SPARC BC is seeking a Manager of Research, Planning & Community Development

Role Overview:

The Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. (SPARC BC) is currently accepting applications for the position of the Manager of Research, Planning, and Community Development. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, this position is a senior member of SPARC BC’s management team and provides overall leadership to SPARC BC’s Research, Planning, and Consulting team which operates as a social enterprise. This position also plays a key role advancing SPARC BC’s mission-driven work in accessibility and inclusion, social policy research and advocacy, and community development education and outreach.

Position Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Manager of Research, Planning, and Consulting Services is accountable for the following:

  • Providing leadership including strong project management skills and people management skills in engaging in complex multi-sided research projects involving multiple stakeholders and partners.
  • Preparing proposals (to be delivered on a fee for service basis), conducting qualitative research and data analysis, and authoring strategic and timely research and policy reports on a range of topics.
  • Building, maintaining, and growing SPARC BC’s partnerships and relationships to successfully advance the organization’s key strategic priorities and objectives related to accessibility and inclusion, income security and poverty reduction, and community development education, outreach, and capacity building.
  • Working to support outreach and engagement with smaller rural and northern B.C. communities with a focus on building capacity and partnerships that can help lead to lasting and positive change including working with Indigenous people and communities to build new pathways forward for reconciliation and healing.
  • Operating the Department as a social enterprise where all revenues generated are reinvested in SPARC BC’s mission-driven work.

Please review the Job Description and Opportunity Brief for the full list of duties and responsibilities and for more information on the organization and ideal candidate profile.

Qualifications and Competencies:

Education, Knowledge, and Experience

  • Advanced degree in urban planning/policy, public policy, economics, environmental policy, or related social science.
  • At least 10 years of policy-related experience, ideally in a fast-paced work environment characterized by multiple ongoing projects.
  • At least 5 to 7 years of leadership, management, research, and consulting experience.
  • Experience with the consulting process, from marketing and proposal development to contract negotiations, client and contract management, and project delivery.
  • Experience leading and engaging in complex multi-sided research projects involving multiple stakeholders and partners.
  • Experience with research, analysis, writing and editing to produce clear, rigorous, and accessible policy-relevant documents.
  • Experience and knowledge in program evaluation and performance measurement
  • Demonstrated public speaking, presentation, and workshop facilitation experience, including communicating policy ideas in public settings and facilitating public workshops on a range of topics.
  • Familiarity with public policy and the legislative process.
  • Willingness to travel as required.
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors is an asset.
  • Experience managing in a unionized environment is an asset.

Skills and Competencies

  • Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills, including subject area expertise on a range of social policy issues.
  • Strong writing skills, including the ability to prepare technical research reports, policy briefs, and proposals.
  • Strong communication and public speaking skills.
  • Strong time and project management skills including the ability to effectively work on multiple projects and meet short deadlines.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently on collaborative projects.
  • Strong relationship building skills and experience working collaboratively and effectively with members, clients, all levels of government, and community partners.
  • Strong people management skills including the ability to promote and support a positive team-oriented working environment that includes the recruitment, training, mentoring, and coaching of staff.
  • Strong budgeting and financial management skills.


SPARC BC strives for meaningful employment from all communities and for its team to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves. Indigenous, people of colour, and people across spectrums of gender, sexuality, age, and abilities are encouraged to apply.

SPARC BC thanks all applicants for their interest in this position.

Closing Date:

November 21, 2021

Apply Now:

This search is conducted by Realize Strategies on behalf of SPARC BC.  We thank all applicants for your interest in this position. 

Click here to see some of our tips for writing a stand-out application. If you have questions regarding this position, please contact Alison Marshall or Gillian Harper at 604.718.8292.