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Project Management Specialist (Program Design) - 22-42

USAID (Kenya) Nairobi


The USAID Project Management Specialist (Project Design) position is established in the Strategic Planning and Analysis (SPA) Office. The SPA Office is responsible for broad program support, coordination, and project management functions for the combined USAID platform in Nairobi which manages two operating units (OUs)-- the bilateral Kenya and the East Africa Regional OUs. The SPA Office provides leadership and serves as principal advisor to the Mission Director on: (a) social, economic, and cross-cutting developmental issues; (b) strategic planning and programming; (c) project and activity development; (d) monitoring and evaluation and learning of the platform’s portfolio; (e) management of current year budget obligation and out-year mission-wide budget planning; and (f) program implementation of activities that fall within the platform’s ongoing Development Objectives under the $2 billion Kenya Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) and $300 million East Africa Regional Cooperation Development Strategy (RDCS). In addition, this office keeps a pulse of major development trends in Kenya and the East Africa region to inform new programming needs.  

The incumbent serves as one of the Specialists within SPA who, collectively, are responsible for providing project design, program, administrative, and logistical support for carrying out the entire program cycle for Kenya and East Africa Operating Units. The incumbent is expected to lead and support a variety of tasks and processes, but also specialize in specific areas of responsibilities, and also cross-train and backstop other Specialists to ensure continuity of operations, maximize customer service, and improve efficiency. The Specialist will provide specialized support in overall, cross-Mission program management (including but not limited to serving as mission lead on one or more cross-cutting key issues, and serving as A/CORs on activity awards; strategic, project, and activity planning, design, and implementation backstopping for one or more technical offices; and program documentation and reporting and general administrative support for the development and implementation of programs/projects across sectors (democracy and governance; health, population, and nutrition; education and youth; environment; and economic growth) within both the bilateral and regional portfolios managed by the Nairobi platform. The Specialist will also support the entire USAID/KEA mission in all aspects of capacity development and training functions.


Statement of Duties to be Performed

Strategic, Project, and Activity Planning, Design, and Implementation Backstopping 60%  

The Specialist serves as a primary backstop to one or more technical office(s) for both bilateral Kenya and the East Africa Regional OUs; and serves as a member of Development Objective Advisory Teams (DOATs) and Project Management Collaboratives (PMCs), providing advice and leadership on all aspects of the USAID program cycle across programs, with a particular focus on project and activity design.  S/he is expected to become part of the extended technical office, attending staff and other meetings to maintain a pulse on all critical actions. S/he provides up-to-date information on the technical office to the SPA Office and serves as the go-to person within the SPA Office for all key information for the technical office from a strategic, project, and activity planning and implementation lens. The incumbent advises and guides technical offices on program/project/activity development and implementation to ensure adherence to and compliance with Mission/Agency strategies, policies, procedures, Mission Orders, and best practice. The Specialist identifies and analyzes gaps and/or needs in project design and implementation and makes recommendations, coordinating with relevant technical and support office specialists where needed, to enable the achievement of results.  

The Specialist will provide support to the bilateral CDCS and RDCS strategic development, implementation, and stock-taking processes, including participation and support in strategic and performance portfolio reviews and strategy mid-course stocktaking, intended to examine progress towards achievement of the CDCS and RDCS and project results and expectations regarding future progress and status of critical assumptions and changes in the country or regional context. The Specialist will document and promote learning and seek opportunities to adapt programming.  

The incumbent provides guidance and leads the development of required program documentation for the technical office s/he backstops.  S/he assists in the conceptualization, research, development, writing and editing of documents, in the preparation of concept papers and designs for new programs, projects, and activities. In this capacity, the incumbent coordinates the review, approval, authorization, and obligation process for assigned technical and strategic portfolios. The Specialist is responsible for monitoring and updating technical office procurement plans and pipeline reports s/he backstops, performing analyses as necessary to ensure that actions required are planned and executed in a timely fashion for obligation/sub-obligation.  S/he ensures that all pre-obligation requirements have been met and provides support to the technical office s/he backstops during quarterly financial reviews.  

For the East Africa Regional portfolio, the Specialist will be familiar with the strategies of the bilateral Missions to ensure that the specific programming meets those strategic priorities. The Specialist will be required to be informed on regional trends in East Africa and cross-border regional priorities to support the design of regional programs.  The incumbent assists all USAID staff in assuring that programs/projects/activities are executed in a timely manner and in accordance with proper procedures as defined by USAID regulations.  

Special Program and Representational Duties 25% 

The Specialist will identify ways to further meet USG foreign policy, GOK, and East African regional development and policy objectives. S/he maintains up-to-date knowledge of Agency and USG initiatives, development issues and innovations, and political and economic trends in Washington, Kenya, and the East African region.  S/he will liaise closely with relevant USAID/Washington bureaus and offices to identify opportunities to strengthen Mission strategic design and implementation processes. The Specialist actively participates in and/or leads relevant program cycle-related Mission and/or Agency Teams, including Mission DOAT and Project Teams, working groups, and communities of practice to promote and strengthen the adoption of best practices. Participation includes proactively drafting of pertinent project design documents, waivers, SOAR documentation, and memos to ensure high caliber support to technical offices.  

