Kenya: Project Management Specialist (Education) Somalia Field Office

Organization: US Agency for International Development
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 03 Apr 2018

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. SOLICITATION NO.: 18-39

  2. ISSUANCE DATE: March 1, 2018

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

  4. POSITION TITLE: Project Management Specialist (Education)

  5. MARKET VALUE: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 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. (Local Compensation Plan Only)

  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.

  9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES: (See Below)

  10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens and current employees of the U.S. Mission or Third Country Nationals (TCNs). 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, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, disability status, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic for equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

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

BACKGROUND

The USAID Project Management Specialist-Education position is located in USAID/Somalia’s Social Services Team. The primary purpose of the position is to carry out a full range of project management responsibilities in the area of basic education. S/he has practical knowledge of program and project design, planning, administration, monitoring and evaluation, data analysis and performance reporting. S/he supports the implementation of assigned activities through contractors and grantees; develops and monitors budgets for activities for which s/he is responsible; and participates actively in the planning of comprehensive programs in assigned areas.

The PMS is required to possess a high degree of competence and maturity, and will manage productive relationships with the Embassy, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), other donors, the private sector, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and private voluntary organizations (PVOs) from the local, regional, and international arenas. The position requires effective and continuous communication with FGS officials at appropriate levels, ensuring that USAID/Somalia is fully engaged in the education sector reform agenda. The PMS is expected to incorporate science, technology, innovation and partnerships, as well as Collaborative Learning and Adaptation (CLA) into all activity design, implementation and evaluation duties. The PMS functions under the supervision of the USAID/Somalia Education Office Chief, unless otherwise directed by USAID/Somalia Mission Director.

The work includes serving as Contracting/Agreement Officer Representative (COR/AOR) for projects/activities; participating in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects/activities; advising on best practices/evidence; and participating in coordination and technical meetings/working groups. The Specialist keeps abreast of current trends, publications, and evidence in order to advise USAID/Somalia on strategic planning and programming. The Specialist is responsible for building relationships with Somali and other stakeholders, and representing USAID/Somalia.

The assignment requires regular site visits and other travel to select locations in Somalia in adherence to Mission standard operating procedures.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Project Management and Related Duties – 50%

The Specialist serves as COR/AOR, alternate and/or activity manager for selected implementing partners (IPs); coordinates projects/activities in order to facilitate implementation; and ensures efficient, effective, and meaningful results are being provided in accordance with Mission standards, best practices, and procedures, as part of USAID/Somalia’s education team.

The Specialist monitors and evaluates managed projects/activities, including project expenditures, through site visits, reporting, and trends analysis with an eye towards learning and constant improvement; works in close collaboration with the other Specialists in the Mission to avoid overlap with other projects/activities; and facilitates the development of IP work plans and PMPs, reviewing and proposing modifications to activity approaches and work plans when necessary to better achieve results.

The Specialist reviews annual and quarterly IP reports and weekly updates, requesting or participating in the preparation of other reports as needed, and coordinates preparations for IP portfolio reviews, in collaboration with USAID/Somalia’s education team. The Specialist prepares or contributes to high quality internal and external reporting and communications related to education and youth activities, such as weekly reports, success stories, and USAID and inter-agency planning and programmatic documents.

As AOR/COR, the Specialist is responsible for the development and tracking of quarterly and annual work plans, schedules for budget allocation, obligation, and expenditure, portfolio reviews, evaluation planning and implementation, audits, development and outreach communications, and closeouts, in collaboration with USAID/Somalia’s education team. The incumbent is responsible for drafting narratives and providing other inputs into USAID documents throughout the USAID performance cycle, including planning (e.g. Operational Plan), monitoring and reporting (Performance Plan and Report; Mission Resource Request, Congressional Budget Justification, etc.), and learning (alignment with USAID’s CLA Strategy, evaluations).

It is anticipated that the Education Project Management Specialist will manage, as alternate AOR, the new education activity focused on expanding education access and quality for out-of-school children and youth, in addition to supporting management of other activities as needed. Adaptability and flexibility will be required as the Specialist’s primary responsibilities may change over time as new USAID strategies and FGS priorities emerge.

