Position Profile

Job Title:  Engagement Specialist

Work Unit:  Indigenous and Community Connections Branch / Policy, Innovation and Indigenous Connections Division

Ministry:  Children's Services / Alberta Community and Social Services

Competition Number:  1045955

Date:  November 2017
 

Position Summary

 

The Stakeholder and Community Engagement Unit within the Indigenous and Community Connections Branch leads the development of, and consultation on, priority divisional and departmental stakeholder engagements. The Unit works to set the direction on the strategic priorities of the division by leading engagement initiatives with both internal and external stakeholders. Among other functions, the Stakeholder and Community Engagement Unit provides engagement support to other branches in the division, the Assistant Deputy Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Minister on the development and formulation of key strategic policies, and ensures that key division policies support and reflect the province's broader social, economic and environmental priorities. The Stakeholder and Community Engagement Unit ensures a coordinated and integrated approach to engagement and stakeholder relations by consulting, collaborating, and negotiating with representatives of the ministry, other government departments, Indigenous communities and leaders and stakeholder organizations.

The Stakeholder and Community Engagement Unit fosters a culture of strategic stakeholder engagement within the ministry through provision of innovative services, supports, and practices. In collaboration with the Deputy Minister's Office, the Communications Branch and Executive Council's Public Affairs Bureau, the branch finds innovative solutions and fosters dialogue with Albertans to share research and insights, build collaborative relationships, and develop common understandings.

Position Summary:

The Engagement Specialist provides consultation, analytical, facilitation, research, and project management services relating to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of stakeholder engagement initiatives for ministry program areas or stakeholder groups. This position also works with the branch management team to deliver major ministry-sponsored strategic stakeholder engagement initiatives, develop and implement innovative and consistent approaches for stakeholder engagement, and contribute to the preparation of branch strategies and plans.

In addition, the Engagement Specialist leads the development and delivery of engagement initiatives on behalf of Alberta Children's Services. This position provides programming development, relationship building, research and analysis, and event coordination services to enhance the capacity of stakeholders to offer meaningful input to Ministry decisions impacting their education. The Engagement Specialist plans and organizes engagement initiatives, creates resource and presentation materials, analyses data, and reports engagement results, findings, and recommendations.

Consultation and project management are a critical aspects of this position, with the Engagement Specialist planning and coordinating resources to identify client and stakeholder requirements, developing project plans, delegating responsibilities to project teams, and managing activities to ensure deliverables relating to stakeholder engagement initiatives are completed as planned. This position also participates in ministry and external teams and working groups to provide stakeholder engagement expertise and represent the perspectives and requirements of the branch as appropriate. Reporting to the Senior Manager, the Engagement Specialist functions within the parameters of applicable legislation, regulations, policies, and guidelines.

Scope:

This position must understand the complex relationships that exist with stakeholders, in particular with Indigenous Communities, and be able to integrate the occasionally conflicting perspectives and priorities of clients and stakeholders when coordinating the development of stakeholder engagement plans, strategies, and initiatives. The Engagement Specialist is expected to develop effective working relationships with Ministry representatives, traditional and non-traditional stakeholders, vendors, and service providers to support and facilitate stakeholder engagement activities.

This position has a direct impact on the manner in which engagements are delivered by the ministry, with the Engagement Specialist expected to provide reliable and substantiated advice and analysis while remaining aware of issues, trends, and best practices relating to engagement. This position must be also be knowledgeable of legislation and policies relating to Children's Services (e.g. Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act; Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, etc.) to ensure policies and programs are appropriate and deliverable within legislation and regulations and/or to identify required amendments. In addition, the Engagement Specialist interacts with all levels of ministry staff, cross ministry partners, regional staff, representatives from Indigenous communities, Elders, and associations, board chairs, faculty, and the public, exercising discretion and independence when representing the engagement program and ministry.

This position works within the parameters of established legislation, frameworks policies, plans, and guidelines, with significant discretion to determine approaches to responsibilities. The ability to prioritize work to meet non-negotiable deadlines and coordinate assignments with tight and often concurrent time frames is essential. Matters with potential for significant impact on business operations or resource allocations are discussed with the supervisor, who is also available for assistance when dealing with highly sensitive or contentious situations.

Primary Accountabilities / Responsibilities

  1.

