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

  • Posted on: 19 May, 2016 Deadline: Not Specified
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  • The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from qualified United States (US) citizens and Resident Aliens currently residing in Nigeria or Eligible Family Members, interested in providing personal services as described in the attached solicitation, to fill the position below:

    Development Outreach Communications Specialist, USAID/Nigeria

     

    Position Descriptions/Background

    • The USAID foreign assistance program in Nigeria provides on average roughly $400 million to support development activities in the assistance areas of Peace and Security, Governing Justly and Democratically, Investing in People (Health and Education) and Economic Growth.
    • The Program Office coordinates strategic planning, program and activity design, portfolio planning and reviews, budget management, analysis, monitoring, evaluation, clearances and approvals, authorizations, and obligation of resources with the Government of Nigeria.
    • The Program Office also recommends changes to Mission policies, interprets and assures compliance with USAID policy as set out in the Automated Directives System and responds to queries about the USAID/Nigeria program. Other responsibilities include managing the development outreach and communication function which entails preparing and reviewing briefing documents, speeches, press releases, other outreach materials, and maintaining the Mission website. Outreach about the foreign assistance program reaches audiences in Nigeria, the United States and elsewhere around the world.
    • Regular customers include the Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, the USAID/Nigeria Mission Director and Deputy Director, technical offices and support teams, staff of the Africa Bureau in USAID/Washington, Government of Nigeria officials based in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, personnel in other government ministries, staff of other US government agencies, Nigerian beneficiaries of foreign assistance programs, staff of donor agencies and other implementing partners, and members of the public in Nigeria and the United States.

    Basic Functions

    • The Development Outreach & Communications (DOC) Specialist plays a critical role in assisting the Mission to present itself and its programs in a manner which fulfills the goal of demonstrating to Nigerians the benefits of peace and stability, as well as to keep the U.S. public and policy makers informed of the program they support.
    • The DOC Specialist supports USAID/Nigeria in the achievement of its objectives by managing the production and dissemination of public information about the Mission’s activities for Nigerian and American consumption.  High visibility is crucial to the success of the program, and maximum exposure of the Mission’s activities to the public is imperative. The Mission is highly scrutinized by senior administration policy makers, Congress and the media (local and international). Information on USAID activities is often requested by senior official visitors and other individuals with influence in the area of regional politics and development.
    • USAID/Nigeria shares its messages with its various audiences in five ways:
      • Via story placements with local and international television, radio, print & electronic media;
      • Via web-based communications;
      • Via its outreach programs, including public affairs campaigns, goodwill ambassador program, and other public diplomacy events aimed at reaching both Nigerian and international public and media conveying USAID objectives;
      • Via public information materials prepared for general audiences and visitors; and
      • Via program information prepared for inter-agency audiences.
    • The Mission’s development outreach and public information activities extend beyond the management of public events in Nigeria and press relations with the local media, increasingly provides program information services to Mission technical teams and the production of public information materials for use within the Mission and with outside stakeholders, including inter-agency counterparts. 
    • Similarly, the Mission website can and should be the source of a significant amount of public information on USAID programming and our programs but additional efforts are required to maintain up-to-date and reader-friendly content on the website and on other web-based communications systems, including social networking.

    Duties and Responsibilities
    Public Information, Press and Public Relations 30%:

