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USAID DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM SPECIALIST

USAID Kenya NAIROBI, KENYA

Summary

GENERAL INFORMATION

1.  SOLICITATION NO.: 21-22.

2.  ISSUANCE DATE: February 12, 2021.

3.  CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: February 26,           2021 (4:30 PM East Africa Time).

4.  POSITION TITLE: USAID Development Program Specialist              

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 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.             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.

11PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The position requirements do not involve rigorous physical demands.

BACKGROUND

The Development Program Specialist (DPS), in the Strategic Planning and Analysis (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. SPA 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 on major development trends in           Kenya and the East Africa region to inform new programming needs. 

The DPS is responsible for providing substantive advice and support for the development and implementation of programs/projects within the Health sector within the bilateral and regional portfolios managed by the Nairobi platform. S/he provides expert advice on all aspects of the development and implementation of projects and programs and performs the full range of consultative, information gathering, conceptualization, design, development, implementation, monitoring, evaluative, and learning services of broad scope and complexity. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring that all Kenya and East Africa Regional programs are designed and implemented in keeping with the Agency's rules, regulations, procedures, and best practices. The incumbent establishes effective working relationships with the highest levels of USAID, national and local Government of Kenya (GOK), East African regional inter-governmental organizations (RIGOs), the U.S. Government interagency, and other development partners. In addition, the incumbent will be required to ensure a strong working relationship with other Embassies in the East Africa region to ensure relevant coordination and information-sharing on key programs and priorities. The nature of the position in the Mission structure requires that the individual be highly knowledgeable in the substantive and administrative elements of USAID's assistance mechanisms and procedures and be capable of working independently with minimal supervision and direction.

The DPS shares in the full range of SPA Office activities and the USAID program cycle, with a concentration on strategic program planning and project and activity design and implementation. The Specialist provides leadership and plays an active role in defining, developing, and planning overall Mission programs, projects, and activities and related documents; and, advises Mission management on all aspects of strategic, program, project, activity development and implementation. The Specialist is fully responsible for ensuring the design and implementation of programs/ projects/activities are in line with Agency and Mission strategies, objectives, and priorities.

Description

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

1.  STRATEGIC PROJECT/ACTIVITY PLANNING, DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION                                                               70%

The DPS serves as a backstop to the Health, Population, and Nutrition Office (HPN) for both bilateral Kenya and the East Africa Regional OU programs; serves as the primary or alternate backstop to the mission’s regional intergovernmental organization (RIGO) portfolio; and provides strategic expertise and leadership on all aspects of the USAID program cycle across programs, projects, and activities.  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, and procedures. The Specialist identifies and analyzes gaps and/or needs in project implementation and makes recommendations, coordinating with relevant technical and support office specialists where needed, to enable the achievement of results. The Specialist prepares Assistance Agreements and amendments and other program agreements, coordinating with other offices. 

The DPS will provide critical 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 stock-takings, 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 DPS provides guidance and leads the development of required program documentation for the Health Office s/he backstops.  S/he advises and 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 including the following:

A.  Initial project conceptual documentation such as background studies,       sector surveys, analyses, data collection presented in form and               substance to permit Mission review;

B.  Preparation of project design documents (PDDs) for Mission review           and approval;

C.  Provision of information on host country, regional intergovernmental       and USAID development objectives, capabilities and priorities as they       affect the program, and ensures that project design takes into                 consideration such priorities for maximum host-country support and         cooperation; and:

D. Preparation of procurement documentation to acquire the services of        resources needed to execute program/project design work.

In this capacity, the incumbent coordinates the review, approval, authorization, and obligation process for assigned technical and strategic portfolios, including:

A.  Chairing Mission activity review committee meetings, recommending       approaches consistent with current Agency policies and priorities;

B.  As the final authority in the SPA Office on the preparation of project         appraisal documentation prior to submission for clearance, ensuring         that sufficient technical and financial analysis is done and feasibility         of approved activities demonstrated;

C. Preparing issues papers as appropriate;

D. Ensuring that management controls and monitoring systems are built      into each program/project;

E. Ensuring that all project appraisal documents are aligned to the Kenya      CDCS and/or East Africa RDCS; and

F. Coordinating and assisting with mobilization of teams for design,             feasibility, and evaluation purposes. Additionally, s/he ensures that           cross-cutting initiatives like Science, Technology, Innovations, and           Partnerships (STIP), gender, and best practice design principles like         Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) and local solutions/               sustainability are foremost considerations in project and activity               designs.

