<< Back to Search Results

Senior or Principal Advisor (Permanent or Fixed Term)

Ministry of Social Development
Job Category:
Data analytics
Wellington - Wellington
Wellington - Wairarapa
Job Type:
Fixed Term Contract
Posted Date:
Closing Date:
File Attachment:
File Links:
Employer Website:

Job Description

Senior or Principal Advisor (Permanent or Fixed Term)


Strategic Issues and Investment team, Insights and Investment


  • Work on a variety of challenging and stimulating projects
  • Influence across MSD championing a one-MSD view
  • Identify big or emerging issues and seed positive change
  • Lead by example in the use of evidence and critical thinking


We are looking for a new team member, at either a Senior or Principal Advisor level – and we're open to either a permanent or fixed-term appointment.


As our name suggests, we work on issues of high or future significance to MSD, and we coordinate the development of MSD's investment approach.


As examples, we lead or contribute to work on child poverty reduction; organisation strategy and performance; Māori responsiveness; investing for social wellbeing; MSD investment strategies; income and wellbeing assessment; research on how the welfare system is performing; modelling of social outcomes; and child wellbeing.


Given such variety, you'll need deep applied policy and analytical experience, and an ability to add value to very different assignments. Strong relationship management, communication and influencing skills are also a must.


At this juncture, we're looking to further build the team in two key ways:


  • our own diversity, recognising the high value within teams that stems from difference; and
  • our ability to help proactively set the MSD-agenda for positive change, by constructively raising the right issues (even when challenging for MSD) and working collaboratively to shape what needs to occur.


Given these development objectives, expressions of interest should underscore your fit with one or both aims, along with a general overview of your strengths.

A fuller overview of the team's role is set out below.


Insights and Investment 


Better analysis, better decisions, better lives 


Our team 

Strategic Issues and Investment 


Our core reason-for-being

Evidence-based system improvement 


Our key products and services


  • Generation of think-pieces on key issues for MSD 
  • Development of MSD's investment approach and investment strategies for parts of MSD's work 
  • Leadership or facilitation of projects that work across MSD 
  • Input to important policy and operational projects (both MSD and wider sector)
  • Publication of research, analysis and evaluation (from working papers to journal articles)
  • Management of MSD's Publications Committee
  • Peer review (from rapid reviews to in-depth critical review)
  • Management of a seminar series, Evidence Matters
  • Production of reports on household income and material wellbeing
  • Publication of a blog, By The Way, on a wide range of issues relevant to MSD's work
  • Production of a periodic environmental scanning report, On the Horizon [tbc]


We want to be known for


  • Having deep subject-matter knowledge, expertise and networks
  • Addressing issues of enduring social concern or with significant complexity or risk
  • Enhancing stewardship of the support system and taking a long-term perspective 
  • Identifying big or emerging issues and seeding positive change 
  • Understanding the state and determinants of social outcomes
  • Leading by example in the integration of evidence, analysis and knowledge
  • Championing both a one-MSD view and wider social sector perspective
  • Challenging thinking and promoting debate, even when challenging for MSD
  • Collaborating, communicating and influencing in skilful ways


How to apply:

Internal MSD Employees – please apply through your myHR portal at work.  This will ensure that your myHR employee profile is visible as internal candidate.


External applicants (including Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki employees) – please apply through the apply button and upload your CV and cover letter to our applicant tracking system.


All applications must be made online. If this is not possible or if you have any questions please contact via email at


With the team's Director (Peter Alsop) away, please feel to contact Sean Maxwell or Laura Crespo with any queries (;


Your cover letter will be a key part of our assessment process, so please highlight how your experience and capability relates to the competencies listed in the position description.


Applications close: 29th April 2019



Apply To:

<< Back to Search Results