Community & Social Services

We work in collaboration with our clients and community, leveraging human-centered approaches to deliver and continuously improve social services programs.

Designing services for people. With people.

We take a human-centred approach to service design by engaging the people we are designing for in every step of the process. We work closely with people who use and administer community services to ensure we’re designing solutions that serve community, improve people’s lives, and translate big ideas to tangible action.

Davis Pier allowed the experts—the staff and the clients themselves—to inform our work in a new way. They became true partners to our team and they also became coaches for us on what a transformation agenda could tangibly look like.

—Lynn Hartwell, Client
a father carrying his young children

Feed Nova Scotia

Davis Pier and Pier Labs are tackling tangible issues like food insecurity and community partnerships are a vital to this work—partnerships like to one we’ve built with Nick Jennery and the team at Feed Nova Scotia.

When COVID-19 hit, the team at Feed Nova Scotia weren’t sure how to get food to people who needed it. Davis Pier helped create the infrastructure and processes to make it happen—and did whatever it took to get emergency food boxes in the hands of community members quickly.


boxes of food


people supported

Community-led solutions to community challenges

Our team has significant experience working with community-based and government social service organizations. We understand the unique needs of the sector and the community-based organizations that provide wraparound supports and programs to the people who need them.


Housing is one most critical and complex challenges facing Canadian communities and governments. Davis Pier and Pier Labs are working in community and across the country to help our clients develop effective strategies to accelerate and scale housing supply solutions—and build community and consensus along the way.

Food Security

We work closely with people experiencing food insecurity, service providers, and community partners to develop solutions that support communities in the short term and drive innovation for the long term. We leverage our expertise in human-centered design, community engagement, and behavioural insights to design, test, and implement interventions in real time, with real people.

Justice & Public Safety

We design justice and community-focused programs and services that leverage our experience working in and with the legal community to develop and implement accessible programs and pathways for the public. Through our work we seek to engage with and amplify community voices that highlight the lived experiences of people within the justice system to ensure policy and programs are designed to serve all needs.

Disability Supports

We are actively supporting transformation efforts to enable provincial systems to design and deliver human-centred services that improve choice, inclusion, and opportunities for people living with disabilities. We partner with our client organizations at every step of the process to design, plan, and implement sustainable change. 

Childcare & Wellbeing

Access to high-quality, affordable, and inclusive childcare services is a critical need across the country. We work with government, service providers, and families to develop solutions that are culturally responsive and tailored to community needs, values, and priorities.

Employment & Skills Development

Meaningful employment and training programs aren’t just about job creation, it’s about creating the conditions that support people in starting, growing, and advancing in their careers.  Our work leverages human-centred design and behavioural insights to improve employment attachment, economic impact, and outcomes for people.

Social Assistance

We have been integral partners in the redesign of provincial income assistance systems. And we’ve driven social impact through our collaborative, person-centred, and insights-driven approach to service design and delivery.

Education & Early Learning

We work with and behind educators, focusing on the administrative and operational systems that enable them to prioritize supporting families, students, and learning outcomes. We focus on the wraparound supports and systems that ensure students and educators have what they need to achieve positive outcomes in and out of the classroom.

Post-Secondary Education

We understand the complexities, challenges, and opportunities facing post-secondary education across Canada and how this impacts day-to-day operations and the experiences of students, staff, faculty, community, and partners. With our proven track record in service design, participatory approaches to engagement, and expertise in transformation and change, we are well equipped to support the needs of the sector and enhance the experience of the people involved along the way.

Community & Social Services Insights

Stay up to date on our latest thinking, white papers, and perspectives.

Our work in Community & Social Services

Community & Social Services

MyJobMatch: Employment Supports for Individuals with Disabilities

The Challenge The Ontario Employment Support Service is undergoing significant transformation that includes changes in how the supports for job seekers living with developmental disabilities are funded. Employment with purpose is well…

Community & Social Services

AspireAtlantic Employment Program

The Challenge Atlantic Canada has long experienced hardships in the labour market compared to the rest of the country. The work to recruit, retain, and train more people in the skilled trades…

Community & Social Services

Neill-Wycik Co-operative Organizational Review

The Challenge Neill-Wycik Co-operative was seeking a partner to complete an organizational review to support its financial health and ensure value for its members. We worked to identify Neill-Wycik Co-operative’s core value proposition…