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22-84 Project Management Specialist (Economic Growth Policy Team Leader)

USAID (Kenya) Nairobi, Kenya

Summary

The Economic Growth Policy Team Leader is an essential leadership position in the Office of Economic Growth and Integration (OEGI), operating under the supervision of the Deputy Office Director for Analytics, Partnerships, Policy and Systems (APPS) but with wide latitude for planning, organizing, and executing assigned responsibilities. OEGI implements a portfolio aiming to reduce hunger and poverty through agricultural interventions; increase resilience of households and communities; enable affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy; increase sustainable delivery of water and sanitation service; and catalyzes finance, trade, and investment to bolster development. The incumbent provides strategic planning, management, and technical leadership to OEGI and the broader USAID/KEA Mission in the formulation of policies and strategies and leads and directs the management of bilateral and regional programs designed to implement USAID’s strategy. S/he is responsible for capacity development and provides technical leadership to the policy teams in coordination, ensuring that programs are leveraged with other efforts to promote regionally integrated economic growth and trade. S/he must understand and apply a highly technical body of knowledge, as well as applicable laws and agency regulations and instructions. The incumbent will have significant key representational duties with the Embassy, other donors, and the private sector, with a particular focus on building strong partnerships with national and county governments regarding the matters of agricultural sector policy, agricultural markets, value chains, and private sector linkages policy and policy reform. The incumbent provides senior-level technical expertise in the design, negotiation, management and monitoring of agriculture, WASH, and trade activities, and evaluation of economic, political, and other trends that affect the development of agricultural policy, trade, and policy reforms. S/he is expected to incorporate science, technology, and innovation as well as Collaborative Learning and Adaptation into all activity design, implementation, and evaluation duties. The incumbent provides strategic technical leadership to OEGI and other technical offices and is expected to participate actively and fully in the Mission’s strategic planning and execution in these areas.

Description

Statement of Duties to be Performed

Strategic and Technical Leadership                                           40%     

The Economic Growth Policy Team Leader serves as a strategic and senior technical advisor to OEGI and the US Mission to Kenya on issues related to policy and trade. The incumbent will keep abreast of and analyze economic, political, and other trends affecting agricultural and other sectors' development and will keep the Mission informed of these trends. Being an expert resource on policy, the incumbent leads and participates actively in internal and external strategy discussions, including active engagement across sectors at the Mission. S/he will synthesize trends at the national and regional levels, incorporate learning from all analyses into current and future programming, and share extensively across all stakeholders.

The Specialist will identify ways to further meet both USG foreign policy, the East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Central Africa (COMESA), agricultural sector policy objectives. This includes liaising closely with USAID’s Bureau of Food Security and Global Development Lab on technical solutions, and the development of new, innovative concepts and program designs that engage both traditional and non-traditional partners, with a focus on local solutions and access to technology. The incumbent will lead and/or actively participate in Collaborative Learning and Adapting (CLA) communities of practice. As a recognized technical expert and resource person in agricultural markets, value chains, and private sector linkages policy issues, the incumbent will be responsible for ensuring that U.S. Government development assistance programming reflects best practices. S/he is expected to have a full understanding of external factors, such as inimical trade policies and the adverse effects of climate change variability. S/he will build and maintain strong and supportive relations with other USG technical offices and USG agencies involved in agriculture, governance, trade, and climate change, as well as other donors (from both public and private sectors) and multilateral partners, including regional African institutions such COMESA and the EAC. In collaboration with other development partners, the incumbent will provide expert technical leadership to, and facilitate the management of, a community of practice on value chains and markets for agricultural commodities policy agenda. Areas of knowledge and best practice should include theory and practice of value chain development/improvement, aggregation of commodities, quality standards and management, storage and warehousing, warehouse receipt systems, financial innovations, logistics and transportation systems, market information systems linked with internet and mobile telephone platforms, and finance and credit systems along value chains from producers to food retailers.

Representation and Coordination                                                     25% 

The EG Policy Team Leader represents OEGI and USAID/KEA at public events and in meetings with senior leaders in the Kenyan, East African and American private sector; in the Kenyan government; and with implementing partners and other stakeholders. S/he is a principal mission contact with American, Kenyan, and international public and private sector officials on issues related to agriculture sector policy reform, trade, and capacity development.

S/he will be required to maintain relationships and convene stakeholder meetings with a wide range of senior contacts in government and semi-autonomous government agencies, private sector and civil society organizations, donor agencies, implementing partners, regional African institutions, and other stakeholders as related to agriculture and trade policy discussions. S/he will represent USAID and the USG with internal and external audiences as required. The Team Leader facilitates knowledge management through the exchange of technical information and ideas, collaborates on cross-cutting issues, provides effective collaboration, and promotes program/project synergies. The team Leader represents USAID/KEA to a number of different stakeholders including Ambassadors, Mission Directors, other senior USG Agency representatives, regional economic communities, national-level counterparts, bilateral and multilateral donors, and corporate executives.

