Economic Opportunity Advisor

  • Contract
  • Ottawa Canada
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

World University Service of Canada

POSITION TITLE: Economic Opportunity Advisor

POSITION LOCATION: Ottawa preferred, remote optional (Canada)

REPORTS TO: Deputy director, Technical Services

CONTRACT TERM: Full time, indeterminate

SALARY LEVEL: PRO 2 (56k – 65k) or PRO 3 ( 64k – 76k) – depending on experience


LANGUAGES: Fluent English, Advanced French


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization focusing on three programmatic areas: Economic Opportunities, Education, and Empowerment. Our vision is a better world for all young people. It is a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world in which all young people, especially women and refugees, are empowered to secure a good quality of life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

WUSC currently works in over 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with an annual budget of approximately CAD $45 million. We have 90 people in our Ottawa office, and over 200 people overseas implementing 16 development projects in collaboration with donors such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Mastercard Foundation. Globally, we partner with a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders that work with us to achieve our mission.

WUSC’s Economic Opportunities Portfolio

Currently, WUSC’s Economic Opportunities (EO) portfolio includes six multi-million dollar initiatives and several smaller projects throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. WUSC takes a Market Systems Development (MSD) approach within these programs, with sectoral focus on labour market integration, agriculture, climate change and social finance. WUSC’s economic opportunities initiatives are funded primarily by Global Affairs Canada and the Mastercard Foundation. As an organization that is strongly committed to youth, gender equality, and issues of forced displacement, WUSC’s economic opportunities portfolio reflects these priorities.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Working out of our headquarters in Ottawa (or remotely), the Economic Opportunities Advisor will play a strategic role to grow WUSC’s EO portfolio, contributing to corporate, policy influence, and strategic objectives related to EO. The EO Advisor will also be a core member of the WUSC Programs Team, working in a matrix environment as a technical resource for integrating EO best practices into WUSC’s portfolio of overseas programs. The EO Advisor will also develop tools, resources and conduct training and coaching to staff and partners to support cross-project learning and the overall technical rigor of WUSC’s EO portfolio.

Economic Opportunities Advice & Coaching to WUSC Programs and Projects – 50%

  • Provide high-quality technical assistance to diverse teams across the organization, including program delivery teams;
  • Support program staff in integrating evidence-based best practices in market systems development and entrepreneurial ecosystem building into project planning and management approaches (including results based management tools) and propose strategies to increase project/program impact on outcomes;
  • Facilitate the use of data and learning from existing economic opportunities programs to promote evidence-based learning, reflection and decision making within programs/ projects;
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in existing practices at WUSC, and support the development of improved systems, processes, and tools;
  • Work with program managers and MERL Advisors to ensure that results measurement and knowledge management systems are established to ensure that relevant economic opportunities results are captured and reported to relevant stakeholders;
  • Create market systems development resources (including training) and tools (ie. tipsheets) to assist staff in implementing evidence-based economic opportunities interventions; and
  • Undertake limited project management responsibilities on smaller initiatives, such as coordination between finance and programs counterparts; development of reports and planning documents; and review of contracts.

Economic Opportunities Advisory Support to new Programs – 25%

  • Work with the Program Development unit to ensure the integration of evidence-based best practices in economic opportunities, access to finance, TVET, sustainable agriculture or other relevant areas into new program design;
  • Help to review and/or develop content for proposals that reflects WUSC’s experience in its economic opportunities portfolio;
  • Recommend financial and human resources necessary to execute high quality economic opportunities programming;
  • Support new project inception planning, particularly the development of the program/ project-specific advice for high quality economic opportunities interventions; and
  • Support project teams in the recruitment and capacity building of project managers and technical staff on economic issues.

Promote Internal & External Learning on Economic Opportunities – 25%

  • Participate in critical working groups and networks and ensure that WUSC is delivering on key strategic objectives with and through these groups and networks;
  • Support WUSC’s work in social finance and impact investment through participating in relevant committees and working groups;
  • Facilitate organizational learning opportunities, including training, seminars, webinars, tipsheets, etc;
  • Lead the development of the organizational annual Economic Opportunities Thematic Area Workplan and ensure the execution of this plan;
  • Liaise regularly with technical counterparts to share best practices, tools, and organizational approaches to economic opportunities quality;
  • Represent WUSC at a variety of public forums (conferences, events, working groups, etc) and share results, lessons learned, and knowledge from WUSC’s economic opportunities programs to position WUSC as a key actor;
  • Participate in WUSC’s communications work by drafting communications materials, providing data, information and other material for use with WUSC’s Canadian and International constituency for communications strategies and fundraising activities.


  • MA/MSc/MBA or equivalent in business, economics, international development, or related fields;
  • A minimum of 5-7 years of active work experience in economic development; experience in an international development context is required;
  • Knowledge of Market Systems Development approaches to program design, implementation and performance measurement.
  • Experience working with a wide array of stakeholders, including governments, non-profits, private sector representatives and investors; specific expertise and/or experience in innovative finance and social finance would be a significant asset.


  • Strong analytical, research, and writing skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to gender equality;
  • Proven ability to work productively and build consensus with a variety of stakeholders (in-country teams, local partners, local government bodies);
  • Flexibility with competing demands and ability to prioritize;
  • Effective interpersonal and influencing skills, including the ability to build relationships, network, communicate and represent at a senior level are essential;
  • Flexibility, with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple priorities;
  • Commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in policy design and implementation;
  • Passion and commitment to anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, gender equality, refugee inclusion and youth empowerment;
  • Share in WUSC’s commitment and approach to advance gender equality and social inclusion for all young people;
  • Ability to contribute to WUSC’s organizational culture that respects differences, including sex, age, ability, refugee or migration status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and other identity factors.


Complete fluency, oral and written in English essential. Advanced capacity to work in French required.


Join Us. Our work is important, cutting-edge, and fast-paced. We encourage curiosity, innovation, and flexibility, and we provide a phenomenal learning experience.

WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference in the lives of youth around the world. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, economic opportunities and empowerment.

The WUSC office is in centrally located Hintonburg in Ottawa. Currently WUSC team members are working either in a hybrid mode or remotely. WUSC offers flexible working arrangements, competitive benefits, four weeks of annual leave (for full-time employees), safe and healthy working conditions, and fair compensation.


WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

How to apply

If you are interested in this position, please apply here through our website.