Solicitation No.: MN 21-57
Issuance Date: April 12, 2021
Closing Date/Time: April 23, 2021 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)
SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Services Contractor (U.S.PSC) Program Advisor – Regional Economic Community Coordinator, GS-13
Dear Prospective Offerors:
The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from qualified U.S. Citizens and/or U.S Resident Aliens to provide personal services under contract as described in this solicitation.
Submissions must be in accordance with the solicitation instructions. Applicants should retain copies of all offer materials, for their records.
Applications must be submitted electronically via email to email@example.com by the closing date and time indicated above. Late, incomplete, or unsigned applications will not be considered. Scanned copies are accepted by email. Applicants must prominently reference the solicitation number in the application submission.
This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.
Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.
Supervisory Executive Officer
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
- SOLICITATION NO.: Mission Notice 21-57
- ISSUANCE DATE: April 12, 2021
- CLOSING DATE/TIME: April 23, 2021 at 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)
- POSITION TITLE: Program Advisor – Regional Economic Community Coordinator
- MARKET VALUE: $79, 468 to $103,309 annually equivalent to GS-13. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.
- PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two (2) year base period, with three one-year options subject to funding availability and satisfactory performance or better.
- PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya
- AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens and/or U.S Resident Aliens. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.
- SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: USAID/Washington-issued clearance level at the Facility/Computer Access Level
- POINT OF CONTACT: Executive Office/Human Resources, Patrick Bii, HR Assistant, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The primary location of work will be on the U.S. Embassy/USAID compound in Nairobi, Kenya. No special demands are required to perform the work.
- STATEMENT OF DUTIES/POSITION DESCRIPTION
The incumbent primarily supports the management of the Regional Development Objective Grant Agreements (RDOAGs) with the Regional Economic Community (RECs) as an implementing framework under the East Africa Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS). S/he will also provide technical and programmatic support on various aspects of the USAID program cycle to ensure the effective implementation of USAID/Kenya and East Africa (KEA) programs under the RDCS and the Kenya Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). This includes supporting efforts related to on-budget collaboration with Kenya and the RECs under USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR) initiative. S/he will be based in the Strategic Planning and Analysis (SPA) Office. The assignment covers Kenya and East Africa, and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
The SPA Office is responsible for broad program support, coordination, and specific project management functions for USAID/KEA, which includes Kenya and East Africa Regional Operating Units. SPA serves as the principal advisor to the Mission Director on the entire program cycle to include: (a) social, economic and developmental issues; (b) strategic planning, programming, and budgeting; (c) program and project activity development; (d) monitoring and evaluation of the platform’s portfolio; (e) environmental compliance; (f) outreach and communications; and (g) limited program implementation of cross-cutting activities that fall within USAID/KEA’s Development Objectives under the Kenya CDCS and East Africa RDCS. The Office provides leadership and support on strategic planning, program design and development, monitoring and evaluation, and special issues and initiatives related to program and project strategy and design to all technical offices. In addition, SPA keeps a pulse of major development trends in Kenya and the East Africa region to inform new programming needs and reinforce learning. In addition to SPA leadership (Office Director and two Deputy Office Directors), SPA has five functional teams: Planning and Project Design, Strategic Budget Management, Performance Management and Learning, Communications and Outreach, and Cross-cutting (environmental compliance; gender integration and LGBTI rights; Science, Technology, Innovations and Partnerships [STIP]; donor coordination; and economic analyses). SPA’s approved staffing level totals over 30 positions.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
The incumbent will primarily support the management and implementation of RDOAGs and similar agreements with the RECs and other regional organizations and institutions as an implementing framework under the East Africa Regional RDCS. S/he will also provide technical and programmatic support on various aspects of the USAID program cycle to ensure the effective implementation of USAID/KEA programs, including supporting efforts related to the implementation of Kenya and East Africa’s Journey to Self-Reliance. As a Program Advisor, the incumbent will also be expected to provide support in all areas of the program cycle and coordinate with bilateral counterpart Missions.
Specific Duties: S/he will have the following specific duties: **
(1) Implement the REC management structure within SPA and the Mission, liaise with external (RECs; regional organizations, businesses, and institutions; non-U.S. diplomatic missions and embassies) and internal USG counterparts (USAID/KEA technical and support offices and USAID bilateral Missions/U.S. Embassies in the region), and coordinate SPA efforts to manage the RDOAGs and corresponding direct implementing mechanisms under the RDOAGs (such as fixed award grants or program contributions). (40%)
The following are illustrative activities under this component:
● Facilitate SPA and Mission engagement with the RECs, including: coordinating the preparation for executive level consultative meetings, portfolio reviews, and field visits; preparing talking points, briefing papers; and recommending strategic approaches and policies vis-à-vis USAID collaboration with the RECs.
