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Project Management Specialist (Market Systems Team Leader)

USAID (Kenya) Nairobi, Kenya

Summary

USAID Kenya and East Africa Office of Economic Growth and Integration (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. Reporting directly to the Deputy Office Director – Analytics, Partnerships, Policy and Systems (APPS), the Market Systems Team Leader will serve as USAID’s lead for the OEGI Systems Team responsible for providing strategic planning, leadership, management, and technical expertise to ensure the well-coordinated and effective program implementation of the market systems portfolio in USAID/KEA and the OEGI Office. This is an essential leadership position with wide latitude for planning, organizing, and executing assigned responsibilities.

The incumbent will utilize practical knowledge of program and project design, management, and monitoring and evaluation to guide and direct a diverse portfolio that includes a broad range of activities including agribusiness, WASH, energy, trade, finance, health, and environmental impact Kenya and the East Africa region. The incumbent provides leadership and management in OEGI and also directs the mission market systems that ensure across-the-board market systems thinking and strategic leadership. The Market Systems Team Leader participates actively and fully in the organizational management of OEGI. S/he is required to possess a high degree of competence and maturity and will manage productive relationships with senior officials of the Embassy, other donors, the private sector, regional economic communities and government entities, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and private voluntary organizations from the local, regional, and international arenas. The Team Leader is the senior market systems advisor who will provide highest level strategic and leadership services in the areas comprising OEGI regional and partnerships programs. The Team Leader is recognized by the USG and the GOK as an expert in the field of building partnerships and market systems strengthening programs and serves as a key advisor to mission management, the USG Interagency, the GOK, and to implementing partners (IPs). The incumbent is expected to understand the operational principles of markets and incorporate an understanding of Collaborative Learning and Adaptation into all activity design, implementation, and evaluation duties.  

The incumbent will lead the development and management of programs designed to implement USAID’s activities promoting market systems in Kenya and in the region opening access to integrated domestic, regional, and international markets. S/he will also provide analytical and technical support in strengthening business opportunities.

Description

Statement of Duties to be Performed

Strategic and Technical Leadership                                                 40%  

The incumbent serves as USAID/KEA representative in the Market Systems Project discussions. S/he is a strategic thought partner with the OEGI teams on market systems strengthening with Resilience and Food Security (RFS) and Private Sector Solutions (PSS) centers of Excellence (COEs). The Team Leader provides leadership and participation in establishing linkages and networks for engagement with other technical offices (HPN, ENV, and EDY) and market systems, e.g., actors/players, farmers, processors, government regulators, and other development partners. S/he leads and directs the co-design and co-implementation of market infrastructure activities to improve intra- and regional trade i.e., holding areas (quarantine centers), warehousing, and testing points and in policy discussions that strengthen market systems. S/he will be considered an expert resource on market systems strengthening strategic discussions in OEGI and other sectors across the Mission. 

The Specialist will scan, analyze and monitor the operating environment, identify potential partnership opportunities, and ensure that the partnership pipeline database is up to date. S/he provides technical assistance and leadership to the OEGI activity managers in developing partnerships with market system actors. 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 local solutions, as well as engage in Collaborative Learning and Adapting (CLA) communities of practice. The incumbent will actively contribute to monitoring, evaluation, analysis, and learning at the Project and Development Objective level.  S/he will synthesize trends at the regional/national levels and incorporate learning from all analyses into current and future programming and share extensively across all stakeholders.

In collaboration with development partners, the incumbent will provide technical leadership to, and facilitate the management of, a community of practice on value chains and markets for agricultural commodities in Eastern Africa. 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.

Program/Project Management                                                              25% 

The Market Systems Team Leader plans, designs, develops, and provides strategic leadership and technical assistance in managing new and existing market systems strengthening programs and activities. These duties include activity design, leading procurement processes, and activity or project implementation, identifying and resolving program issues, assuring that all activities are carried out in a technically sound and cost-effective manner and in accordance with all applicable Mission and Agency directives and requirements. 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 relevant to the regional Feed the Future and other focus areas in OEGI.  

The incumbent will be responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of implementing partners and other agriculture and other activities, for obtaining and reporting on results and possible setbacks, and for initiating programmatic adjustments, when necessary. The incumbent is responsible for monitoring and evaluation at the project/activity levels, including 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 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.)

As AOR/COR, the Market Systems Team Leader 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, and outreach communications, and closeouts. The Team Leader will support OEGI, Mission, and USG efforts to ensure 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 in Kenya and the region.

Representation and Reporting                                                              25% 

The Market Systems 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 market systems strengthening and value chain development. As a respected development professional, the Team Leader liaises with local, regional, and international private-sector partners, as well as agricultural policy and promotion officials in the public sector. He/she will represent USAID at events with stakeholders including Ambassadors, Mission Directors, other senior USG Agency representatives (particularly the U.S. Trade Representative), regional economic communities, national-level counterparts, bilateral and multilateral donors, and corporate executives.

The Team Leader will respond to U.S. Congressional inquiries and other Washington policy and operational requests, supporting VIP visits, and carrying out ad-hoc assignments as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements. As a senior member of the OEGI, 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.

Staff Supervision and Team Management                                  10% 

The Team Leader ensures smooth office operations and provides program leadership within the Market Systems 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 address 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. 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.

Supervisory Relationship

The incumbent will receive minimal supervision from the APPS Deputy Office Director who provides general supervision and broad policy objectives. S/he 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 (Land Tenure) FSN-11 and PMS (Market Competitiveness) FSN-10.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

Education
Master's Degree

Education

Master’s Degree in Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics/Marketing, 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 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 marketing, agricultural trade, and best practices in integrating market systems thinking in development is required. Familiarity with, and proven ability to support, implementation of market-driven solutions in the planning and development efforts of public-sector officials, particularly in Kenya and the Regional Economic Communities such as EAC and COMESA is required. This position requires senior-level technical expertise in, knowledge, and understanding of the provisions and principles of market systems.

-     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 trade and trade agreements, and how those practices might be used in Kenya and 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 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. 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. The applicant must demonstrate the ability to prepare well-written reports in English. 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 too.

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]