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Research and Evaluation

Sonder is dedicated to implementing evidence based practices as part of service delivery and undertaking high quality research and evaluation activities.

Research activities seek to answer questions with the intent of generating new knowledge and/or understanding through systematic and scientific enquiry. Evaluation activities broadly describes the process of determining if a program is making progress towards its goals, establishing the effects of a program and generating data to inform decision making and reporting to stakeholders.

Research and Evaluation Principles

Research and evaluation activities are guided by the following principles:

  • To optimally deliver services and make efficient use of available resources
  • Continually develop high level understanding of the needs and resources within the local community
  • Generation of evidence to understand the effectiveness interventions and programs
  • To develop, deliver and evaluate evidence-based interventions
  • Establish and participate in collaboration opportunities with higher education institutions and other stakeholders on the development, dissemination and funding of research
  • Ensure the sustainability of services through establishing supporting evidence for their efficacy

Our Researchers

Cally Jennings, Research and Evaluation Officer Dr Cally Jennings joined Sonder in late 2017 and is responsible for the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation frameworks to evaluate and deliver research outcomes for a range of the programs delivered by Sonder. Cally completed her PhD at CQUniversity before undertaking a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Alberta, Canada. Cally has extensive experience in working with multidisciplinary, multi-strategy, community wide health promotion programs both nationally and internationally. Such programs include, 10,000 Steps in Australia and UWALK Alberta in Canada. Cally has a population based approach to health behaviour change and is currently using this expertise to embed implementation research practices and outcomes into routine service delivery with the aim of understanding program effectiveness and improving the quality of service delivery. Anna Mazzacano, Research Assistant Anna Mazzacano joined Sonder as a Research Assistant in May 2017 and is responsible for coordinating and managing the IMPACT Research Study (Improving Mood with Physical ACTivity) within headspace Edinburgh North. Anna oversees the facilitation and delivery of the study and is responsible for participant recruitment, maintenance of the electronic case report form, assessing clients for eligibility and symptoms of depression and anxiety and management of research study procedures. Anna completed her Bachelor of Psychological Science, Bachelor of Social Sciences and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in social policy at the University of South Australia and completed a South Australian Parliamentary Internship in 2016. Within her role as a Parliamentary Intern, Anna undertook social policy research and published a research paper on behalf of a Member of Parliament. Anna also has experience as a Research Intern at the University of South Australia, where she assisted with the facilitation of a research study regarding cognitive reserve in older Australians, and has previously undertaken comparative research to explore policy and practice across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Anna’s research interests include the facilitation of better mental health outcomes through lifestyle interventions and the improvement of the social services sector through policy development and implementation.

Current Projects

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