Apply By: Thursday, March 9, 2023 11:59 pm EST
Competition Status: Position Filled

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Senior Policy Advisor, Behavioural Insights Unit

Cabinet Office
Policy and Delivery, Strategy and Innovation Branch
Language of Position(s):
Job Term:
1 Temporary 12 months
Job Code:
6A007 - Policy06
$76,382.00 - $112,555.00 Per Year
Posting Status:
Open Targeted
Job ID:
Are you looking for a new challenge? Does discovering how human's think, behave and make decisions excite you? Do you enjoy utilizing the insight you uncover to influence government policy and create more effective programs and services for the public? If you thrive on creating and nurturing strong partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, have a keen eye for detail, and enjoy conducting behavioural science research, consider this opportunity as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ontario Public Service's Behavioural Insights Unit!

About Us:
Ontario's Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) was created in 2015, with a mandate to enhance public services by leveraging behavioural science research. It is the first government unit dedicated to the practice of behavioural insights in Canada. The BIU is part of the Strategy and Innovation Branch within Cabinet Office and supports the application of a behavioural science lens in policy development and program implementation. This means building capacity, providing advisory services, and designing and evaluating solutions. The BIU often collaborates with academic partners who provide expert advice in the design and evaluation of policies and programs.

Ontario is one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to leverage behavioural sciences to improve outcomes and deliver better services. By seeking to understand how people make decisions and act upon those decisions, governments can design and re-design public services that better reflect how people respond to, engage with and use these services.

Applying behavioural science insights can mean making public services easier to access, by simplifying forms and processes, as well as helping citizens make more informed choices by clearly presenting options and offering timely reminders. Programs and services work best when they are designed with the people who use them in mind.

The use of these insights in Ontario and other jurisdictions have been shown to result in public services that deliver better outcomes, often at a lower cost. By testing what works and just as importantly, what doesn't through pilot projects, experts in behavioural science are helping design programs that are made to work for Ontarians.

To learn more about what behavioural insights is, please click on the following link:
An overview of Behavioural Insights prepared by the New South Wales Government in Australia

Why work for the Ontario Public Service?

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) is committed to being an employer of first choice, creating a positive and inclusive work environment. We offer:

· Flexible work arrangements
· Collegial and professional work culture
· Career growth and development opportunities across multiple business areas
· On-the-job training to support your success in the role

Temporary staff can opt in to:
· A defined benefit pension plan
· Comprehensive Health Plan
· Life and Disability insurance

OPS Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism:

We are committed to build a workforce that reflects the communities we serve and to promote a diverse, anti-racist, inclusive, accessible, merit-based, respectful and equitable workplace.

We invite all interested individuals to apply and encourage applications from people with disabilities, Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals, as well as people from a diversity of ethnic and cultural origins, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

Visit the OPS Anti-Racism Policy and the OPS Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint pages to learn more about the OPS commitment to advance racial equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the public service.

We offer employment accommodation across the recruitment process and all aspects of employment consistent with the requirements of Ontario's Human Rights Code. Refer to the "How to apply" section if you require a disability-related accommodation.

What can I expect to do in this role?

As a Senior Policy Advisor (Consultant), in Behavioural Sciences, you will:
• Use a behavioural science lens to develop policies and programs across various ministries
• Use behavioural insights to meet the OPS's goals and objectives, including but not limited to modernizing and transforming government programs and services
• Respond to policy, program and financial/economic impact issues using behavioural insights to improve outcomes
• Work in collaboration with various ministries to embed behavioural insights into the work they do
• Stay current with emerging trends in the BI space by building partnerships with various levels of government, external stakeholders, and academia
• Provide expert policy advice and program recommendations to senior management on a range of behavioural science issues
• Develop and deliver training and presentation materials to build awareness and capacity of behavioural science in policy development and program design
• Prepare case studies, reports, briefing notes, meeting/event notes, proposals, contracts and presentations to promote the work of the BIU across the OPS
• Manage multiple BI projects with various ministry partners

How do I qualify?