    • Manage Development Outreach and Public Information activities of the Mission;
    • Provide oversight and direction to the preparation of development outreach and public information strategies and activities;
    • Supervise preparation of Mission-wide and program-specific briefing materials, brochures and other hand-outs for public distribution, and talking points for public events;
    • Supervise preparation of program content for the Mission website;
    • Review, edit and approve for Front Office authorization all weekly reports to Washington;
    • Supervise and coordinate preparation of Mission input to a variety of USAID/Washington information requests;
    • Manage and maximize interoperability of program performance reporting (Success Stories, project photographs, etc.) on the website and Geo-MIS system;
    • Coordinate Mission submissions to the Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC);
    • Under the direction of the Supervisory Program Officer and senior management, and in consultation with the Public Diplomacy staff of the U.S. Embassy, support Mission’s public affairs strategic plan for public information materials and activities, and the use of press including international and local television, radio and print.
    • This plan will require the DOC Specialist to determine key messages, tactics and strategies, duties, responsibilities and schedule for implementation, with measurable goals and milestones. The DOC Specialist will be responsible for measurement and reporting of success and results tracking for the campaigns assigned.
    • Represent the Mission as primary contact, both inter-agency and externally, on a number of public affairs issues. 
    • Establish and maintain relations with local and international media.  Manage media database, clippings, archives and other public relations tools.
    • Expand opportunities for Mission exposure in television, radio, print media, web- based communication, social networking and speaking engagements.
    • Write, edit and obtain approval for information materials such as project summaries, brochures, fact sheets, press guidance, press releases and feature articles for placement in newspapers, periodicals, and other mass media channels, and maintain electronic program information files for easy access in response to queries from the public and press. Ensure that all pertinent materials are translated into English.
    • Supervise organization of special press briefings, press events or roundtables and visits by journalists to USAID activities. Prepare USAID experts (project managers, team leaders, senior management) to face media interviews and assist them with speechwriting and speaking techniques.
    • Supervise organization of public events to showcase Mission activities (including signing ceremonies, project inaugurations and completions, and cultural and anniversary events), coordinating the roles of Mission technical and administrative personnel and partner agencies preparing for the events. Responsible for ensuring the event is covered by the media (as appropriate) and documented for the Mission’s archives.
    • Manage preparation of briefing materials, press packets, talking points and speeches for U.S. officials participating in media and public events.
    • Review local and international press coverage of USAID activities, keeping Embassy staff and USAID Washington informed of such coverage. Oversee the collection of press clippings.
    • Coordinate response to requests for information about USAID’s program from the general public, donor organizations and implementing partners.
    • Complete other special projects as assigned, such as producing a multimedia presentations, Mission documentaries, or in-house workshops on effective public speaking.

    Oversight Role - 25%:

    • Provide oversight to Mission staff and appropriate contractors for completion of specific tasks such as, assembly of briefing materials, and organizing events.
    • Provide strategic direction for web-based communication and other electronic media (e.g., social networking) that supports USAID messages and initiatives. Write, edit and/or proofread web materials as necessary.
    • The incumbent has overall responsibility for the Mission’s website and other web-based communications.

    Support to Front Office - 20%:

    • Provide technical and communications-related support to senior management as needed

    Media Team - 15%:

    • As a Media Team member, work with Development Objective representatives to schedule and plan events, identify professional technical publications to target technical pieces, help draft pieces, and create other Development Objective-specific promotional material such as brochures, pamphlets, posters, video shorts, etc.
    • Work closely with teams to incorporate strategic messages into all relevant communications.

    Support for Senior Visits - 10%:

    • Serve as the outreach  representative on the coordinating team managing all press and public outreach-related activities including press releases, ceremonies, speaking engagements, interviews, and press conferences.
    • Oversee preparation of visitor’s press book, maintaining one copy for the Mission and distributing to visitors as appropriate.

    Position Elements
    Supervision Received:

    • The DOC Specialist works under the general supervision of the USAID/Nigeria Supervisory Program Officer, who serves as chief of the Program Officer, or other supervisor as designated by the Supervisory Program Officer.
    • The supervisor sets the overall assignment objectives, program emphasis, and resources available. 
    • The DOC Specialist, in consultation with the supervisor, is responsible for establishing an annual work plan and updating necessary tasks based on regular reviews (generally weekly) of upcoming priorities. 
    • The DOC Specialist, having developed expertise in carrying out the communications program, has continuing responsibility for independently planning and executing the various phases or stages of the plans, coordinating efforts with program specialists and the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (PAS), and making contact with media and specialized group representatives. 
    • The DOC Specialist resolves mostly routine problems of scheduling, event planning, or preparation of materials and defers to the Supervisory Program Officer or supervisor for problems that need to be resolved at a higher level.
    • S/he is expected to participate in formulating policy and procedures and may often be asked to draft guidelines and checklists. Questions on policy regarding outreach communications at post are referred to the Supervisory Program Officer and/or the PAO.
    • The DOC Specialist will review completed work for adherence to established policy, and meeting the expected goals of the communication plan.

