1. SOLICITATION NO.: 20-128.
2. ISSUANCE DATE: December 15, 2020.
3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: January 15, 2021 (4:30 PM East Africa Time).
4. POSITION TITLE: Project Management Specialist (Youth).
5. MARKET VALUE: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 12: Step 1: 6,558,709.00 KSH to Step 13:11,149,825.00 KSH per annum). In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of USAID/ Kenya and East Africa. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.
6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Initial 1-year probationary period with 4 additional option years contingent on performance, position need, and funds availability.
7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya; with possible travel as stated in the Statement of Work.
8. SECURITY CERTIFICATION REQUIRED: Prior to joining USAID, the selected candidate will be required to:
- Undergo a comprehensive background investigation
- Undergo a health check to obtain medical clearance and;
- Obtain and Retain an embassy issued Security Certification.
9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES: (See Below).
10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens. USAID provides equal opportunity and equitable treatment for employment of all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status or sexual orientation.
11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The position requirements do not involve rigorous physical demands.
The Project Management Specialist (Youth) position is located in the USAID/Kenya and East Africa’s (USAID/KEA) Office of Education and Youth (EDY). The EDY Office implements a diverse portfolio to improve literacy outcomes of primary school students nationwide, strengthen host-government’s education management information system, increase educational and employment opportunities for young adults, build the capacity of youth networks, and prepare the next generation of young African leaders with the skills and mindset to transform the region.
The PMS is a key member of the Education and Youth team and reports to the Office Director or a designee. The PMS provides high level technical and management leadership to EDY through the oversight of USAID/KEA’s youth engagement activities across the entire portfolio, including elements of the flagship basic education program as well as a flagship youth workforce development program. The PMS will lead the youth team and youth activities to support the office’s use of evidence-backed data to promote the policy interests of the U.S. Government (USG). The incumbent will advance USAID/KEA’s contributions to USG policy strategies including the USAID Policy Framework/Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR), the USG Strategy on International Basic Education, the USAID Education Policy, and the USAID Youth in Development Policy.
The PMS will serve as USAID’s liaison and representative and engage regularly with high-level Government of Kenya (GOK) representatives, senior Ministry of Education (MOE) counterparts within Basic Education, Technical Vocational Education and Training, and Higher Education and education parastatal institutions to build the capacity of host institution workforce development programs. The incumbent serves as a subject matter expert providing high level technical guidance to EDY office leadership, the broader USAID/KEA mission, implementing partners (IPs) involved in youth-related programming, and the GOK.
The incumbent must understand and apply a highly technical body of knowledge as well as applicable laws and agency regulations and instructions. The incumbent will provide technical assistance to the MOE to improve its capacity to support and implement youth and workforce development objectives. The Project Management Specialist (Youth) will closely collaborate with other USAID/KEA offices and USAID/Washington to achieve objectives of the USAID/KEA Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) and Regional Development Cooperation Strategy and to translate strategic information into meaningful policy and program improvements.
The incumbent will be based in Nairobi but will be required to travel on occasion across Kenya to monitor programmatic activities.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGIC PLANNING 35%
- The PMS will provide specialized advice and strategic direction for the Mission’s youth engagement and for EDY’s youth portfolio. The incumbent oversees planning, activity design, and activity implementation.
- Lead the GOK and other stakeholders to plan, design, develop, and manage new and existing youth programs and activities. Provide strategic decision making on activity implementation; identify and resolve programmatic issues; assure that all activities are technically sound and cost-effective in accordance with applicable Mission and Agency directives and requirements.
- Ensure technical direction supports the achievement of results and contributes to sustainable outcomes that increase local ownership and leadership. Provide specialized technical input and leadership in the design, negotiation, and work planning for all youth activities.
- Adapt and respond to emerging and evolving needs within the context of youth and workforce development including but not limited to distance learning, digital communication, market-aligned training, entrepreneurship, and private sector engagement.
- Serve as COR, AOR, or activity manager for programs and activities that include policy reform, local capacity development, and other areas related to youth and workforce development objectives of the Mission and Agency.
