Jobs : Project Management Specialist (Agriculture - Feed the Future) - US Mission



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This position will be a member of the Regional Economic Growth Office (REGO), and she/he will manage regional Feed the Future (FTF) and other related programs and relationships that support the Mission’s objectives to reduce poverty and advance food security, resilience and trade in West Africa. REGO works in partnership with a multitude of African institutions and private sector partners to achieve development goals and promote U.S. foreign policy objectives.

To engage on and appropriately manage REGO programs and responsibilities, the incumbent will develop and maintain relationships with senior regional officials, private sector actors, donor and implementing partners, USAID and USG interagency colleagues in Washington and in bilateral Operating Units in the West Africa sub-region. The incumbent will support the implementation of the West Africa Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) Regional Plan, REGO and its partners which jointly seek to:

1.) increase inclusive agricultural-led economic growth through increased and improved trade and investment, enhanced private sector competitiveness, and scaled-up agricultural technologies;

2.) strengthen the resilience of people and systems; and

3.) improve nutrition outcomes through improved access to safe and nutritious foods, especially among women and children.

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As part of REGO’s collaboration with and support of bilateral USAID Offices and Missions and the U.S. government interagency in the West Africa region, the incumbent will facilitate, engage, coordinate and support on agricultural policies, programs, and technical issues. As such, the incumbent will be expected to possess excellent interpersonal skills and perform with a high degree of tact and diplomacy and be expected to resolve any potential disagreements between stakeholders, partners and other donors if necessary.

The incumbent will work on agriculture-related activities primarily and, as needed, will be asked to serve as a focal point on issues related to phytosanitary, animal health, standards, and food safety issues.

 

2. Statement of Duties to be Performance

A. Program Management (50%)

The Agriculture Adviser will serve as a full-time Contracting/Agreement Officer’s Representative (COR/AOR) or Activity Manager for USAID projects/activities in the agricultural, food security and environment sectors. The position will manage programs for the USAID/WA Regional Mission, involving coordination and collaboration with relevant bilateral missions, Washington and private sector stakeholders on regional agricultural market systems and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) regulatory issues that affect poverty reduction, agricultural development, nutrition, food security and trade in West Africa.

Specifically, the incumbent will, in collaboration with colleagues in the REGO and the Financial Management and Contracts/Assistance Offices, design and manage grants, agreements, and contracts for regional programs in the technical areas mentioned above. Upon satisfying Agency training requirements, she/he will serve as a USAID Agreement (or Contracting) Officer Representative (AOR/COR), or their alternate, or Activity Manager (technical project supervisor) for awards, leading or participating in project management and monitoring, field supervision visits, identification and development of performance plans and indicators, performance and impact evaluation teams, financial and contract management support, and results reporting. As needed, she/he will support and facilitate the organization of events or other opportunities for publicity and/or outreach regarding REGO project activities that involve Embassy Front Offices, USAID leadership in the field or from Washington.

The Agriculture Adviser will travel frequently within the West Africa region and occasionally outside the region. He/she will facilitate and ensure the management, documenting and sharing of USAID and stakeholders’ knowledge products and practices, facilitate relevant connections between people and information, experience and expertise, and contribute to REGO’s knowledge-sharing objectives and advancing the West Africa framework and objectives for Collaborating, Learning and Adapting. The incumbent will provide up to date information on innovation and new developments within his/her purview within the USAID/WA trade and agriculture/food security portfolio. She/he will maintain a professional, collaborative and constructive working relationship with.

The colleagues in leadership, technical and support offices of the West Africa USAID Mission, as well as other USAID bureaus, missions, offices, and staff, USG interagency counterparts, and regional partners and contacts. The Agriculture Adviser will advance REGO’s effort to coordinate programming and activities with other USG Operating Units and actors in the WA region, as appropriate.