    Supervision Exercised:

    • Formal supervision of other Program Office staff is possible.

    Available Guidelines:

    • The DOC Specialist must remain familiar with the USAID ADS, AIDAR, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Handbooks, Mission Orders, USAID/Washington Bureau and LPA outreach guidance, and established USAID/Nigeria and Program Office procedures and regulations; and, media and communications papers prepared by USAID/Washington and the Department of State.

    Post Entry Training:

    • The DOC Specialist will receive on-the-job training on established USAID procedures, regulations, and policies governing Mission interaction with the media, IPs, other USG agencies, host country government officials, etc.
    • To successfully meet his/her work objectives, the DOC Specialist can choose to attend regional Development Outreach and Communications workshops, subject to course offerings and the availability of funds.
    • The DOC Specialist can complete online and/or classroom orientation programs recommended by the supervisor.

    Exercise of Judgment:

    • Projects assigned to the DOC Specialist include a variety of duties and processes requiring the exercise of extensive judgment.
    • Judgment is required to provide technical guidance to USAID technical teams and to IPs and other contractors and grantees on USAID policies and procedures related to the Mission communications strategy, and to other Mission US Direct Hire (USDH), US Personal Services Contractor (USPSC), and Foreign Service National (FSN) staff. 
    • Independent judgment must be exercised on a broad range of communications and media issues and when meeting with media representatives, and with Government of Nigeria officials, NGO, and IP counterparts.
    • Most advice given will be with regard to helping others who prepare communications materials to understand USAID policies, procedures, and quality standards.

    Authority to Make Commitments:

    • The DOC Specialist may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission policy, and take action and establish priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment.  Guidance is sought when needed, and superiors informed of activity status.

    Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts:

    • The DOC Specialist works closely with another DOC Specialist, both supervised by the Supervisory Program Officer.
    • Duties of the two DOCs will be delineated in consultation with the supervisor through development of annual work objectives.
    • The supervisor will oversee the DOC Specialist’s work as it relates to the USAID/Nigeria Communication Strategy and annual work plans. 
    • The DOC Specialist coordinates closely with USAID/Nigeria Technical Teams, Team Leaders, and Public Affairs personnel, mid- and senior-level officials of IPs, beneficiaries, host-country citizens, host-country NGOs, and host-country private-sector officials for the purpose of planning and executing events, preparing outreach materials and, less directly, implementing the Mission Communications Strategy, and fulfilling Mission outreach goals.

    Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level:

    • 12-18 months.

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

    • A Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Journalism, Public Relations, Communications, English, or a related field is required.  An advanced degree in a related field is desirable.

    Prior Work Experience: 

    • A minimum of Four (4) to Six (6) years of progressively responsible experience in communications, public relations, or journalism, in an English-language work environment, is required. 
    • This experience should provide assurance that the DOC Specialist is skilled in disseminating information to a variety of target audiences. 
    • Previous work with the U.S. Government or another international development organization is highly desirable.

    Language Proficiency: 

    • Fluency (Level 4) in English, both written and oral, is required. Strong American English written communication is critical. 
    • The incumbent’s written journalistic skills will be tested.  Candidates not passing the written test will not be given further consideration. 
    • Fluency in at least one widely spoken local language, both written and oral, is desirable.