The EG Policy Team Leader will respond to the U.S. Congressional inquiries and other Washington policy and operational requests, support VIP visits, and carry out ad-hoc assignments as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements. As a member of the Regional Agricultural Trade Team, s/he will participate in the writing of annual and other reports, success stories, press releases, and other communications related to his/her roles and responsibilities. S/he will prepare project appraisal documents, budgets, and memos, and respond to tasks from within USAID/Nairobi, USAID/Washington, and other USG entities, as needed. S/he will be required to assist in creating a supportive work environment that values diversity and elicits the highest possible level of performance from all team members, including the accomplishment of all other duties as assigned.

Program Management, Evaluation and Reporting                              25% 

The EG Policy Team Leader will plan, design, develop, and manage new and existing agriculture, WASH, trade and other programs and activities as a team member in OEGI. S/he is a thought leader in developing the policy agenda in OEGI and with internal and external stakeholders. S/he will serve as the Agreement/Contracting Officer's Representative (AOR/COR) or activity manager for programs and activities that include policy reform, capacity development, and other areas in Kenya and in the East African region. Adaptability and flexibility will be required as the Team Leader’s primary responsibilities may change over time as new USAID strategies and OEGI priorities emerge.

The incumbent will be responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of implementing partners and other agriculture and trade sector activities, for obtaining and reporting on results and possible setbacks, and for initiating programmatic adjustments on policy, when necessary. These will include the development of the project and activity-level M&E plans, Data Quality Assessments, and technical evaluations. The incumbent will provide input into high-quality evaluations conducted by the Program Office and analyze data and information sources to inform programming policy changes and decisions. The incumbent is responsible for drafting narratives and providing other inputs into the planning (Operational Plan) and Reporting (Performance Plan and Report; Mission Resource Request, CBJ, CBN, etc.) on policy. As AOR/COR, the incumbent is responsible for the development and implementation of annual work plans, schedules for budget allocation, obligation, and expenditure, portfolio reviews, evaluation planning, and implementation, audits, development, outreach communications, and closeouts. The Specialist will support OEGI, Mission, and USG efforts to ensure the effective, cost-effective, and responsible programming and reporting in compliance with USG and USAID regulations and ethics standards, and, ultimately, help USAID achieve its objectives as per the CDCS and RDCS.

Staff Supervision and Team Management                                     10% 

The EG Policy Team Leader ensures fluid office operations and provides program leadership within the Policy Team. Supervises Cooperating Country Nationals, which includes developing annual work objectives, identifying appropriate training opportunities, mentoring and coaching them in facilitation of professional development. Conducts regular performance reviews and addresses any performance challenges that may arise. The Team Leader is a vital member of the APPS Center of Excellence leadership team and will work with the overall leadership team to develop and implement OEGI’s strategy. In the absence of the Director of the APPS Center of Excellence Director, the incumbent may serve as Acting Deputy Director for the overall Center with oversight of 18 staff.

Supervisory Relationship

The incumbent will receive minimal supervision from the APPS Deputy Office Director who provides broad policy objectives and results expected. The incumbent will handle work assignments independently according to established policies, previous training, and accepted practices. S/he will be expected to develop her/his own work schedule and procedures for accomplishing tasks, and to independently resolve problems that may arise during the execution of objectives.

Supervisory Controls

The incumbent will supervise two Cooperating Country Nationals PMS (Agriculture Policy), FSN-11 and PMS (SPS Regional Policy Coordinator), FSN-11.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

Education
Master's Degree

Master’s Degree in policy, agricultural marketing, agribusiness, agricultural economics, business administration, international development, or other closely related field is required.

Language Proficiency

Level IV (Fluent) English and Kiswahili in speaking and writing is required.

More Details on Experience

Prior Work Experience

Seven (7) years of professional-level experience in agriculture or agricultural trade program management. Experience designing and working with public and private sector stakeholders in East Africa on programs designed to improve agricultural commodity value chains or increase agricultural trade. Prior experience designing, implementing and monitoring development projects designed to improve agricultural commodities and value chains. Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with institutional and private sector partners and stakeholders in a multinational setting. Experience in implementing activities designed to leverage investments to support development goals in the area of agricultural development.

Terms And Conditions

EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1.  The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c).  In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers.  The FAR provisions referenced above are available at //www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.