- Oversee multiple Chiefs of Party (COPs) with the ability to convene all COPs to discuss technical issues relevant to the youth portfolio. Provide technical and programmatic guidance to implementing partners on linking youth activities with other Mission priorities including adolescent girls and young women, private sector engagement, and ICT.
- Apply USAID policies, judgement, and mastery of technical knowledge to strategically guide the EDY youth portfolio to achieve impact in youth and workforce development in Kenya.
- Oversee monitoring and evaluation of implementing partners and other youth sector activities through site visits and annual review of work plans and progress reports to ensure compliance with USAID guidelines; track expenditures and accruals against obligations; analyze and report on results; and practice adaptive management to make programmatic adjustments when necessary and make recommendations to implementing partners to increase project impact and enhance sustainability.
- Design and procure external evaluations for education and youth activities and ensure evaluation findings are integrated into new and existing programs. Ensure that evaluation data is used appropriately for decision making.
- Provide input into annual plans, budget, schedules for allocation, obligation, and expenditure, portfolio reviews, evaluation planning and implementation, audits, communication and outreach activities, and other EDY, Mission, or USG efforts to ensure effective, cost-effective, and responsible programming and reporting in compliance with USG and USAID regulations and ethics standards.
- Develop strategies and detailed implementation plans for youth activities under the Mission’s Operation Plan, Mission Resource Request, and Country Development Cooperation Strategy that contribute toward Kenya’s journey to self-reliance.
- Establish and maintain regular communication channels with youth for outreach purposes to gain insight on relevant issues.
2. TECHNICAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY AND COUNTY COORDINATION 25%
- The PMS will serve as a policy and technical advisor to EDY. The incumbent will provide technical assistance and coaching to staff, implementing partners, GOK Ministry of Education and county government representatives, and other stakeholders to improve youth and workforce development activities.
- Serve as a senior technical advisor to EDY, USAID/KEA, and the U.S. Mission to Kenya on youth and workforce development and other sector reforms.
- Serve as the youth and workforce development specialist and provide technical leadership to EDY staff and its implementing partners including teams within the GOK to develop and manage appropriate strategies and practices tailored to the education and youth context of USAID and Kenya.
- Advise EDY staff on the development and implementation of USAID/KEA country development cooperation strategies and related youth activities and programs.
- Enhance internal capacity building by identifying areas of need and coaching/mentoring the youth team members to manage youth programs with an emphasis on CLA approaches.
- Ensure the Agency’s Journey to Self-Reliance principle underpins all capacity building activities, leading to sustainability beyond USAID assistance.
- Coordinate USAID/KEA programs within and beyond EDY to ensure efficient and effective use of limited USAID development resources to ensure the greatest development gains.
- Establish, develop, and manage relationships with county governments, higher education institutions, youth organizations, and the private sector, convening them when necessary to support coordination and collaboration toward effective and sustainable solutions for Kenyan youth.
- Serve as the USAID/KEA point of contact for youth issues including training and workforce development, higher education institutions (including TVETs, polytechnics, and vocational training centers), youth engagement, youth networks, community engagement and mobilization, monitoring, evaluation, and learning, and other issues.
3. SUPERVISION AND MENTORSHIP 25%
The PMS will supervise up to five CCN staff on the EDY youth team.
- Provide leadership and oversight to the youth portfolio and activities within that portfolio through supervising and mentoring junior to mid-level CCNs within EDY in consultation with the Office Director. Provide guidance and support to the team to build their skills and comprehensive knowledge of relevant issues and subject matter.
- Oversee work products and ensure staff meet or exceed established performance standards. Ensure that team members fulfill responsibilities in a timely and effective manner. Assist the EDY Office Director in ensuring a supportive work environment that values diversity and elicits the highest possible level of performance from the team.
- Support learning and training opportunities for staff to grow and expand their skill sets.
4. COORDINATION, PARTNER RELATIONS, AND REPRESENTATION 15%
- The incumbent will facilitate relationships with stakeholders in the youth sector and identify avenues to further meet and align USG foreign policy objectives and GOK youth and education policy objectives.