Consultation, expertise, analytical, facilitation, research and project management services are provided to support the planning and delivery of stakeholder engagement activities for the division and ministry-sponsored initiatives.

Activities:

  • Provides ministry representatives with advice and consultation relating to the planning, design and delivery of stakeholder engagement initiatives, including participating or leading teams and committees developing strategies and identifying outcomes and outputs for engagements.
  • Develops plans and documents in support of stakeholder engagement events and facilitation processes, including terms of reference, session plans, stakeholder analyses, agendas, and presentations.
  • Determines appropriate methods and techniques to achieve identified stakeholder engagement outcomes, facilitate information gathering, and coordinate associated development and distribution of information.
  • Analyzes data and documentation secured through stakeholder engagement events, sessions and initiatives, including analyzing and preparing summaries of results, reports, and recommendations.
  • Monitors and addresses participant and stakeholder questions relating to facilitated sessions and other engagement events.
  • Facilitates, presents and leads engagement events, workshops, sessions, and meetings with program to senior ministry representatives, cross government partners and stakeholders.
  • Works with senior branch staff to confirm alignment and coordination of ministry-sponsored stakeholder engagement events.
  • Provides project management services for stakeholder engagement initiatives, including establishing project terms of reference, identifying resource requirements, planning and assigning work, and monitoring activities.
     
  2.

Lead in the development and implementation of innovative engagement processes and initiatives to provide stakeholders with opportunities for meaningful input to strategic decisions at the Ministry and system levels.

Activities:

  • Leads ministry staff project teams that facilitate opportunities for engagement.
  • Provides advice and recommendations to senior ministry representatives in relation to strategic decisions regarding engagement (e.g. the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention).
  • Leads in the planning and delivery of meetings, training sessions, and forums associated with engagement, including arranging participation of ministry and stakeholder representatives (e.g. Workshop on Engaging with Indigenous Communities on the UNDEC Proposals).
  • Disseminates information and facilitates discussions at engagement events and meetings.
  • Researches, analyzes, and shares data and information on trends and issues facing stakeholders.
  • Prepares action request responses, ministerial correspondence, briefing notes, and other documents pertaining to stakeholder engagement issues and events.
  • Designs innovative tools (e.g. the online Stakeholder Relationship Management System, surveys, polls, and evaluation forms) to facilitate engagement in multiple platforms and venues.
  • Creates materials, resources, and pre- and post-event packages for engagement initiatives and drafts original content for internal and external websites.
  • Leads and participates on Ministry and Cross-Ministry Committees and working groups as they relate to engagement as needed.
  • Design and create resources for a departmental Online Engagement Tool Kit that will provide extensive resources for the department.
     
  3.

Build collaborative relationships which are initiated, supported, maintained, fostered and enhanced, with representatives of the ministry, other government departments, Indigenous communities, and stakeholder organizations.

Activities:

  • Develops and maintains positive working relationships with representatives of the ministry, other government departments, Indigenous communities, and stakeholder organizations in achievement of common outcomes and goals.
  • Facilitates the sharing of trends, issues and best practices by working closely with stakeholder organizations and facilitating connections across the system.
  • Demonstrates leadership and works to facilitate and build an understanding among Internal and external stakeholders of the ministry's strategic direction, mandates and priorities.
  • Raises awareness within the department about opportunities and emerging issues relating to best practices in stakeholder engagement and relationship building.
     
  4.

Plans and coordinates ongoing stakeholder engagement processes and initiatives to provide stakeholders with regular and meaningful engagement with the department and input into strategic and operational decisions and activities at the ministry level.

Activities:

  • Completes environmental scanning, research, and analysis activities to determine strategic information, trends, and impacts pertaining to and stakeholder engagement.
  • Leads the writing and implementation of a ministry Engagement Approach through working with ministry representatives and senior leaders to better understand the engagement needs of the ministry, present on principles and best practices in engagement, and provide appropriate engagement tools and resources.
  • Coordinates the gathering and dissemination of information regarding stakeholder profiles and engagement activity through data collection, report writing, and presentations.
  • Establishment of stakeholder engagement tracking system.
  • Provides guidance to, and responds to queries from divisions and other partners on planning and implementing effective stakeholder engagement.
  • Provides strategic communications advice to senior branch and ministry representatives in relation to stakeholder engagement initiatives and activities at ministry, program area, and specific stakeholder levels.
     
