Analysis Lifecycle

There are some high level, general steps that a piece of analysis, research, or evaluation will typically go through.

This 1-page summary outlines these steps, with some ideas about how the Policy Principles might apply.

Analysis, research, and evaluation lifecycle

There are some high level, general steps that a piece of analysis, research, or evaluation will typically go through. These are outlined below with some ideas about how the Data Protection and Use Policy principles might / could apply. The Principles are: He tāngata, Manaakitanga, Mana whakahaere, Kaitiakitanga and Mahitahitanga.

See also the Policy Summary for analysis, research, and evaluation.

Keep in mind that people often think of information they have supplied, or that is about them, as personal, even when it has been de-identified or anonymised and is being used in a non-personal form. Whenever your work is about people, then being clear about purpose, supporting transparency and choice, enabling people to access their information, and sharing the value of the insights developed using people’s information, are key parts of good practice.


The high-level steps involved in policy analysis, research, and evaluation are:

  • Identify the question to answer or topic, problem or issue to learn about.

  • Plan method: what data or information is needed and how will it be used?

  • Find, collect or create the data or information.

  • Analyse, or make sense of data or information: check accuracy, limitations.

  • Conclude; what is the answer, findings or results? What recommendations should come from this?

  • Share results, provide advice, publish insights.

Using the principles

Some practical ways in which you can put the Principles into practice at each step of the lifecycle are outlined below.


Keep focused on He tāngata. Be clear about how answering this question or learning about this issue will help service users, their whānau, people in similar situations to them, their community or the social sector to better serve New Zealanders.

Uphold Mahitahitanga and work with others, including service users, to understand the issue or problem and why it’s important to answer it and how doing so can help them.


Mahitahitanga – decide with others what data or information is needed and how to use it. This could be organisations who provide data, community representatives, frontline workers, or cultural experts.

Uphold mana – include service users or service user groups in designing the approach and deciding what is fair, and respectful for this purpose.

As a Kaitiaki (steward) check that this is ethical and legal. Get advice from a privacy officer, an ethics board, your managers, and others.

Support Kaupapa Māori, ‘for Pacific by Pacific’, or the ownership of analysis and research by those who it is about. Recognise the importance of “nothing about us without us” – Manaakitanga.  

Design the approach to allow people as much choice as possible about the use of their data and information even if it doesn’t identify them. This is Mana whakahaere.

Find, collect or create

Support Mana whakahaere - provide explanations for service users about how their data or information will be used, by whom, why, and what choices they have about it.

There are some situations where it might not be safe or appropriate to tell people or give them choices. Think carefully if the purpose truly justifies not being transparent. Consider how you will uphold Manaakitanga and what negative impact it could have on people’s trust.

“Just in case” isn’t an okay reason to collect data or information and “we have it so let’s use it” isn’t a fair and reasonable approach to being clear about purpose, and good practice for transparency.

Think about your role as a Kaitiaki and the importance of building and maintaining people’s trust.

As a Kaitiaki think minimum necessary, not maximum possible when collecting data or information. Don’t collect identifiable information if it’s not needed.


Keep any data or information safe and secure. It’s part of the role of a Kaitiaki.

As well as offering people choices and respecting the choices they make, Mana whakahaere is also about upholding people’s right to access data or information that identifies them and ask for corrections to it. Make sure information is stored in a way that makes this easy.

Collaborate and work together - Mahitahitanga – with others (different professionals, organisations, cultural advisors, community representatives) and service users to understand and make sense of data or information.

Test your assumptions and interpretations with them, include them in analysis, ask for them to review your work. Appreciate the knowledge and skills that others can bring.


Consider how the learnings can be applied to other organisations or situations - He tāngata.

Collaborate with and involve others - Mahitahitanga - in developing recommendations so they are set in a sound understanding of reality, the social sector context, and the experiences of service users.

Keep focused on He tāngata: What does this conclusion or learning tell us about how best to support service users, their whānau, people in similar situations to them, their community or the social sector itself so it can serve New Zealanders?


Mahitahitanga – grow the sector’s collective knowledge by safely and appropriately sharing what's been learned.

Explain and present findings in different ways to engage different people.

Share appropriate data or data sets with others so they can use them to  develop more insights. As a Kaitiaki do this in a safe and respectful way.

Design information about what has been learned in a way that is engaging for service users and find ways to let them know about it. This is way to support Manaakitanga and show how sharing their data and information can help them or  people in similar circumstances.