Jobs at USAID for Project Management Specialists – USAID West Africa

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking offers from qualified persons to provide personal services in the vacant position below:

 

Job Title: Project Management Specialist – USAID West Africa
Solicitation Number: SOL-624-17-000017
Location: Abuja
Period of Performance: Two (2) years, with the option to renew annually up to a total of 5 years.
Area of Consideration: Open to U.S. Citizens currently residing in Nigeria. Proof of residency and work permit MUST be provided with application. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.
Background

  • USAID West Africa (USAID/WA) is a regional mission that is located in Accra, Ghana and implements development assistance activities in 21 countries. The United States has an abiding interest in helping West Africa achieve broad-based good governance, democracy, justice and a respect for human rights. Since 1991, USAID has provided over $300 million in technical assistance and training to effect positive, lasting change within the region’s institutions and the lives of its people.

Basic Function of the Position

  • While operating under COM authority within USAID/Nigeria, the PMS/EW receives programmatic guidance, technical direction, oversight and substantive input from USAID/WA’s RPGO in the implementation and monitoring of USAID’s contributions to EWARP.
  • On a day-to-day basis the incumbent will report to and coordinate closely with the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement.
  • On programmatic contractual matters, the incumbent will report to the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for the EWARP activity based in the USAID/WA Mission in Accra, Ghana.
  • As such and due to the assignment’s location in Nigeria, the PMS/EW will also collaborate with leadership from Embassy Abuja and USAID/Nigeria and potentially with US government leadership in other ECOWAS member states, when and as EWARP activities begin to take place in ECOWAS member countries.
  • The position includes a broad range of complex coordination, analytical and communication responsibilities, including providing overall monitoring and oversight of EWARP activities, as well as documentation, reporting, responding to queries from various sources, coordination, advice, and management of USAID’s activities in support of EWARP.
  • USAID-funded activities for EWARP have a current estimated value of approximately $17.5 million over a five-year period. In addition to direct monitoring of USAID efforts, the PMS/EW will work closely with EWARP project managers within the USG to ensure the cohesiveness of the overall Partnership strategy and the complementarity of the activities funded by each agency.
  • The PMS/EW will regularly represent USAID and/or the USG at meetings and conferences dealing with conflict early warning and response in West Africa and may represent USAID at meetings and conferences covering other topics that are of particular priority to USAID West Africa including, but not limited to, peace and security and democracy and governance areas.
  • The PMS/EW will work with ECOWAS’s CPAPS to ensure integrated information sharing as well as to promote better communication among ECOWAS, USAID, implementing partners, the U. S. Embassy and donor partners on conflict early warning and response systems.
  • S/he will be responsible for coordination within the U.S. Mission/Abuja, ECOWAS and with other donors to ensure the appropriateness and complementarity of programming.
  • This position requires exercise of broad individual judgment in recommending EWARP programming priorities and coordinating relations with representatives inside and outside the USG.
  • The political and governance issues with which the PMS/EW will be dealing are among the top priorities of USG foreign policy in West Africa.
  • The ECOWAS operating environment is highly complex and frequently unpredictable and the donor space is relatively crowded.
  • Thus, the PMS/EW must be flexible and able to provide advice on approaches and activities for sometimes rapidly changing circumstances.

Major Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties will include but are not limited to the following:
Project Management, Monitoring and Oversight – 55%:

  • Monitor EWARP activities through regular meetings with USAID implementing partners, project stakeholders and beneficiaries.  Review implementing partners’ reports for timeliness, content, accuracy and adherence to their contractual scope of work.
  • Report regularly to USAID on projects’ accomplishments, and identify any shortcomings and other issues to be raised with the RPGO. Alert USAID when unforeseen matters with program implementation arise requiring urgent attention.
  • Make recommendations for adjustments in the implementation schedule or content.
  • Identify all related and complementary programs supported by other donors and/or ECOWAS funds, including identification of existing and planned funding resources, gaps, constraints, and opportunities.

Program Evaluation and Reporting – 10%:

  • The PMS/EW will monitor project performance of the USAID implementing partners against planned achievements and indicators, ensuring compliance.
  • The PMS/EW will be responsible for monitoring the achievement of results by periodically reviewing the development context, indicator data, and other indications of portfolio progress, identifying problem areas and recommending corrective measures.
  • The PMS/EW will prepare information for Mission reports to meet USAID and broader USG reporting requirements such as those associated with Operational Plans, Performance Reports, Congressional Budget Justifications, Mission Strategic Resources Plans, human rights reports, trafficking reports, reports on gender and people with disabilities, etc., as needed.

