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Project Management Specialist (ffp Food Security)

USAID Kenya Nairobi --

Summary

Applicants who applied previously against Solicitation Number 20-01 issued on January 9, 2020 with a closing date of January 30, 2020 MUST RE-APPLY.

GENERAL INFORMATION

1.  SOLICITATION NO.: 20-38

2. ISSUANCE DATE: March 5, 2020

3.  CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: March 26, 2020 (4:30 PM East Africa Time).

4. POSITION TITLE: Project Management Specialist (FFP Food Security) – Two Positions.

5. MARKET VALUE: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 (Step 1: 4,597,211 KSH to Step 13: 7,815,239 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 and current employees of the U.S. Mission. Employees currently on probation are ineligible to apply. 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

USAID/Kenya and East Africa implements a diverse portfolio of activities that aims to save lives, build resilience, and enhance the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people in Kenya and the East Africa region. USAID’s investments to reduce food insecurity and address the root causes of hunger, malnutrition, and poverty serve as the foundation for development programming and build upon national social protection priorities.     

The Project Management Specialist (Food Security) provides technical oversight and guidance on USAID strategies, programs, and activities that advance food security and social protection goals and objectives, with a specific emphasis on nutrition and livelihoods that build resilience and reduce vulnerability to shocks and stresses. The incumbent represents USAID and liaises with senior leadership of the Government of Kenya, major donors and partners in coordination and strategic forums related to food security, resilience, nutrition, and social protection.

  • In close coordination with Food for Peace counterparts in Washington, the incumbent leads the planning, designing, monitoring and management of Food for Peace activities. Each Food Security Specialist will be the Activity Manager for one Food for Peace-funded Development Food Security Activity (DFSA), and will be responsible for performance and results management, technical direction, and coordination of a portfolio $68.5 million each year. In this capacity, s/he will analyze and assess data from a variety of sources – including field assessments, field monitoring reports, technical data, and reporting from USAID staff, NGOs, and PIOs – to inform food assistance funding decisions, modifications to ongoing programs, and recommend appropriate food assistance activities.

Description

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

The Project Management Specialist (Food Security) will undertake the following duties:

 ACTIVITY MANAGEMENT (55%)

  • Lead the design, implementation, and performance management of a robust and dynamic portfolio of food assistance activities. Serve as Activity Manager for Food for Peace food security activities in Kenya, to include one Development Food Security Activity (DFSA). Work in close coordination with the Food for Peace Country Backstop Officer in USAID/Washington to provide strategic management and oversight of all activities in his/her portfolio.           
  • Monitor and report on implementation of ongoing Food for Peace programs. Conduct regular site visits to review activity implementation. Coordinate with FFP Office food monitors to ensure effective oversight of activities.  Based on the information collected during field visits, communicate findings and recommendations to FFP Office management, FFP/W, and, as appropriate, to partners and GOK counterparts. Recommend adjustments and improvements in USAID partner food assistance activities to promote efficiency, effectiveness, and cost savings.                          
  • Ensure that partners are in compliance with all relevant USAID regulations, policies, and procedures. Apply specific and in-depth knowledge of applicable USG laws, legislative directives, and regulations, particularly regarding the allowable use of Food for Peace resources.  Ensure commodities and cash resources are properly and effectively utilized as approved in program documents and that resources are distributed to the intended beneficiaries.  Monitor resource utilization, pipelines, and dispatch and distribution status of activities.  In coordination with Commodity Management Specialist, handle activity-specific commodity management issues.           
  • Manage annual work planning and performance reporting            processes. Arrange and participate in activity and program evaluations. Review performance reports to ensure that Implementing Partners are in compliance with the performance expectations outlined in their work plans and in their contract(s)/agreement(s) and host-government agreements.           
  • Identify issues impacting Food for Peace programs and work with USAID points of contact, U.S. Embassy, and/or other U.S. Government personnel, host government, PVOs, international organizations, donors, and others to address these issues.                
  • Represent the FFP Office in interactions with Food for Peace/Washington related to the determination of funding levels and call forwards of commodities and/or allocations of cash resources.                                                                                    
  • Prepare technical and program documentation, such as briefing papers, fact sheets, letters, cables, and memos for information and action. 
  • Participate in activity and project design, including the preparation of Scopes of Work and Requests for Proposals, and serve on Technical Evaluation Committees. Write key portions of the above documents.

