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USAID U.S.PSC Communications & Outreach Advisor Job

Solicitation No.: MN 21-93

Issuance Date: June 16, 2021

Closing Date/Time: June 30, 2021 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)

SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Services Contractor (U.S.PSC) Communications and Outreach Advisor, GS-14

Dear Prospective Offerors:

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from qualified U.S. Citizens and/or U.S Resident Aliens to provide personal services under contract as described in this solicitation.

Submissions must be in accordance with the solicitation instructions. Applicants should retain copies of all offer materials, for their records.
Applications must be submitted electronically via email to [email protected] by the closing date and time indicated above. Late, incomplete, or unsigned applications will not be considered. Scanned copies are accepted by email. Applicants must prominently reference the solicitation number in the application submission.

This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.

Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.

Sincerely,

-s-

Sandra Asiedu

Contracting Officer

Attachment 1:

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. SOLICITATION NO.: Mission Notice 21-93
  2. ISSUANCE DATE: June 16, 2021
  3. CLOSING DATE/TIME: June 30, 2021 at 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)
  4. POSITION TITLE: Communications and Outreach Advisor
  5. MARKET VALUE: $93,907 to $122,077 annually equivalent to GS-14. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.
  6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: One (1) year base period, with three one-year options subject to funding availability and satisfactory performance or better.
  7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya
  8. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens and/or U.S Resident Aliens[1]. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.
  9. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: USAID/Washington-issued clearance level at the Facility/Computer Access Level
  10. POINT OF CONTACT: Executive Office/Human Resources, Patrick Bii, HR Assistant, email at [email protected]
  11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The primary location of work will be on the U.S. Embassy/USAID compound in Nairobi, Kenya. No special demands are required to perform the work.
  12. STATEMENT OF DUTIES/POSITION DESCRIPTION

Background/Introduction

USAID/KEA’s Democracy, Governance and Conflict (DGC) Office consists of three Foreign Service Officers and eight Foreign Service Nationals split between two technical teams, a democracy and governance team, and a peace and security team. The DGC Office manages a portfolio of six bilateral and one regional mechanism focusing on anti-corruption, elections, civil society, local development, conflict prevention and countering violent extremism, and supports Mission-wide priorities on county partnerships and integrated program implementation. The Communications and Outreach Advisor will provide direct support to the DGC leadership and technical staff in strategic communications, activity reporting, executive correspondence, and partner outreach and development.

This position is located in Nairobi and reports to the DGC Director. The DGC Office is responsible for a portfolio of five bilateral mechanisms focused on anti-corruption, elections, civil society, local development, conflict prevention and countering violent extremism, as well as providing expertise and leadership to various cross-cutting Mission platforms. The incumbent serves as the DGC Communications and Outreach Officer and will be responsible for strategic communications, program reporting, and development partner/stakeholder outreach. S/he will plan and synchronize activities with the Strategic Planning and Analysis (SPA) Office Development Outreach Coordinator (DOC) and other technical offices. This is envisioned as a temporary position accorded to a Local Hire U.S. PSC, which upon conclusion of its incumbent services will revert to a Cooperating Country National PSC position.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Communications and Outreach Officer will be responsible for design and implementation of the DGC Office’s communications strategy that highlights program accomplishments across its development portfolio. S/he is expected to take initiative and act independently in formulating clear and concise messaging on DGC’s technical accomplishments that support the Mission’s Development Objectives. The incumbent will provide professional expertise in the preparation and management of DGC’s executive correspondence and presentation materials intended for internal and external audiences. Lastly, s/he will work in tandem with DGC’s technical staff to interface with respective development partners to enhance communications and advance partnerships.

Specific tasks and duties:

Communications: (60%)

· Assess current communications products and develop a strategic communications plan in coordination with the Development Outreach Coordinator (DOC)/Strategic Planning & Analysis Office (SPA) and support messaging to highlight the progress of DGC-funded activities towards the achievement of their overall goals and associated USAID/KEA development objectives.

· Coordinate with the DOC to leverage local, regional, and international media relationships that will ensure DGC events/stories are covered on a timely basis with appropriate content and that USAID and Embassy Nairobi staff are well informed of DGC-sponsored activities and events.

· Establish excellent working relationships with a wide range of senior figures within the development and USG community related to communications, including communications officials in other USAID Missions, AID/Washington, the DOC team, and the Embassy’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) in Kenya.

