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Development Assistance Specialist (Climate Integration)

USAID (Kenya) Nairobi, Kenya


The USAID Development Assistance Specialist (Climate Integration) serves as a technical resource in strategic planning, program and activity design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the entire Mission portfolio for environmental compliance. The Specialist is officially designated as the Deputy to the Mission Environmental Officer (MEO). In this role, the Specialist ensures, or assists higher graded specialists in ensuring, all Mission programs/projects/activities are in compliance with Title 22 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulation (22 CFR 216 or “Reg. 216”).

The USAID Development Assistance Specialist (Climate Integration) serves as a technical resource in strategic planning, program and activity design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the entire Mission portfolio for environmental compliance and for climate integration. The Specialist is officially designated as Mission Environmental Officer (MEO) and serves as Climate Integration Advisor (CIA). As CIA, the Specialist helps ensure all Mission programs/projects/activities are in compliance with Title 22 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulation (22 CFR 216 or “Reg. 216”).

The Specialist supports the Mission designated Climate Integration Lead (CIL) to ensure all Mission programs/projects/activities meet ADS 201mal and USAID Climate Risk Management guidelines. The Specialist serves as environmental climate advisor to Mission management and to Technical Offices and Implementing Partners (IPs) on Climate Risk Management, and in identifying and analyzing climate vulnerabilities and developing mitigation measures. The Mission may designate the Specialist to serve as the CIL, if determined to be appropriate.

The Specialist contacts and collaborates at various technical levels, with counterparts and staff in the host government, with the private sector, with other donor and international organizations, and with other USG entities under the direction and guidance of the MEO, other designated supervisor, or more senior specialists. 

The Specialist exercises judgment in planning and carrying out tasks, in resolving problems and conflicts, and in taking steps necessary to meet deadlines. In addition, it is anticipated that the Specialist will be in a travel status to remote areas of the host country and/or the Region at least 25% of the Job Holder’s time.


MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES                                  100% 

The USAID Development Assistance Specialist (Climate Integration) provides a high level of technical guidance on environmental compliance, as follows: 

a. Deputy to the Mission Environmental Officer 

Working closely with the Mission Environment Office, the Specialist serves as technical advisor to the Mission, ensuring its portfolio of programs/projects/activities are in compliance with Reg. 216, USAID Environmental Procedures, and with host-country government environmental and social safeguard regulations. The Specialist provides guidance to the Front Office, Technical Offices, Agreement Officer’s Representatives/Contracting Officer’s Representatives (AORs/CORs), and IPs on environmentally sensitive work, such as agricultural development, tertiary roads, land restitution, and protected areas management.

The Specialist may facilitate or assist in facilitating efficient program/project/activity implementation in all sectors, by ensuring the high-quality documentation for environmental compliance; reviewing and approving environmental compliance aspects of Project Appraisal Documents (PAD), scopes of work, and activity descriptions; and, by identifying environmental compliance concerns, with suggested approaches to achieve compliance. The Specialist reviews environmental analyses and documentation (Initial Environmental Examinations [IEEs], Requests for Categorical Exclusions [RCEs], Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plans [EMMPs], Environmental Assessments [EAs], etc.), from all Teams for quality, rigor, and adherence to USAID regulations, policies, procedures, and guidance. The Specialist supports the MEO who is the primary liaison between the Mission and the Regional Environment Advisor (REA), the regional Bureau Environment Officer (BEO), and the Agency Environmental Coordinator(AEC) on all environmental matters leading communication and facilitating approvals by USAID/Washington for all procurement actions under the Mission’s portfolio. 

The Specialist provides strong team membership in the review, approval, and monitoring of Mission activities compliance with Reg. 216, reviewing and approving all sub-activities and quarterly reports in the information system. The Specialist conducts reviews of Multilateral Development Bank, Global Environment Fund, and similar environmentally significant projects in the host country, coordinating the environmental and social reviews with Mission and Embassy staff, and ensuring reviews are timely and technically sound, that the reports are of high quality, and that they meet USAID policy and guidance and relevant external mandates, including the International Financial Institutions Act, Title XIII. As required, the Specialist will serve as AOR/COR, and/or Activity Manager for programs/projects/activities and oversight of analytical work to inform strategy development, such as the Tropical Forest and Biodiversity Analysis required under the Foreign Assistance Act Sections 118/119. 

b. Climate Integration Advisor (CIA) 

The Specialist serves as the Mission Climate Integration Advisor, helping to ensure compliance with USAID climate risk management processes, as detailed in relevant ADS mandatory references. The Specialist is a technical advisor to Mission staff and IPs, working to identify and analyze climate vulnerabilities, and develop mitigation measures by monitoring, identifying, and sharing opportunities to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation into Mission strategies, programming, and operations. The Specialist helps to ensure an appropriate level of climate risk screening is considered throughout the program cycle, including at the strategy Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), Project Appraisal Document (PAD), and Activity levels, providing guidance to design teams and AORs/CORs/Activity Managers to properly identify, mitigate, and document climate risks. The Specialist works within the Mission information system, and with other tools, to document and manage compliance with USAID climate risk requirements and contributes climate risk expertise to the management and improvement of existing information systems. The Specialist may be designated as the Climate Integration Lead if determined appropriate and then carry out the lead role including serving as the designated Mission point of contact with USAID/Washington for all areas of climate risk management needs. 

c. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) 

The Specialist works with Mission staff, or in collaboration with other specialists, to support regular and effective monitoring of the environmental and social compliance aspects of development activities, periodically monitoring programs/projects/activities through office reviews and field visits, and supports staff and IPs to carry out their activity monitoring responsibilities. The Specialist ensures development of, and effective oversight of, Mission document tracking information systems, including all environmental compliance (IEEs, RCEs, EMMPs, EAs). The Specialist supports proper and timely reporting, e.g., the environmental compliance reports required in the Operation Plan, by regular monitoring of information systems, noting the need for new documents, status of pending documents, and any outstanding issues, e.g., projects where no environmental compliance field monitoring is being conducted. The Specialist participates directly with Mission staff to remedy outstanding issues and keeps Mission management and the regional BEO informed of issues and resolution. The Specialist may travel as necessary to all areas of the host country and/or the Region to conduct field visits, in order to support USAID technical leads to monitor environmental compliance, effectiveness of mitigation measures, and evaluate the overall environmental impact of the implementation of programs/projects/activities. The Specialist acts as an advisor, providing feedback to IPs to identify problems, and to offer technical recommendations and potential solutions for full compliance.

d. Representation, Coordination, and Capacity Building 

The Specialist may lead or assist in the assessments of capacity building shortfalls, and identifies effective and efficient training delivery approaches to build the capacity of USAID and IP staff, and of host-country counterparts; assists staff to identify and obtain additional environmental expertise and resources to meet environmental and social compliance needs; and, serves as activity manager for obtaining additional environmental expertise and resources to provide needed capacity building. The Specialist is expected to independently develop training methodologies and/or serves as a trainer for formal courses and workshops and on-the-job training to staff, particularly to AOR/CORs and IPs, to ensure environmental compliance requirements, policies, and procedures are known and followed. The Specialist develops and supports existing networks, as well as sharing best practices with other Mission and Regional MEOs and Environmental Officers; and provides MEO technical support to other Missions as needed. The Specialist works with the regional Bureau Environmental Officer to communicate requirements, policies, procedures, guidance, best practices, and changes and updates, and supports development of and improvement to various communications tools, such as Webinars, newsletters, websites, etc., independently or under the direction of a senior specialist.

e. Program Development and Management Activities 

The incumbent Specialist will provide environmental guidance to USAID Mission in the design and monitoring of policies, strategies, and programs in all functional areas. The incumbent assists in drafting regular reports as required by USAID/W, Congress, the US Embassy, other regional offices, and/or other agencies, as needed. The Specialist will participate in the dissemination of research results for Mission wide application and for incorporation into USAID programs/projects. 

The Specialist is expected to serve as an Activity Manager and support AOR/COR for awards related to environment compliance and/or climate change. This includes: 1) serving on technical evaluation committees to review and select the most sound and cost-effective proposal, 2) drafting scopes of work and ensuring activities are implemented according to them, 3) reviewing vouchers and tracking expenditures against the approved budget, 4) reviewing, commenting on, and approving partner deliverables such as work plans, draft and final reports, 5) communicating with implementing partners, relevant technical teams, the Office of Acquisition and Assistance, and Mission management as needed to ensure that all stakeholders are apprised of activity progress, and 6) overseeing activity close-outs. 

The Specialist supports other mapping, project design, strategy, budget, gender, and donor coordination efforts. This may include assistance in planning new activities; preparing reports and other documents for USAID/Washington, reviewing, and providing input into PADs, project descriptions, scopes of work, pre-obligation documents, and the like; and contributing to agency level documents such as the annual Performance Plan and Report, the Operational Plan, Congressional Notifications, the Congressional Budget Justification, the Country Development Cooperation Strategy, the Mission Resource Request, etc. 


a. Supervision Received: The USAID Development Assistance Specialist (Climate Integration) works under the very general supervision of the Director of the Mission Program Office,    Technical Office or Front Office, and/or his/her designee. Regardless of the location of the position in the organization, the Specialist is formally designated by, and accountable to, the Mission Director, consistent with ADS 204. The Supervisor makes assignments in terms of overall objectives and resources available. Completed work is reviewed in terms of achievement of Mission and USG Environmental and Environmental Integration goals, effectiveness in meeting host-country and USAID objectives, and integration with other initiatives in the Office and Mission Technical direction is likely to come from other professionals in the Office; in general, however, the Specialist will be expected to exercise considerable autonomy, with support from other MEOs, the REA, and BEO and best judgment in discharging the duties of the assignment.

b. Supervision Exercised: Supervision of other Mission staff is not contemplated.