The DPS will serve as a SPA alternate or lead for one or more of the RIGOs the Mission’s regional programming supports under the East Africa Regional Development Objective Grant Agreements (RDOAG).  S/he is expected to develop and maintain close relationships with RIGO staff at the Secretariat level with responsibilities related to the USAID partnership, and to facilitate communications and planning with RIGOs within the Mission.

2. SPECIAL PROGRAM AND REPRESENTATIONAL DUTIES    20%

The DPS will identify ways to further meet USG foreign policy, GOK, and East African RIGO 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 supports relevant program cycle-related Mission and/or Agency Teams,  and communities of practice to promote and strengthen the adoption of best practices and emerging program approaches for the achievement of and scaling up of development results. 

The DPS maintains collaborative relationships with a wide range of contacts in the Mission and USAID/Washington.  S/he supports the leadership of the SPA Office and other team members in coordination of dialogue and collaboration with the Africa Bureau and with other donors, in order to ensure complementary strategies and approaches, and to identify opportunities for collaboration.  The Specialist represents USAID and the USG with internal and external audiences as required. S/he will work to facilitate knowledge management through exchange of program-cycle related information and ideas, collaborate on cross-cutting issues, and promote program/project collaboration, learning, and adapting. S/he may also serve as a Contracting/ Agreement Officer Representative or alternate on program support cycle mechanisms and other mechanisms which support cross-cutting initiatives.

3.  PROGRAM DOCUMENTATION AND REPORTING                10%

The DPS assists in the production of strategic planning documents, the annual Operational and Performance Plans and Reports, Congressional presentations, and other reports required to ensure that the Mission is able to accomplish its development objectives.  The Specialist ensures completion of required project and activity documentation for all activities; prepares required project waiver documentation; and works with Technical Offices to participate in development of indicators and targets to monitor the effectiveness and impact of program/ project/ activity implementation.

The DPS maintains a comprehensive project file with all data needed to maintain historical and current records of Kenya and regional programs, including initiatives.  S/he identifies, collects, and compiles information for regular and ad hoc reports, interpreting information and briefing Mission management on trends and issues; maintains summary materials on results for use in presenting and explaining the program/project portfolio, and how overall planning, achieving, and results reporting works; and manages the preparation of documents for regular and ad hoc reports and presentations. The Specialist identifies reporting requirements and works with senior management, DOATs, Project Teams, and technical offices as necessary to identify, collect, and draft reports and high-level and mission-wide presentations. The Specialist will draft and issue program support cycle mission orders. Ad hoc reporting and information requests and taskers are numerous, and the Specialist is often required to work under extremely tight deadlines.

S/he will be required to support bilateral and regional-level reporting and ensure coordination systems have been developed and maintained. S/he may be required to make regional visits and organize implementing partner and RIGO events.

POSITION ELEMENTS

A. SUPERVISION RECEIVED: The DPS will work under the supervision of the Development Program Specialist, FSN-12, who provided assignments orally and in writing.  Most assignments occur in the normal course of the work, but the DPS 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.

B. SUPERVISION EXERCISED: None.

C.  AVAILABLE GUIDELINES: Program and operation guidance includes USAID Mission Orders on Activity designs, Country Development Cooperation Strategy and Regional Development Cooperation strategy, the Automated Directives System 201; and, USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), and other published and unpublished guidelines. Guidelines are often general in nature and not specific to the situation at hand, requiring considerable interpretation.

D. EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT: The DPS exercises initiative, resourcefulness, and well-considered and mature judgment, based on analysis of facts and variables, possible alternatives, and potential political and development implications/impact. The Specialist routinely exercises sound judgment in establishing priorities, identifying problem solutions, and taking prompt action – often in critical situations. Mission staff rely heavily on the professionalism, accuracy, judgment, and initiative of the incumbent. The DSP exercises creative thinking and resourcefulness in dealing with problems or matters for which there is little or no precedent, while considering the impact of decisions and actions broadly on Mission programs/projects/activities.

