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PROJECT MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST (COUNTY CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT)

USAID Kenya NAIROBI, KENYA

Summary

GENERAL INFORMATION

1.  SOLICITATION NO.: 21-130

2.  ISSUANCE DATE: September 20, 2021

3.  CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: October 4, 2021 (4:30 PM East Africa Time).

4.  POSITION TITLE: Project Management Specialist (County Citizen           Engagement)

5.  MARKET VALUE: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 (Step 1: 4,597,211.00 KSH to Step 13: 7,815,239.00 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 six (6) months probationary period, with an additional six (6) months upon successful completion of probation period. Four (4) additional option years contingent on fully successful or better performance rating, funds availability and the continued need to retain the position.

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 and current employees of the U.S. Government. 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.

BACKGROUND

The Project Management Specialist (County Citizen Engagement) serves as a key member of the Democracy, Governance, Peace and Security (DGPS) Office, providing strategic advice and technical inputs to its Center of Excellence (CoE) and Analytics, Policy, Partnerships, and Strategy (APPS) Section, USAID/KEA technical and support offices, and relevant U.S. Embassy offices on matters pertaining to enhancing citizen engagement, empowerment and participation in democratic governance processes. S/he leads the technical design and management of USAID development initiatives intended to raise citizen voice and prominence in Kenya’s governing institutions and strengthen USAID-instituted local development organizations (LDO).  In serving these objectives, the incumbent will initiate and maintain contacts with relevant Government of Kenya (GOK) officials at the national level and senior representatives at the county level in accordance with the Mission’s priorities as designated in its Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) (2020-2025).  The Specialist will proactively engage donors, academia, civil society organizations (CSO) and the private sector to advance the citizen engagement agenda.  As well, the Specialist will oversee operationalization of the LDO concept by assisting in organizational capacity building and supporting program development.  S/he will also advise the Mission’s leadership, USAID County Liaison Teams (CLT), the Mission Leadership Council (MLC), and the Mission technical offices on various approaches and strategies to enhance citizen engagement, empowerment and participation as part of sector-specific and broader development initiatives. The Specialist will also represent USAID/KEA interests to USAID/Washington’s Africa Bureau, its Development, Democracy, and Innovation Bureau, and its Democracy, Rights and Governance (DRG) Center and other Agency affiliates on the themes pertaining to citizen engagement, citizen empowerment, citizen participation and local development programming and learning.

Description

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1.  PROGRAM DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT                              50% 

  • The Specialist plays the lead role in designing and managing the Mission’s county citizen engagement, empowerment, participation and LDO contracts and cooperative agreements.  This is a continuous process that involves a high degree of responsibility across the entirety of USAID’s program design cycle, from conceptualizing and formulating programs, through procurement, implementation, and evaluation. USAID/KEA’s CDCS requires integration and coordination among technical offices that will require the Specialist to work closely with other technical offices to ensure strategic coordination and unity of effort in enhancing citizen voice at the county level across all program areas.                         
  • The incumbent is the technical lead for designing and managing DGPS programs and activities focusing on enhancing citizen engagement, empowerment and participation at the county level including coordinating formation and strengthening of county-level LDOs and supporting them to implement community-led, community-managed and community-owned development projects. S/he serves as the Contracting/Agreement Officers’ Representative (A/COR) of relevant programs, and as such, is expected to not only be responsible for overall management of programs, but to coordinate activities with other USAID technical offices, as well as other U.S. Government agencies at Post.  
  • As an A/COR, s/he is accountable for the program implementation tasks that include: 
  1. Co-creation with various stakeholders and providing technical direction and guidance to implementing partners to improve program impact;                                                                    
  2. Providing review and approvals on both programmatic and financial aspects of program implementation;                                                     
  3. Ensuring all required USAID documentation is prepared including specialized opinions and reports that inform USAID’s regular portfolio reviews and annual reporting;                                              
  4. Conducting periodic reviews and evaluations pertaining to these activities, identifying emerging problems and determining the course of action.            
  • In designing, procuring and managing citizen engagement, empowerment and participation activities; and, guiding capacity building efforts to strengthen civil society organizations (CSO) and LDOs, the Specialist is expected to be a leader in pioneering the use of innovative approaches to maximize development impact. This requires a deep understanding of citizen engagement, empowerment and participation approaches; formation of grassroots organizations, movements and networks; organizational development and strengthening approaches; having trusted relationships with non-state actors, including CSOs, media, faith-based organizations, private sector among others; having good working relationships with government institutions and agencies; having proactive engagement with other citizen engagement, empowerment and participation and local development experts (both within and outside USAID), and keeping abreast of latest developments in the field from studies, and academic research.               
  • As an experienced professional in the democracy and governance (DG) field, the incumbent will be expected to actively explore and identify new partnerships, particularly ones that enable and empower citizens as change agents. This entails expanding outreach to and engagement with various Kenyan institutions and organizations at the national and county levels. The incumbent actively explores, identifies, and brings to the attention of the Office and Mission leadership local partners, and where applicable, will work with these partners to build their capacity to implement and manage USAID development activities.                                                 
  • As the technical lead on county citizen engagement, empowerment, participation; civil society strengthening and local organization development coordination, the incumbent is responsible for identifying and synthesizing best local, international and regional practices and lessons learned and coordinating the use of this information to meaningfully contribute to improving knowledge management and learning within USAID/KEA.   