c. Available Guidelines: Available guidelines include USAID and USG policy and procedures and statutory mandates, including Executive Order 13677 of 2014; 22 CFR 216; USG program/project/activity guidance, rules, and requirements; USAID Mission Orders, Mission strategy, and other relevant reports; the Automated Directives System (ADS), in particular ADS 201 and 204; USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, and the FAR and AIDAR; and, the Mission and Host Government Five-Year Strategic Plans, and other published and unpublished Guidelines are often general in nature and not specific to the situation at hand, requiring considerable interpretation. 

d. Exercise of Judgment: Substantial judgment (discretion) is used daily in providing technical opinion and guidance to USG, USAID, and host-government colleagues, to IPs, and in representing USAID in stakeholder forums. Management decisions over certain IPs are at the discretion of the Independent judgment is required for developing, implementing, and managing assigned programs/projects/activities, for reporting, and for other assignments. Substantial judgment is        required in analyzing and determining whether to recommend approval of proposed programs/projects/activities for environmental consequences, in choosing among alternative proposals, and in evaluating data for reliability.

e. Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist exercises the authority given to all FSN/CCN Advisors, AORs/CORs, and Activity Managers, and may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission and Office policy. The Specialist takes action and   establishes priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment. Guidance is sought when needed, and superiors informed of activity status. Within the scope of the authority delegated, the Specialist may indicate to ranking counterpart and IP officials that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity, issue, or problem. The Specialist has no independent authority to commit the USG to the expenditure of funds, but may negotiate ad referendum for the supervisor.

f. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Specialist has a full range of contacts within the Mission, at all levels, and maintains contact with IPs implementing USAID-funded programs/projects/activities however may be under the direction or guidance of the position supervisor or more senior staff. Within the Embassy, contacts are with counterpart staffs, and with  senior staff as needed. Host-government, local, and other contacts vary widely with the type of activity being  implemented, and may be at any level – including Ministerial, Deputy Minister, etc. Frequent and substantive personal contacts with senior level officials of the host government, and with the private sector, are for the purpose of explaining and defending USAID and USG environment policies, objectives, and procedures, and to transmit and interpret host-government and private-sector attitudes and concerns to senior USAID officials. In addition, the Specialist provides technical assistance and guidance on Environment and Environmental Integration best practices to USG staff, and host government and NGO partners.

g. Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year (12 Months).

Bachelor’s Degree

  1. Education: The work requires a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Ecology, Integrated Sustainable Development, Natural Resources Management, or a closely related field.
  2. Post Entry Training: On-the-job familiarization training in USAID Environmental and Environmental Integration-specific procedures, regulations, and methods, and orientation to working from a donor Agency perspective, etc., will be provided. The Specialist may serve as AOR/COR and/or Activity Manager. Other courses, training to maintain professional capability in the field, and courses offered for professional USAID staff as appropriate; and, courses, seminars, conferences, and other activities in fields related to the function and needed to maintain and update professional qualifications, as appropriate, will be provided as they become available, subject to availability of funds.
  3. Language Proficiency: Level 4 (advanced professional proficiency) English and local language proficiency (if appropriate), both oral and written, is required.

More Details on Experience

  1. Prior Work Experience: A minimum of three (3) years of progressively responsible experience in an area involving application of environmental impact assessment, natural resource assessment, environmental engineering or in a closely related area involving regulations, standards, policies, and best practices in a developing-country setting is required. Experience involving the analysis and interpretation of data and the presentation of data in written and oral form is required. This experience must demonstrate the ability to prepare and/or review environmental scoping statements, environmental impact assessments, and implementing environmental management plans as part of a team. In addition, work experience demonstrating an understanding of climate risk management is required.
  2. Job Knowledge: The Specialist must have professional-level knowledge of development principles, concepts, and practices, as they relate to environmental impact assessment, environmental policies, and environmental best practices and international standards in the context of international development. Professional level knowledge of the host country and region from the business, political, civil society, and social perspectives in a broad context and how it relates to natural environmental issues and policies. Knowledge of U.S. government legislation relating to development assistance and to Reg. 216; and USAID programming policies, regulations, procedures, and documentation is. 

More Details on Skills

Skills and Abilities: The Specialist must have a good knowledge of, and demonstrated experience in, the role of Environmental and Environmental Integration activities within the broad context of international development programming. The Specialist should possess strong interpersonal and teamwork skills, and proven ability to work independently, with minimal supervision or guidance; and, proven ability to communicate quickly, clearly, and concisely, both orally and in writing, including in the preparation of substantive environmental reports. The Specialist must be able to obtain, evaluate, and interpret factual data, to prepare precise, accurate, and complete reports using computer software applications, and to develop and present briefings; and, apply this knowledge to complex problems in the host country and the region.

Terms And Conditions


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 (20 points)
  • Language (15 points)
  • Job Knowledge (50 points)
  • Skills and abilities (15 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 

Step 2:        Qualified 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 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. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload 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 as stated in Section IV
  1. Submissions will only be accepted through 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. 
  1. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Any form of canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification. 
  1. 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.