Meet the Principal Advisors

Bev Hong

Bev has over 25 years’ experience in designing, managing, undertaking and commissioning quantitative and qualitative social policy research and evaluation projects in New Zealand.

She has held management roles and operated for over 15 years as a successful research consultant.  Her work has spanned a broad range of social sector portfolios including Justice, Social Development, Education, Labour, and Culture and Heritage. 

Key areas of focus have included migration and settlement, justice and courts, child, family and community research, living standards and wellbeing.

Her strengths include strategic thinking, design and management of research projects, programmes and functions, management of complex projects, research involving Te Ao Maori perspectives, facilitation, intervention logic, monitoring and indicators.

 

Carolyn O'Fallon

Carolyn has been working as an evaluator, researcher and policy developer for the public sector for nearly 30 years.

Following completion of her PhD in Public Policy, Carolyn led her own consultancy, Pinnacle Research & Policy Limited, for 18 years, with a focus primarily on the land transport sector. This was followed by a brief stint at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (in the tourism data space) and a longer stint as a Principal Analyst with the Research and Evaluation team in the Department of Corrections.

At Superu, Carolyn is putting her extensive experience and skills to the task of designing and/or implementing evaluation frameworks and outcome frameworks for complex, cross-agency social sector programmes such as the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project, the Children’s Action Plan and Tāmaki Regeneration Programme.

In addition to this, Carolyn provides expert advice to other agencies and groups and has co-led workshops to build basic evaluation skills in the public sector.

 

Isabelle Collins

Isabelle has been an evaluation specialist for the past 30 years working in labour market, economic development and innovation policies across Europe. Major clients included the European Institutions, as well as national and local government in the UK.

In New Zealand she was previously at the Ministry of Economic Development/Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where she worked on evaluation of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment programmes, especially cross-Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and cross-Ministry actions.

A particular area of expertise is the development of frameworks particularly through support to enable the development of monitoring and assessment measures and tools for management and reporting and for future evaluation.

 

Jason Timmins

Jason is a Principal Analyst in the Knowledge Team. He has worked as a researcher for the past 15 years and spent most of his time analysing data about individuals and businesses. He is passionate about understanding why people succeed and what helps make their lives better.

At Superu, Jason has used the Growing Up in New Zealand survey to understand who drinks alcohol while pregnant and the Integrated Data Infrastructure to look at where people go when they leave the welfare system and to understand how people experience the social services system.

Jason has previously worked at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. He has researched education and skills, child poverty, regional labour markets, migration, minimum wage and the performance of businesses.

 

Jeremy Robertson

Jeremy is the Principal Advisor, Social Science. He has over 25 years’ experience in applied social science research in New Zealand.  He has a PhD from the University of London, on factors associated with stepfathers’ involvement in step parenting. 

Prior to joining Superu Jeremy spent 10 years at Victoria University of Wellington, working with the Crime and Justice Research Centre, and then five years with the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families. He has conducted and published research on a range of topics largely related to family functioning and child wellbeing.  Jeremy’s specialist areas are fathering, stepfamilies, youth justice, family transitions and family research methods. 

He leads research projects and provides strategic advice on research topics, research and evaluation methods and reviews of Superu’s research.  He maintains links with other research organisations, both in New Zealand and internationally.

 

John Wren

John is passionate about the design, delivery and use of research-based knowledge to inform social sector and public health policy, operational decision-making and public discussion. 

His roles in research, policy and advocacy with ACC, Ministry of Health and Safekids respectively has given him substantive experience and insight into government policy, research, and operational processes, and an appreciation of the role of NGOs in advocacy and service delivery.

His work has included design and analysis of surveys, statistical data analysis, literature reviews, research and evaluation using mixed methods, knowledge synthesis, and knowledge transfer into policy and operation decision-making.  

Following completion of a First class BA (Social Science) Honours Degree, John received a scholarship to undertake a doctoral degree examining the politics and policy processes informing the New Zealand Health and Safety Employment Act 1992. He then received a New Zealand Health Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship hosted by the Injury Prevention Research Unit at the University of Otago. John also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Safety Management, which was enabled by receipt of a New Zealand Public Service Scholarship.  He is currently an honoree research fellow with the AUT Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research.

 

Malcolm Menzies

Malcolm is experienced at working in the nexus between research, policy and strategy.  At Superu, he leads a team which draws on new and existing research to produce accessible synthesis products that people can use. 

Prior to arriving at Superu, Malcolm was Research Manager at the Commission for Financial Capability where he produced the 2013 review of retirement income policies.  Before that, he worked in a number of roles at Victoria Link Ltd, Victoria University’s knowledge transfer arm.  He has also led two national science priority-setting processes, been a manager in the NGO sector and taught secondary school biology and general science. 

Malcolm is interested in Futures Thinking and has a PhD in public policy on the topic of Scientific Entrepreneurship in New Zealand.

 

Sankar Ramasamy

Sankar has worked in the New Zealand and international public sector in policy research over the past 15 years in analyst and manager roles.

Sankar has considerable policy and programme research, evaluation and monitoring skills especially using mixed methods as well as stakeholder and contract management experience. He has extensive applied knowledge of the interface across policy design, service delivery and research utilisation and holds a Master's degree in Public Policy and PhD in Political Science. He has worked specifically in the areas of welfare assistance, active labour market policies, migration and integration.

Most recently he was a Senior Policy Analyst with the OECD International Migration Division undertaking country reviews and writing a series of special papers on labour migration. Prior to this he has worked at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as Manager, Migration Research and Evaluation and at the Ministry of Social Development’s Centre for Social Research and Evaluation.

At Superu, Sankar manages the Growing Up In New Zealand study on behalf of the government and assist in strategic evaluation and research projects.

 

Viv Smith

Viv is a Principal Analyst with a keen interest in developing clear and robust information for decision-makers and getting evidence used.  She has over 25 years’ experience in designing, managing, undertaking, commissioning and reviewing research projects and strategic planning/reporting. Her background includes resource management roles as a scientist or line/portfolio manager in regional councils and several years running a multi-disciplinary research team at ESR – a crown research institute. She spent close to 5 years managing the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s science investment portfolios of Environment, Health & Society and Hazards & Infrastructure and developing ways to implement and enliven their Vision Mātauranga policy.

With a PhD in Engineering Geology and an MA in Creative Writing, her key areas of expertise include: research synthesis and communication, conceptual framing, facilitation, contract management, and forging people and system connections. She also served 18 months on a community trust board providing valuable insights to the challenges faced by community and voluntary sector agencies. 

 

If you would like to contact one of our Principal Advisors please email: enquiries@superu.govt.nz

Last update: 5 May 2017