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  • New Job Vacancy at United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • Posted on: 18 February, 2016 Deadline: 14 March, 2016
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    USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

    U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America's interests while improving lives in the developing world. USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

    Project Management Specialist for Early Warning, USAID/Nigeria


    Solicitation Number: SOL-620-16-000008

    Period of Performance: Two years, depending on satisfactory performance, continued relevance of the position and funds availability. Level of effort is full time (40 hours per week).

    Position Description/Background
    USAID/WA is a regional mission that is located in Accra, Ghana and implements development assistance activities in 21 countries. The USAID/WA regional governance, democracy, justice and human rights activities are managed from RPGO.

    The United States has an abiding interest in helping West Africa achieve broad-based good governance, democracy, justice and a respect for human rights. Since 1991, USAID has provided over $300 million in technical assistance and training to effect positive, lasting change within the region’s institutions and the lives of its people. USAID programs cooperate with regional economic institutions such as ECOWAS, West African government ministries and agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, associations, private sector organizations and communities to improve laws, promote human and political rights, mitigate conflict and deter terrorism, engage citizens in political and economic life, expand trade, increase incomes, and improve the health and quality of life of West Africa’s people.

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional economic community comprised of fifteen member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. ECOWAS covers a diverse range of social and economic issues. In 2008, ECOWAS adopted the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework, which is intended to serve as “a comprehensive operational conflict prevention and peace-building strategy that enables the ECOWAS system and Member States to draw upon human and financial resources at the regional (including civil society and the private sector) and international levels in their efforts to creatively transform conflict.” One of the critical components of the Framework is the ECOWAS Early Warning and Response Network (ECOWARN).

    At the August 2014 Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C., numerous West African leaders requested assistance to improve early warning capabilities so as to better address myriad sources of conflict and transnational threats, including terrorism, illicit trafficking, piracy, poaching and infectious diseases. In response, President Barack Obama pledged that, “the United States will launch a new effort to bolster the region’s early warning and response network and increase their ability to share information about emerging crises.” This effort is now known as the Early Warning and Response Partnership (EWARP or “the Partnership”) and is a new Presidential effort to support early warning, information sharing, conflict prevention and crisis management among African states.

    EWARP will bolster the capacity of the ECOWAS Warning and Response Network (ECOWARN) to monitor, gather, analyze and disseminate threat information to its 15 member states to support peace and security in the region. The Partnership will specifically work with the ECOWAS Commission for Political Affairs and Peace and Security (CPAPS) and its internal department, the Early Warning Directorate (EWD). Assistance to the nascent Mediation and Facilitation Division (MFD) and the Council of the Wise is also being contemplated. EWARP will be implemented jointly by USAID and the U.S. State Department.

    Basic Function

    • While operating under COM authority within USAID/Nigeria, the Poverty Monitoring System/Early Warning (PMS/EW) receives programmatic guidance, technical direction, oversight and substantive input from USAID/WA’s RPGO in the implementation and monitoring of USAID’s contributions to EWARP. On a day-to-day basis the incumbent will report to and coordinate closely with the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement. On programmatic contractual matters, the incumbent will report to the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for the EWARP activity based in the USAID/WA Mission in Accra, Ghana. USAID-funded activities for EWARP have a current estimated value of approximately $17.5 million over a five-year period.
    • In addition to direct monitoring of USAID efforts, the PMS/EW will work closely with EWARP project managers within the USG to ensure the cohesiveness of the overall Partnership strategy and the complementarity of the activities funded by each agency. As such and due to the assignment’s location in Nigeria, the PMS/EW will also collaborate with leadership from Embassy Abuja and USAID/Nigeria and potentially with US government leadership in other ECOWAS member states, when and as EWARP activities begin to take place in ECOWAS member countries.
    • The position includes a broad range of complex coordination, analytical and communication responsibilities, including providing overall monitoring and oversight of EWARP activities, as well as documentation, reporting, responding to queries from various sources, coordination, advice, and management of USAID’s activities in support of EWARP. The PMS/EW will regularly represent USAID and/or the USG at meetings and conferences dealing with conflict early warning and response in West Africa and may occasionally represent USAID at meetings and conferences covering other topics.
    • The PMS/EW will work with ECOWAS’s CPAPS to ensure integrated information sharing as well as to promote better communication among ECOWAS, USAID, implementing partners, the U. S. Embassy and donor partners on conflict early warning and response systems. S/he will be responsible for coordination within the U.S. Mission/Abuja, ECOWAS and with other donors to ensure the appropriateness and complementarity of programming.
    • This position requires exercise of broad individual judgment in recommending EWARP programming priorities and coordinating relations with representatives inside and outside the USG. The political and governance issues with which the PMS/EW will be dealing are among the top priorities of USG foreign policy in West Africa. As a Presidential initiative, EWARP activities will be closely followed by constituencies in Accra and Washington D.C. The ECOWAS operating environment is highly complex and frequently unpredictable and the donor space is relatively crowded. Thus, the PMS/EW must be flexible and able to provide advice on approaches and activities for sometimes rapidly changing circumstances.

