For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been giving young Canadians the confidence to achieve more by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring services.

Many young people find themselves in vulnerable situations and facing adversities such as mental health struggles, family violence, identity issues or challenging living conditions, which put these youth at risk of not reaching their full potential. With the guidance and support of professionally trained volunteer mentors, these risks can be minimized or avoided all together.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) is the National Office for 102 member agencies serving over 1,100 communities across Canada. Our role is that of catalyst, facilitator, and guardian of the brand. We provide support, services, training, and leadership to our member agencies, which deliver quality mentoring programs to over 41,000 children annually by mobilizing 20,000+ volunteers.

Position Description:

The National Director, Program Innovation, Research and Evaluation will be responsible for overseeing the strategic alignment, resource allocation, prioritization, planning and execution of large-scale projects across Canada.

The National Director of Program Innovation, Research and Evaluation is responsible for the identification of emerging trends, best and promising practices in the field of mentoring and the facilitation of ongoing dialogues between researchers and practitioners. The National Director of Program Innovation, Research and Evaluation will lead and manage the facilitation of research to advance our understanding of effective mentoring; and the establishment of research partnerships with researchers/academic institutions in Canada and beyond.

Program Innovation
Evidence-based mentoring programs are the vehicle by which Big Brothers Big Sisters makes a positive difference in the lives of children and youth in Canada. Our responsibility is to ensure those programs are safe and effective. This position is responsible for the following, in collaboration with member agencies and other stakeholders:

  • Enhance effective mentoring programs and services to respond to new and emerging community needs
  • Update and maintain program material for nationally endorsed Big Brothers Big Sisters programs
  • Collaborate to source seed funding for modernization and expansion of effective mentoring programs
  • Increase the capacity of Members to develop quality mentoring programs
  • Determine and implement a strategy to expand services to unserved communities throughout Canada with a particular focus on Canada’s north and indigenous communities
  • Execute all aspects of funding agreements, including management and supervision of project staff, specific to piloting mentoring programs
  • Manage flow-through funding opportunities related to agency services and programs
  • Develop and implement strategies/partnerships to begin addressing the needs of populations/ communities not served through traditional and/or existing BBBS mentoring programs
  • Develop criteria to identify internal and external promising programs and practices for scale-up/testing in Member Agencies or with key partners
  • Recommend training opportunities for members which will help support the evaluation, replication and expansion of mentoring programs
  • Critically review National Standards and other resources. Create plans to address barriers to innovation; make recommendations to strengthen where necessary
  • Advise members and National staff on practical strategies for creating an atmosphere and culture of innovation to ensure young people receive appropriate mentoring services.

Research and Evaluation
The creation and collection of relevant results from quality evaluation and research studies is the foundation of innovation. Our responsibility is to ensure those programs are developed building on relevant data. This position is responsible for the following, in collaboration with member agencies and other stakeholders:

  • Facilitate the evaluation of mentoring programs
  • Create evidence-informed tools to assist members in performing their work
  • Co-develop, implement, and evaluate a renewed National Mentoring Research Agenda in partnership with the Research and Trends Committee
  • Establish research partnerships and apply for research grants (e.g. Canadian Institutes for Health Research)
  • Design and implement a National Evaluation Framework for BBBS which supports the ability of Member Agencies to assess outcomes in real-time.
  • Facilitate access to quality mentoring research findings by all stakeholders
  • Ensure accuracy and relevance of research statements used in external documents


  • Participate in a yearly performance appraisal
  • Provide regular updates to the BBBSC National team and Big Brothers Big Sisters network at large
  • Actively participate as a member of the Strategic Projects and Initiatives Team
  • Positively contribute to the attainment of the values and culture of the staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
  • Perform other assigned duties and responsibilities as required by the National Senior Director, Strategic Projects and Initiatives

About You

  • You have an advanced university degree in a human services related field.
  • You have five to eight years of experience working with research, evaluation, and/or program design.
  • You have experience managing large scale multi-year projects.
  • You have experience working with underrepresented youth – i.e., Black, Indigenous, youth of Colour, LGBTQ, youth in care, or youth in conflict with the law.
  • You have experience working with community-based evaluators and/or academic researchers.

Skills and Abilities

  • English language proficiencies are a core requirement, French language skills an asset
  • Critical understanding of program development and its evolution
  • Understands the relationship between research and practice
  • Understands the research methodologies and processes
  • Strong understanding of youth development and youth services from an asset-based approach
  • Committed to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Capable of working on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent knowledge of children, families and volunteers
  • Committed and innovative
  • Experience working as a team member but effective at working from a remote office with minimal supervision
  • Flexible and adaptable to change
  • Strategic and hands-on; can communicate a vision and enjoy the action of delivering on it
  • Able to work effectively in highly intense and complex situations
  • Confident and enthusiastic while having a sense of humour
  • Strong work ethics and values with the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships, including diverse stakeholders

Working Conditions

Staff working for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada provide support and service to all member agencies from coast to coast to coast; this covers six time zones. As a result, occasional weekend or evening work may be required. Travel will be required and costs will be reimbursed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Attendance at staff meetings and other Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada-related events is expected.

Application Process

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is committed to principles of anti-oppression and employment equity. We strongly encourage members of Indigenous, ethno-racial, LGBTQ+, Francophone, immigrant, refugee, differently abled and other equity seeking groups to apply and self-identify. Language abilities, especially bilingualism (English and French) are considered an asset If accommodation if required during the hiring process, please inform the hiring committee once selected for an interview.

Application Process

Please use the Apply Now button on our Charity Village listing and include a cover letter, resume, and salary expectations.

We thank all applicants but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.