$1,980 – $2,200


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Coombs Extn 1.04

8 Fellows Road

Acton, ACT, Australia

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Mixed methods research is a research design with assumptions as well as methods of inquiry. As a methodology, it involves making assumptions that guide the direction of the collection and analysis of data. As a method, it focuses on collecting, analysing, and mixing quantitative and qualitative data. This can include data already collected, as well as data collected for a specific purpose. The central premise of mixed methods is that a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination can provide a better understanding of many policy issues than either approach done in isolation.

The aim of this 3 day course is to introduce and discuss the main issues in use of qualitative and mixed-methods data to inform policy making. By focusing on a selection of case studies from recent and ongoing policy debates, this course will provide participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence to answer the following questions:

  • What qualitative and mixed-methods data exists to support current policy frameworks and debates?
  • What are the ways in which I can analyse and interpret the available qualitative and mixed-methods data to evaluate services delivery or support a particular policy decision?
  • How do I influence the collection of new and better qualitative and mixed-methods data within my department?


The course is targeted towards those who commission, undertake or utilise empirical research as part of their role in the analysis, design or implementation of policy or service delivery. The focus of this course is on practice and implications rather than technical details. There are no firm pre-requisites for the course. During the program there will be several exercises throughout the two days with participants free to intergrate their own experiences and issues into the workshop discussions.

The course will be delivered over two days by highly regarded international experts in qualitative and mixed-methods data analysis, policy design and program evaluation at ANU. It will also include insights from Social Research Centre (SRC)’s commercial practitioners who conduct empirical analysis and surveys for leading Commonwealth and State PS agencies. Our experts work on topics as varied as health, education and training; labour markets; cancer attitudes and behaviours; indigenous affairs; crime, justice and policing, disability;
parenting, families and welfare.

Day 1 AM: Designing and executing a policy project

  • Where does qualitative data come from and how do we assess its strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are some of the theoretical framings of qualitative research – positivism, constructivism, postmodernism, performative
  • What are some of the different types of qualitative data - case study; ethnography and participant observations; structured and semi-structured interviews and focus groups; discourse and image analysis.

Day 1 PM: Critically analysing or evaluating qualitative data

  • Issues of qualitative research design – sampling, triangulation, trustworthiness, validity and reliability, ethics
  • What are appropriate techniques for analysing, synthesising and interpreting qualitative data?
  • Critically appraising qualitative research to recognising strengths and weaknesses for public policy making
  • Critically evaluating qualitative data produced by others

Day 2 AM: Mixed methods approaches and their role in policy

  • How do we consider qualitative data in the context of mixed-methods and quantitative data?
  • What are the different types of mixed-method approaches and their strengths and weakness?
  • Issues of mixed-method research design – which types of approaches for which types of questions?
  • What do we do when qualitative and quantitative data provide different or contradictory information?

Day 2 PM: Critically evaluating the evidence base for some of the most important current Australian policy issues

  • Participants will then discuss and examine current or recent policy issues through sample case studies tailored to their interests
  • Participants will examine qualitative and mixed-method evidence for key areas of policy drawing upon the best and most up to date Australian and international evidence and reflect on where the evidence is thin or  non-existent.
  • Exploring the different ways of writing and analysing evidence for policy, and program design.
  • Discussing the different approaches taken in policy briefs, consultancy reports, academic papers and online reports.
  • Understanding how Departments can commission and obtain the information needed to make better-informed policy or program decisions.


Dr Naomi Priest

Naomi is a leading Australian mixed-methods social and health scientist and a Fellow in the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. Prior to joining the ANU she was a visiting scientist at Harvard University in 2014-15, and previously held positions at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University.

Dr Liz Allen

Liz has considerable experience working in the public and academic sectors. She’s presently a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research working on health profiles and fertility intentions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. 

Ms Karen Kellard

Karen is the Director, Qualitative Research at the Social Research Centre. Karen has high level project management skills as well as extensive experience of qualitative research and evaluation within the areas of exclusion and disadvantage, health, crime, justice and policing, disability and well-being, labour market participation and welfare policy and social marketing, utilising the full range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Can’t attend on this date?

Please contact to find out about future dates and schedules, as well as to enquire about training delivery at your own premises.

Are there any Group discounts?

Group discounts are available for bulk registrations of 3 or more participants.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations or changes to course registrations should be provided in writing to at the earliest opportunity. Late substitution of registrants and shifting to other advertised courses is permissible but subject to approval and may incur a cost.

What is the refund policy?

Attendees are required to provide no less than 10 working days’ notice to request a full refund. No further refund will be offered once this period has expired. Participants are able to nominate another attendee from their organisation at no charge.

Is my registration/ticket transferable?

Yes, your registration is transferable to another employee at your organisation at any time prior to the day of the event. Please advise new registration details to

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Coombs Extn 1.04

8 Fellows Road

Acton, ACT, Australia

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