- Lead and negotiate high-level discussions and negotiations with senior GOK officials to determine USAID’s technical and implementation support. Achieve a common understanding with GOK counterparts to agree upon a modality for USAID’s support that addresses shared goals and concerns. Advocate to the MOE at the highest level to advance USG foreign policy objectives.
- Provide technical input into GOK national and county level youth and workforce development strategies, plans, and policies as well as new designs of development partner assistance with a focus on youth issues that avoid duplication of effort and maximize development assistance to Kenya. Support government counterparts together with other development partners in strategic planning and implementation of youth programs.
- Establish, strengthen, and maintain contacts at the highest levels of the Ministry of Education to advance USAID’s efforts in supporting youth and workforce development.
- Maintain working level relationships with donor partners to advance coordination and information sharing.
- Represent USAID at meetings and international and national conferences with implementing partners, donors, host government at the national and county levels, USG interagency, local partners, and beneficiaries including participating in key technical and steering committees as well as donor working groups. Deliver presentations to senior level audiences on USG related issues and youth programs at local, regional, and international workshops and conferences.
- Liaise with USAID/Washington, the Department of State, and other relevant USG agencies on strategic planning, management, and policy issues.
- SUPERVISION RECEIVED: The incumbent will receive overall supervision, policy guidance, and managerial oversight from the Office Director or his/her designate. The supervisor makes assignments in terms of overall objectives and resources available. Completed work is reviewed in terms of achievement of program, project, and/or activity goals, effectiveness in meeting host-country and USAID objectives, and integration with other initiatives in the EDY and USAID/KEA portfolio. The incumbent will be expected to exercise considerable autonomy and best judgment in discharging the duties and responsibilities of the position.
- SUPERVISION EXERCISED: The incumbent will serve as Team Leader for youth programming, providing overall policy guidance and coordinating the work of the team, currently consisting of two Project Management Specialists (FSN-11) and one Project Management Assistant (FSN-9).
- AVAILABLE GUIDELINES: The position requires an understanding of an array of USG and USAID regulations, and comprehension of host-country regulations and practices as they affect USAID/KEA operations. Available guidelines include USG program/project/activity guidance, rules, and requirements; USAID Mission Orders, Mission strategy, CDCS, and other relevant reports; the Automated Directives System (ADS) series 300; USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, and the FAR and AIDAR; Operational Plans, host-government Five-Year Strategic Plans (or equivalent), and other published and unpublished guidelines. Guidelines are often general in nature and not specific to the situation at hand, requiring considerable interpretation.
- EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT: A high degree of independent judgement and initiative is expected. The incumbent receives general and technical direction and minimal day-to-day supervision. The incumbent is expected to carry out all duties in an independent manner, calling on the supervisor for highly complex decisions and matters of policy. Exercise of sound judgement for management issues, politically sensitive issues, and routine implementation issues is required. The incumbent represents the USAID/KEA and USG position to internal and external stakeholders. The incumbent will apply appropriate Agency and Federal regulations and policies to a broad spectrum of technical and program support matters and in communication with Embassy and Mission employees; GOK counterparts; Kenyan private sector representatives; and donor counterparts. USAID/KEA may make policy decisions based on the incumbent’s recommendations.
- AUTHORITY TO MAKE COMMITMENTS: The incumbent has no authority to commit funds on behalf of the U.S. Government. However, the incumbent is fully responsible for and is expected to provide youth and workforce development expertise and recommendations to EDY. The incumbent is expected to take initiative and act independently with little direction and may speak with authority on USAID project implementation requirements and regulations, acting as both a specialist and an information resource to contacts within and outside of USAID. The incumbent may be designated as an AOR or COR and will have full authority and responsibility as delegated by the Automated Directives System (ADS) and other USAID guidelines for these functions. All work is performed in collaboration with EDY.
- NATURE, LEVEL, AND PURPOSE OF CONTACTS: The incumbent has a full range of contacts within the Mission at all levels and maintains contact with IPs implementing USAID-funded programs, projects, and activities in the sector. The incumbent will have regular contact with all staff as USAID/KEA and USAID/Washington; international donors and implementation partners; GOK representatives at the national and county levels (for technical education, vocational training, and higher education); higher education institutions; youth networks and NGO partners; and senior staff of local and international private sector and civil society organizations. The incumbent may be the principal liaison on issues related to program implementation and USG policy. Most contacts will be in the youth and workforce development sectors, related to policy, planning and budgeting, program implementation, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation.