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND REPRESENTATION 25%)

  • Liaise regularly with GOK officials, major donors, and partners on issues impacting chronically food-insecure populations. Establish and maintain effective partnerships with senior Government of Kenya counterparts in relevant ministries, donors, and other stakeholders to ensure coordination of activities, support best practices, and jointly achieve food security objectives.                             
  • Serve as a technical expert and member for relevant GOK and donor coordination fora, including the Kenya Humanitarian Partners Team and other Technical Committees. Represent USAID at these forums to provide technical insights and promote integration of food assistance with other programs and sectors.                                     
  • Build and develop cross-office and cross-sector partnerships within the USAID Mission. Work with other parts of USAID and the U.S. government to promote integration of food assistance with other programs and priorities. Represent the FFP Office and its priorities in joint initiatives to support the achievement of food security objectives.                                                                                       
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to government officials and various stakeholders on USAID’s food assistance programs and activities at local, regional and international workshops and conferences.                                                                                
  • Maintain close working relations with relevant USAID Offices in Washington.

STRATEGIC AND TECHNICAL LEADERSHIP (20%)

  • Serve as a technical advisor on strategies, activities, and approaches to help households, communities, systems, and institutions address the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition. Guide strategic and technical decision making on best use of food assistance resources, with a focus on chronically food-insecure populations.                                                                            
  • Provide expert strategic guidance on best practices and approaches to: a) reduce chronic malnutrition among children under five and pregnant or lactating women; b) increase and diversify household income; c) provide opportunities for microfinance and savings; d) build resilience and reduce vulnerability to shocks and stresses; and e) implement and refine social protection programs to achieve any of the results listed above.                                                                
  • Support Mission-driven processes related to strategy, project, and activity design and implementation as they relate to food insecurity.                                                                                              
  • Draft high-quality technical reports and analyses on food insecurity, social protection, and resilience. Stay abreast of GOK and donor priorities in these areas.

 POSITION ELEMENTS:

A.  Supervision Received:  The incumbent will report directly to the FFP Deputy Office Chief or his/her designee.  In collaboration with the incumbent, the supervisor: 1) establishes annual work objectives and performance measures; 2) provides feedback throughout the evaluation cycle; and 3) prepares Annual Performance Evaluation Reports - obtaining 360 degree input from appropriate USAID, other appropriate Mission personnel, and stakeholders. The incumbent will be provided with information regarding the objectives to be achieved and an indication of the priorities/deadlines that must be met in carrying out the work tasks. S/he will handle assignments independently with minimal supervision according to established policies, previous training and accepted practices. S/he will be expected to develop her/his own work schedule, procedures for accomplishing tasks, and will work independently to resolve problems which may arise during the accomplishment of activities. S/he may receive guidance from senior Mission management as the situation warrants.   

B.  Supervision Exercised: The incumbent will directly supervise one FSN 10 Project Management Specialist.

C.  Available Guidelines:  Food for Peace-related guidelines, such as 22 CFR 211, Food for Peace Information Bulletins, and other relevant policy.   The Automated Directive Services (ADS), Agency Notices on policies and procedures, and Mission Orders are available, though this guidance may change regularly and presents options and approaches rather than blueprints for action.                

D. Exercise of Judgment:  The incumbent must exercise sound and independent judgment in carrying out the assigned duties. S/he must be able to interpret guidelines and, in instances not clearly covered by guidelines, the incumbent will use his/her own personal, well-informed judgment in devising innovative approaches to resolving technical, administrative, managerial and/or policy problems.  The incumbent establishes priorities independently, identifies problem areas, determines solutions and takes action and keeps appropriate supervisors apprised and seeks additional guidance and assistance when needed.    

E.  Authority to Make Commitments: The incumbent will neither have the authority to commit funds on behalf of the U.S. Government, nor the authority to make legal determinations that could bind the U.S. Government. However, s/he will provide recommendations and offer alternatives for project management which are given considerable weight in the decision making process. S/he will directly manage multiple USAID awards and will practice autonomy in providing technical guidance, monitoring performance, approving work plans and administering financial management responsibilities.