● Establish structures and procedures for oversight and coordination of REC-managed activities.
● Coordinate the REC Working Group meetings, prepare agendas and meeting notes, track follow-up actions, hold after action reviews, etc.
● Draft new or amend RDOAGs or similar agreements along with the relevant Mission offices and the REC partners.
● Collaborate with the SPA REC/technical backstops in preparing Implementation Letters (ILs) and similar instruments as well as official correspondence related to the RDOAGs and USAID’s collaboration with the RECs.
● Research/develop policies for engaging the RECs and strengthening their capacities.
● Develop and implement a framework for coordinated communication with RECs, USAID bilateral missions, and U.S. embassies in the region.
● Prepare talking points, policy papers, and analyses related to the RECs.
● Track development and other relevant issues and events affecting the RECs and other regional organizations that may impact the achievement of the RDCS’s goals and objectives.
(2) Coordinate SPA efforts in implementing the Journey to Self-Reliance related to the RECs and future on-budget collaboration with Kenyas, serving as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the provision of official USG development assistance to the Government of Kenya (GOK) and the RECs. This includes facilitating the pivot to J2SR by working on the development of relevant processes, indicators, strategic communications/documents, and strategies to start leveraging resources, such as the GOK, REC, other donor agencies, local organizations or private sector. (20%)
The following are illustrative activities under this component:
● Participate in multi‐disciplinary teams to develop capacity assessments and sustainability procedures/processes; provide input and guidance on J2SR-consistent program development and implementation services for Kenya and EA.**
● Provide regular reports to concerned stakeholders (Mission leadership, USAID/Washington, USAID bilateral missions, other USG, etc.) regarding activities and progress made toward developing and achieving bilateral and regional USAID J2SR targets.
● Facilitate knowledge sharing, continuous learning and the development of a community of practice among all USG stakeholders involved in direct programming in the region.
● Assist in increasing the percentage of USAID/KEA assistance that is provided via J2SR-consistent mechanisms, supporting efforts to strengthen the organizational and programming capacity of Kenya and the RECs.
● Support Mission efforts to improve the institutional capacity of the RECs in leading development efforts within the East Africa region.
● Support SPA-related efforts on Public Financial Management Risk Assessment Framework (PFMRAF) or similar assessments and other related activities for the Kenya Mission.
(3) With guidance and administrative direction, implement recommendations resulting from the East Africa Regional Platform Assessment, including informing the Mission on potential changes to operations and program support; facilitate strategic planning to align regional policy priorities and operational direction; and enable leadership in USAID/Washington and the Mission to identify and address East Africa operations and program support requirements. (20%)
The following are illustrative activities under this component:
● Plan and conduct internal Mission meetings to develop next steps based on USAID/Washington recommendations;
● Prepare post-recommendation strategic approaches and Mission policies, talking points, briefing papers;
● Facilitate SPA and Mission roll-out of recommendations to USAID bilateral missions, RECs and other regional partners including: coordinating the preparation for executive-level consultative meetings to identify opportunities for collaboration creating a framework and processes for coordination.
● Coordinating and convening intra- and interagency round table discussions on key transnational issues.
(4) Provide program cycle advice and support to the RECs, particularly in the areas of project and activity design; monitoring and evaluation and learning; cross-cutting activities; and outreach activities. (20%)
● Support the preparation of concept papers, project and activity design, providing advice especially for directly-funded REC activities.
● Support the preparation of budget reports for directly-funded REC activities.
● Provide inputs for development outreach and communications (DOC) materials.
● Support the Mission’s collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA), particularly with respect to the RECs.
● Perform other program cycle functions, including backstopping other SPA Office staff, as assigned.
The Contractor must exercise good judgment, often under times of stress and limited time frames, in making decisions and providing advice to the SPA Office Chief/Deputy Office Chief and Mission Management on all areas outlined above. It is also understood that the order of priority may change given other strategic priorities to achieve Mission development goals and outcomes.
Supervisory Controls: The incumbent will report to the SPA Office Chief or his/her designee. S/he will have significant latitude and is expected to take significant initiative in planning and carrying out his/her assignment.
Knowledge level required: Mastery of an area of specialization including significant up-to-date experience in or similar to U.S. government program management, particularly in developing and/or managing bilateral or regional grant agreements; strategy implementation; experience in implementing the full program cycle; applying broad U.S. government (or similar development organizations) principles, policies and strategies; effective interagency coordination; engaging regional, partner country, local government partners; and working with Embassy leadership; among others, is required.
