Position profile: Policy and Research Analyst

Learn more about the position in the job posting.

  • Job Title: Policy and Research Analyst
  • Work Unit: Energy Policy Division, Projects and Initiatives Advisory Office, Projects and Initiatives Unit
  • Ministry: Alberta Energy
  • Competition Number: 1056143

Purpose

Reporting to the Executive Director of Projects and Initiatives, the analyst is responsible for research and coordination related to Energy’s priority initiatives. The position works closely with subject matter experts and policy leads across the department to ensure that information meets the high quality standards and timing expectations. 

This position leads the policy and research coordination functions related to Energy’s priority initiatives, and supports strong cross-ministry communication and good governance for Energy initiatives. This includes creating, implementing, and using tools to report on progress of activities and providing secretariat support to governance tables within the GoA to ensure timely decisions are made to keep projects on track.

Energy initiatives are boundary-spanning endeavors that intend to achieve three interrelated goals:

  • Achieve strategic intent or vision
  • Provide benefits to and significantly impact stakeholders
  • Transform the agenda

Strategic initiatives are tools for turning a vision into results. Energy initiatives are identified yearly through the corporate planning process and may also emerge during the fiscal year.

Responsibilities and Activities

Support policy coordination activities related to Energy’s projects and initiatives.

  • Maintain knowledge of, and advise on, current policy issues and changes that may impact Energy’s projects and initiatives or may require additional tools to achieve defined outcomes.
  • Conduct research and develop briefing materials, options, and recommendations for the Premier, Minister, Executive Council, and other senior officials, related to strategic initiatives and policy issues.
  • Provide advice on the current government practices related to policy approval and the legislative process, including implications for Energy projects and initiatives.
  • Advise on timelines and milestones for policy and product development in order to implement changes within desired timeframes. Make recommendations on project plans, resourcing and timelines to reach milestones.
  • Maintain a series of products to communicate processes, timelines and facilitate decisions on timing and sequencing of initiatives.

Manage policy issues related to Energy’s priority initiatives, ensuring they are accurate and compliant with government decision-making requirements and statutory requirements.

  • Work with functional areas within the department or across government to identify and assess issues related to Energy’s projects and initiatives.
  • Provide timely, high-quality analysis and advice on policy options and processes (e.g. risks, costs, benefits, implementation impacts).
  • Coordinate the preparation of required documentation (e.g. Briefing Notes, 4-column documents, drafting instructions, Ministerial Orders, etc.) for policy changes by providing well-informed advice and feedback on decision-making processes.
  • Review materials and provide advice on content, reviewing for completeness and accuracy, finalizing materials, and providing any additional information to Executive Council or other decision makers.

Coordinate/communicate strategic initiative activities across departments and within Energy.

  • Conduct internal stakeholder analysis to determine ministries and work teams that are connected or impacted by the issue/strategic initiative.
  • Liaise with Energy program areas and other ministries to share information about strategic initiatives and to create opportunities for feedback and input.
  • Coordinate input from other teams and ministries, including synthesis of information, summarizing, re-writing, and/or editing material as necessary.
  • Create tools to report on progress of activities to implement strategic initiatives across government.

Support good governance for Energy’s projects and initiatives

  • Leverage research, foresight, and relationships to structure timely governance discussions.
  • Develop agendas and meeting materials that support key governance committees.
  • Draft meeting packages for Deputy Minister of Executive Council reports and Minister-Deputy Minister meetings.
  • Provide secretariat support to senior leader working groups, Ministerial panels, and project task forces, etc.

Scope

The Policy and Research Analyst operates in a dynamic and complex environment involving multiple ministries, governments, and industry stakeholders. This position demands a high attention to detail, strong organizational and planning skills, and an ability to prioritize and deliver on multiple ongoing projects. 

The Policy and Research Analyst must:

  • Operate in an environment of ambiguity. Roles, responsibilities, process, and deliverables are often fluid and left to project teams to determine for themselves.
  • Coordinate strategic initiatives and issues without knowledge or necessarily previous exposure to the policy area or focus.
  • The Policy and Research Analyst performs a highly collaborative role, interacting with staff at all levels, and ensuring that input from all applicable areas of government is presented within planning documents in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.
  • Information reported must be analyzed and reviewed to ensure that division/ministry perspectives are reflected in planning documents.
  • Issues are diverse, complex, and politically sensitive, with this position expected to demonstrate discretion and political acumen.
  • Deliver high quality work in very short timeframes. Quality and accuracy is critical, given that plans and reports are presented to the Premier’s Office, Executive Council, and in some cases, the public.
  • Have the ability to lead and support large, high profile projects, as strategic initiatives are often at the forefront of Deputy Minister, Minister, and Executive Council priorities.
  • Demonstrate exceptional agility, as the Policy and Research Analyst is required to shift focus on a daily - or even hourly - basis, due to the issues management nature of the work.
  • Lead and support cross-government coordination and external stakeholder engagement involving industry executives and senior government leaders. Due to this senior level of participation, the tolerance for risk and error is extremely low and requires plans to reduce risk and ensure quality.
  • Initiate, plan, organize and implement projects based on high-level direction and the intended outcome.
  • Lead or conduct research on various topics while incorporating a clear understanding of issues sensitivities and the overall impact of recommendations, ensuring that the Minister and senior management are appropriately advised.
  • This position is delegated considerable independence to determine priorities and areas of focus, exercising judgment when coordinating the development and production of project plans and strategies and prioritizing multiple responsibilities to meet deadlines.
  • Creativity and judgment are required to develop and present planning information in a manner appropriate for a variety of audiences.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

University graduation in a related field plus 2 years progressively responsible related experience; or equivalent as described below.