    Job Knowledge:

    • The DOC Specialist must have a thorough knowledge of the principles, methods, practices, and techniques of communication, and skill in applying such knowledge to develop written and video information materials for dissemination through a variety of media, in order to determine and effectively use the most appropriate means for transmitting information, and to evaluate the effectiveness of plans developed to communicate with targeted audiences.  This includes an understanding of the use of written communication in developing news releases, feature stories, background statements, fact sheets, media spots, and scripts that effectively transit information about complex USAID/Nigeria programs/projects/activities and functions.
    • The work requires a solid understanding of website design; an excellent knowledge of English grammar and American word usage and spelling; a good knowledge of graphic design, printing, and publishing processes, and the ability to oversee printers and/or publishers; a general understanding of procurement processes; and a broad understanding of issues related to international development.

    Skills and Abilities:

    • Work requires skill in developing and maintaining effective relationships with professional colleagues within USAID and other U.S. Government entities, with staff of implementing partners, media representatives, and the public affairs personnel of organized groups, and in establishing and enhancing communication between USAID and its audiences using media and groups. 
    • USAID/Nigeria operates in a fast-paced environment and will be important for the incumbent to be flexible and able to work under tight deadlines.
    • In addition, skill in making oral presentations designed to seek cooperation of specialized groups and media in providing fuller coverage to USAID/Nigeria programs/projects/activities, and to encourage open communication between USAID/Nigeria and its audiences is required.
    • The incumbent must also have strong analytical skills to participate in analyzing the effectiveness of communication plans once implemented, and developing recommendations to change the nature of the USAID/Nigeria public affairs program.
    • The work requires excellent oral and written communications skills, including news and technical writing, editing and research skills; strong organizational and project management skills, that may be applied within a multi-cultural work environment; and the ability to work independently, taking initiative once guidance is provided, and managing several activities simultaneously and under pressure to meet deadlines.
    • The DOC Specialist must have strong interpersonal skills.
    • The ability to establish and maintain collegial relations with press and media contacts, as well as Embassy and IP counterparts, and to exercise sound judgment in representing the USG is demanded, along with the ability to manage interactions with high-level dignitaries and officials with maturity and confidence.
    • The ability to travel throughout the host country, in order to organize and implement outreach events and visit project sites, is a requirement of the position.
    • Very good computer skills, including the use of MS office, MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint, and Word are required. In addition, a basic familiarity with Web design, DreamWorks, Acrobat, and other web site design software is highly desired.

    Selection Criteria

    • Applicants who meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated based on the selection criteria above with journalistic writing ability being the most important.
    • Applicants who do not meet the required minimum qualifications will be considered unqualified for the position and will not be assessed.
    • Past performance will be an additional factor, and negative past performance reports may exclude a candidate from further consideration.

    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.

    Note: U.S. Resident Hire PSC. The contractor may commence work prior to the completion of the security clearance.  However, until such times as clearance is received, the contractor shall have no access to classified or administratively controlled materials.
     
    Compensation

    • 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 Allowances
    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: http://www.usaid.gov/business/forms

    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. Offeror 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

    Applicants are responsible for submitting materials in accordance with the attached information delivered to USAID/Nigeria by the time specified above. There will be no exceptions to the minimum document submission requirements. All application reviews will be based on the documentation submitted. Email submissions only should be sent to: abujahr@usaid.gov with a copy to: abujasolicitations@usaid.gov Please quote the number and position title of this solicitation in the subject line of your e-mail submission.

    Click here for more Information (MS Word)

    Instructions to Applicants

    • Qualified applicants are requested to submit a one page cover letter and a recent CV or resume containing the following information.  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):
    1. Most current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume;
    2. Contractor Employee Biographical Data Sheet (AID 1420-17); 
    3. Three (3) to five (5) references who are not family members or relatives, with telephone  and email contacts;
    4. Written and hand-signed cover letter of not more than one page; and
    5. Copy of U.S passport, with valid Nigerian Visa, and a valid Nigerian work permit.
    6. Offer or Information for Personal Services Contracts (AID 302-3)
    • Form AID 1420-17 must be signed. Unsigned forms will be rejected. 
    • 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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