Decision making: The incumbent will provide requisite technical and programmatic advice and support (internal and external) for the management and implementation of the RDCS and RDOAGs. The RDCS is the highest-level strategic planning document for the Mission which guides all programming priorities, policies, and activities of the Mission, and the RDOAGs are the regional agreements setting the principles of the USG-REC partnership. In this case, the incumbent’s role in facilitating Mission engagement with the RECs; establishing the Mission structures and procedures for coordination of REC-managed activities; and facilitating the implementation of effective development cooperation, is critical to ensure that USG investments are directed towards the greatest results and impacts.
Guidelines: The guidelines for this position are stated in general terms (e.g., ADS) but the work s/he provides is in itself providing guidance to and ensuring guidelines are enforced at all levels of Mission staff. On many instances, the incumbent will have to rely on his/her knowledge and extensive prior experience to enforce guidelines as s/he carries out his/her duties. Guidelines include Agency regulations, ADS Series, Africa Bureau and PPL procedural guidance, USAID/USG strategy documents, Mission Orders, Automated Directive System (ADS), and the Foreign Affairs Handbook (FAR), PPL policies, and other USAID or USG policies. The incumbent must be able to use excellent judgment and the ability to deal with ambiguity at all levels.
Complexity: The duties are very varied, and require many different unrelated processes and methods. These responsibilities involve areas of uncertainty in approach, methodology, interpretation and evaluating processes due to the difficult work environment in East Africa. Additionally, there are continuing changes in programs, technological developments, unknown phenomena, or continuing requirements, and the work requires implementing new techniques, establishing criteria, or developing new information. Complexity in managing processes and programs that span across countries, different USAID bilateral missions and U.S. Embassies, and three different RECs, among others, requires the incumbent to be constantly in tune to, flexible, and responsive to changing programmatic and organizational demands.
Scope and Effect: Facilitating engagement with the RECs and managing and implementing RDOAGs requires most if not all the above requirements. The incumbent’s scope is all-encompassing throughout the entire Mission and its effects are far-reaching, not only within the mission but to the beneficiaries in Kenya and the East Africa Region. There are several stakeholders to deal with, many of whom are difficult to deal with, e.g., RECs. The incumbent will be required to function as a team leader in some cases, and guide/coordinate the work of other staff.
Level and Purpose of Contacts: The Contractor must maintain mid- to high-level contacts with internal and external stakeholders including USAID and other USG officials, as well as senior partner country officials in Kenya and the EA region.
Work Environment: Work is primarily performed in an office setting. If the employee travels, the work may additionally involve safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.
Travel Requirement: 10% of travel within the East African region will be required.
Support Items: The employee will be provided with the support services, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform the work. This will include shared office equipment (such as printer, scanner and shredder), and a workstation that includes a desk, computer, file cabinets, and network access, with the possibility for mobile computing devices based on need and Mission management approval.
Sunday Pay: Is not authorized.
II. SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
The incumbent must meet the following requirements in education and professional experience:
- Education: A minimum of a Master’s degree in the field of economics, political science or law, international relations/trade, or management is required.
- Professional Experience: The incumbent is required to have a minimum of ten (10) years of development experience, including at least five (5) years of employment as a mid-level manager. Must possess recent experience in program management.
3. Additional Required Skills:
i. Clear understanding and demonstrated skills in developing and/or managing technical agreements, policy papers, financial management reviews and other types of development analysis.
ii. Demonstrated capability for complex analysis and ability to obtain, analyze, and evaluate a variety of data and present it to senior USG and other high-level audiences; and
iii. Ability to lead meetings and presentations with senior internal and external stakeholders.
iv. Strong writing, analytical, interpersonal and coordination skills are required.
III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
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. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
(These factors determine basic eligibility for the position. Applicants who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)
· Applicant is a U.S. Citizen residing in Kenya.
· Before the actual contract start date, the selected candidate will be required to obtain and maintain a Facilities/Computer Access Only level clearance as provided by USAID.
· Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
· In possession of, or able to obtain, a medical clearance.
· Language Proficiency: English fluency (Level IV in speaking, reading, and writing) is required.
The following technical evaluation criteria will be used to evaluate the applications. These criteria will be assigned values from a total of 100 points set forth below.
a) Prior Work Experience 60 points
b) Knowledge, Skills and Abilities 40 points
Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – Pass/Fail (no points assigned)
Total Possible Points: 100
 U.S. resident alien means a non-U.S. citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.
 Refers to USAID funding directly managed by the RECs.
How to apply
Interested applicants are required to submit the following:
1) Offer form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with individuals,” available here
2) An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) or resume (no more than five pages)**, cover letter** explaining your qualifications for the position, copies of all relevant certificates and include three (3) referees, who are not family members or relatives, with working telephone and e-mail contacts.
Applications must be submitted electronically via email to email@example.com by the closing date and time indicated above.
To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number in the offer submission/cover letter.