Policy & Research Associate—Homelessness & Health

Posted 29-11-2018
Category Virtual
Interns Needed 1
Anticipated Timeline The total time commitment is 50 hours as a whole. We are very flexible on the timeline here and are open to coordinating this with you as with what would best suit your schedule. Ideally we would like the final paper to be finalized by late May/early June.
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Description:

This position is primarily concerned with investigating the increasing number of persons dying in Edmonton as a result of their experience of homelessness. While this is a big issue, this internship is primarily concerned with collating background and relevant existing research, incorporating local contextual factors, and identifying possible data sources to shed light on this issue. This may include talking to relevant researchers, community advocates, the medical examiner, and numerous other sources on behalf of ECOHH. This project will largely serve to provide a strong base in understanding what the key issues here are, the overall background and social determinants of health, and will identify potential directions and sources of knowledge ECOHH might explore to thoroughly investigate this problem.

Skills & Experience:

  • Familiarity and/or expertise with (social) policy and research. Expertise in writing policy and/or research papers. Knowledge of the policy cycle essential.
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods and methodologies.
  • An understanding of necessary considerations regarding the diversity of individuals and households experiencing homelessness when doing research a strength. Knowledge of GBA+ (https://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/gba-acs/course-cours-en.html) and/or using an intersectional lens when doing social research is imperative. Awareness of housing and homelessness issues is preferred, but some knowledge of social determinants of health and social inequity is essential.
  • A general understanding of the context and brief history of housing and homelessness issues in Edmonton, but also from a provincial and federal perspective is highly recommended.
  • Experience with critically analyzing “common sense” or “taken for granted” ideas, an ability to think creatively about research methods and methodologies. 
  • Strong writing and communications skills. Able to articulate complicated processes, transmit ideas succinctly, and articulate thoughts accessibly for the reader.
  • Creativity, thoughtfulness, and an ability to solicit ideas regarding how to understand these key social issues
  • Comfort working primarily independently but also within a group

Proposed Project:

a) Identify a key policy issue/research question
b) important background material and ideas, including gaps and what has been missing in our understandings of this issue. Identifying research that has already looked at this issue and evaluating whether these ideas could apply to the context in Edmonton. Within Edmonton, what data currently exists that could address the research question and what data should be developed?
c) Of the data that is currently available, present findings and analysis of this. Discuss implications of research gaps when considering the findings of the existing data. 
d) Of the data gaps that do exist, discuss how this could be addressed (can this data be collected/generated? If so how?). Highlight at least 2 ideas for how best to proceed to determine why there has been such an increase in deaths related to homelessness in Edmonton in the last 2 years. 

Location:

When in-person meetings are required, ECOHH typically meets at Communitas (12120 106 AVENUE NW). 

Ideal for someone with course work in:

  • Community Health Promotion
  • Arts
  • Project Management
  • Professional Writing
  • Nursing
  • General Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Education
  • Communication and Culture
  • Health Sciences

Some specialized skills required:

  • Comfort working primarily independently but also within a group
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods and methodologies.
  • Expertise in writing policy and/or research papers. Knowledge of the policy cycle essential.
  • Familiarity and/or expertise with (social) policy and research.
  • See "Full Description" for further details

What we will accomplish at the end of the Internship:

  • Disseminate your findings with the support of the policy and communications team, either through a blog post/policy brief for our website, and/or a short presentation to ECOHH members.
  • Taking the lead, with guidance primarily from the policy and communications committee members, on creating and completing a public report for ECOHH. A draft of a potential project is included under "Full Description".
  • Attending and participating in policy and communications committee meetings and general member meetings where possible, in addition to electronic correspondence.