The Institute works with a wide range of individuals, organisations and networks that promote inclusive social change, particularly but not exclusively in Indigenous Australia and the Pacific.

We believe that addressing complex problems in ways which contribute to systemic change requires new practices and different relationships. Directly addressing cultural and gender diversity, race and power dynamics is central to our way of working.

Rather than provide one-off services, we aim to be a trusted and critical friend to our partners. We strive to build long term relationships on the basis of equity, mutual respect and solidarity. These relationships allow us to interact with our partners at multiple levels, including with senior leadership, to make space for dialogue and debate and generate on-going two-way learning.

We can support our partners with: action-research; monitoring, evaluation and learning; research design and management; thinking and working politically; adaptive programming; coalition building, and partnership brokering.

We take a developmental approach in providing these supports which promotes partner ownership and control, amplifies the voices of people projects are designed to benefit and builds partner and participant capacity.

If you are interested in partnering with us, then please contact Yeshe Smith at

Our current partners are listed below.

The University of Birmingham

The Institute partners with the University of Birmingham to implement the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP). This research partnership explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development. The DLP is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). A third phase of the DLP, ‘DLP3’, started in 2019 and will run through until 2022.

TAFE Queensland

The Asia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (DFAT) flagship Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) program in the Pacific region. APTC works collaboratively with national governments, private sector agencies and civil society organisations to provide Australian-standard skills and qualifications to Pacific Islanders in nine Pacific countries. The Institute is supporting TAFE Queensland to provide a range of services to APTC, including assistance with thinking and working politically; coalition building; monitoring, evaluation, research and learning; and partnership brokering.


Cardno is a global infrastructure, environmental and social development company operating in more than 100 countries. For over 50 years, Cardno has been delivering, practical, innovative and sustainable solutions in international development. The Institute has partnered with Cardno to provide research support to two DFAT-funded programs in the Solomon Islands: the Solomon Islands Justice Program and the Solomon Islands Governance Program.

Central Land Council

The Central Land Council (CLC) represents Aboriginal people in Central Australia and supports them to manage their land, make the most of the opportunities it offers and promote their rights. It emerged from the Aboriginal struggle for justice and land rights. The Institute has partnered with the CLC to support the monitoring and evaluation of six major regional community development programs.

Northern Land Council

The Northern Land Council (NLC) represents Aboriginal people in the Top End of the Northern Territory and assists them to acquire and manage their traditional lands and seas. It is an independent statutory authority of the Commonwealth. The Institute has partnered with NLC to support the monitoring and evaluation of their Community Planning and Development Program.

Aboriginal Governance and Management Program

The Aboriginal Governance and Management Program (AGMP) is a not-for-profit Aboriginal agency which provides governance and management support to Aboriginal organisations across the Northern Territory. AGMP sits under Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT) alliance which comprises the Central Land Council (CLC),  Aboriginal Housing Northern Territory (AHNT) and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT). The Institute has partnered with AGMP to develop a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework.

Research for Development Impact Network

The Research for Development Impact Network (RDIN) is a network of practitioners, researchers and evaluators working in international development, supporting collaborative partnerships to improve the uptake and use of evidence in policy and practice. Working in close partnership with the Australian Council for International Development, the Network functions as a key cross-sector platform for shared learning and action in the international development sector. In 2019 the Institute co-hosted the seventh biennial RDIN Conference at La Trobe University with the theme Leadership for Inclusive Development. The Institute has partnered with RDIN to deliver an action research project which aims to enhance research uptake in the international development sector in Australia.

Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross (ARC) saves lives and supports people before and after disasters strike. It works to alleviate suffering during wars and conflict and promote the laws of war. And it  works to assist our most vulnerable community members – no matter their circumstances. The Institute has partnered with the ARC and the Humanitarian Advisory Group to undertake research on how local actors in the Pacific are adapting what they do in the context of COVID-19.

Australian Volunteers International

Australian Volunteers International (AVI) is an Australian not-for-profit organisation committed to achieving economic and social development outcomes across Asia, the Pacific and the world. AVI connects people to bring about change by sharing their skills, knowledge and experience through international pathways and networks. The Institute partnered with AVI to develop a submission to the review of the Australian Aid program.

The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation (TAF) is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. TAF addresses the critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century by: strengthening governance, expanding economic opportunity, increasing environmental resilience, empowering women, and promoting international cooperation. Led by Institute Director, Chris Roche, the Institute partnered with TAF to conduct a review of the monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system for its Coalitions for Change project in the Philippines. This work was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

University of Oxford

The Institute has partnered with Oxford University to strengthen its approach to monitoring and evaluation of policy engagement. We are working with closely with the university’s Policy Engagement Team which is looking to strengthen policy engagement by researchers and to support evidence-informed policy making.

Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning

The Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL) was established in 2017 through funding from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID). Its primary objectives are to develop and test innovative methods for evaluation and evidence synthesis in international development contexts; and to build evidence on how to deliver research uptake that is useful to DFID and other stakeholders. The Director of the Institute, Professor Chris Roche, is part of CEDIL's Intellectual Leadership Team.

Australian Council for International Development

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is the peak body for Australian non government organisations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action. Founded in 1965, ACFID currently has over 130 members working in more than 90 countries. It's members include secular and faith-based organisations, large Australian organisations that are part of international federations of NGOs, national NGOs and smaller agencies with specialised thematic and geographic expertise. The Institute partners with ACFID on a range of initiatives exploring the role NGOs in international development.  The Institute is an Associate Member of ACFID and the Co-Director of the Institute, Dr. Linda Kelly, is an advisor to ACFID's Development Practice Committee.

Pacific Research Community

Launched in March 2017, La Trobe’s Pacific Research Community (PaRC) brings together academics and students from across different disciplines to share their Pacific knowledge, experience and networks. The research community is a strong resource for La Trobe University and for the broader Pacific community in Melbourne, including for academics from other institutions. The Pacific is already an area of research strength at La Trobe University. PaRC and the Pacific Student Association (PSA) creates a strong sense of belonging for Pacific students at La Trobe. PaRC is co-hosted by the Institute for Human and the Department of Social Inquiry. The Institute sits on the steering committee for PaRC and was instrumental in launching PaRC and running a four-part seminar series with visiting Pacific scholars in 2017.