  5.

The Stakeholder and Community Engagement Unit is supported in achieving the branch, sector, division and ministry mandate and goals.

Activities:

  • Maintains effective working relationships with communities, clients and stakeholders to ensure management team is aware of critical issues and has appropriate information to make decisions, particularly in relation to branch strategic plans.
  • Develops issues papers, briefings, proposals, and action request responses to provide senior ministry representatives and officials with information to support stakeholder engagement plans and decisions.
  • Monitors and analyzes briefings, reports, news releases, newspaper articles, media coverage, and other publications and information sources to identify emerging issues with potential to impact the branch.
  • Provides cover-off and Acting responsibility as needed for the Manager and Director of the Stakeholder and Community Engagement Unit.
  • The Engagement Specialist will supervise the Indigenous Interns and will be responsible for the onboarding, training and monitoring and evaluating of interns.

Knowledge / Experience / Competencies

 

Knowledge:

The Engagement Specialist requires in-depth knowledge of:

  • Stakeholder engagement theories, methodologies, practices, and tools, particularly in relation to engagement with Indigenous stakeholders.
  • Facilitation methods.
  • Research methodology, both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Project planning and management principles.

As well as comprehensive understanding of:

  • Government and ministry strategic directions and goals, particularly as they relate to the branch mandate.
  • The stakeholders impacted by the Children's Services' legislation and ministry responsibilities.
  • Current and emerging issues and the administrative structures of Indigenous communities and other stakeholder organizations.
  • The political environment in which the ministry operates.
  • Applicable legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines (e.g. Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act).
  • Relevant information systems and business productivity software (e.g. Microsoft Office).

The Engagement Specialist requires well developed and demonstrated:

  • Consultation, facilitation, and conflict management skills.
  • Analytical and strategic thinking skills, including ability to recognize broader implications of initiatives, analyze data and information, and develop solutions and recommendations for consideration of senior decision-makers.
  • Research and evaluation skills.
  • Exemplary relationship building skills that establish credibility and balance diverse perspectives and expectations.
  • Ability to communicate constructive advice with tact and sensitivity.
  • Written and verbal communication and presentation skills, including ability to tailor messages to diverse audiences.
  • Time management and organizational skills, including ability to plan and prioritize workload and coordinate projects with concurrent and tight timelines.
  • People management skills, including the ability to lead project teams, assign and direct work to others and follow-up on their progress.

Competencies:

The Engagement Specialist must be able to:

  • Develop and implement stakeholder engagement plans and strategies.
  • Identify and monitor emerging trends, issues, and opportunities in relation to stakeholder engagement and develop appropriate responses and recommendations.
  • Present to and facilitate diverse groups of people.
  • Maintain a strategic focus while delivering results at the operational level.
  • Function independently as well as lead and contribute effectively within a team environment.
  • Consistently demonstrate initiative, professional judgment, political sensitivity, and creativity.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with diverse clients, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Demonstrate high level of self-management skills with strong results orientation.
  • Prioritize and coordinate multiple assignments and competing demands and responsibilities, adapt to changing priorities, and work in a dynamic environment.

Experience:

The Engagement Specialist must have the following academic background:

  • An undergraduate degree in social sciences or related field, plus considerably responsible related experience is required. Equivalencies considered.
  • Does not require, but would be considered and asset if candidate has certification as an International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Practitioner.

Primary Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Internal

Branch Management Team and Representatives

Daily

To collaborate on stakeholder engagement activities; exchange information; resolve issues; and provide briefings, plans and recommendations.

Ministry Representatives

Weekly To exchange information; provide stakeholder engagement expertise, advice and consultation; collaborate on projects and initiatives; resolve issues.

Representatives of other ministries

Bi-weekly To exchange information; resolve issues; represent branch and ministry interests; collaborate on projects.
External

Stakeholder representatives (e.g. regional staff, representatives from Indigenous communities, associations, board chairs, the public, etc.)

As needed (at least monthly) To exchange information; respond to inquiries; deliver presentations; facilitate discussions and forums; represent and promote the stakeholder engagement approach; resolve issues; coordinate activities.
Service Providers and Vendors As needed To coordinate the delivery of stakeholder engagement events.

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