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Somalia Mission Project Management Specialist (Educational Instruction)

USAID (Kenya) Nairobi, Kenya


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is at the forefront of the U.S. Government (USG) response to the global learning crisis. USAID is the lead agency of the USG Strategy on International Basic Education and coordinates the Departments of State and Labor, Peace Corps, and Millennium Challenge Corporation to implement approximately $1 billion of U.S. assistance annually. The development goal is to achieve a world where education systems in partner countries enable all individuals to acquire the education and skills needed to be productive members of society. USAID’s bilateral partnership in Somalia is helping to expand the education system to well over 100,000 new learners. By expanding learning opportunities and outcomes, children and youth are prepared to succeed in school, and in life.

USAID Somalia implements USG bilateral strategic goals through a five-year strategy. The Social Services Office (SSO) partners to strengthen Somalia’s accelerated basic education (ABE – for out-of-school children and youth who need to “catch up” on their education) and non-formal education (NFE – youth and adults for whom multiple years of classroom instruction is not practical) systems to deliver quality basic education to improve the foundations of learning. USAID is Somalia’s largest bilateral accelerated and non-formal education donor and provides $15 million in assistance annually to improve education outcomes for some 150,000 children and youth.

The USAID Project Management Specialist (Educational Instruction) is a senior professional and specialist in strategic planning; program and activity design; and budgeting, implementation, and performance management of the full spectrum of ABE and NFE interventions. The jobholder serves as the team’s senior technical advisor on issues related to literacy, numeracy, and local language instruction, and provides leadership to identify opportunities for USG engagement in education programming, including in the Education in Crisis and Conflict / Education in Emergencies space. This senior position ensures that the Mission has the necessary strategic, technical, and management expertise to oversee and successfully implement such core basic education activities. The jobholder serves as a subject-matter expert and senior technical representative; and engages and negotiates across USAID, the interagency, host country government, international and bilateral organizations, and donor agencies to address technical issues and coordinate efforts to implement basic education programming to the classroom level.

Under the general guidance of the SSO Director, the jobholder provides substantive guidance to formulate and administer broad-scale education projects. The jobholder analyzes and evaluates significant education sector developments; determines sector impacts on USAID activities; and recommends policy and programming to Mission management. The jobholder regularly evaluates the effects of U.S. and Somali legislation and policy on education sector support. S/he conceptualizes, designs, and implements complex technical programming and regularly briefs high level officials on emerging developments, insights, and impacts on Somalia’s education sector.


The incumbent will be responsible for a full range of project management responsibilities for the Social Services team:

Technical and Strategic Leadership                                           50%

  • Serve as the lead technical officer for the USAID/Somalia ABE and NFE literacy, numeracy, and local language instruction portfolio; provide expert direction in the design, implementation, and oversight of key ABE and NFE programming and interventions.
  • Provide expert-level guidance to senior-level Mission and host country officials, serve as a key advisor for all strategic and policy issues related to ABE and NFE instruction, including as relates to the Education in Crisis and Conflict / Education in Emergencies space.
  • Work closely across SSO and the entire USAID Mission to optimize opportunities for cross sectoral integration and leveraging of resources across multiple program components.
  • Maintain and communicate national and global developments in ABE and NFE literacy, numeracy, and local language instruction; and advise accordingly to apply policies, strategies, and technical guidelines to enable the Mission to maintain fidelity of implementation and positive impacts among beneficiaries.
  • Identify opportunities for integrated, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art approaches to essential technical assistance. Provide expert oversight and guidance to USAID staff and implementing partners on emerging and effective approaches to ABE and NFE instruction program planning and implementation.
  • Collaborate across SSO to advise on the development and use of tools to support continuous learning and adapting, and to further improve and evolve the USAID knowledge base and data management capacity of ABE and NFE activities, including in the Education in Crisis and Conflict/Education in Emergencies space. Advise on targeted analyses of education sector performance data to inform and improve program planning and implementation.

Program/Project/Activity Planning and Management              30%

  • Provide strategic and technical leadership to prepare key annual and multi-year planning and reporting documents, including Operational Plans; Congressional Budget Justifications; Mission and sector strategies; technical notifications; and quarterly, semi-annual, and annual progress reports and portfolio reviews.
  • Analyze and assess the Education portfolio and the performance of partners relative to the available budget; and facilitate design of new projects and/or activities necessary to achieve USAID/Somalia’s strategic objectives for the education sector.
  • Lead and participate in each stage of project design for new activities, including drafting and obtaining approval for concept papers, composing scopes of work, conducting financial analyses, completing pre-obligation requirements, evaluating technical and cost applications and proposals, and establishing new projects.
  • Maintain a technical portfolio as Contracting Officer’s Representative/Agreement Officer’s Representative (COR/AOR) and/or Activity Manager, including the review and approval of workplans, budgets, and quarterly and annual reports; performance monitoring plans and monitoring; and financial reporting, as required.
  • Ensure compliance of implementing partners with the terms, scope, deliverables, and delivery schedule in accordance with their awards.
  • Ensure that implementing partners abide by their reporting requirements, including quarterly reports, trip reports, accruals, activity MEL plans, and annual reports; as well as other requirements such as USG Basic Education and Youth Development reporting or other requests.
  • Lead routine meetings with implementing partners to discuss technical and programmatic direction of USAID’s technical education programs.
  • Identify opportunities and strengthen existing opportunities for integration of education programming with economic growth, governance, and health activities, and other areas of the Mission as appropriate.
  • Advise and recommend technical assistance (STTA) from USAID/Washington central platforms and write the technical components of the scope of work for the consultants.
  • Oversee field monitoring to ensure programmatic oversight and ultimately improve the quality of service.