 2.  STRATEGIC ADVICE / PORTFOLIO GUIDANCE                 30%

  • The Specialist is responsible for tracking legal, policy, socio-political and economic trends at county, national and regional levels as they relate to engaging citizens, empowering them and enhancing their participation in county-level development and initiatives towards formation and strengthening of LDOs for enhanced civil society coordination and collective voice. In interacting with USAID and USG decision-makers, s/he distills information and shapes it into succinct policy and/or programmatic recommendations.                         
  • Given the need to mainstream citizen engagement, empowerment and participation across all development objectives of the 2020-2025 CDCS and the Mission priority of promoting coordination of civil society interventions at the county level, the incumbent seeks ways to promote the integration of citizen engagement, citizen empowerment, citizen participation and leveraging local development organization in the design and implementation of USAID programs in other sectors (health, education, environment, etc.). Part of the Specialist’s role involves active outreach and coordination with other technical offices and the U.S. Embassy to ensure unity of effort around citizen engagement, empowerment and participation and civil society coordination through LDOs.   
  • During annual portfolio reviews, briefings for high-level visitors, and other performance reporting processes, the Specialist plays a key role in presenting and explaining DGPS programs. In fulfilling this role, s/he must be able to convey the high-level strategic rationale behind citizen engagement, empowerment and participation and LDO programs, as well as detailed information about specific programmatic interventions, their successes and shortfalls.  
  • The incumbent contributes to the development of strategic documents including annual operational plans, annual performance reports, congressional budget justifications and other ad hoc reports as required.                                                                                 
  • The Specialist develops and designs new program activities and reviews and advises on proposals from potential partners/ contractors and documents recommendations for issuance of grants, contracts, and host government agreements.  
  • The incumbent engages with cross-mission teams on the assessment and design of government-to-government programs, including advising on governance related risks, and mitigation measures related to those risks.  

 3.  EXTERNAL REPRESENTATION                                      20%

  • On a wide variety of topics related to county level citizen engagement, empowerment and participation, the Specialist represents USAID to external audiences, to contribute thought leadership and ensure that USAID equities are represented in multilateral fora and partner working groups.  
  • The incumbent maintains direct and substantive contacts to advise and represent USG policy interests with senior host government officials at the national and county levels to enhance learning and ensure coordination of programmatic activities.  
  • In addition to the government, the Specialist establishes and maintains effective working relations and coordination with other donors, civil society, private sector, media and academic/research bodies on matters related to citizen engagement, empowerment and participation and LDO initiatives.  S/he will not only be fluent in the technical nuances of approaches towards enhancing engagement of citizens at the county level and leveraging LDO capacities, and other DG sub-sectors, but will also be able to explain the role of USAID and its work to members of the general public, who may have little or no knowledge of USAID.  
  • S/he will add value to existing partnerships, and exercise initiative in establishing new ones, with international, regional and local partners to support county-level development interventions.   
  • The Specialist will collaborate with USAID/Washington's DRG Center, bilateral missions and other Agency affiliates in citizen engagement programming and learning.

POSITION ELEMENTS:

A.  Supervision Received: The Specialist is supervised by the DGPS Deputy Office Director, or his/her designee.  The incumbent’s work is governed by an annual work plan, jointly developed with his/her supervisor. 

B.  Supervision Exercised:  The incumbent exercises no direct supervisory responsibility. However, s/he may be called upon to lead design, proposal review, presentation and/or evaluation teams aligned with citizen engagement, empowerment and participation themes. 