    Duties and Responsibilities
    Specific duties will include but are not limited to the following:

    Project Management, Monitoring and Oversight - 55%:

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

    Program Evaluation and Reporting - 10%:

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

    Program Coordination and Technical Support- 35%:

    • The PMS/EW is responsible for: (1) collaborating with a broad range of partners on strategic approaches to conflict early warning and response; (2) obtaining and maintaining support and communication from partners and stakeholders; and (3) providing technical support to RPGO on an as-needed basis on early warning systems and strategies and organizational capacity development.
    • Partners include ECOWAS, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and in other ECOWAS member state capitals, bilateral and multilateral donors, USAID/Nigeria and other USAID bilateral missions in the region.
    • The PMS/EW ensures that open and timely communication is maintained with all relevant stakeholders on planned or current EWARP activities in West Africa. Such communication will include, but not be limited to, the following recurring tasks: submit weekly reports outlining key meetings/points/actions from the previous week and anticipated activities/tasks for the following week; organize regular briefings with Embassy Abuja and USAID; participate in regularly scheduled calls with USAID/WA; and participate in interagency conference calls.

    Position Elements

    • Supervision Received: The PMS/EW will perform assignments independently under the guidance of USAID/WA/RPGO and the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement. The PMS/EW is expected to exercise considerable independent judgment and initiative. Such initiative is critical to the success of the assignment and includes meetings with senior officials within the U.S. Government (USG), ECOWAS and donors partners. The actions and decisions of thePMS/EW will be as technical manager and adviser to RPGO staff and the U.S. Embassy/Nigeria.
    • While the PMS/EW will receive day-to-day guidance from USAID/WA/RPGO and the US Embassy Nigeria, the position’s location in Nigeria and role in working on EWARP-related issues, will require a high degree of independence and self-reliance. Periodic travel to Accra is anticipated to allow for coordination and joint planning while regular communication is expected via phone, email, and written reporting. The annual performance of the PMS/EW will be reviewed in terms of achievement of established work objectives. Formal supervisory responsibilities will rest with the USAID/WA/RPGO Director.
    • Available Guidelines: The incumbent is expected to become familiar with and follow USAID processes, procedures and rules as documented in the Automated Directive System (ADS). In situations where the PMS/EW’s judgment points to a need for additional clarity or guidance, his/her supervisor will provide such guidance with the assistance of the USAID support offices as appropriate. The PMS will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies, including but not limited to the ADS, USG procurement regulations, and USAID program strategy, design and policy documents.
    • Exercise of Judgment: Excellent, balanced judgment must be exercised in setting priorities. The broad use of initiative, discretion and patience is expected from the PMS/EW in dealing with USAID personnel as well as representatives from other donor organizations and U.S. Embassies to resolve problems that arise during the course of work where there is often no clear or immediate solution. In addition, considerable judgment is required in working effectively and coordinating multi-sectorial efforts in support of USAID’s development objectives and in collecting, analyzing, and reporting on progress of activities and recommending project actions.
    • Authority to Make Commitments: The incumbent will not be authorized to make commitments or decisions on policy.
    • Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contracts: The purpose of contacts is to inform on or elicit information about early warning and response activities in order to perform project management activities and inform USAID policy formulation and/or implementation. This may include information and communication to and with ECOWAS representatives, USG representatives, other regional institution representatives, and other donors up to the level of Ambassador. Contacts with the parties mentioned above will occur in both structured and unstructured settings. These contacts are necessary to influence and facilitate project implementation. Relationships with the parties mentioned above are cordial and cooperative.
    • Supervision Exercised: Supervision of other staff is not expected.
    • Time Required to perform the Full Range of Duties: 24 months.

