Organization: US Agency for International Development
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Closing date: 05 Dec 2016
The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from qualified U.S. Citizens or Third Country Nationals interested in providing PSC services as described in the attached solicitation. Submittals shall be in accordance with the attached information at the place and time specified.
Interested applicants must submit:
(i) Most current curriculum vitae or resume with cover letter;
(ii) Completed, hand-signed form AID-302-3;
(iii) Three references, who are not family members or relatives, with telephone and email contacts; and,
(iv) Biographical Data Sheet – Form AID 1420.
The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with stated evaluation criteria. The applicant’s references must be able to provide substantive information about his/her past performance and abilities. USAID/DRC reserves the right to obtain from previous employers relevant information concerning the applicant’s past performance and may consider such information in its evaluation.
Form AID-302-3 must be signed; those submitted unsigned will be rejected. Applicants should retain for their records copies of all enclosures that accompany their submissions.
Applications shall be submitted by email by the closing date and time. Late applications shall not be considered and will be handled in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 15.412.
USAID/DRC anticipates awarding one (1) Personal Services Contract as a result of this solicitation. This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of the application.
If you are selected for this position you must be available to start work o/a end-January of 2017. This availability shall be indicated in your cover letter.
Solicitation Number: SOL-660-17-000002
Issuance Date: November 4, 2016.
Closing Date and time for receipt of applications: December 5, 2016 4. Position Title: Eastern Congo Transition Objective 3 Office (TO3O) Senior Advisor
Market Value: Position is classified as GS-14 equivalent with an annual salary range $ 87,263 to $113,444. Salary is not negotiable beyond this range.
Period of performance: A base of two (2) years with an option of one year extensions up to a maximum of 5 years. Exercise of option will depend on continuing need of services, availability of funds and satisfactory or better performance.
Start Date: On or around January 1, 2017.
Place of performance: USAID/Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Clearances: The selected applicant must be able to obtain USAID Security/Employment Certification and Medical clearances.
Area of consideration: U.S. Citizens/Third Country Nationals.
B. STATEMENT OF WORK FOR A USPSC/TCN PERSONAL SERVICES CONTRACTOR (PSC) Eastern Congo Transition Objective 3 Office Senior Advisor, USAID/DRC
Background and Country Context
Located at the crossroads of the African continent and sharing borders with nine countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa in terms of area and the fourth largest in terms of population. It has unparalleled natural resource wealth, including cobalt, copper, gold, tantalum, tin, diamonds, and petroleum. Fifty percent of the world’s cobalt production occurs in the DRC. It has abundant water resources, sufficient for consumption, agriculture, and environmental protection, but also enough to provide electricity to most of Africa. It has the second highest agriculture potential on the continent, over 60 percent of the second largest forest basin and carbon stocks in the world, and substantial fish and livestock resources. Despite all its extraordinary resource endowments, the DRC’s development progress remains elusive and has yet to benefit the broader population. The country is at or near the bottom of several major indexes: It ranks 154th out of 177 on Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, 184th out of 185 on the World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR) for 2015, and second to last on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 2014 Human Development Index (HDI). On the World Bank Governance Indicators, DRC remains between the first and tenth percentile for all six, including political stability, government effectiveness, rule of law, control of corruption, voice and accountability, and regulatory quality, with government effectiveness having falling to a low of 1.44 since 2003. There are some silver linings for example, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative admitted DRC as a full member in 2014 in recognition of its compliance with reporting requirements.
Peace in eastern Congo
Between 1996 and 2003, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) experienced two wars in which nine foreign armies and over thirty armed groups clashed within its borders. The February 2013 signing of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) in Addis Ababa, between eleven African countries and four regional bodies, accompanied by the appointment of high-level international envoys to the region, created a sense of optimism within the international community for the prospects for peace.