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B. Technical Assistance and Engagement (30%)

USAID/West Africa implements regional programs through contractors and grantees and in some cases directly with beneficiaries in West Africa. These programs conform to approved strategic frameworks, are implemented in compliance with U.S. and other government
regulations, and follow standard USAID operating procedures. The task of agriculture program management and administration is to facilitate the smooth operations of these programs and to report on compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Specific duties will include drafting and tracking of internal financial approval documents, performance-monitoring plans, and monthly and annual reports to USAID headquarters, Mission Management, and to the USAID/Bureau of Food Security which administers FTF programs worldwide, and to other segments of the U.S. government.

The FTF Initiative is a high profile and important program for the U.S. Government. Staff are frequently called upon to prepare position papers, report and advise on food security, agriculture and related policies and issues in West Africa. The incumbent will be expected to perform the above tasks to a wide range of stakeholders including but not limited to USAID/West Africa Mission management, USAID headquarters, other high level officials of the U.S. Government, host country governments, high level regional government and institution officials, other donors, and segments of the private sector involved or affected by agriculture, trade, standards, SPS, and environment related issues that can ultimately impact regional food security. Thus, the incumbent will be expected to possess excellent interpersonal skills, and perform with a high degree of tact and diplomacy and be expected to resolve any potential disagreements between stakeholders, partners and other donors if necessary

The incumbent will serve as a focal point on issues related to phytosanitary, animal health, standards, and food safety issues. As needed, she/he will design and manage activities to provide SPS-related technical services and expertise in support of regional and bilateral USAID and ECOWAS priorities and that align within the scope of the West Africa GFSS Regional Plan. The topics of SPS is integrated throughout the West Africa GFSS Regional Plan, in recognition of the fact that plant pests and diseases, animal diseases (zoonoses), and food safety standard failures have significant impacts on trade (intra-regional and international), agricultural productivity and agribusiness competitiveness, and access to and use of safe and nutritious foods by West Africans.

The incumbent will work closely with USAID, implementing partners, relevant USG regulatory agencies and the private sector associations to  support regulatory development and harmonization processes and standards in West African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and national governments. He/she will lead REGO efforts to establish priorities, design and manage related activities and provide budget and resource recommendations to USAID/WA, bilateral USAID Operating Units, and WA regional partners on technical issues related to standards, plant health, animal health, and food safety sectors. As a staff member of REGO, the Agriculture Specialist will be called upon to liaise with high level (and technical) representatives of national, regional, and international institutions including policymakers, private-sector actors, ministry officials, donor entities, and technical and implementing partner organizations. He/she may be required to represent USAID to many different stakeholders including Ambassadors, Mission Directors, other senior USG representatives, regional economic communities, national level counterparts, bilateral and multilateral donors, and corporate executives.

The position will engage regularly with Regional Economic Community partners, including Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West and Central African Council of Agriculture Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), West African
Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Permanent Interstate Council for Drought in the Sahel (CILSS) and private sector actors including firms and industry associations. She/he will establish and maintain relationships between USAID West Africa and many of those entities listed above. The incumbent will work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for coordination of SPS and food safety-related activities and priorities.

Through her/his contributions, the incumbent will support REGO’s contributions to several U.S. Government priorities including the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy and its originating framework of the Feed the Future Initiative (FTF), Prosper Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance. He/She will also be supporting REGO’s contributions to regional trade and agricultural policy priorities, including the implementation of the ECOWAS Agriculture Policy and its subsidiarity programs and mandates, as well as the advancing of ECOWAS trade-related policies and standards such as the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and harmonized food safety standards.

C. Communications and Reporting (20%)

The incumbent prepares a variety of documents for publication and dissemination to suit numerous key constituencies both within and outside the U.S. government. There are important rules and regulations that govern how the office may communicate its work, for example, to assure that persons with disabilities have access, or to assure that sensitive personal or classified national security information are properly distributed. Effective communications will generally involve selecting the most appropriate medium and applying the skills necessary to take advantage of particular media, for example the “success story” presented on a glossy one-page handout as well as a web page, the “reporting cable” disseminated to all U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide, and the “spoken remarks” and “scene setters” prepared for the USAID/West Africa Mission Director or other senior U.S. government officials for presentation at a ceremony or other public event.