Communication, Relationship Management and Consultation Skills

• You have demonstrated relationship management and client services skills in order to maintain key stakeholder relationships and program partnerships within the ministry, across ministries, and external to government
• You use effective communication, consultation, and negotiation skills to build credibility and consensus with colleagues, stakeholders and senior leaders while providing essential advice
• You have relationship and stakeholder management skills to build and develop and strengthen key partnerships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
• You have the ability to seek common ground between multiple parties and stakeholders to achieve results to balance the government's policy objectives with stakeholder interests
• You have demonstrated the ability to design and present visually appealing reports, briefing notes and presentations for stakeholders and executives

Project Management Skills

• You have knowledge of project management theories and principles to plan, lead and coordinate policy projects and initiatives
• You demonstrate time management skills to deal with changes to deadlines, time pressures, conflicting work demands and priorities
• You can use your knowledge to lead, coordinate, participate in, support, and ensure completion of projects
• You have excellent leadership skills to lead project team members to achieve organizational goals, objectives and results
• You have excellent organizational skills to plan and execute project initiatives and sub-projects in consultation with other participating ministries, agencies and stakeholders

Issues Management, Research and Analytical Skills

• You can identify and manage socio-political and financial issues and impacts in the behavioural science field
• You have superior research, analytical, problem-solving and reporting skills
• You have knowledge of research techniques and evaluation methods
• You are able to conduct ongoing research and evaluation of best practices, emerging trends and developments in the field of behavioural sciences
• You demonstrate the ability to take action on innovative ideas, seek out new ideas, and adapt methodology and ideas quickly

Technical Expertise (Behavioural Insights)

• You have knowledge of socio-economic theory and principles
• You have knowledge of behavioural economics and behavioural science research, and their application to policy development, implementation, enforcement and communications
• You have knowledge of the principles/practices of behavioural science including psychology, social marketing and human decision making, and their application to the development of policies/programs
• You can review priority project portfolios and monitor progress to identify issues with prioritization and alignments, and provide advice to management on in year adjustments

Policy Skills and Knowledge

• You have knowledge of provincial strategic directions, policy priorities and relevant legislation
• You have knowledge of government decision-making processes, objectives and requirements
• You can understand policies, governance and infrastructure of other jurisdictions

Additional Information:

  • 1 English Temporary, duration up to 12 months, 99 Wellesley St, Toronto, Toronto Region
Compensation Group:
Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario
Policy and Analysis
Posted on:
Thursday, February 23, 2023
  • T-TB-195677/23
All external applicants (including former employees of the Ontario Public Service) applying to a competition in a ministry or Commission public body must disclose (either in the cover letter or resume) previous employment with the Ontario Public Service. Disclosure must include positions held, dates of employment and any active restrictions as applicable from being rehired by the Ontario Public Service. Active restrictions can include time and/or ministry-specific restrictions currently in force, and may preclude a former employee from being offered a position with the Ontario Public Service for a specific time period (e.g. one year), or from being offered a position with a specific ministry (either for a pre-determined time period or indefinitely). The circumstances around an employee's exit will be considered prior to an offer of employment.
Remember: The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 9, 2023 11:59 pm EST. Late applications will not be accepted.

We thank you for your interest. Only those selected for further screening or an interview will be contacted.

All Ontario Public Service external job advertisements are posted in English and French. To confirm the language requirements of a job, check the "language of position" information at the top of each job ad. For all positions, candidates will be assessed in English, the business language of the Ontario Public Service. For English/French designated bilingual positions, candidates will also be assessed through French-language proficiency testing.

Toutes les offres d'emploi externes de la fonction publique de l'Ontario sont affichées en anglais et en français. Pour connaître les exigences linguistiques, vérifiez les renseignements sur la « langue du poste » figurant dans le haut de chaque offre d'emploi. Pour tous les postes, l'évaluation des candidates et candidats se fera en anglais, la langue usuelle de la fonction publique de l'Ontario. En ce qui concerne les postes désignés bilingues, la maîtrise du français des candidates et candidats sera également évaluée.

The Ontario Public Service is an inclusive employer.
Accommodation is available under the Ontario's Human Rights Code .
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