 The literature on conflict and international response in eastern DRC captures many political and analytic perspectives. The following recent work should provide excellent orientation: Prunier, Gerard. 2010. Africa’s world war. Oxford University Press; Stearns, Jason. 2012. Dancing in the glory of monsters: The collapse of the Congo and the great war of Africa. Public Affairs; Peace Building. 2014. Special Issue: Moving forward in the eastern DRC. Vol. 2 Issue 2. Routledge; de Vries, Hugo. 2015. Going around in circles: The challenges of peacekeeping and stabilization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Netherlands Institutes of International Relations ‘Clingendael’: Shepherd, Ben. 2014. Beyond crisis in the DRC: The dilemmas of international engagement and sustainable change. Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The following are also useful online resources for recent analysis and observations from researchers; Rift Valley Institute ; Congo Research Group ; Chris Vogel blog;
The PSCF provided an opportunity to galvanize local, regional, and international players to take a renewed look at finding solutions to underlying issues. However, the long list of previous peace agreements and continued conflict has tempered optimism that the PSCF will achieve lasting results. Previous efforts at peace lacked a common vision between the Government of the DRC (GDRC) and the international community and were plagued by low engagement from government leaders on security sector reform. Additionally, they did not address underlying interests fueling the conflict and were marked by a lack of local leadership and community inclusion.
Developments since 2013 remain decidedly mixed and despite some positive trends, much of eastern DRC remains unstable and prone to conflict. Although the M23 rebel movement was routed in December 2013 by a combination of DRC and UN forces, the lack of an effective Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program, delays in neutralizing the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and a variety of new armed groups establishing themselves have resulted in ongoing insecurity in certain zones of eastern DRC. This in turn has forced many internally displaced persons (IDPs) to move around the region. The return of Congolese refugees from neighboring countries, the recent influx of refugees and asylum seekers from Burundi, uncertainty regarding Presidential and local elections planned for 2016, and decentralization plans could all contribute to further instability.
The conflict-affected region of the DRC, encompassing primarily the provinces of North and South Kivu, Maniema, Tanganyika, and Ituri, contains both active conflict zones and communities that are slowly, but not always consistently, emerging from conflict. Of the factors driving conflict, the all-pervasive issue of neo-patrimonialism is one of the most significant. This blurring of the lines between public duty and private gain profoundly influences governance capacity including the ability to manage peace and stabilization in the east. Many additional factors drive chronic instability, including: competition over natural resources (land and minerals), which are benefiting regional elites; traditional ethnic enmities which are manipulated by local and regional politicians for their own benefit; lack of economic opportunities that makes joining armed groups attractive for youth; residual Rwandan fears of a security threat from the FDLR; and local militias that have become criminal gangs. There are also long-standing tensions between “indigenous” groups and so-called “foreigners,” such as the Rwandophone4 Tutsi and Hutu groups that settled in DRC over the last few hundred years while the consequences of 1994 genocide in Rwanda dramatically exacerbated these tensions. These complex sets of factors are accentuated in the DRC, because political leaders and international actors have too often carried out political dialogue processes that lack inclusivity and without a solid understanding of the fundamental grievances that continue to drive the conflict. Absent meaningful social and political transformation, many analysts argue that cyclical violence will likely continue.
Conflict in eastern DRC is also highly contextualized; it can be different, “every square kilometer.” The International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (I4S), revised in 2013, coordinated by MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC), encourages donors to focus on conflict drivers identified at the community level. According to 2013-2014 population surveys by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, communities saw natural resource exploitation, poverty and access to land as origins of the conflict, but went further to identify power struggles at the local level and ethnic divisions as contributing factors. Respondents prioritized inter-ethnic dialogue and community participation as a means to bring about lasting peace, as well as establishing the truth about past abuse, fighting corruption, and
and promoting accountability and justice6.
The DRC is both at a crossroads and under the spotlight with a U.S. and United Nations Special Envoy focusing on bringing peace and security in the region. The DRC is a strategic priority country in Africa for U.S. foreign policy and assistance, with a FY 2015 budget of over $200 million and over $100 million in humanitarian assistance per year.
In 2014, USAID published its five-year Country Development and Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) for the DRC. The Mission’s goal under the CDCS’s is to support a “Long-term transition to more effective and empowering development in the DRC.” As DRC transitions from a fragile state to a stable democracy, it is critical that the Congolese people’s expectations of their government be met through the improved provision of social services, including basic education. USAID recognizes that transformational change in the DRC will require long-term investment and focus. USAID’s 20-year vision is of a country where the Congolese take charge of their future to manage and sustain growth with their own human, natural, and financial resources. There are currently key opportunities to accelerate achieving this vision. In order to achieve this, USAID will support three Objectives under the CDCS:
- Development Objective (DO) 1: Selected national level institutions more effectively implement their mandates.