Representation and Reporting                                                   20%

  • Represent USAID at national, regional, and international meetings and fora that relate to early grade reading, literacy, and local language instruction, including regular participation in national-level education technical working groups and related committees.
  • Represent USAID within USG inter-agency technical teams on issues pertaining to multi-sectoral education approaches and interventions, including the Education in Crisis and Conflict / Education in Emergencies space, and their relationships with other development sectors.
  • Represent USAID at meetings outside of the education field as needed, as requested by the Mission Director, Deputy Mission Director, and/or SSO Director.
  • Organize evens and prepare orientation materials for delegations from USAID Headquarters, State Department, and other agencies.
  • Prepare reports and responses to information requests from USAID Headquarters, Department of State, and U.S. Congress. Respond flexibly and capably to a wide range of work-related requirements.
  • Establish strategic working relationships with senior national and local government officials, donor agencies, civil society organizations, and education associations to enhance information on education policies and interventions that affect implementation of USAID programs.
  • Represent the Mission on all fora related to ABE, NFE, and early grade literacy, numeracy, and local language instruction, including the Education in Crisis and Conflict / Education in Emergencies space.

Supervisory Relationship

The USAID Project Management Specialist (Educational Instruction) reports to the SSO Director or his/her designee. Most assignments are self-generated and occur in the normal course of work. The jobholder exercises independence in most phases of his/her job responsibilities and determines the extent to which those situations require coordination with the supervisor or other team members. Completed work is accepted as technically correct and the overall work is reviewed in terms of results achieved.    

Supervisory Controls

No direct supervision of other employees, however, the jobholder serves as the defacto SSO Deputy Director.


The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

Master's Degree


A Master’s degree in education, health/behavioral/social sciences, or public policy.

Language Proficiency

Level IV (fluent) proficiency in oral and written English; fluency (Level IV) in Somali is required.

More Details on Experience

Prior Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in education instruction and reform in the development field in a developing country context that shows a pattern of upward career progression with increasing levels of leadership, supervisory and program management responsibility. Must demonstrate prior experience working with bilateral and multilateral stakeholders, national-level public sector investments, and experience managing donor-funded education programming and ensuring compliance with donor rules and regulations. Experience must include management of education, reading, and local language programming, especially in ABE, NFE, and/or the Education in Crisis and Conflict / Education in Emergencies, as well as strategic planning and analysis relative to the country context. The position requires a combination of managerial, technical, and analytical abilities, combined with a demonstrated ability to manage resources, programs, and people. At least three years of this work experience must be at a development Assistance Agency, International Organization, Non-Governmental Organization or Embassy.

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)

Advanced knowledge of international best practice in instruction and multi-sectoral education approaches and interventions; as well as the host country context, including priorities and challenges, funding sources, and key stakeholders engaged in the response to the global education crisis. Thorough knowledge of the host country’s economic, political, social, and cultural characteristics and the history of development assistance, in particular the response to the demands of the education sector, including current trends and directions. The jobholder is expected to have an in-depth understanding or the potential to acquire understanding of USG foreign assistance policy with the host country. Working knowledge or the potential to acquire knowledge of USG and USAID’s strategic direction, chief accomplishments, and challenges. Experience must include program management and evaluation as well as strategic planning and analysis relative to the country context. The position requires a combination of managerial, technical, and analytical abilities, including a demonstrated ability to manage resources, programs, and people.

-     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. Demonstrated diplomatic and leadership skills with strong oral and presentation abilities that convey confidence and professionalism at senior management levels is required. The ability to absorb and analyze complex data and accurately explain its meaning to non-technical audiences is required. The incumbent must demonstrate the capacity to work independently with minimal guidance and oversight to achieve work priorities. S/he must possess the ability to accurately assess the work burden associated with assigned tasks and correctly delegate these tasks to subordinates who have the requisite capacity to successfully complete these tasks. The ability to organize and lead diverse groups to devise innovation solutions and approaches to complex problems is required. The jobholder must possess strong technical and analytical skills to deliver and improve educational quality and instruction. The jobholder must possess strong oral and written communication, advocacy, and networking skills. The jobholder must possess strong conceptual skills to be able to quickly grasp and translate new concepts into operational plans and results. This position requires an outstanding ability to exercise flexibility and prioritization skills to respond to evolving planning and implementation contexts, and ability to exercise sound judgement, initiative, and leadership. S/he demonstrates timely decision-making and extensive judgment in planning and carrying out tasks in reviewing the progress of programs and projects under his/her responsibility, including performance reporting, pipeline management, program implementation reviews, as well as fulfilling USAID and USG reporting requirements. The jobholder must have the ability to identify significant economic, political, and social trends in the host country and assess their importance and impact on USAID development assistance objectives and programs, using diplomacy and tact. The jobholder must demonstrate excellent computer skills, including expert proficiency with the Microsoft and Google Office suites, web-based databases, and electronic filing.

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, Third Country Nationals and Current locally hired employees of the US Mission in Kenya. Employees presently on probation are ineligible to apply.

Third Country Nationals will be hired under the U.S. Embassy Nairobi Local Compensation Pay Plan and paid in Kenyan Shillings. This position offers medical benefits to the employee and his/her immediate family - spouse and children only. Third country nationals will not receive a pension plan. Relocation to Kenya (including Entry Visa/Pass) is at the employee’s expense and will not be reimbursed by the U.S. Government.


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].