The task of communications is to analyze RAO information, consult with office staff on program priorities and communications objectives, and then assure that the work of the office is described and presented in ways that are relevant and compelling to each of the targeted audiences. The incumbent should be able to understand and interpret defined program objectives, exercising judgment to proceed with implementation of routine communications tasks, yet recognizing when special circumstances require consultation with the office chief or other senior USAID/West Africa management.

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Additionally, as a representative of USAID and during execution of her/his AOR/COR duties, the incumbent will be expected to occasionally perform public speaking engagements. But more often, the incumbent will represent the USG in regional meetings with high level regional and national government counterparts and other donors. Incumbent will prepare speeches for high level USG representatives such as the Mission Director and U.S. Ambassador. As a member of REGO, the incumbent will participate in the writing of annual and other reports, success stories, press releases, etc.; prepare approval documents, budgets, and memos; help manage USAID’s internet-based information management systems; and help respond to taskers from Mission or Embassy leadership and/or Washington, as needed.

The incumbent is expected to learn and comply with USAID rules and procedures and adhere to the ethical and contractual requirements for Agency and USG personnel. She/he will be expected to respond flexibly and capably to a wide range of work-related requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, responding to U.S. Congressional inquiries and other Washington policy and operational requests, supporting VIP visits, and carrying out ad-hoc assignments as required by unforeseen Mission/Agency requirements at the discretion of the Mission Director, Deputy Director, or REGO Office Director

Other Program Support:

The Agriculture Team is small. This necessarily means that all staff will from time to time perform other duties as decided by the office chief. These may entail performing work in an “acting” capacity for a colleague who is traveling or on leave, assisting a colleague with an especially urgent task, or personally taking responsibility for a special project.

As an example, special projects may require the incumbent to act as an expert on special projects, advising top management on major office issues, or lead, conduct or participate in complex management studies and reviews–particularly those with wide or significant effect upon USAID’s strategic focus, policy, processes, operations, fiscal control and economy, and those where the boundaries of the studies may be broad.

 

3. Supervision Received: The incumbent works under the general supervision and policy guidance of the Agriculture Team Leader, or whomever else designated by the Regional Economic Growth Office Director. The designated supervisor will review and approve his/her
work plan and performance measures. The incumbent is also expected to collaborate with the Program Office where appropriate.

4. Supervision Exercised: The incumbent serves as COR or AOR/Alternate and Activity Manager for Agriculture, Food Security, and other FtF-related activities in the Mission, and monitors grantees/contractors accordingly.

 

12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

In order to be considered for the position, a candidate must meet the Minimum Qualifications.
Applications will be pre-screened and only those that meet the Minimum Qualifications will be considered. These are the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for the position:

a. Education: Minimum of bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, agronomy, trade or
investment, international development, food security is required.

b. Prior Work Experience: Minimum of seven years combined of professional-level experience directly involved in agricultural market systems development; food, animal and plant safety; agribusiness; trade and economic development. Prior experience in project design, management, and implementation, is required.

c. Language Proficiency: Fluent knowledge of English and French is required. The incumbent must have excellent oral and written language and communication skills in English and French. Language proficiency may be tested.

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REQUIRED FORMS PRIOR TO AWARD

The Contracting Officer (CO) will provide instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms after an offeror is selected for the contract award:

1. Medical History and Examination Form (Department of State Forms)

2. Security Clearance

3. Finger Print Card (FD-258)

 

BENEFITS/ALLOWANCES

As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a CCNPSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:

BENEFITS:

a. Health Insurance
b. Annual Salary Increase (if applicable)
c. Annual and Sick leave
d. Annual Bonus Salary Advance (0% interest)
e. Social Security Contributions
f. Local and American Holidays
g. Social Security Contribution

 

2. ALLOWANCES (as applicable):

a. Meal Allowance

b. Miscellaneous Allowance

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