- Development Objective (DO) 2: Lives improved through coordinated development approaches in select regions.
- Transition Objective (TO) 3: Foundation for durable peace strengthened in eastern DRC.
USAID/DRC TO3 Programming
USAID/DRC’s CDCS integrates investments in education, democracy and governance, health, social protection, peace and stability, economic growth, and humanitarian assistance into the three cross-cutting objectives mentioned above.
A corresponding multi-sectoral team is responsible for achieving each development and transition objective. Technical offices continue to manage projects and staff. The Eastern Congo Transition Objective Three (TO3) Office manages a portfolio of $110 million annually and is organized into three sub-teams: peace and stability, social protection, and Food for Peace (FFP) comprising 13 staff. The TO3 objective is strengthening the foundations of durable peace in eastern DRC. The broader multi-sectoral TO3 Team includes staff from every office in the mission totaling 12 FSOs, 12 FSNs, and 2 PSCs.
Current TO3 Office assistance helps communities address the causes and consequences of conflict, protects vulnerable survivors including children formerly associated with armed groups, women and girls subjected to sexual violence, and vulnerable street children. TO3 Office also furnishes both emergency food assistance and is bringing to a close a robust set of Development Food Assistance Programs (DFAP) in the east.
USAID TO3 is designing and procuring new activities to help the Congolese people respond to urgent opportunities to create community level peace by increasing inclusion and improving social capital, implement a new generation of gender-based violence (GBV) response that treats, protects, and empowers survivors, and helping to bring vulnerable youth educational and vocational opportunities to reduce recruitment into armed groups.
USAID TO3 will also soon launch multiple new DFAPs.
USAID/DRC TO3O Office Staffing
The USAID/DRC TO3 Office is currently staffed as follows:
- US Direct Hire (USDH) Office Director
- USDH Office Deputy Director (vacant)
- Foreign Service National (FSN) Administrative Assistant
Food for Peace sub-team
- USDH Food for Peace (FFP) Team Lead
- USDH FFP Officer
- Two (2) FSN Senior Program Managers FFP
- US Personal Services Contractor FFP Regional Officer (under recruitment)
Peace and Stability (P&S) sub-team
- USDH Peace and Stability Team Lead
- Two (2) FSN Program Managers P&S
Social Protection (SP) sub-team
- USDH Social Protection Team Lead
- One FSN Program Manager SP USAID/DRC plans to fill this position by recruiting a USDH Foreign Service Officer (FSO) for the Deputy Office Director position with an anticipated arrival date in 2018. The TO3 Office Director is leaving post in July 2017, also with an anticipated replacement in 2018, thus making leadership continuity even more important. This has lead USAID/DRC to seek applications to fill this position.
C. SUMMARY OF DUTIES
The primary role of the TO3 Office Senior Advisor will be to help the TO3 Office Director to lead a large and politically important portfolio focused on eastern Congo, to ensure an effective start-up of the new activities, including flagship Peace and Security, GBV, and Food for Peace DFAP activities as well as coordinate support for the cross sectoral TO3 Team. The TO3 Office Senior Advisor will also provide supervision of up to two FSNs in the USAID/DRC TO3 Office. The Office manages an annual budget of approximately $110 million with a staff of thirteen. The TO3 Senior Advisor also serves as one of the Mission’s senior technical and policy analyst in the peace and social protection sector focused on eastern Congo.
S/he identifies TO3O priorities and coordinates with other technical offices and Development Objective (DO)/Transition Objective (TO) teams to maximize synergies across portfolios. S/he manages the TO3O program’s budgeting, planning, design, procurement, implementation, evaluation and monitoring, and reporting efforts. S/he coordinates with other U.S. Government agencies and participates on various committees. S/he has the is the alternate to the Office Director in the role of representing the Mission’s TO3 programs to other donors, non-governmental organizations, senior host-government counterparts and private sector groups, undertaking site visits throughout eastern Congo to monitor programs and inform policy and strategic direction. S/he reports to the TO3 Office Director.
D. MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The major duties and responsibilities of the PSC TO3 Senior Advisor include:
Alternate Member of Senior Mission Management Team 10%
In the absence of the TO3 Office Director, the Senior Advisor may be asked to serve as acting Office Director, recommending to the Mission Director and Deputy Mission Director actions that result in the effective use of resources; the development of operating policies and procedures that are clear, complete and address organizational issues; the implementation of Mission and Agency policies/procedures in a transparent and equitable fashion, supporting efforts to address Mission program priorities, and providing guidance in meeting future development challenges.
For these purposes, the incumbent carries out the following:
Advises senior Mission management on the political, economic and social developments affecting the promotion of peace and food security in eastern DRC;
Serves as one of the USG’s principal liaison with the GDRC counterparts at the national, provincial, and local levels who are active in peace and food security;
Actively participate on the stabilization donor working group thus playing a pivotal role in the effective management of donor resources directed to promoting peace in eastern DRC;
Assures coordination and programmatic continuity with TO3 Team members and offices including the TO3 Deputy Team Leader (an Agriculture Officer serving in the Economic Growth Office);
Coordinates with the Mission’s Development Outreach Communications (DOC) Officer on all outreach activities as well as reports and correspondence related to the TO3 portfolio for public consumption, and;
Acts as an official USAID representative on field visits to activity sites; ascertains progress, identifies delays and problems and recommends solutions.
Co-lead and manage the TO3 Office 50%
The Senior Advisor supervises one FSN Program Manager and the FSN Administrative Assistant, and supports the TO3 Office Director in overall management responsibility for the entire office;
The TO3 Senior Advisor maintains effective lines of communications (both formal and informal) with Mission Senior Staff, other Mission Teams, and within the TO3 Office; with appropriate officials of the GDRC and provincial leaders; and with public; and with key stakeholders in USAID/Washington leading to greater information-sharing opportunities, knowledge exchange, and accelerated decision-making;
The TO3 Senior Advisor manages Office staff workloads effectively so as to reflect Mission program priorities and stimulate opportunities for professional growth and enhancement;
Manages, on a day-to-day basis, the Mission TO3 portfolio, including recommendations to the Office Director on work priorities, activity implementation, identifying and resolving program issues, assuring that all activities are carried out in a technically sound and cost-effective manner, recommending responsibility for program management and implementation matters for Office Director action, and assuring that activities are carried out in accordance with all applicable Mission and Agency directives and requirements;
Oversees the Agency planning and reporting processes for the TO3 Office, including assignment of tasks and quality control for the preparation and submission of relevant components to the annual Operational Plan (OP), Performance Plan and Report (PPR), Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ), Mission Resource Request (MRR), and ad hoc taskers, factsheets, and reports under direction of the Office Director.
Works with TO3 Office staff, identifies areas where knowledge and skills need to be enhanced, completes and manages annually Individual Training Plans with each TO3 Office member and creates the TO3 Office training plan/request for Office Director. Trains TO3 FSNs to assume duties under this position description as feasible, thereby minimizing Mission vulnerabilities while ensuring that staffs have opportunities to learn, develop and apply themselves. Follows-up with those staff receiving training as to how the skills/knowledge gained from the training will be applied; and,
Provides on a semi-annual basis, feedback on performance leading to an annual performance evaluation completed for each staff member s/he supervises.
