.

Validity: The extent to which the data collection strategies and instruments measure what they claim to measure. Validity can also refer to the extent to which findings are backed by evidence.