· Ensure all communications products for all program cycle planning and reporting, including Annual Reports, Portfolio Reviews, Congressional Budget Justifications, briefings, etc. are well written and presented on time.

· Write and/or edit briefing checklists (BCLs), speeches, talking points, blogs, success stories, press releases and other communications materials as needed by DGC, USAID/KEA leadership, and the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, in support of DGC programs and events.

· Support DGC technical staff in developing external communication materials for Agency-wide publications such as the Impact Blog, Frontlines, case studies, success stories, and social media content, etc.

Outreach: (30%)

· In coordination with the DOC, establish a communications network with DCG IPs to advance communication protocols and practices. This initiative will include periodic meetings and trainings with IP communications staff to build capacity and share lessons learned.

· In coordination with respective Agreement/Contracting Officer’s Representatives (A/CORs) establish a standard meeting regime between the DGC leadership and Chiefs of Party (COP) for DGC IPs to exchange information on program implementation, accomplishments, and challenges.

· Support the DGC leadership, and that of the Mission’s other technical offices, in advancing partnerships with Local Development Organizations to expand USAID’s relationship and development impact at the sub-national level in Kenya.

General Management: (10%)

· Establish and maintain a current database with all relevant communications contacts that are involved in the implementation of DGC activities (e.g., spokespersons and programmatic focal points from IPs, USAID Missions in East Africa, AID/Washington, Embassy Nairobi agencies, other donors, etc.).

· Establish and maintain a DGC repository of publications, photos, factsheets and briefers and work with the DOC to ensure periodic publications are completed and submitted on time.

· Support the DGC Office as required in routine administrative tasks such as: executive correspondence drafting and processing, planning and taking part in site visits and outreach events and participating in selection committees.

Position Elements

Supervisory Controls: The incumbent will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by the USAID/KEA/DGC Office Director who will set overall work objectives and approve the employee’s work plan and associated performance measures. The incumbent will act with a high degree of autonomy and self-direction in fulfilling his/her work responsibilities and will keep the supervisor apprised of work progress and challenges. The employee is expected to work with limited guidance, take initiative when needed, and lead DGC communications and partner outreach initiatives as appropriate.

Knowledge level required: The Communications and Outreach Officer will have professional-level knowledge applicable to a wide range of duties involving oral and written communication principles, practices, and techniques; basic research and analytical methods; and interpersonal relations. The incumbent will possess skill in applying such knowledge to explain development activities and devise new approaches and information materials aimed at improving the public’s understanding of Agency and Mission development priorities and programs. The incumbent will also be skilled in assessing public reactions and sentiment regarding various development interventions. The incumbent will also be knowledgeable of the various relationships that exist within the development community, such as: between the donor and host nation, other development and implementing partners. Prior experience in a position of similar complexity, ideally involving democratic governance and peacebuilding programs is preferred. The individual should have experience developing with various communications means and products, and working with partner organizations. Strong writing, analytical, interpersonal, and coordinating skills are required.

Decision making: The PSC is expected to perform under general administrative discretion with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment based on his/her professional expertise, knowledge of USAID and Mission policies and best practices as applied to international development programming. The incumbent will have decision-making authority, as delegated by the office director, in the areas of strategic communications, program reporting, and partner outreach. This position requires the ability to exercise independent professional judgment within the scope of responsibilities according to policy directives and in support of new initiatives. Decisions involve largely underdeveloped areas within the DGC Office’s programming domain that will require extensive analysis to determine communications and outreach performance shortfalls and devise potential solutions.

Guidelines: The PSC will be required to follow guidelines that are broadly stated and non-specific. Because of the sensitive nature of several DGC’s program areas (elections, human rights, gender-based violence, preventing/countering violent extremism, etc.) the incumbent must work with a high degree of discretion in reporting to comply with demands if the general do not harm principle of international development and local information management controls. In this regard, prepared statements and/or presentations to the public, regardless of media, will require perceptive drafting and a seasoned understanding of the local context to ensure the interests of beneficiaries, the Embassy, and Mission are protected. Underlying this performance standard is the incumbent’s practiced ability to correctly interpret the intent of opaque guides and devise effective measures to apply them properly.

