It is becoming increasingly important for the community health sector to provide evidence of practice and program effectiveness. Unfortunately many community health centres do not have the capacity to provide such evidence and require the implementation of innovative changes within their organisation to develop their capacity to conduct research and evaluation. In this paper we present our project in which we utilised Donald Ely's model to build research and evaluation capacity in a community health centre. We utilised a qualitative research method that incorporated a co-operative inquiry action research design. Qualitative research methods incorporated data from semi-structured interviews, observations and the recording of relevant meetings. The data were analysed by means of thematic analysis. We found that to successfully build research and evaluation capacity entails the application of a model that is capable of not only addressing significant issues in implementation but that can also identify the conditions within an organisation that are important to achieve change. Ely's Conditions for Change model was most appropriate to implement the necessary changes.