-     Job Knowledge (60 points)

A comprehensive knowledge of agricultural trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS), and best practices in integrating viable agricultural commodities into competitive markets is required. A comprehensive knowledge of the implementation of market-driven solutions in the planning and development efforts of public-sector officials, particularly Regional Economic Communities such as EAC and COMESA is required. Thorough understanding of the key logistical challenges faced in the East Africa region and a proven ability to develop and implement innovative solutions to such challenges, either in the region or in a similar development context. High level of knowledge of plant and animal health sciences, food safety, international treaties and standards, and World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements on SPS and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), as well as knowledge and understanding of the provisions and principles of relevant international agreements and protocols.

-     Skills and abilities (40 points)

Due to frequent interaction with external stakeholders in high stakes environments, the jobholder must be able to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions and communicate effectively to ensure positive working relationships are maintained. Ability to read, interpret, and understand global best practices related to agricultural free trade agreements, and how those practices might be used in the East Africa region. Ability to articulate the private sector perspective in dialogue with public sector officials, and to ensure that new regional and national level SPS policies incorporate this perspective. Ability to broker alliances between the public and private sector that leverage investments and enhance project sustainability. Ability to work effectively with high-level personnel from government, donor community, implementing partners, and other development organizations. The job holder must demonstrate the ability to prepare well-written reports in English. Ability to prepare reports and technical and policy briefs with short deadlines. Ability to process information from a wide variety of sources into cohesive, polished documents. Ability to adapt in the face of change, synthesize new information, and then provide sound advice to Mission management and others. Ability to assess problems and develop sound solutions, such as planning for and administering funds, personnel, and equipment to best serve program oversight objectives. Ability to work with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment. Ability to shepherd projects in various stages of design and implementation, including developing budget spreadsheets and statements of work and reviewing and analyzing project reports, financial statements, and quarterly/annual results reporting to ensure on-time achievement of project deliverables. Strong communications and interpersonal skills. Ability to manage and supervise other technical personnel. Advanced competency in MS Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Ability to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and web-based knowledge-sharing tools.

Total possible points:  100

SUBMITTING AN OFFER

Step 1: Register in MyJobsInKenya at www.myjobsinkenya.com

Step 2: Complete the job application at www.myjobsinkenya.com.

Step 3: Internal Offerors/Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages), a copy of your most recent Performance Evaluation Report, and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload them to MyJobsInKenya.

                        OR

External Offerors/Not Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload them to MyJobsInKenya.

Offerors must provide a list of minimum three (3) professional references who are not family members or relatives, with complete name, title, organization where he/she works, description of relationship, with working/accurate telephone numbers and email addresses. The offeror’s references must be able to provide substantive information about his/her past performance and abilities.

Note to Applicants:

  1. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted through myjobsinkenya.com.
  2. Submissions will only be accepted through www.myjobsinkenya.com. Late and incomplete applications (those that do not contain the applicant’s most current and up to date detailed CV and relevant education certificates) will not be considered for the position.
  3. All Applicants must provide at least three professional references, who are not family members or relatives, with working telephone and e-mail contacts. The references must be able to provide substantive information about your past performance and abilities. USAID reserves the right to contact your previous employers for relevant information concerning your performance and may consider such information in its evaluation of the application.

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

The services provided under this contract are expected to be of a continuing nature that will be executed by USAID through a series of sequential contracts, subject to the availability of funds, the continued need for services and successful performance. It is anticipated that the selection of the successful candidate will be completed within an estimated six-month period from the closing date of this solicitation. The base period will be for one year with the commencement date based upon successful medical clearance and security certification. Contingent on Agency needs, the Contracting Officer may exercise four additional option periods from the contract commencement date.

ELIGIBLE OFFERORS

Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens, including current locally hired employees of the US Government in Kenya. Employees presently on probation are ineligible to apply.

SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED

Security certification issued by the US Embassy RSO

LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS PRIOR TO AWARD

The CO will provide instructions about how to complete and submit any required forms after an offeror is selected for the contract award.

BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES

Benefits and allowances are offered in accordance with the Local Compensation Plan (LCP).

TAXES

The Contractor must observe Kenyan laws including those concerning income and related tax obligations.

USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs

USAID regulations and policies governing CCN and TCN PSC awards are available at these sources:

  1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix J, “Direct USAID Contracts With a Cooperating Country National and with a Third Country National for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at //www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf
  2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at //www.usaid.gov/forms. Pricing by line item is to be determined upon contract award
  3. Acquisition & Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at //www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs
  4. Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635.  See //www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%20Regulations
  5. PSC Ombudsman
    The PSC Ombudsman serves as a resource for any Personal Services Contractor who has entered into a contract with the United States Agency for International Development and is available to provide clarity on their specific contract with the agency. Please visit our page for additional information: //www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/personal-service-contracts-ombudsman

The PSC Ombudsman may be contacted via: [email protected]