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Danica Straith

Sustainability Analyst | Program Evaluator | Public Facilitator

Cover Letter

Ontario Solar Provider
1 Atlantic Ave #105
Toronto, ON M6K 3E7

March 2nd, 2015

Please accept my application to the Business Development Associate position at Ontario Service Provider (OSP).

I would be delighted to apply my analytical mind, entrepreneurial spirit, and integrative sustainable management skillset to support the development of the OSP business within Canada and globally. With a M.Sc. Integrated Water Resources Management from McGill University, I have the educational background to understand the biophysical, environmental, institutional and socio-economics aspects of water use and management in an integrated context. Over the last four years, I have extended this holistic perspective beyond the water sector to support a variety of global socio-ecological sustainability initiatives and social businesses, including a an enterprise I co-founded in 2011. I am certain that my dynamic capacity will line up to serve the needs of a dedicated Business Development Associate within OSP. 

From Spring 2012- Winter 2013, I worked with the Institute for Ecological Economy Research in Berlin, Germany with a team consulting social enterprises in the water sector. This involved supply chain analysis of eco-sanitation ventures. I also wrote tailored “Change Reports” for several social enterprises in South America, Europe, Asia and East Africa on operational and network scaling pathways to advance their social missions. From Spring 2013-Spring 2014, I supported the leadership of the BALTA Scaling Innovation for Sustainability Project through research and consultation on scaling strategies for sustainability initiatives within the BALTA membership of 30 + social ventures, research institutions and community groups across Canada and the UK. Most recently, from Summer 2014-Winter 2015, I conducted a program evaluation of Evergreen’s Canada-wide Urban Watershed Restoration Program to address issues pertaining to water quality monitoring, quality assurance and quality control, data management and reporting, citizen science education and community engagement. In this role, I comprehensively redesigned programming to better achieve the program’s restoration mission and to attract new regional partners. 

Over the course of my career, I have built a strong, diverse, and global network through my strengths as an active listener, collaborator, facilitator, and adviser on strategic and sustainable entrepreneurship. In doing so, I have hosted multiple presentations, multi-stakeholder dialogues and university lectures on sustainable management practices across several basic needs sectors (water, sanitation, food, housing, finance and energy) in Canada and Europe. 

 I would be delighted by the opportunity to support the OSP team to propel business and shape the global future of energy generation. Please find my CV below, where you will find information on my education, experience, and skills as well as links to some of my online publications and blog posts.

Thank you for your consideration of my application.

Danica Straith

Work experience

Jul 2014Jan 2015

Program Evaluator


Vancouver, Canada

Program Analysis: Examined Evergreen’s urban watershed monitoring and restoration program to evaluate the quality of the citizen science initiative, training, data collection methods and strategy for community engagement.

Program Design: Re-designed programming to enhance the impact of the watershed restoration and education mission deep into urban centers. This included the procurement of new water monitoring equipment, re-writing methods and event leader training booklets, and coordinating the start-up of a regional water quality monitoring database with other local stewardship groups.

Urban Watershed Restoration: Facilitated public watershed restoration events across Metro Vancouver and Victoria, including educational water quality monitoring, invasive removal, native planting.

Social Media: Actively contributed to the Uncover Your Creeks website, blog and social media on topics relating to urban watershed restoration, urban water quality, green infrastructure, and citizen science.

May 2013Jun 2014

Research Associate/ Project Facilitator 

BALTA Scaling Innovation for Sustainability Project

Montreal, Canada

Social Economy Scaling Research: Researched and developed a lexicon of scaling strategies unique to the social economy that can be used to enhance the impact of proven sustainability innovations in housing, finance, food and energy.

Grant Writing: Co-wrote a $2.5 million SSHRC Partnership Grant proposal.

Theoretical Framework and Methodology Design: Researched and developed the theoretical framework and methodology for the BALTA alliance of 30+ partners involved in the Scaling Innovation for Sustainability Project.

Knowledge Dissemination: Published academic articles and innovation blog posts as well as hosted workshops and presentations on scaling in the social economy.

Project Coordination: Assisted in the Scaling Innovation for Sustainability project facilitation and the coordination or the 30+ social enterprises, co-operatives and academics.

May 2012Jan 2013

Research Fellow 

Institute for Ecological Economy Research

Berlin, Germany

Facilitation: Hosted workshops in Frankfurt, Germany on (1) Capacity Building and (2) Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector to a host of development bankers, social entrepreneurs, NGO's and academics.

Social Innovation Research: Examined the role and potential of social entrepreneurship in the water sector. Public Consultation: Conducted qualitative field research in Nairobi, Kenya on eco-sanitation based social enterprises and their role in solving the sanitation crisis in urban informal settlements.

Knowledge Dissemination: Produced and finalized the GETIDOS team’s “Change Reports,” which articulated scaling strategies specific to five social enterprises in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

Sep 2010Jul 2011



Social Business Development: Developed business plan for Streetsuds laundry service, which operates as a transitional employment program for Montreal’s homeless community.

Fundraising: Wrote grants and participated in entrepreneurial competitions to raise the enterprise start-up costs. This involved the establishment of strategic partnerships with leading donors, independent consultants, community co-ops, and community social re-integration workers.

May 2010Jun 2011

Creative Arts Coordinator

St-James Drop-in Centre

Montreal, Canada

Program Coordination: Day to day studio management, supplies procurement, art transactions, expositions, media relations as well as client membership.

Counselling: Supported artists struggling with mental health and addition issues through therapeutic art projects and one on one counselling.

Community Engagement: Engaged men and women struggling with homelessness and social isolation in downtown Montreal in the fine arts for therapeutic expression.

May 2009Jul 2009

Organizational Advisor (Intern)

Women's Microfinance Initiative

Capacity Building: Instructed the local directors on basic computer skills (typing, Microsoft Word, Excel, e-mail and Internet Explorer).

Web Content Development: Created online testimonials to inform donors about the various microfinance borrowers for the WMI website.

Teaching: Taught daily English tutorials with village children.

Apr 2009Jun 2009

Community Organizer (Intern)

Maji na Ufanisi (Water and Sanitation

Public Consultation and Facilitation: Lead focus group discussions on community needs for sanitation in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Facilitated conversations on how to transition charity based organizations into self-sustaining social sanitation enterprises.

Exit Strategy Development: Developed a sustainable Exit Strategy Report for Maji na Ufanisi on the effective termination of financial support to their community based partner organizations centered around water and sanitation.



Master of Science

McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Integrated Water Resources Management


Honours BA

McGill University, Montreal, Canada

International Development Studies


1st Place Not for Profit Enterprises for StreetSuds Social Enterprise

Montreal, Canada


Straith, D., J. Adamowski, and K. Reilly. "Exploring the behavioural attributes, strategies and contextual knowledge of champions of change in the Canadian water sector." Canadian Water Resources Journal 39.3 (2014): 255-269. 

Gismondi, M., Marois, J, and Straith, D. “Unleashing Local Capital: Scaling Cooperative Local Investing Practices”. In E. Huddart Kennedy, M. J. Cohen, and N. Krogman’s (Eds.) Putting Sustainability into Practice: Advances and Applications of Social Practice Theories, Edward Elgar
Publishing (in press).

Mohaupt, F., Buschmann, C., Straith, D. and Karanja, B. “Social Business in Sanitation”. The Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development (under review).

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