F.  Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts:   The incumbent is required to maintain productive and close working relationships at all levels within the Mission, e.g. with senior management, activity managers, technical office personnel. S/he advises and presents options to the USAID/Kenya and East Africa Mission Director, Deputy Mission Directors, FFP Office Director, and other senior Mission personnel on complex and high-profile food assistance and resilience issues.  The incumbent’s responsibilities require frequent consultation at high and working levels within USAID’s Office of Food for Peace in Washington.  The incumbent is expected to establish and maintain high-level relationships with key decision makers in public sector institutions concerned with food security and food aid issues, including Government of Kenya officials, donor officials from the World Bank, WFP, DFID and UN, and FFP partner staff, up to and including the Chief of Party of each FFP activity.  External contacts are made to coordinate, advocate for policy reforms, obtain and provide detailed program and budget information. 

G.  Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: 12 months. 

Education
Bachelor Of International Development, Bachelor Of Public Administration Barchelor Of Business Administration Bachelor Degree In Agriculture Bachelor Degree In Social Protection Bachelor Degree In Food Security Bachelor Degree In Public Health/nutrition

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.

1. Education: A Bachelor’s degree in International Development, Public Administration, Business Administration, Agriculture, Social Protection, Food Security, Public Health/Nutrition or a related field is required.                    

2.  Post Entry Training: The incumbent is expected to possess the necessary technical skills/abilities required to perform the duties and responsibilities required of the position. Post entry training will, therefore, be focused primarily on the Agency-specific established policies, procedures and regulations.  Courses include: Food Aid Manager’s Course, Introduction to the Program Cycle, Contract/Agreement Officer Representative (COR/AOR), and Food for Peace Boot Camp.  CCN PSCs may participate in temporary duty (TDY) travel to USAID/Washington and other Missions in order to participate in the Foreign Service National Fellowship Program described in ADS 495maa.                 

3.  Language Proficiency: Written and spoken level IV (Fluent) English is required and will be tested.         

4. Job Knowledge:  The incumbent must have strong knowledge of food insecurity and vulnerability factors in Kenya. S/he must have specialized knowledge and demonstrated expertise in emergency or non-emergency food assistance programs (including nutrition), logistics and commodity management, social protection or resilience program management as well as a proven ability to work effectively with high-level personnel from government, donors, implementing partners and other development organizations is required. S/he should have an understanding of Kenya-specific processes, programs and strategies relevant to his/her portfolio. The position also requires direct experience with the Government of Kenya (GOK) and an expert knowledge and understanding of the different branches in the GOK in order to enhance effective communication and to develop consensus on program/project strategy and implementation, which is critical for policy reform within the context of food assistance. S/he requires a high degree of political savvy to effectively coordinate policy reforms across the portfolio and a broad knowledge of the GOK food assistance programming in various ministries, institutions, and agencies.

More Details on Experience

1.  Prior Work Experience:   A minimum of five years of relevant, progressively responsible and professional work experience in designing, managing, evaluating, or providing technical assistance to food security, food assistance, commodity management, social protection, resilience, or international development programs is required. At least three years of specialized experience in food assistance and multi-sectoral food security program management that includes the following: design, management or evaluation of international food assistance activities (to include in-kind food, nutrition support, cash transfers or cash voucher programs); managing food aid commodity procurement and/or transport; or providing conditional transfer programs for the purpose of building resilience to shocks.  Experience working with or liaising with the Government of Kenya is required.

More Details on Skills

  • Skills and Abilities:  This position requires superb communication skills and an ability to exercise sound and independent judgment, discretion and patience on a daily basis.  This position requires flexibility and the ability to accept and react to changing policy direction with sound analyses, professionalism and poise. More specifically, the incumbent is required to: identify issues and proactively seek solutions to complex problems; conduct research, including evaluating and integrating information from multiple sources, in order to assess the impact of potential activities on food security; and work under extreme pressure. This position requires very good diplomatic and interpersonal skills to effectively manage relationships, facilitate negotiations and play a technical advisory role on food assistance, commodity management and logistics, and social protection.  S/he must have negotiation skills and must demonstrate the ability to discuss difficult topics while maintaining and strengthening positive working relationships with the counterparts.

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.  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 upload all the documents 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. Upload all the documents to MyJobsInKenya.

Note to Applicants:

 1.  Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified above and submitted through myjobsinkenya.com as stated above.

 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.