Equivalency:  Directly related education or experience considered on the basis of:

  • 1 year of education for 1 year of experience; or
  • 1 year of experience for 1 year of education.

Knowledge:

  • GOA policy development expertise. This position will provide expert advice, options, and recommendations on how to develop and implement policy changes related to Energy’s priority initiatives.
  • Knowledge of policy, planning and decision-making processes in large and complex organizations, as a key function of the position and branch is navigating organizational systems and structures to get timely decisions to move projects forward efficiently.
  • Provincial priorities and emerging issues. Strategic initiatives will typically either focus or be related to these priorities/issues.
  • Familiarity with research theories and methods, including organizational evaluation, project management approaches, and information/data management and security.
  • Preparation of policy decision-making documents such as Ministerial Orders, Cabinet Reports, 4-column documents, Recommendations for Order in Council, etc.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the acts, regulations, and major policies administered by Energy and its ABCs as well as other provincial and federal legislation that is applicable to, and may impact, Energy’s priority initiatives.
  • Other statutes to which the Ministry is subject, such as the Government Organization Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act (APAGA), etc.

Skills:

The Analyst should have the following skills and abilities:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, relationship management and communication skills, including the ability to consult, negotiate with, and communicate direction to, Ministry staff (program areas and senior management).
  • Well-developed analytical and research skills.  Ability to assess complex problems and issues and prepare strategies and solutions in response.
  • Ability to probe for, and subsequently present, information and options that facilitate good Ministry and government decision-making. Ability to develop an idea from the conceptual stage through to implementation, to translate concepts and objectives into a clear and meaningful policy and legislative options.
  • Providing a leadership role in amending legislation, taking into account and balancing a wide range of conflicting influences to ensure that policies are integrated to facilitate the effective delivery of programs and services.
  • Relationship, consensus building, and facilitation skills to manage and coordinate small groups in meeting project deliverables; ability to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary, multi-level team settings.
  • Excellent written communication skills with an aptitude for detail and accuracy and the ability to modify writing style for different target audiences.
  • Independent and self-directed working style with excellent project planning, strong time management, and well-developed organizational skills for managing individual projects and project teams; managing under pressure of short timelines; and ability to assess and balance competing demands on confidential and sensitive matters.
  • Ability to exercise a high degree of independent decision-making by exercising sound judgement and objectivity in dealing with program areas.
  • Good personal decision-making, sound judgment, and objectivity when working with program areas.
  • Strong political acumen and ability to assess sensitivity and risk to specific legislative issues and take actions to manage or mitigate those risks.
  • Well-developed oral and presentation skills for conveying information to peers and senior management.
  • Competency in Microsoft Office software, (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Microsoft Project) to organize and present information that promotes good decision-making.
  • The Analyst position requires the ability to function with maturity in most components of the GOA Competency Model, but the following are deemed to be of somewhat higher profile to success in the position - Systems Thinking, Creative Problem Solving, and Drive for Results.

Experience:

  • Policy development and planning.
  • Project management experience, including setting and meeting timelines, and delivering results.
  • Proven ability to establish positive working relationships with a broad variety of clients and demonstrated success in managing complex issues within short timelines.
  • Managing information flows to ensure decision-makers have timely access to information.
  • Ability to perform effectively on and with a variety of project teams, and with many stakeholders, dealing with highly complex issues and interrelationships.
  • Leading planning sessions, writing project charters, and establishing outcomes and measurements.
  • Experience with databases search techniques and with computer applications including Microsoft Word, Excel, SharePoint, Visio, and PowerPoint and ability to prepare documents with charts and graphs.
  • Conducting research, analysis, and environmental scanning, and developing strategy documents in response to issues.

Education:

  • Post-secondary degree(s) in public administration, business, economics, political science, international relations, or a related discipline.

Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Internal
Projects and Initiatives Branch Daily Provide support, advice, recommendations and contribute to successful work product delivery.
     
Assistant Deputy Ministers’ Offices Bi-Weekly Ad hoc and planned discussion/coordination of inputs into and recommendations for governance updates (e.g. DMEC/MDM).
     
Energy Communications staff Weekly Works collaboratively on joint work products.
     
Other divisions within Energy Weekly Works collaboratively to gather information and data on joint work products.
     
Business units within the departments of Energy, Environment and Parks, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry, Indigenous Relations and Treasury Board and Finance Monthly Leads and supports the development, coordination and implementation of Energy’s projects initiatives.
     
External
Executive Council (Policy and Cabinet Coordination Offices) As required Coordinates documentation and follow-up on any questions from Executive Council to ensure that all necessary information is provided to support Cabinet decision-making.
     
Alberta industry As required Stakeholder engagement plan implementation. Provide/receive information related to strategic initiatives.
     
Working Group/Roundtables As required Support to senior government leaders, the Executive Director and in running the meeting.

Supervision Exercised

  • No supervisory responsibilities for this position.

The Government of Alberta is committed to a diverse and inclusive public service that reflects the population we serve to best meet the needs of Albertans. Consider joining a team where diversity, inclusion and innovation are valued and supported. For more information on diversity and inclusion, please visit the Diversity and Inclusion Policy.