Technical Specialist, Representational and Other Duties – 50%

The Specialist actively participates in strategic planning and all facets of project design, including drafting and amending documents and ensuring necessary clearances are in place. The Specialist gathers information, analyzes data, drafts concept papers, scopes of work and other project documents, prepares independent government cost estimates (IGCE), and evaluates proposals for all education and youth activities. The Specialist works with colleagues in the Team and the Office, and with other Technical Offices, to strengthen USAID strategic and programmatic directions, and the Team’s ability to address managed projects/activities, with special emphasis on implementing best practices in social services activities. The Specialist assists senior USG, Mission, and Office staff in representing USAID to IPs, NGOs, Somali government counterparts, donors, and other national and international groups and bodies, in order to develop effective and sustainable strategies for implementing education and youth programs, and the scaling up of activities to meet national and international standards and to achieve national and USAID goals. The Specialist collaborates with other office members and inter-agency processes in the preparation and presentation of deliverables, and assists in monitoring progress toward meeting overall Mission and broader USG objectives.

The Specialist plays a leading role in fostering and managing relationships with Somali government counterparts, private sector, donor partners, and other stakeholders, leading or supporting coordination and negotiation efforts in education and youth activities, and for providing technical guidance and leadership as appropriate, participating in partners and coordination meetings. The Specialist represents USAID at official meetings and events and provides written reporting as appropriate. The Specialist coordinates VIP and other TDYs related to personally managed and Office-wide activities, as required. The Specialist participates in budgeting and financial analysis with other Team and Office staff, and with other Offices in areas related to social services activities. The Specialist backstops other Team members, as needed.

The Specialist will serve as a technical advisor to USAID/Somalia, and the US Mission to Somalia on basic education and other sector reforms, particularly as related to basic education. The Specialist will keep abreast of and analyze economic, political and other trends affecting education development, and will keep the Mission informed of these trends. S/he will be considered an expert resource on education quality and improving learning outcomes, and other areas related to basic education, and will be expected to participate actively in internal and external strategy discussions, including active engagement across sectors at the Mission. The Education Project Management Specialist 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.

POSITION ELEMENTS

A. Supervision Received: The Specialist will work under the supervision of the Education Office Chief or their designate in USAID/Somalia. The incumbent’s immediate supervisor will: 1) establish annual work objectives and performance measures; 2) review work outputs and accomplishments to ensure compliance with agency policies, and implementation of best practices; 3) provide regular feedback to incumbent throughout the performance evaluation period; 4) prepare the annual Evaluation Report(s) as/when required. As the incumbent is expected to work with a high degree of independence, they must be able to establish priorities, adhere to and meet established deadlines, and perform responsibilities and duties with minimal guidance. The incumbent must be proactive as well as self-motivated. As the incumbent is expected to work with a high degree of independence, s/he must be able to establish priorities, adhere to and meet established deadlines, and perform responsibilities and duties.

B. Supervision Exercised: The incumbent will be assigned to be a COR/AOR or alternate, following receipt of appropriate certification. Continuing supervision of other USAID staff is not contemplated.

C. Available Guidelines: The incumbent is required to understand USAID Automated Directives System and USAID Agency-specific policies and procedures on program activity management and implementation. Oral guidance from the immediate supervisor and specific detailed instructions will be given (when necessary) for carrying out unique assignments. The incumbent will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies which affect overall USAID/Somalia program activities within the regional office, including but not limited to Automated Directives System (ADS), Mission Orders, Mission Notices, USG procurement regulations, and USAID program strategy and Policy Documents. In addition, team members, other Mission technical support staff and counterparts in USAID/Washington are available as resources to provide advice and guidance.

D. Exercise of Judgment: Independent judgment is required to establish cooperative relationships with Somali stakeholders and beneficiaries and to assess with sensitivity the needs and concerns of other USG staff, donors, implementing partners and other groups. S/he will tailor communication for appropriate levels for respective audiences. The incumbent must judge the soundness of the implementation of programs, monitoring, research, and evaluation tools of USAID’s education programs. It is anticipated that s/he will manage a large-scale Somalia education program and will be expected to provide technical direction and oversight to the USAID implementer, in collaboration with the Education Team. S/he will be expected to actively participate in strategy discussions and portfolio reviews. As an expert on best practices in basic education, the incumbent will be expected to provide technical recommendations to senior management, including the Mission Director and Contracting Officer.

E. Authority to Make Commitments: Within the assigned scope of work and the level of responsibility: The incumbent will have no independent authority to make any resource commitments or commit U.S Government or USAID/Somalia funds on behalf of the U.S Government or USAID/Somalia.

F. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The incumbent will communicate on a daily basis with 1) all categories of USG employees at post and in Washington, D.C.; 2) Somali government officials; 3) International Organizations, Donors, and Embassies; and 4) the general public. The incumbent will be required to act as a liaison with a broad range of Somali and international stakeholders at the project level, including government authorities, private sector firms, civil society, and public and private organizations and institutions. The incumbent will also establish and maintains regular contact with UN, donors, and NGO partners, and staff within USAID and the broader inter-agency.

G. Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: 12 months.

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.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

A. Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Education, or related fields such as: Social Policy and Planning, Social Work, Gender Studies, Public Administration, International Development or Political Science.

B. Prior Work Experience: A minimum of five years (5) of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in international development is 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. Three (3) or more of the five years of prior professional work experience must be in the areas of basic education. At least two (2) of the five years of experience should have been in development-related work for US foreign affairs, a bilateral or multilateral donor agency, INGO, UN agency, government ministry or private-sector institution that implements international development activities. Experience should also include performance monitoring, and/or the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data. In-country experience in Somalia preferred.

C. Post Entry Training: The incumbent is expected to possess the necessary technical, program management and information technology (IT) expertise required of the position. Post entry training will, therefore, be focused on Agency-specific trainings, such as Programming for Foreign Assistance, COR/AOR certification, Automated Directive Systems, and USAID Inter/Intranet. Courses, seminars, conferences, and other activities in fields related to the sector needed to maintain and update professional qualifications may be provided, subject to offerings and the availability of funds.

D. Language Proficiency: Complete Level IV fluency (written/spoken/reading) in English; Level III fluency (written/spoken/reading) in Somali is required. Language ability will be tested. Given the nature of the position, effective communications (written/spoken/reading) is critical to performing successfully in this position. The incumbent must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with: 1) all categories of USG employees at post and in Washington, D.C.; 2) Somali government officials; 3) International Organizations, Donors, and Embassies; and 4) the general public. The incumbent is required to be able to prepare concise/thorough documents and reports including but not limited to: concept papers; scopes of work; reports; budgets; a range of other project documents for internal and external purposes; human interest stories; and correspondence, all of which must be done in a professional and competent manner requiring little or no editorial changes. The incumbent will also be required to be able to speak publicly in English and in Somali representing USAID effectively and competently.

E. Job Knowledge: The Specialist will serve as a technical advisor to USAID/Somalia, and the US Mission to Somalia on basic education and other sector reforms, particularly as related to basic education challenges of access, quality and improving learning outcomes. The Specialist will keep abreast of and analyze economic, political and other trends affecting education development, and will keep the Mission informed of these trends. The Specialist must have in-depth professional-level knowledge of development principles, concepts, and practices, especially in fragile states. The Specialist is required to have a sophisticated knowledge, or potential to develop this knowledge, of education in crisis or conflict contexts, particularly in Somalia. S/he will be expected to participate actively in internal and external strategy discussions, including active engagement across sectors at the Mission.

F. Skills and Abilities: The Specialist is required to have: managerial skills, especially of complex portfolios; excellent interpersonal skills in order to establish relationships with key host-country counterparts, donors, and other stakeholders; and strong coordination and negotiation skills to ensure activities are carried out efficiently, effectively, and meaningfully. Above average written and oral communication skills is required in order to represent USAID, speak publicly and give presentations, and develop original reports and other communications products for a variety of audiences and a variety of purposes. The Specialist must have the ability to prioritize among a considerable range of differing tasks and the ability to use critical thinking and innovation to solve problems as well as to develop new approaches. The Specialist must be able to function both independently and as part of a team with a high degree of proactivity, responsiveness, and motivation in order to meet established deadlines. The Specialist must have strong analytical skills to analyze information and evaluate data to inform program and project decisions. Advanced IT skills in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint) and adherence to USAID’s Core Values and Ethical Code of Conduct is required. Given the nature of the position, effective communications (written/spoken/reading) are absolutely critical to perform successfully in this position and must be exceptional. The incumbent must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with: 1) all categories of USG employees at post and in Washington, D.C.; 2) Somali government officials; 3) International Organizations, Donors, and Embassies; and 4) the general public. The incumbent is required to be able to prepare concise/thorough documents and reports including but not limited to: concept papers; scopes of work; reports; budgets; a range of other project documents for internal and external purposes; human interest stories; and correspondence, all of which must be done in a professional and competent manner requiring little or no editorial changes.

EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

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 www.myjobsinkenya.com

Step 2: Complete the job application questionnaire at www.myjobsinkenya.com/usaid. 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.

OR

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 myjobsinkenya.com.

  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 www.myjobsinkenya.com/usaid. 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.

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