The Specialist maintains collaborative relationships with a wide range of contacts in the Mission and USAID/Washington and represents USAID and the USG with internal and external audiences as required. S/he will also serve as a Contracting/Agreement Officer Representative (COR/AOR) on program support cycle mechanisms and other mechanisms which support cross-cutting mission initiatives. 

The specialist will help support the implementation of the Development Cooperation Framework Agreement (DCFA), tracking the DCFA implementation letters with the relevant Government of Kenya line ministries.  The specialist will also help support the Government- to-Government (G2G) efforts at the mission as well as represent the SPA office in the mission G2G working group. 

Program Documentation and Reporting and General Administrative Support 15% 

The Specialist assists in the production of strategic planning documents, the annual Operational and Performance Plans and Reports, portfolio review planning, Congressional presentations, and other reports required to ensure that the Mission is able to accomplish its development objectives. The Specialist, in consultation with Development Program Specialists in the SPA Planning and Design Team, will support administrative actions related to the implementation of the Kenya and East Africa strategies such as the preparation of action memorandums, budget tables, and supporting documents. The Specialist identifies, collects, and compiles information for regular and ad hoc reports and data calls (including but not limited to the Foreign Assistance Data Redaction), maintains summary materials on results for use in presenting and explaining the program portfolio, and supports the preparation of documents for regular and ad hoc reports and presentations, for Administration and Agency priorities which require deep knowledge of USAID processes and programs to develop responses. Ad hoc reporting and information requests and taskers are numerous, particularly from the Africa Bureau counterparts, who work directly with the Specialist to resolve issues from Congress, the public, and inter-agency, and the Specialist is often required to work under extremely tight deadlines.

Supervisory Relationship

The Specialist works under the supervision of the Program Officer, who makes assignments orally and in writing. Most assignments occur in the normal course of the work, but the Specialist is required to determine those that must be coordinated with the supervisor. The supervisor provides a review of the assignment, the goals and objectives to be achieved, and the results expected. The Specialist seeks advice and assistance as required. Work is reviewed in terms of results achieved.

Supervisory Controls

Supervision of other USAID employees is not anticipated.

Physical Demands

The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

Bachelors Degree

  1. Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management, International Relations, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, or similar field required. 
  2. Language Proficiency: Level IV English and Kiswahili proficiency is required. Ability to prepare and present concise reports is required.

More Details on Experience

Prior Work Experience: A minimum of three years of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in strategic development, program planning, financial and policy analysis, management, economics, and analysis or a closely related work is required. At least two years of this experience should have been in development-related work for International Development Organization, Non-Governmental Organization, Donor Agencies, Embassies, or institutions which include planning and management, program/project/activity design, performance monitoring, and/or the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data.

Terms And Conditions


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 //

-     Job Knowledge (60 points) 

The work requires substantial knowledge or the potential to acquire knowledge and understanding of development program/project/activity management principles, practices, and reporting, and a solid understanding of USAID programming and management policies and techniques. The Specialist must have working-level knowledge of modern development principles, concepts, and practices, especially as they relate to program management.  A sound understanding of Kenyan and regional political, economic, social, and cultural characteristics and developments is expected.  In addition, the Specialist must have, or be able to gain, a good knowledge of USAID policies and regulations, procedures and methodologies, and documentation and reporting requirements, and a good understanding of the administrative procedures and operations of major donors and non-governmental organizations. 

-     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. The work requires outstanding organizational skills and the ability to multitask, handle stressful situations, and meet firm deadlines, and the ability to convene and convince colleagues and counterparts to make specific actions and activities a priority.  Excellent interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills are required; and the ability to explain the wide array of applicable rules, regulations, and policies governing assigned activities, clearly and concisely, to other USG staff and external stakeholders. The work requires outstanding written and spoken English, and the ability to communicate clearly through verbal reports and presentations.  The Specialist must be skilled in office management, administration, and planning and computers, including Word, Excel, database software, and PowerPoint software. Excellent verbal and writing skills, tact, and diplomacy are also required, to establish and maintain effective working relationships within the USG and external stakeholders. 

Total possible points:  100 


Step 1: Register in MyJobsInKenya at

Step 2: Complete the job application at

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.


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
  2. 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.
  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.


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.


Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens, including current locally hired employees of the US Mission in Kenya. Employees presently on probation are ineligible to apply. 


Security certification issued by the US Embassy RSO.


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 are offered in accordance with the Local Compensation Plan (LCP). 


The Contractor must observe Kenyan laws including those concerning income and related tax obligations. 


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 //
  2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at //
  3. Acquisition & Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at //
  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 //
  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: // 

The PSC Ombudsman may be contacted via: [email protected]