E. AUTHORITY TO MAKE COMMITMENTS: The Specialist does not have the authority to commit the USG to the expenditure of funds, but within the scope of the authority delegated, they may indicate to other Mission staff, ranking counterpart, and implementing partner officials that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity issue or problem. The DPS exercises the authority delegated by the Office Director or designee and may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission policy. The Specialist takes action and establishes priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment. Guidance is sought when needed, and the supervisor informed of activity and project status. The Specialist may negotiate ad referendum for the immediate supervisor.

F. NATURE, LEVEL, AND PURPOSE OF CONTACTS: The DPS will have a full range of contacts within the Mission, at all levels, including senior Mission management and the Front Office.  Within USAID/Washington contacts are primarily with the bilateral and East Africa Regional Desk Officers, and program cycle technical experts within the Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning and the Africa Bureau, and Global Development Lab.  Within the Embassy, contacts are with a variety of Office staff, and on occasion with the DCM and Ambassador, as needed.  External governmental contacts vary widely with the activity involved but will include Government of Kenya Ministry Principal Secretaries and Secretary General/Deputy Secretary General and Director General-level officials within the East African regional intergovernmental organizations. The Specialist has frequent contact with other members of the international community, local NGOs, and other donors cooperating in the region. The level of contact may vary from high-ranking officials representing other governments, to Resident Representatives/Chiefs of Party, and implementing partners.  The DPS is expected to effectively advocate for USAID and USG positions on issues affecting USG assistance in the region.  In addition, the Specialist ensures timely, efficient, and effective program/project/activity reporting and implementation.

G. TIME EXPECTED TO REACH FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL: One year.

Education
Bachelor's Degree In International Relations, Sociology, Management, Finance, Law, Economics,

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.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's Degree in International Relations, Sociology, Management, Finance, Law, Economics, or related field is required.

POST ENTRY TRAINING: Mandatory training includes- Introduction to the Program Cycle (IPC), Project Design (PD), Advanced Project Design, Better Development Planning through Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA), Contracting Officer/Agreement Officer Representative (COR/AOR). Rapid familiarization with a wide range of Agency policies, procedures and regulations is expected, and training in USAID-specific procedures, regulations, and methods will be provided, subject to course offerings and availability of funds, specifically through the following courses:      

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: Level IV (Fluent) English and Kiswahili is required and will be tested.

More Details on Experience

PRIOR WORK EXPERIENCE: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience in strategic development, program planning, financial and policy analysis, management, economics, and analysis or closely related work is required. Work experience in development program and/or project implementation will be an added advantage. At least two years of this experience should have been in development-related work for International Organizations, Donor Agencies, Governmental/Non-Governmental organizations, or private-sector institutions which include planning and management, program/ project/ activity design, performance monitoring, and/or the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data.

JOB KNOWLEDGE: The work requires substantial knowledge and understanding of development program/project/activity management principles, practices, and reporting, and a solid understanding or the potential to quickly acquire knowledge of USAID programming and management policies and techniques.  The DPS must have professional-level knowledge of modern development principles, concepts, and practices, especially as they relate to program management.  A thorough knowledge of Kenyan and a good knowledge of regional intergovernmental organizations, East Africa’s varied legal and regulatory environments, policy directions, objectives, and priorities relating to development; and a sound understanding of Kenyan and regional political, economic, social, and cultural characteristics and developments is required.  In addition, the Specialist must have, or be able to quickly 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.

More Details on Skills

SKILLS AND ABILITIES:  The work requires outstanding organizational skills and the ability to multi-task, 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 key regional and bilateral governmental counterparts is necessary.  The ability to establish and maintain productive and professional relationships with relevant senior-level officials and institutions, key private-sector and development organizations, senior USAID, Embassy, USAID/ Washington, and Department of State officials is critical, as is the ability to command respect and engender cooperation among peers, superiors, external counterparts, and subordinates. The work requires excellent communication skills and the ability to prepare verbal/written reports and presentations. The Specialist must be able to perform planning and analytical work; analyze records and determine the need for various types of actions; record and reconcile conflicting views; and, to relate the purpose and objectives of programs/projects/activities to their investments and requirements.

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 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. Upload all the documents 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 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.