Research and Coordination Services for the Ontario Social Procurement Partnership

You are here

Request for Proposal


Professional services to provide research and coordination services to support the development of a vibrant, sustainable social procurement ecosystem in Ontario. The successful proponent will conduct research, map existing policies and practices, and organize learning opportunities related to the development and implementation of social procurement practices.

This work will support the goals of the partnership between Ontario Trillium Foundation, AnchorTO, Buy Social Canada, and the Canadian Community Economic Development Network ("the Partnership") to leverage existing procurement of goods and services in infrastructure in Ontario to generate social and economic value for all residents.


May 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020


Social procurement is the practice of using existing investment in infrastructure and the purchase of goods and services to generate social and economic value. This includes creating decent work opportunities for jobseekers experiencing barriers, equitable opportunities for diverse suppliers including social enterprises to do business with institutions, and embedding social impact into considerations for awarding contracts. These practices are a promising method to generate inclusive economic development in communities, ultimately reducing poverty.

Residents, community-based agencies, public sector "anchor" institutions, labour organizations and the private sector are all developing capacity to engage in this work. However, the field is still in a developmental phase, and there is a need to connect communities, industries, institutions and other key stakeholders to build a robust, supportive regional ecosystem. This supportive ecosystem will enable the generation and sharing of best practices, tactics, resources, and precedence to scale up the existing initial efforts at implementing social procurement. 

The Partnership is working in collaboration to advance the social procurement work that is being developed by multiple actors across Ontario to support alignment, to share best practices, and increase the capacity of all practitioners to implement social procurement at scale. In particular, the Partnership intends to invite community, anchor institution, industry and labour partners to a summit in November 2019 in Toronto, hosted by  AnchorTO, to establish relationships and develop plans to implement social procurement initiatives across the province.

Scope of Work

This successful proponent will be responsible for developing policy briefs and engagement, research and assessment resources that will assist AnchorTO in managing the relationship between AnchorTO Network partners as well as supporting the planning and organization of the 2019 event.

Specifically, the proponent will be responsible for the following work:

  1. Coordination with the Partnership leads to ensure deliverables produced within the scope of work align and support the objectives of the Partnership organizations. This includes the organization and facilitation of regular meetings, either virtually or in person.
  2. Develop a systems map of social procurement programs, initiatives, and practices currently being implemented or developed in Ontario to identify the state of social procurement in the province. This assessment will result in a map of emerging, disconnected and moving parts of procurement policy and processes that will help identify the necessary supports to advance social procurement in different jurisdictions.
  3. Develop up to four policy briefs on subjects related to inclusive economic development. The purpose of the policy briefs is to advance the inclusive economic development narrative in Ontario. The policy briefs will identify and focus on highlighting the leavers communities across Ontario are using to develop, coordinate and invest in inclusive economic development activities.  
  4. Identification and curation of shared tools and resources that enable social procurement in institutions. These tools and resources will include existing resources already under development and will be shared.
  5. Incubate a provincial community of practice, building on existing communities of practice and tools like the Ontario Trillium Foundation Knowledge Centre. The purpose of this community is to increase awareness of and capacity to engage in social procurement opportunities in Ontario, such as the Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund for social enterprises in Ontario, and social procurement and community benefits opportunities emerging in Toronto and other municipalities.
  6. Support the partnership leads in designing the AnchorTO 2019 Social Procurement Summit including the identification of anchor, community, industry and labour partners outside of Toronto that should be invited, developing programming for the summit to encourage the workshopping of ideas and knowledge transfer, and supporting AnchorTO in the logistics of organizing the summit. The proponent will also be responsible for developing follow-up material and reports after the conclusion of the event.


The proposed budget should not exceed $38,400 inclusive of expenses and taxes.

Reporting Structure, Available Resources and Location:

The proponent will report to the Canadian Community Economic Development Network on behalf of the Partnership.

The Partnership can provide the successful proponent with limited additional resources, such as meeting space, some administration support and printing. Additional resources to support learning activities may also be available with approval from the Partnership leads.

The proponent must be based in Ontario and should be available to meet on a regular basis with Toronto-based partners in the four months leading into the AnchorTO 2019 Summit.


Proponents must submit the following by the end of day on April 8, 2019:

  • A resume or description of experience for all team members who will perform work. This component should outline the individual/team's experience with, or understanding of, social procurement practices, community benefits agreements, social enterprises, community economic development and/or community wealth building.
  • A workplan that describes how the proponent will undertake the scope of work.

Short-listed proponents may be asked to participate in an interview.

Proponents may be an individual or a team. Submissions should be sent to the following

c/o: Erin Mackie
Email: info at
T: 1-844-404-S4ES; 613-565-7437


8 Apr 2019
The Canadian CED Network
Province-wide  Ontario
Partnership Building
Research & Development
Social Economy & Social Enterprise