    Required Minimum Qualifications Required for Effective Performance, Selection Criteria and Evaluation Process

    • Education: A Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations, International Development, Conflict Studies, Public Administration/Public Affairs, Economics or other social science discipline, is required. A Master’s degree in one of these fields is desirable.
    • Prior Work Experience: A minimum of five years of professional-level experience in project management or development-related activities in one of the areas listed above under Education. Experience working in, for or with international organizations is required. Experience working on conflict early-warning or conflict mitigation and management programming is highly desired.
    • Language Proficiency: Level IV English speaking proficiency (fluent), with strong English writing skills, is required. Demonstrated ability to prepare succinct narrative reports, sometimes with short deadlines and with minimal supervision, is also required.
    • Operational, managerial and strong analytical and writing skills are necessary, specifically experience in the independent analysis, interpretation and presentation of complex data in both oral and written form and in precise, accurate, clear and complete formats.
    • Strong computer skills are essential in order to prepare effective, comprehensive reports and for daily work. Excellent knowledge of and experience with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Applications, as well as the ability to conduct Internet research and management of other Internet resources, is required.
    • Ability to read, speak and write French is highly desirable, but not required. However, it will be considered an advantage during evaluation of candidates for the position.
    • Technical Knowledge: Demonstrated knowledge of program principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques of development assistance in general is required. Demonstrated knowledge of democracy, human rights, and governance principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques is desirable. Demonstrated knowledge of conflict mitigation and management principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques, including conflict early warning, is highly desirable.
    • Demonstrated ability to serve as a program manager and conduct the full range of responsibilities effectively and in a timely manner is required. Demonstrated ability to organize and effectively plan work in advance, with limited supervision to ensure that programs and tasks do not falter due to lack of effective management and support is required.
    • The ability to obtain, evaluate and interpret data and prepare accurate, timely reports is necessary. The ability to evaluate contractor’s recommendations, identify problems affecting program activities, propose well-thought out strategies to resolve these problems, consult with senior management and field staff, and then implement final decisions and strategies and approaches is necessary.
    • Skills and Abilities: Evidence of strong collaborative skills, including the ability to work effectively with superiors, subordinates, colleagues and partners, both inside and outside USAID, is required, as well as maturity, stability, objectivity, resourcefulness, adaptability, and sound professional judgment.
    • Effective teamwork is an essential factor in successful day-to-day management and operations.

    Selection Criteria
    Applicants who meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated based on the selection criteria below:

    • Education (20 points)
    • Prior work experience (25 points)
    • Communication/language skills (15 points)
    • Technical knowledge (25 points)
    • Skills and abilities (15 points)

    Applicants who do not meet the required minimum qualifications will be considered unqualified for the position and will not be assessed.

    Selection Process

    • Applications will initially be screened for conformity with minimum requirements and a short list of applicants developed.
    • As part of the selection process USAID reserves the right to interview only the highest ranked applicants in person or by phone OR not to interview any candidate at USAID’s discretion. Please note that the testing and interview (if applicable) may not take place on the same day.
    • After the closing date for receipt of applications, a committee will be convened to review applications and evaluate them in accordance with the evaluation criteria. Applications from candidates which do not meet the required selection criteria will not be scored. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. No response will be sent to unsuccessful applicants.

    Reference checks will be made only for applicants considered as finalists. If an applicant does not wish USAID to contact a current employer for a reference check, this should be stated in the applicant’s cover letter, and USAID will delay such reference check pending communication with the applicant. Only finalists will be contacted by USAID with respect to their applications. The final selected candidates must obtain security and medical clearances within a reasonable period of time (USAID will provide details regarding these clearances to the selected candidates). A substantial delay in obtaining either required clearance will make the applicant ineligible for selection.

    Past Performance | Professional Reference Checks

    • Applicants must provide at least three references with current contact information, preferably both an e-mail address and a telephone number. The references will be asked to provide a general assessment of the applicant's suitability for the position. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure submitted references are available to provide a written or verbal reference in a timely manner.
    • In addition to comments from references, the Selection Committee will take into account awards or other evidence of outstanding performance in any areas related to the above selection criteria. USAID/Nigeria reserves the right to obtain from previous employers relevant information concerning the applicant's past performance and may consider such information in its evaluation.