Program Coordination and Technical Support – 35%:

  • The PMS/EW is responsible for:
    • Collaborating with a broad range of partners on strategic approaches to conflict early warning and response;
    • Obtaining and maintaining support and communication from partners and stakeholders; and
    • Providing technical support to RPGO on an as-needed basis on early warning systems and overall ECOWAS and CPAPS policies and strategies.
  • Partners include ECOWAS, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and in other ECOWAS member state capitals, bilateral and multilateral donors, USAID/Nigeria and other USAID bilateral missions in the region.
  • The PMS/EW ensures that open and timely communication is maintained with all relevant stakeholders on planned or current EWARP activities in West Africa.
  • Such communication will include, but not be limited to, the following recurring tasks:  submit weekly reports outlining key meetings/points/actions from the previous week and anticipated activities/tasks for the following week; organize regular briefings with Embassy Abuja and USAID; participate in regularly scheduled calls with USAID/WA; and participate in interagency conference calls; attend donor coordination meetings related to ECOWAS Peace and Security work; and report on any issues relevant to the Regional Peace and Governance Office early warning and countering violent extremism portfolios.

Supervision/Oversight over Others:

  •  The PMS/EW will not directly supervise any staff members.

Supervisory Controls:

  • The PMS/EW will perform assignments independently under the guidance of USAID/WA/RPGO and the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement.
  • While the PMS/EW will receive day-to-day guidance from USAID/WA/RPGO and the US Embassy Nigeria, the position’s location in Nigeria and role in working on EWARPrelated issues, will require a high degree of independence and self-reliance. Periodic travel to Accra is anticipated to allow for coordination and joint planning while regular communication is expected via phone, email, and written reporting.
  • The annual performance of the PMS/EW will be reviewed in terms of achievement of established work objectives.  Formal supervisory responsibilities will rest with the USAID/WA Regional Peace and Governance Office Director.
  • The PMS/EW is expected to exercise considerable independent judgment and initiative.
  • Such initiative is critical to the success of the assignment and includes meetings with senior officials within the U.S. Government (USG), ECOWAS and donor partners.
  • The actions and decisions of the PMS/EW will be as technical manager and adviser to RPGO staff and the U.S. Embassy/Nigeria.

Minimum Qualifications, Evaluation and Selection Criteria
Education (20 points):

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, International Relations, International Development, Conflict Studies, Public Administration/Public Affairs, Economics or other Social Science discipline, is required.
  • A Master’s degree is desirable.

Technical Knowledge (25 points):

  • Demonstrated knowledge of program principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques of development assistance in general is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as a program manager and conduct the full range of responsibilities effectively and in a timely manner is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and effectively plan work in advance, with limited supervision to ensure that programs and tasks do not falter due to lack of effective management and support is required.
  • The ability to obtain, evaluate and interpret data and prepare accurate, timely reports is necessary.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of democracy, human rights, and governance principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques is desirable.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of conflict mitigation and management principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques, including conflict early warning, is highly desirable.
  • The ability to evaluate contractor’s recommendations, identify problems affecting program activities, propose well-thought out strategies to resolve these problems, consult with senior management and field staff, and then implement final decisions and strategies and approaches is necessary.

Work Experience (25 points):

  • A minimum of five years of professional-level experience in project management or development related activities or one of the areas listed above under Education.
  • Experience working in, for or with international organizations is required.
  • Experience working on conflict early-warning or conflict mitigation and management programming is highly desired.

Communication/Language Skills (15 points):

  • Level IV English (fluent) is required, with strong writing skills in English, demonstrated ability to prepare succinct narrative reports, sometimes with short deadlines and with minimal supervision, are also required.
  • Operational, managerial and strong analytical and writing skills are necessary, specifically experience in the independent analysis, interpretation and presentation of complex data in both oral and written form and in precise, accurate, clear and complete formats.

Collaborative Skills (15 points):

  • Evidence of strong collaborative skills, including the ability to work effectively with superiors, subordinates, colleagues and partners, both inside and outside USAID, is required, as well as maturity, stability, objectivity, resourcefulness, adaptability, and sound professional judgment.
  • Effective teamwork is an essential factor in successful day-to-day management and operations.

