Making Relationships Count: Measuring Trust in Relationships Between a Catholic Development Agency and Māori Communities


  • Gretchen Leuthart Independent Researcher
  • Dr Gerard Prinsen Massey University



monitoring and evaluation frameworks, trust indicators, Indigenous communities


Relationships affect outcomes in the international development sector, yet there are few frameworks or indicators to measure trust as a foundation of relationships. This article describes an emergent framework for evaluating trust in crosscultural relationships. It is based on a case study of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and its Indigenous partners. Perspectives on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and measuring trust are explored from an Indigenous world view. Interviews with five people representing all parties suggest various types of behaviours that indicate trust. Through this exploration, culturally competent M&E and the centrality of relationships in expanding evaluation practice are revealed.

Author Biographies

Gretchen Leuthart, Independent Researcher

Gretchen Leuthart is an independent research and communications specialist with expertise in strategy, stakeholder engagement and evaluation and research in community development. She is currently working for BERL in New Zealand, helping design monitoring and evaluation frameworks for more effective and genuine community engagement.

Dr Gerard Prinsen, Massey University

Gerard Prinsen works as an associate professor at Massey University New Zealand. He came to academia after a professional career in international development and his research focuses on public health and education services with communities in rural, remote, or fragile contexts.