- TIME EXPECTED TO REACH FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL: One year.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
Any application that does not meet the minimum requirements stated below will not be evaluated. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. If you have not been contacted within one month from the closing date of this advertisement, please consider your application unsuccessful.
- EDUCATION: Master’s degree from an accredited university in a relevant discipline such as youth entrepreneurship or livelihoods development, international education, non-formal or other alternative educational approach to youth development, workforce development, private sector and/or social and behavioral sciences.
- LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: Level IV English and Kiswahili for speaking, reading, and writing skills is required. The incumbent must be able to produce publishable quality written documentation and to provide oral presentations to high level officials and diverse audiences.
PRIOR WORK EXPERIENCE: A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in workforce development, youth programming, and training curriculum development in formal, informal, and/or non-formal education; international development; program management; or a related field. Experience is required in working with the GOK and donor institutional structures in education and youth development or a related sector and experience in designing and leading youth workforce development and private sector led youth livelihood initiatives and strategic outreach to the private sector.
- JOB KNOWLEDGE: Comprehensive, professional-level knowledge of development approaches, theories, and practices around youth and workforce development, training, adult learning, formal and non-formal and or alternative approaches to education, education as a tool of development assistance, and human and institutional capacity building is required. The incumbent must have detailed knowledge of Kenya’s education and youth sectors and related development challenges; an understanding of the resources, resource constraints, and overall development prospects and priorities of Kenya and the region is required.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Ability to plan, organize, and execute complex youth and workforce development activities including the ability to provide technical leadership and apply this ability to programming in Kenya and the region. The incumbent must have the ability to adapt in the face of change, quickly analyze and synthesize new information for decision-making and troubleshooting, solve complex problems, manage difficult situations, and plan ahead. The incumbent must operate with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment where work performance is reviewed primarily on the basis of results achieved within the broad constraints of policy and priorities. The incumbent must be able to develop and maintain an extensive range of contacts with both high-level and working-level officials throughout the U.S. Embassy, USAID/KEA, USAID/Washington, implementing partners, GOK officials, donors, and NGOs. The incumbent must effectively identify, mobilize, and draw upon the expertise of technical and managerial personnel in the Mission. The incumbent must track and evaluate the latest developments in education, youth, and workforce development. The ability to provide information and advice with objectivity is required. The ability to orient and train personnel is required. A strong knowledge of Microsoft Office suite and online platforms such as Google suite, administrative and management skills, and policy and diplomacy skills are necessary.
EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
Applicants must submit a resume/cv which describes how their relevant professional experience and education has prepared them to meet the specific challenges of the duties and responsibilities described above. As part of the interview process, those applicants ranked highest may be required to submit a timed writing sample on a topic provided. The selection committee may conduct reference checks at any time during the selection process.
Applications that do not meet the required minimum qualifications will not be scored.
- Prior work experience (30 points)
- Job Knowledge (40 points)
- Skills and abilities (30 points)
Total possible points: 100
Candidates meeting the above required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application and reference checks. References will be asked to assess the applicant’s technical knowledge, work performance, communication skills, and group dynamics, using the above criteria. USAID reserves the right to conduct interviews with the top ranked short-listed applicants. The interview will be one of the determining factors in the final selection.
How to Apply
Step 1: Register in MyJobsInKenya at www.myjobsinkenya.com
Step 2: Complete the job application questionnaire at www.myjobsinkenya.com The applicant must answer all the questions in the Questionnaire.
Step 3: Internal Applicants/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 and upload to MyJobsInKenya.
External Applicants/Not Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) and copies of all relevant certificates. Upload all the documents to MyJobsInKenya.
Note to Applicants:
1. Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted through myjobsinkenya.com as stated in Section IV.
2. Submissions will only be accepted through 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. The closing date for receipt of applications is indicated above.
3. USAID DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING) AND DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS' BANK ACCOUNTS.