Other Significant Factors
Available Guidelines:  

  • The incumbent is expected to become familiar with and follow USAID processes, procedures and rules as documented in the Automated Directive System (ADS).
  • In situations where the PMS/EW’s judgment points to a need for additional clarity or guidance, his/her supervisor will provide such guidance with the assistance of the USAID support offices as appropriate.
  • The PMS will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies, including but not limited to the ADS, USG procurement regulations, and USAID program strategy, design and policy documents.

Complexity:

  • The management environment in which the incumbent will operate is complex, with many donors, country interests and USG interests, and requires a professional with advisory, teambuilding and public diplomacy skills.
  • S/he must have the ability to understand and operate in USAID’s regulations regarding procurement, earmarking and other aspects of project implementation.
  • USG guidance includes laws, legislative initiatives, complex funding streams, specific legislative guidance, and other factors that often must be considered in planning and implementing support activities.
  • Excellent, balanced judgment must be exercised in setting priorities.
  • The position requires planning, follow-up/implementation and teamwork abilities.  The incumbent will be expected to be highly productive and meet short deadlines.

Scope and Effect:

  • The incumbent provides management, oversight and technical direction for development activities designed by USAID for EWARP under the guidance of the RPGO Director.
  • The management of EWARP activities requires high-level technical and organizational skills as they represent a complex array of projects and initiatives that require constant monitoring and highlevel consultations with Embassy and ECOWAS officials.
  • S/he will be tasked to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and State Department on those elements of program oversight that relate to EWARP.

Personal Contacts:  

  • The incumbent maintains close contact with USAID/WA/RPGO and U.S. Embassy and State Department personnel working on EWARP and other related activities.
  • Contacts will include U.S. Embassy and USAID/Nigeria personnel and Department of Defense liaison officials.
  • Contacts may also include ECOWAS member state personnel, staff of the West Africa Network for Peacekeeping (WANEP) as well as local civil society organizations and community-based organizations.
  • The incumbent will be required to develop and maintain contacts with relevant ECOWAS officials and donor partner institutions.

Level and Purpose of Contacts:

  • The purpose of contacts is to inform on or elicit information about early warning and response activities in order to perform project management activities and inform USAID policy formulation and/or implementation.
  • This may include information and communication to and with ECOWAS representatives, USG representatives, other regional institution representatives, and other donors up to the level of Ambassador.
  • Contacts with the parties mentioned above will occur in both structured and unstructured settings.
  • The incumbent will not be authorized to make commitments or decisions on policy revisions.
  • The broad use of initiative, discretion and patience is expected from the PMS/EW in dealing with USAID personnel as well as representatives from other donor organizations and U.S. Embassies to resolve problems that arise during the course of work where there is often no clear or immediate solution.
  • These contacts are necessary to influence and facilitate project implementation.   Relationships with the parties mentioned above are cordial and cooperative.
  • In addition, considerable judgment is required in working effectively and coordinating multi-sectorial efforts in support of USAID’s development objectives and in collecting, analyzing and reporting on progress of activities and recommending project actions.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

  • Work is performed primarily in the USAID/Nigeria office in Abuja, Nigeria, but may require occasional travel to the USAID/WA/RPGO office in Accra, Ghana and occasional travel to ECOWAS member countries in West Africa (estimated 10% total travel time).

Organizational Location Position

  • The resident-hire USPSC Project Management Specialist will be located in Abuja, Nigeria, and will physically be based in the USAID/Nigeria offices.
  • The incumbent will be under Chief of Mission authority in Abuja.  On a day-to-day basis the incumbent will report to and coordinate closely with the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement.
  • On programmatic contractual matters, the incumbent will report to the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for the EWARP activity based in the USAID/WA Mission in Accra, Ghana.  Formal supervisory responsibilities will rest with the USAID/WA Regional Peace and Governance Office Director.
  • Periodic travel to Accra, Ghana is anticipated as is travel within the West Africa region for project monitoring and supervision.

