Kenya: Project Management Specialist (Regional Energy) Re-advertisement

Organization: US Agency for International Development
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 06 Mar 2018


1. SOLICITATION NO.: 18-27 *(Re-advertisement)*

2. ISSUANCE DATE: February 21, 2018

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: March 6, 2018 (4:30 PM East Africa Time)

4. POSITION TITLE: Project Management Specialist (Regional Energy)

5. MARKET VALUE: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 10**.** 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 renewable contract(s) 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 and;

· Obtain and Retain an embassy issued Security Certification.


10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens and current employees of the U.S. Mission. Employees currently on probation are ineligible to apply. 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.

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


The USAID Project Management Specialist – Regional Energy is responsible for participating in the design, development, and management of Mission energy/power sector plans and programs to support energy sector development with a focus on clean energy. The Specialist reports to the Energy, Finance and Innovation (EFI) Team Leader and advises senior Mission management and others in the USAID/Kenya and East Africa Mission on regional energy/power development, with a major focus on energy efficiency, energy policy, and energy systems and infrastructure for generation, transmission and distribution.

The Specialist utilizes an in-depth knowledge of the countries in East Africa and regional energy/power sector and of economic growth issues in the region to help USAID achieve high impact programs. The Specialist works to improve energy policy and regulations and contributes to the design and implementation of programs/projects/activities that facilitate expansion of energy generation, transmission and distribution to increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electric power. Further the Specialist drafts and analyzes technical documentation (Requests for Application, Requests for Proposal, Statements of Work, etc.) needed to develop strategy, obligate funds, and award grants and contracts; and serves as a member on Technical Evaluation Committees, contributing to the review and selection of project proposals and USAID/Kenya and East Africa personnel.

The Specialist conceptualizes and articulates energy and economic growth strategies and implements, and monitors and evaluates existing and new energy/power programs. The Specialist will work with the Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OAA) as alternate AOR/COR or activity manager for grants and contracts. The AORs/CORs for these grants and contracts are based in Washington D.C. or Pretoria, South Africa, but the responsibilities of managing these activities are performed in Kenya. The Specialist is required to monitor and evaluate on-going programs, prepare performance reports, annual reporting documents, briefing papers, concept papers, and other periodic documentation for the Mission, USAID/Washington, USAID/Power Africa and the State Department.

The Specialist also represents the Mission in discussions and negotiations with the governments in East Africa, other donors, and implementing partners (IPs); and represents USAID in donor meetings. The Specialist assists USAID staff including senior managers, visiting USG officials, and others in sector related public meetings, field trips, and discussions with regional officials and partner organizations. Finally the Specialist advises on the allocation of budget available for the energy/power portfolio and establishes and maintains senior-level contacts for Mission management in the energy sector, including individuals in the government, private and non-governmental institutions, and donor community.


Program Management and Monitoring (50%) The Specialist tracks clean energy projects in various countries in the East African region, collaborating closely with the team leaders in those countries, and with senior Mission management as required. The Specialist serves as the principal USAID Foreign Service National (FSN) employee responsible for interpreting, explaining, and clarifying US Mission policies, programs, and strategies in the energy sector, through regular contact with the government and utility officials, NGOs, IPs, other donors, and civil society organizations. The Specialist establishes and maintains senior-level contacts with government counterparts, donor agencies, the private sector, and a wide range of NGOs, research institutions, and universities. The Specialist ensures coordination with other USG and Government ministries agencies active in the energy sector, to the extent that these are complementary to or integrated with USAID-funded energy programs.

The Specialist directs, coordinates, and monitors activities necessary to achieve the desired policy reforms and energy sector results supporting clean energy; manages implementation mechanisms, provides advice and constructive feedback. The Specialist manages daily activities through: interface with Implementing Partners (IPs) and relevant governments; conducting on-site visits and inspections (as approved by the RSO and others); and ensuring IPs receive needed information on USAID regulations and policies, including audit regulations, USAID provided logistical support services, and assistance with country/regional-level issues. The Specialist monitors and evaluates progress of IPs towards achievement of results through regular field trips, and meetings with senior IP management and project officials. The Specialist provides technical support in establishing performance monitoring systems for results frameworks in coordination with Mission management and IPs; and, ensures appropriate accounting of resources by tracking quarterly accruals, maintaining project pipeline information, and providing leadership in meeting audit recommendations.