Complexity: The incumbent’s work responsibilities are well-defined. However, s/he will be required to be proactive and creative in carrying out these responsibilities. To this end, the employee will be expected to identify new opportunities and devise innovative approaches to enhance work outcomes.

Scope and Effect: The incumbent provides detailed and timely reporting on DCG’s program accomplishments that support U.S. foreign assistance priorities in Kenya in the areas of democratic governance, elections, anti-corruption, civil society, and conflict. Information compiled and conveyed by the incumbent will inform U.S. foreign policy toward Kenya.

Level and Purpose of Contacts: The incumbent will maintain professional and effective working relations with senior-level officials at USAID, within the interagency and with implementing partners, donors, government officials, and other stakeholders in support of Mission and DGC equities.

Work Environment: Work is performed primarily in an office setting. If the employee travels, work may entail exercise of safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to adverse weather conditions.

Travel Requirement: The incumbent must be able to travel throughout Kenya. This requirement will not exceed 15% of work time.

Support Items: The employee will be provided with the support services, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform the work. This will include shared office equipment (such as printer, scanner and shredder), and a workstation that includes a desk, computer, file cabinets, and network access, with the possibility for mobile computing devices based on need and Mission management approval.

Sunday Pay: Is not authorized.

II. SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

The incumbent must meet the following requirements in education and professional experience:

  1. Education: Master’s degree or above in English, journalism, public administration, regional studies, international development, political or other social science and/or similar liberal arts is required.
  2. Professional Experience: A minimum of seven years of experience directly involved in media, outreach, and communications in development partner and/or international donor contexts. The candidate must have excellent interpersonal and networking skills and the ability to liaise authoritatively with technical staff, representatives from the development sector, local media, local government, USG civil society, and other relevant organizations.

The candidate must also have experience leading consultations with various teams, compromised of diverse members from different perspectives, to construct effective communications plans and strategies. As well, the candidate must be experienced in partner outreach initiatives and in coordinating activities across different development sectors/offices.

Familiarity with democratic governance and peacebuilding development programming and experience working with USAID, the Department of State, other international donors, and/or the United Nations system are preferred.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.

Applicants who clearly meet the skills and qualifications requirements will be further evaluated based on scoring of Evaluation Factor responses submitted with the applicant’s application.

Applicants are required to address each of the following Evaluation Factors in a separate document describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received that are relevant to each factor. The evaluation factors will be used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified applicants in comparison to other applicants. Be sure to include your name and the announcement number at the top of each additional page. Failure to specifically address the Evaluation Factors may result in your not receiving credit for all your pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.

Applicants should cite specific, illustrative examples for each Evaluation Factor. Responses must be limited to 1000 words per factor. Any words above the limit will neither be read nor scored.

Factor #1: Demonstrated experience designing and managing strategic communication programs related to democratic governance and/or peacebuilding activities in Kenya and East Africa.[2]

Factor #2: Demonstrated experience preparing outreach materials for a wide range of outlets and audiences including print, video, and social media.

Factor #3: Demonstrated experience coordinating with U.S. Government agencies, international organizations, national or local governments, and/or other high-profile entities that support development of democratic principles and peacebuilding activities in Kenya and East Africa

The most qualified candidates may be interviewed, required to provide a writing sample, and demonstrate an ability to operate commonly used office applications. USAID will not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews. In addition, applications (written materials and interviews) will be evaluated based on content as well as on the applicant’s writing, presentation, and communication skills. If a candidate has fully demonstrated his/her qualifications and there are no other competitive applicants, USAID reserves the right to forego the interview process. Professional references and academic credentials will be evaluated for applicants being considered for selection.

Applicants selected for an interview will be asked to submit three examples of previously developed visual and/or written materials to demonstrate experience editing and developing a range of visual and/or written materials for external and internal communications, including websites.

Evaluation Scoring:

Factor #1 – 25 points

Factor #2 – 25 points

Factor #3 – 10 points

Examples of Materials – 10 points

Interview Performance – 30 points

Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – Pass/Fail (no points assigned)

Total Possible Points: 100

[1] U.S. resident alien means a non-U.S. citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

[2] Activities consist of the full range of democratic governance and peacebuilding initiatives to include, but not limited to: Political processes, elections, civil society, anti-corruption, transparency, local development, stabilization, conflict prevention and mitigation, and preventing and countering violent extremism.

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