Basis of Rating Applications
Selection Factors: Applicants must possess the minimum qualifications for the position (see criteria above:  Education, Technical Knowledge, Work Experience, Communication/Language Skills, and Collaborative Skills. Additional factors to be taken into consideration include:

  • Applicant is a U.S. Citizen currently resident in Nigeria.
  • Completed and hand-signed form AID 302-3 is submitted by application deadline.  (Note:  All applicants must submit complete dates [months/years] and hours per week for all positions listed on the AID 302-3 to allow for adequate evaluation of their related and direct experience.
  • Experience that cannot be quantified will not count towards meeting the experience requirements.).
  • All applications will be evaluated and scored based on the required qualifications and documentation submitted with the application.
  • Those applicants who are short-listed (determined to be competitively ranked) may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.
  • Failure to address the selection criteria may result in your not receiving credit for all of your pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.
  • USAID may contact the applicant’s professional references and verify academic credentials.  Applicants may also be evaluated based on the performance in an interview.
  • Cover letter and supporting documentation specifically addressing the minimum requirements for the position.  Applicants must explain in their cover letter how they meet the requirements of the position.
  • Applicants who do not meet all of the selection criteria or do not provide the required documentation are considered NOT qualified for the position.

Medical and Security Clearance Requirements:

  • The applicant selected to fill this position must be able to obtain a security clearance which involves applicant’s comprehensive background investigation performed by a U.S. Government Agency.
  • The applicant selected to fill the position must also receive medical clearance to work worldwide. Details of how to obtain such clearance will be provided after selection and acceptance of the job offer.
  • The final selected candidates must obtain security and medical clearances within a reasonable period of time (USAID will provide details regarding these clearances to the selected candidates).
  • A substantial delay in obtaining either required clearance will make the applicant ineligible for selection

Market Value Position

  • GS-13 ($74,584 – $96,958) Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value based upon the candidate’s salary history.
  • Salaries over and above the top of the GS-13 pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.

Benefit/Allowances
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:
Benefits:

  • Employee’s FICA and Medicare Contribution (USPSCs only)
  • Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
  • Pay Comparability Adjustment
  • Annual Increase (depending on a satisfactory performance evaluation)
  • Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation
  • Annual & Sick Leave
  • Access to Embassy commissary (with associate membership) and DPO mail (USPSCs only)

Taxes:

  •  USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their applications which must include all required documents stated below to: [email protected]

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae or resume
  • Signed Form AID 302-3 (available at: http://www.usaid.gov/forms/ )
  • Supplemental document addressing the evaluation factors; and
  • List of three to five professional references.

Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line of your email application. Any attachments provided via email must be in a format compatible with Microsoft Word 2003/2010 or PDF and not zipped. Note that attachments to email must not exceed 3 MB.

Click here to download the Position Description (PDF)

Instructions to Applicants

Submission of a resume alone IS NOT a complete application. This position requires the completion of additional forms and/or supplemental materials as described in this section. Failure to provide the required information and/or materials will result in your not being considered for employment.
Interested individuals meeting the Minimum Qualifications above are required to submit the following:

  • Signed Form AID 302-3, Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts (available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms/)
  • All applicants must submit complete dates (months/years) and hours per week for all positions listed on the form Form AID 302-3 to allow for adequate evaluation of your related and direct experiences.
  • Applicants should note that the salary history for the purposes of the AID 302-3 is the base salary paid, excluding benefits and allowances such as housing, travel, educational support, etc.
  • Cover letter and a current resume/curriculum vitae (CV). The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing particular selection criteria. Complete dates (month/year) are also required on CV.
  • Applicants must provide a minimum of three and a maximum of five references within the last five years from the applicant’s professional life namely individuals who are not family members or relatives. Three references must be from direct supervisors who can provide information regarding the applicant’s work knowledge and professional experience. Applicants must provide e-mail addresses and/or working telephone numbers for all references.
  • Applicants also must address the above “Selection Criteria”, in a summary statement to be included in the application.
  • This summary statement, limited to two pages, must describe specifically and accurately what experience, training, education, and/or awards the applicant has received that are relevant to each selection factor above.
  • The summary statement must include the name of the applicant and the announcement number at the top of each page.

List of Required Forms for PSCS
Forms outlined below can found at: http://www.usaid.gov/forms/

  1. Application for Federal Employment (AID 302-3);
  2. Contractor Physical Examination (AID Form 1420-62).
  3. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security) (SF-86),
  4. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85).
  5. Fingerprint Card (FD-258).
  • Forms 2 through 5 shall be completed only upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.

 

Application Deadline: 11th August, 2017.

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