The Specialist provides regular analysis and reports on the energy situation in the East Africa region, with a focus on the status and impact of USAID and other donor programs in support of clean energy. The Specialist provides recommendations to Mission management on longer-term energy activities; prepares and submits regular progress reports, both on a periodic and ad hoc basis for situation updates, website updates; and maintains regular contact with selected offices in USAID/Washington in order to provide information and advice as required. The Specialist provides input on energy-related budgetary issues to Mission management, the Power Africa team, provides analyses of budgetary needs for the existing and planned OEG energy-sector portfolio, and participates in decisions about funding allocation within the energy portfolio., The Project Management Specialist (Regional Energy), working with the OAA as alternate AOR/COR is responsible for the development and implementation of annual energy work and operation plans, schedules for budget allocation, obligation, and expenditure, portfolio reviews, evaluation planning and implementation, audits, development and outreach communications, and closeouts. These responsibilities are defined in the AOR/COR letter issued by the Nairobi Office of Acquisition and Assistance. The Specialist will support OEG, Mission, and USG efforts to ensure effective, cost-effective, and responsible programming and reporting in compliance with USG and USAID regulations and ethics standards, including environmental compliance, and, ultimately, help USAID achieve its economic growth objectives in Kenya and/or the region.

Energy Policy and Technical Advise (30%) The Specialist serves as a recognized energy expert, with a strong knowledge of energy policy in the respective countries in east Africa; keeps abreast of trends and issues in the regional energy/power sectors; reviews and analyzes developments and advises Mission management and, as required, Embassy officials on highly specialized and complex issues relating to energy and power in the region, particularly those bearing on bilateral assistance or other USG interests. The Specialist assists the Mission officials, other USAID staff, Power Africa Initiative and visiting officials in preparing for and participating in field trips, public meetings, conferences, and negotiations with the governments in the region, occasionally involving planning the event, managing field activities and logistics, and serving as a control officer for the field visits. The Specialist maintains contact with USAID/Power Africa officials and provides them with information, advice, and feedback, as required.

Energy Strategic Planning and Program Design (20%)

The USAID Program Management Specialist (Regional Energy) provides substantive technical and managerial support to the conceptualization, planning, implementation and monitoring of significant components of the overall OEG regional energy strategy. The Specialist obtains support from and coordinates the involvement of IPs and major stakeholders (including Government ministries and boards, parastatal operators in power, independent power providers, and private companies, businesses and investors.) to identify components of effective clean energy strategies, proposals for new activities, and determinations of achievable results that will serve to improve the economic condition of women and men in Kenya and the region. The Specialist obtains Mission-level approval for the initiation of new activities; provides substantive support and input for the drafting of relevant OEG/ Regional Energy sections of Mission strategy statements, and other concept papers and relevant documents, such as results frameworks, activities packages, budgets, background documentation, and performance monitoring plans. The Specialist coordinates the drafting of activity design, analysis, and assessment documentation and related technical, policy, economic, and budgetary analyses; takes a leadership role in implementing changes to existing clean energy activities; and, serves as a member of Mission technical review teams for energy-related (and other) concept papers, solicited or unsolicited proposals, and proposed awards under USAID-funded activities.

Other Duties

The Project Management Specialist (Regional Energy) will work closely with the Team Leader, other OEG team members, Energy Team in Washington and Pretoria, the Program Office, the Mission Director’s Office, and the U.S. Embassy on day-to-day Power Africa Initiative activities and reporting requirements. The incumbent will work closely with the Power Africa Energy Team Leader, and OEG M&E team to ensure regional energy activities reporting is cohesive, comprehensive, and compliant with the Agency’s requirements. The incumbent will be part of the Mission technical team responding to U.S. Congressional inquiries and other energy policy and operation requests; drafting briefing materials, speeches/talking points for high-level USG officials, press releases, and presentations; and contributing to Mission/Agency newsletters and other communications related to energy activities in the region. The incumbent may be called upon to support VIP visits and carry out ad-hoc assignments, as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements at the discretion of the USAID/Kenya and East Africa Mission Director, USAID/Kenya and East Africa Deputy Director, OEG Office Chief, or Power Africa Coordinator.

The Project Management Specialist (Regional Energy) will be required to assist in creating a supportive work environment that values diversity, and elicits the highest possible level of performance from all team members, including accomplishment of all other duties as assigned.


a. Supervision Received: The Specialist works under the supervision of the Energy Finance and Innovation (EFI) Team Lead. Assignments are made 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 will seek advice and assistance as required. Work is reviewed in terms of results achieved.

b. Supervision Exercised: Supervision of USAID/Kenya and East Africa staff is not contemplated.

