Download my most recent publication. Inclusive Systemic Evaluation for Gender equality, Environments and Marginalized voices (ISE4GEMs): A new approach for the SDG era

Dr Anne Stephens (BA, BEd (GE), PhD) is a Lecturer and Senior Researcher in Education in the College of Arts, Education and Society at JCU.

Anne has a PhD in Sociology looking at the intersection between systems thinking, gender equality and the environment.  Described here in a keynote plenary address she gave in Washington D.C., Anne's work formed the basis of the ISE4GEMs methodology now in use to evaluate the gender mainstreaming, equity and empowerment programmes of United Nations agencies and NGOs in international development.

Anne had a three-year Post-Doctoral appointment with the Northern Futures Collaborative Research Network where she was lead researcher in the field of economic and workforce development through Vocational Education and Training for Northern Australia. She has ongoing collaborations with Universities across the north, including CDU, the Nulungu Research Institute and the Batchelor Institute in Darwin.

Anne now teaches Education Sociology in the JCU Bachelor of Education programs and is integrating her love of teaching and research to investigate the effect of major education policy reforms of the last ten years.  As a former teacher and public servant in the Queensland education department, she has a personal interest in re-examining major reforms including the National Curriculum from a post-implementation perspective, drawing on several of Australia’s most influential education academics in the process. The outcomes feed into course content to improve the subjects for JCU pre-service teachers.  

Recent Awards

Anne received a 2016 Endeavour Fellowship and was Visiting Scholar at Columbia University's, School of International and Public Affairs in New York.


Anne is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute.  With collaborators in Australia and internationally, she works across four thematic areas:

 ·         Australian education policy;

·         Indigenous vocational education;

·         Community & capacity development evaluation, and

·         Violence prevention.

Current projects include:

Methodological trial and practitioner experience with Inclusive Systemic Thinking and the GEMs Framework (UN Women; University of Hull; Deakin University)

Health workforce training and capacity development (Indigenous RTOs, the Primary Health Network)

Community Violence Prevention and resource development (Primary Care Professionals and the Queensland Rural Doctors Association Foundation)

Australia’s Education Revolution: In conversation with Education Leaders on Ten years of Education Reform (UQ, Melbourne University, global education consultants)

Anne is a reviewer for the Australian Research Council, and international and Australian journals including the Journal of Australian Indigenous Education; Journal of Australian Public Administration and Systems Research and Behavioural Science.

Professional Memberships

Anne is a registered teacher with the Queensland College of Teachers. She is a member of The Australian and International Sociological Associations; American, European and Australian Evaluation Associations and Societies, and has been an active member of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, since 2006.

Community Engagement

Anne regularly convenes events with staff and colleagues such as the #MeToo – A Hypothetical Journey at The Cairns Institute.  She was co-convenor of the 2015 Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference.  She conducts training workshops in Systemic Evaluation methodology in Australia and overseas.  Anne has been on the inaugural boards of three not for profit organisations:  Food Connect (2002 – 2006); FoodSwell (2013 – 2015) and currently, Violence Prevention Australia (website under construction). 

  • Undertaking a Masters of Business Administration (Conflict Negotiation) (JCU); Continuing studies in French language
  • 2016 - Visiting Scholar, Columbia University: Gender and Public Policy Specialization at the School of International and Public Affairs (New York)
  • 2013 to 2016 - Post-doc, The Cairns Institute (James Cook University, Cairns)
  • 2011 to 2013 - Senior Researcher, The Cairns Institute (James Cook University, Cairns)
  • 2006 to 2012 - PhD candidate, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2000 to 2005 - Teacher and researcher of the New Basics trials, Education Queensland (Brisbane)
Research Disciplines
  • 2009 - The Sir Geoffrey Vickers' Award presented by the International Society of Systems Scientists
  • 2017 to 2018 - JCU Learning and Teching Peer Review of Teaching Grant
  • 2016 - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Endeavour Post Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2009 to 2010 - Post-graduate PhD scholarship University of Queensland

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 53+ research outputs authored by Dr Anne Stephens from 2003 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Wontulp-Bi-Buya College - Contract Research

Healing for Life - second evaluation of the Mental Health Cert IV for Wontulp-Bi-Buya College

Indicative Funding
This project will conduct an evaluation of the course Indigenous Mental Health (Suicide Prevention) IV for the Cairns-based registered training organisation: Wontulp-Bi-Buya College. This project will consider the pedagogy and course outcomes of training Indigenous adu\lts for preparation for the health workforce.
Anne Stephens (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Indigenous adult education; Vocational Education and Training; Health Workforce

The Faster Forward Fund - The Faster Forward Fund

Evaluation of pilots of the Inclusive Systemic Evaluation (ISE) Guidance

Indicative Funding
$9,756 over 2 years
Dr Anne Stephens and Dr Ellen Lewis are research partners. Dr Stephens is based at JCU (Australia). Dr Lewis University of Hull (UK). In 2016 they collaborated with UN Women?s Independent Evaluation Office to develop the Inclusive Systemic Evaluation (ISE) Approach for Gender Equality, Environments, and voices from the Margins (GEMs): A Guidance for Evaluators for the SDG Era (hereon known as the ISE Guidance). The guidance is a UN Women resource with a comprehensive 8 chapter online and published book to support practitioners gain both theoretical and practical skills to apply systemic evaluation to their practice. The Guidance is a practical tool to support the future provisions of people with serious unmet needs, whether physical, social, economic, educational, or political. It contains a dozen tools, examples of practice and other resources. The Guide is being piloted in various sites across the globe. This project will conduct a meta-evaluation of various pilot studies around the guide featuring different uses and efforts with the ISE methodology.
Anne Stephens and Ellen Lewis in collaboration with Shravanti Reddy and Sarah Steher (College of Arts, Society & Education, University of Hull, UN Women and World Vision Australia)
International development; Sustainable Development Goals; Research Methodology; Evaluation; Systems Thinking

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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