C. Available Guidelines:  As a key member of the DGPS team, the incumbent is expected to be knowledgeable of key applicable regulations and guidance, including the USAID Automated Directive Systems (ADS) (Series 200, Programming; Series 300, Acquisition and Assistance Planning; 540, USAID Development Experience Information; Series 600, Budget and Finance), Mission Orders, and guidance from USAID/ Washington, especially as regards project design and management, and USAID reporting requirements. The incumbent is expected to correctly interpret the underlying intent of such guidelines that require updating.

D. Exercise of Judgment: Within applicable regulations and guidance provided by his/her supervisor, the Specialist exercises considerable judgement and initiative in monitoring office operations, and proposing improvements in standard operating procedures, office team structure, or other protocols.

E.  Authority to Make Commitments: The incumbent cannot make financial commitments on behalf of the U.S. Government. However, the incumbent exercises the authority given to A/CORs and may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission and Office policy. S/he takes action and establishes priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment. Guidance is sought when needed, and superiors are apprised of activity and project status. Within the scope of the authority delegated, the incumbent may indicate to ranking counterpart and implementing partner (IP) officials that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity, issue, or problem(s).

F. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Specialist is in daily contact with the DGPS Director, and is frequently in contact with senior USG officials, including USAID/KEA Mission management, and visiting officials from Washington. S/he also initiates and maintains contacts with senior GOK officials, leaders and representatives, as well as among civil society members and development partners.

G. Time Expected to Reach Full Performance LEVEL:  One year.

Education
Master’s Degree In Development-related Field (community Development, Sociology, Law, Economics, Public Policy/administration, International Relations, Political Science) Or Social Sciences

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.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

Education: Master’s degree in development-related field (Community Development, Sociology, Law, Economics, Public Policy/Administration, International Relations, Political Science) or social sciences is required.   

Post Entry Training: The Specialist will require training to be certified as an Agency Agreement/Contracting/Agreement Officers’ Representative (A/COR). As well, s/he will require training in the use of other Agency, Embassy, and Mission systems as necessary. These may include, but not be limited to, the Global Acquisition and Assistance System (GLAAS), Agency Secure Image and Tracking System (ASIST), Personal Tracker Locator (PTL), and the Performance Monitoring Information System.

Language Proficiency: Fluency (Level IV, speaking, reading and writing) in both English and Kiswahili is required. The demonstrated ability to write and edit complex technical documents in English, and to translate similar documents from Kiswahili into English, and vice versa, is required. Each candidate will be required to execute an English technical writing sample in person during the selection process.

 

More Details on Experience

Prior Work Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible work experience in fields related to Kenya’s development (democracy and governance, community organization and action, devolution, political parties, rule of law, etc.). Experience must include working for a Government Institution, International Development Agency, Non-Governmental Organization, Donor Agency or Embassy in county development efforts, along with one or more of the areas noted previously.  Experience leading ad hoc and standing teams, for short- or long-term periods, is required. 

Job Knowledge: Demonstrated technical expertise is required on issues pertaining to two or more subjects in the democracy and governance field (for example: civil society strengthening, local government/devolution, elections, public outreach and behavior change, political party engagement, media, human rights, rule of law, anti-corruption, etc.). Advanced knowledge of Kenya’s political trends, comparative examples of community organizations and action efforts in other countries, and key civil society, religious and GOK stakeholders, is required.  

 

More Details on Skills

Skills And Abilities:  Demonstration of adept organizational skills required, including, but not limited to: organizing a team to achieve results; time management; quality control; knowledge management (sharing and instituting best practices); and tracking progress towards achieving shared goals.  Negotiation skills in both English and Kiswahili are preferred.  Required abilities include gathering and processing input and data from many sources, and then compiling, analyzing and synthesizing data as appropriate.  Critical thinking and active listening are required abilities for the position.  The demonstrated ability to work collegially and effectively in an integrated, team environment for specific tasks is required.

Terms And Conditions

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.  In addition to the CV, applicants are required to submit a separate document describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received that are relevant to the Major Duties and Responsibilities given in Section III above (i.e. (1) program design and management, (2) strategic advice / portfolio guidance, and (3) external representation).  As part of the interview process, those applicants ranked highest may be required to undergo an oral interview, as well as submit a timed writing sample and participate in a group exercise  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:  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 and upload to MyJobsInKenya.

                                                        OR

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 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 myjobsinkenya.com as stated in Section IV.

2. Submissions will only be accepted through myjobsinkenya.com/usaid. 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 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.

4. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Any form of canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification. 

5.  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.