Provide Technical Oversight 40%
Works closely, and in a highly participatory manner, with Mission technical offices, other DO teams, partners, and customers to lead and coordinate the planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and follow-on of activities under the TO3 Office portfolio in order to achieve a high level of excellence in program impact and cost-effectiveness;
Is the TO3 Office Director’s alternate as a liaison to relevant Bureaus in Washington DC, including the Africa Bureau and the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance for TO3 services assistance and information sharing related to policy, procedures and best practices;
Provides technical expertise on peace and security, social protection, including gender-based violence, and conflict sensitivity mentoring and training TO3 Office staff as well as other mission offices;
May serve as a Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR), Agreement Officer’s Representative (AOR), or alternate to provide project management, oversight, and support as needed and if so qualified. In coordination with the contractors/grantees, drafts and finalizes scopes of work, budgets, and scheduling of technical assistance for portfolio activities while ensuring timely and systematic submission of reports;
Measures TO3 programs’ progress against established goals and objectives in the Mission CDCS and the Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) (and updates the PMP as required). Reviews all activity operations and takes action, including recommending activity evaluations, modifications, measures to rectify implementation problems or to improve monitoring and reporting. Identifies existing and potential problem areas and proposes specific actions to resolve them consulting with appropriate Mission staff and contractors/grantees. Prepares oral and written reports, keeping the TO3 Office Director informed of the activity status;
Works closely with TO3 Office staff in estimating budgetary requirements, following-up and evaluating the results of TO3 activities, as well as cultivating contacts in USAID, other African countries, and the U.S. with respect to best practices in planning, implementing, managing and monitoring TO3 related activities within compliance with established strategies and regulations;
In coordination with the Program and Financial Management Offices ensures correct funding levels and appropriate expenditures are maintained and accounted for; ensures that funds are used appropriately and within budgetary limits; analyzes expenditures for approval and approves corresponding documentation; and prepares budget analyses for activity monitoring and reporting;
Works with the Contracting Officer, ensures that all activity procurement actions are coordinated in a timely fashion with contractors/grantees;
Designs or directs appropriate research activities to collect information from a variety of sources. Uses this information to prepare factual, statistical, and analytical reports, on the effectiveness of TO3 activities, both written and oral; and,
Reviews necessary activity appraisal and contractors’ performance reports. Drafts and presents other activity documents for clearance, consideration, and approval. Takes the lead in drafting responses to incoming related correspondence, ensuring Mission clearance and timely responses.
The TO3 Senior Advisor will perform all duties under this position description either independently or, as required, as part of the teams identified above, according to established Mission policies, practices and programmatic guidance, and in accordance with all applicable USAID regulations and guidance as provided in the USAID Automated Directive System (ADS) and elsewhere. The TO3 Senior Advisor is expected to make, with guidance and feedback from the TO3 Office Director, independent judgments that can be defended as necessary. As a highly qualified professional, substantial reliance is placed on the employee to independently plan and carry out the specific activities entailed in fulfilling major duties and responsibilities. The employee will resolve problems that arise by determining the approaches to be taken and methodologies to be used, developing, coordinating, and clearing proposed solutions with all necessary parties, and taking appropriate actions necessary to resolve the problem.
Travel within the DRC is required – especially in North and South Kivu Provinces. The TO3 Senior Advisor will be required to prepare and provide reports as required to effectively carry out the duties and responsibilities described above. The TO3 Senior Advisor will also provide in writing such reports on work progress or advice on relevant issues as may be required from time-to-time by Senior Mission Management or other senior USAID officials. The incumbent will also submit trip reports on all travel performed during the contract period. Some international travel may be required for training, conference attendance, or meetings.
The TO3 Senior Advisor will maintain contact and interact technically and professionally in a highly collaborative manner with a wide range of parties, including high level officials of the DRC, and other international organizations; senior officials of DRC government ministries; and experts provided under assistance programs sponsored by non-governmental organizations and foreign government donors. The TO3 Senor Advisor will also be required to interact with officials of other USG agencies involved in multiple TO3 relevant endeavors including but not limited to Sections at the US Embassy and other US Agencies and Departments at post. The incumbent will also closely coordinate with the Mission’s other technical offices and Program Office on all matters of mutual programmatic interest.
E. POSITION ELEMENTS
a. Supervision Received/Exercised: The TO3 Senior Advisor will work under the general supervision and policy guidance of the TO3 Office Director or his/her designee. The TO3 Office Director or his/her designee will review and approve the Senior Advisor’s work plan and performance measures. Supervision will be generally confined to weekly staff meetings and scheduled bi-weekly consultations.
In carrying out specific assignments, the TO3 Senior Advisor will consult and work closely with the GDRC, international donors and their implementing partners. The incumbent will also work closely with senior USG officials of USAID and the Department of State.
The TO3 Senior Advisor is expected to work independently with limited guidance, to take initiative, to supervise FSN staff as required and described. He/she will work closely with members of other technical and support offices in the Mission, as well as other USG agencies and implementing partners who will implement the full range of USAID/DRC’s programs over a strategy period.
b. Available Guidelines: The incumbent is required to understand and analyze Mission and Agency‑specific policies and procedures which govern implementation of TO3 activities, in addition to the USAID/DRC established adm