c. Available Guidelines: Available technical guidelines include clean energy guidance, energy program and initiative descriptions and program documents as well as sector analyses and strategies. General program and operation guidance comes from USAID Mission Orders, Mission strategies and other relevant reports, the Automated Directives System (ADS), USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, the FAR, 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: Independent judgment is required for developing, implementing, managing evaluating and reporting major energy/power sector programs/projects/activities. Judgment is required in order to make decisions, based on a careful analysis of facts and variables, possible alternatives, and potential political and development implications and impact. The Specialist exercises good judgment, and completes work independently; and, monitors implementation of energy-sector activities and maintains accountability for results achieved.

e. Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist exercises the authority given to all USAID activity managers and CORs/AORs, 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. Within the scope of the authority delegated, the Specialist may indicate to ranking counterpart and IP officials that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity issue or problem. The Specialist may negotiate ad referendum for the immediate supervisor.

f. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Specialist directly oversees components of the OEG energy/power portfolio, requiring substantive contacts with senior-level political and civil service personnel of the Government ministries and energy sector parastatal organizations. The work includes frequent contact with private sector, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions up to the leadership level, and with other donor representatives as well as other USG agencies. Some contacts are for oversight of work carried out by IPs and grantees to ensure compliance with contract and grant agreements. The Specialist coordinates and participates in regular meetings with IPs, grantee representatives, banks, energy agencies and government ministries and relevant departments to review progress of programs/projects. The Specialist identifies implementation problems and recommends ways to strengthen program interventions.

g. Time Required to Perform Full Range of Duties: One year.


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.


a. Education: A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and/or Energy Policy is required.

b. Experience: A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in an energy sector-related area are required. Experience must have provided the opportunity for development of sectoral and project documents, and performance of project design, program planning, and/or implementation work. At least two years of this experience should have been in development-related work for USAID, other donor agencies, Government ministries, or private-sector institutions. Experience should also include performance monitoring, and/or the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data.

c. Post Entry Training: Familiarization training in USAID-specific procedures, regulations, and methods will be provided. Orientation to working from a donor-Agency perspective will also be provided. Completion of formal COR/AOR certification courses is required and the training will be provided. Additional training to maintain professional capability and qualifications in the energy and power field, as well as other courses offered for professional USAID staff, will be provided as appropriate, subject to availability of funds.

d. Language: Fluency in written and spoken English (Level IV), and fluency in one or more local languages, is also required. In addition ability of producing clear, grammatically correct and articulate and logical written reports

e. Knowledge : Strong knowledge of the Government ministries developmental agenda, developmental initiatives, and development priorities for energy sector and related areas, as well as the socio-political culture understanding in various geographical regions of Kenya is required. Also required is a thorough knowledge of issues relating to economic and clean energy development in Kenya and the region, and Kenyan and regional power strengths and vulnerabilities. Additionally, the Specialist needs an in-depth and expert knowledge of a broad range of issues of energy policy, generation, transmission, distribution and human resources capacity building as well as knowledge of private-sector development and competitiveness. Knowledge of strategies, programs, and the working methodologies of other donor agencies and banks in the energy sector in Kenya is required.

f. Skills and Abilities: A high level of technical expertise and ability in energy and private-sector development is required. The Specialist should possess the ability to advise senior Mission management on Kenyan power development and issues across a wide range of energy related topics (such as the regulatory environment for energy, key barriers to energy reform, etc.) and their implications on USAID programs. Program design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation skills are essential. The ability to effectively communicate complicated policy, strategy, and program issues orally and in writing is also required. The Specialist must have good interpersonal, coordination, and bureaucratic skills; be able to coordinate successfully with all parts of the USAID Mission and Embassy to advance program interests. The Specialist must be able to handle sensitive issues diplomatically, represent USAID authoritatively, and use good judgment in speaking on behalf of USAID in high-level meetings with the USG, the governments in the region, NGOs, and other donors and in conferences, seminars, and workshops. The Specialist must possess good organizational and management skills.


Applicants must submit a cover letter of no more than one letter-size page, 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 (35 points)

  • Skills and abilities (35 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:

How to Apply

Step 1: Register in MyJobsInKenya at

Step 2: Complete the job application questionnaire at The applicant must answer all the questions in the Questionnaire.

Step 3: Internal Applicants/Current USG Employees: Attach a cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) including a minimum of 3 references with contact information, 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 to MyJobsInKenya .


External Applicants/Not Current USG Employees: Attach a cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) including a minimum of 3 references with contact information, and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya .

Note to Applicants:

  1. Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified above**,** and submitted through

  2. To ensure consideration of applications for the intended position, applicants must prominently reference the Solicitation number in their cover letter submission.

  3. Submissions will only be accepted through Late and Incomplete applications (those that do not contain a cover letter, the applicant’s most current and up to date detailed CV, relevant education certificates and three (3) to five (5) references with contact information) will not be considered for the position. The closing date for receipt of applications is indicated above.