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Strengthening communities through systems


Canavan Associates (CA), is a boutique consulting team based in Cambridge, MA.  Founded in 2003 by David Canavan, CA takes a ground-level, transparent, and systems-based approach to address complex community problems related to poverty, low-income households, and homelessness. 

On the federal level, CA consults on the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which enables local homeless service providers, Continua of Care (CoCs), across the United States to collect data in order to better assist individuals at risk of homelessness. David Canavan is a member of the HUD SNAPS Disaster Technical Assistance (TA) team, and works with local officials, CoCs, the American Red Cross, and FEMA to support rehousing, disaster sheltering, and resource alignment for CoCs during disaster response and recovery. More recently, the CA team has helped national and local governments, such as the City of Santa Monica, reconceptualize their human service systems so that vulnerable individuals can most effectively access them.

Our services include:

Engaging community leaders

Training development and delivery


Consensus building


Collaborative decision making


Connecting local leaders with data expertise


Software governance

Structuring community processes  


Confidential data use and disclosure


Project and program design


Policy development and implementation


Performance measurement

Managing transparent, public procurement

of software RFPs

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