Systems Planning Officer

Organization NameJob CategoriesPosition TypeRegion and Location(s)Career LevelSalaryAd Online SinceApplication Deadline
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH)
  • Community Outreach
  • Social Work
Contract - Full Time
  • Ontario - Metro Toronto Area - Toronto
Experienced (Non-manager)$65,000 - 70,0002019-04-022019-04-26

Type of Position: Experienced (Non-Manager); one year contract with possibility of renewal and advancement

Salary Range: $65K - $70K + comprehensive benefits package

Closing Date: Qualified applicatants will be invited for interview on a rolling basis. Closed when filled.

About the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) is a non-partisan research and policy partnership between academics, policy and decision makers, service providers and people with lived experience of homelessness. Housed at York University, the COH evolved out of a 2008 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded project called the Canadian Homelessness Research Network. Led by Dr. Stephen Gaetz, CEO & President, the COH collaborates with partners to conduct and mobilize research that contributes to better, more effective solutions to homelessness. In an effort to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice, the COH goes beyond the mandate of a traditional research institute. As one of the largest homelessness-dedicated research institutes in the world, we support service providers, policy makers, and governments to improve their capacity to end homelessness. Our philosophy is simple: through research, evaluation and design, we can develop evidence-based solutions and together, solve homelessness.

For more information about the impact of the COH, refer to our About Us page on the Homeless Hub.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Systems Planning Officer will support communities to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness. In this initial one-year contract, the Systems Planning Officer’s primary focus will be to plan and lead consultation activities for Systems planning projects and related initiatives.

The successful candidate will also work to develop broader strategic priorities such as the development of protocols and Systems planning resources to help the sector prevent and end homelessness in communities across the country. In addition, the Systems Planning Officer will work in close partnership with Turner Strategies and A Way Home Canada to support the ongoing work of the Systems Planning Collective.

The SPC is dedicated to helping communities and governments to prevent and end all forms of homelessness in Canada by supporting evidence-based systems planning, capacity building and technical assistance. The Systems Planning Officer will be the coordination lead of the SPC.


Systems Planning Activities

  • Develop a strategy for the COH to support Systems-planning efforts.
  • Partner with Turner Strategies and A Way Home Canada to support the Systems Planning Collective.
  • Foster relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations to support systems planning that reflects Canada’s ongoing legacy of colonization, that meets the calls to action under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and that provides strategic, widely consulted and culturally informed solutions to homelessness.

Specific duties to include:

  • Systems planning support and technical assistance
  • Project coordination
  • Coordination of SPC activities
  • Quantitative data collection;
  • Qualitative data collection;
  • Data analysis and interpretation;
  • Workshop and meeting facilitation;
  • Development of reports, tools, presentations, blogs;
  • Literature reviews
  • Other duties as required

Note: this position will require regular travel.


Education & Experience

  • Minimum 2 years’ experience leading community-based projects with multiple stakeholders.
  • Minimum 3 years of related experience in project management.
  • Prior work in non-profit sector is desired, preferably with organizations working on homelessness or housing.
  • University degree in Social Work, Communications, Sociology, Criminology or other relevant discipline. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Working knowledge of the calls to action under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Indigenous issues as they relate to the disproportionate overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples experiencing homelessness.
  • Demonstrated experience leading or participating in negotiations with Indigenous communities.
  • In-depth understanding of homelessness and housing and issues affecting people experiencing homelessness.
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of the systems, supports, resources and linkages required to successfully prevent and end homelessness. Experience with systems planning and performance management considered an asset.
  • Ability to partner with a wide range of stakeholders including service organizations, policy makers, academics, public systems and people with lived experience.
  • Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis including survey development, focus group facilitation and interview techniques.
  • Familiarity with collective impact strategies.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Knowledge of project management principles.


The Systems Planning Officer should demonstrate competence in the following areas:

  • Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Behave Maturely: managing complex issues that do not always have an easily identifiable solution.
  • Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the COH.
  • Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Take Initiative: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
  • Think Strategically: Assesses options and actions based on trends and conditions in the environment, and the vision and values of the COH.


Your complete application package must be submitted through Charity Village. It must include a cover letter, resume, and the names of at least 3 work related references. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

We are committed to employment equity and invite applicants to self-identify as Indigenous, First Nation, Métis or Inuit within cover letters and/or resumes. The COH is an equity employer focused on engaging with Indigenous people, communities, and partners. We are committed to building an Indigenous workforce reflective of the population and to the delivery of culturally sensitive solutions to homelessness.

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