Policy and Program Assistant

Ontario's Collective Impact for Disconnected Youth

This position was based in the Service Systems Transformation Branch in the Transformation and Implementation Division. I specialized in the collective impact initiative for NEET (not in education, employment, or training) youth in Ontario. My team used collective impact (CI), a framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured methodology to leverage resources across sectors to achieve significant and lasting social change.

As a policy assistant, I conducted policy research and synthesized the information into concise policy briefs. With this work, I worked with the team two push two main tenants of change. The first was innovating funding models - namely, surrounding blended finance to created streamlined funding pathways for service providers. This reduces the onerous task of applying to multiple grants or loans for the same project from a range of connected yet independent sources. The second tenant was finding best practices from comparable projects, including creating holistic resource hubs for youth instead of isolated/inaccessible units. 

In addition to the formal learning gained from this position, this experience came with a unique insight into government. My time in the Ontario government was a transitionary phase from a long-time liberal government into a newly elective conservative control. This brought a great deal of learning on the continuity of projects, the challenges of adapting initiatives across administrations, and the role and responsibility of a bureaucrat. 

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