    Other Relevant information
    Security and Medical Clearance Requirements:

    • The applicant selected to fill this position must be able to receive a facilities access background check that involves applicant's comprehensive background investigation performed by a U.S. Government Agency.
    • The applicant selected to fill the position must also be able to receive medical clearance to work in USAID/Nigeria prior to beginning work.
    • Instructions on how to obtain both medical and security clearances will be provided after selection and acceptance of the job offer.


    • This position has been classified at GS-13 scale. The actual salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated within that pay band depending on qualifications and previous earning history. USAID/Nigeria Mission policy is to pay Resident Hire USPSCs employees in U.S. dollars.

    Benefits and Allowance
    As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, an individual meeting the requirements of a Resident Hire USPSC is normally authorized the following benefits:

    • Benefits:
      • Employee's FICA Contribution
      • Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance --72% of Health Insurance Annual Premium (not to exceed $20,339 for a family and $7,266 for employees without dependents --50% of Life Insurance Annual Premium (not to exceed $500).
      • Pay Comparability Adjustment --Annual across the board salary increase for USG employees and USPSCs when applicable.
      • Eligibility for Worker's Compensation
      • Vacation & Sick Leave
    • Allowances: Resident Hire USPSCs are not eligible for Allowances. If an eligible candidate is hired as an Eligible Family Member, benefits and allowances will be paid in accordance with State Department policy at Post.

    Applicable Policy Directives and Regulation Pertaining to PSCs

    List of Required Forms for PSCs
    Forms outlined below can be found at:
    1.) Contractor Employee Biographical Data Sheet (AID 1420-17)
    2.) Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF-86)*
    3.) Authority for Release of Information (AID 610-14)*
    4.) Foreign Residence Data (AID 6-85)*
    5.) Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, As Amended*
    6.) Notice Required by the Privacy Act of 1974*
    7.) Fingerprint Cards (FD-258)*
    8.) Offer Information for Personal Services Contracts (AID-302-3)
    *The above listed forms (2 through 7) shall only be completed upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.

    Method of Application

    Qualified applicants are requested to submit a one page cover letter and a recent CV or resume containing the following information below to: with a copy to: Please quote the number and position title of this solicitation in the subject line of your e-mail submission.

    Click here for more information

    Important Documents

    • The CV or resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with the stated selection criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing particular selection criteria.
    • Applicants are also strongly encouraged to address each of the evaluation criteria above on a separate sheet describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education, and/or awards they have received that are relevant to the criterion. Failure to address the minimum selection and/or quality factors may result in your not receiving credit for all your pertinent experience, education, training, and awards.
      • Personal Information: Full name, mailing address (with zip code), email address, day and evening phone numbers, social security number, country of citizenship, highest federal civilian grade held (also give job series and dates held).
      • Education: High school, name, city and state, date of diploma or GED; colleges and universities, name, city and state, majors, type and year of any degrees received.
      • Work Experience: provide the following information for your paid and non-paid work experience related to the job for which you are applying (do not send job descriptions); job title (include series and grade if federal job), duties, and accomplishments, employer’s name and address, supervisor’s name and phone number, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours per week, salary. Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor;
      • Other Qualifications: Other pertinent information related to the qualifications required for the position, as noted above including job-related training courses (title and year), job-related skills; for example, other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed, job-related certificates and licenses (current only), job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments, for example, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership, activities, public speaking and performance awards (give dates but do not send documents unless requested).
    • Applicants are required to provide three (3) to five (5) references with complete contact information including email address and telephone numbers. The Applicant’s references must be able to provide substantive information about the applicant’s past performance and abilities.
    • Interested applicants must submit all the materials required by the solicitation such as (but not limited to):
      • Most current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume;
      • Contractor Employee Biographical Data Sheet (AID 1420-17);
      • Three (3) to five (5) references who are not family members or relatives, with telephone and email contacts;
      • Written and hand-signed cover letter of not more than one page; and
      • Copy of U.S passport, with valid Nigerian Visa, and a valid Nigerian work permit.
      • Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts (AID 302-3)
    • Form AID 1420-17 must be signed. Unsigned forms will be rejected. 13
    • Applicants should retain copies of all enclosures that accompany their submissions.
    • Please reference the number of this solicitation when sending your application.
    • Any attachments provided via email must be in or compatible with Microsoft Word 2003 or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) and not “Zipped”.

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