Current Hiring Practices and Trends in the Development Sector
- BY David Mackenzie
TO: All qualified Applicants
FROM: Laurent Kpadonou, Acting Executive Office lead
Subject: Job Opportunity Announcement Solicitation #: 680-18-000003
Date: November 07, 2017
USAID is accepting applications for the following position
POSITION TITLE:USAID Project Management Assistant (Program Assistant)
NUMBER OF POSITION: One
GRADE: (1) FSN 07 (trainee level: FCFA 7,282,833 to FCFA 13,048,243) FSN 08 (full grade: FCFA 9,614,056 to FCFA 17,360,998)
OPENING DATE: November 08, 2017
CLOSING DATE: November 22, 2017 at 17:00
WORK HOURS: Cotonou time Full-time: 40 hours/week
Applicant must be a Foreign Service National or ECOWAS Cooperating Country National (CCN).
Definitions: Foreign Service National Personal Services Contractor (FSNPSC) employee is a non-U.S. citizen employee hired by a USAID Mission abroad, whether full or part-time, intermittent, or temporary, and inclusive of a Third Country National (TCN) who is paid under the local compensation plan (LCP), and who entered in a contract pursuant to the AIDAR, Appendix J.
Cooperating Country National (CCN) is an individual/employee who is a Cooperating Country citizen or a non-Cooperating Country citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the Cooperating Country.
USAID/BENIN is an equal opportunity organization. We encourage full participation of all qualified and interested persons. Persons with disabilities will be assisted and receive reasonable accommodation.
USAID/Benin anticipates awarding one Foreign Service National contract (FSNPSC) as a result of this solicitation, subject to availability of funds. USAID/Benin reserves the right not to award a contract as a result of this solicitation. This solicitation does not represent a commitment on behalf of USAID. The US Government is not obligated to make an award or to pay any costs associated with the preparation and submission of an application in response to this solicitation.
I.BASIC FUNCTION OF POSITION:
The Program Assistant is supervised by the USAID/Benin Country Representative. The primary responsibility of this position is to provide full programmatic and administrative coverage for front office and General Development Office; the incumbent will provide program assistance support to the Regional Mission's operations in Benin and will also support the Program Office. The Country Rep. is the principal officer, responsible for all aspect of the operations of A.I.D activity in the host country. He assures that all functions are being efficiently performed and U.S. development assistance objectives are attained. The Program Office provides leadership and support on strategic planning, program design and development, monitoring and evaluation. The USAID/Benin General Development Office addresses the USG in all non- traditional health activities and programs to ensure best practices in good governance, as well as prevention/response to gender based violence. The office also supports strategic investments in the agricultural sector through the West Africa regional Programs to reinforce national and bilateral programs. The USAID/Benin program, with an annual program budget of about $30 million, has major initiatives, including the Department of State's West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI) and President Malaria Initiatives (PMI), health, good governance, women's component and food security.
II. MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Administrative Support: 45%
• Handles incoming and outgoing correspondence and invitations for the Country Representative and Program Office as well as for regional programs ; drafts standard responses to unsolicited proposals, with input from the General Development Officer and/or Projects/ Program/ activity managers as appropriate;
• Prepares (with limited input) letters; memos; procurement requests, and other documents;
• Tracks actions and manages deadlines assigned to the team;
• Manages calendars and schedules for the Country Representative, GDO and Program Officer.
• Manages schedule of the Country Representative's driver.
• Responsible for organization of meetings, logistics requirements for staff as well as visiting officials and contractors for regional programs, the program office and Front office;
• Maintain good track of a logical non-duplicative working and official hard copy, electronic, of all technical documents (library) for GDO team and Program Office, including support to the Ag Specialist with the Regional Agriculture Office;
• Coordinates with Region, Program & Front Office staff to assist with travel and provide other related logistics support as needed.
• Collaborates with Program offices in USAID and with embassy staff and ensures the planning and logistics for major Mission-wide events, VIP visits, and other work-related functions.
• Prepares presentations, as needed;
• Maintains database of key contacts and partners for all programs;
• Serves as lead to monitor the leave and travel plan of TDYs of GDO and Program Office;
• Manages TDY / visitor lists, ensuring they are updated with appropriate information, and monitors use of TDY phones with IT Specialist.
• Provides translation of documents from English to French and French to English as needed;
• Is the focal point person for the Front Office, and first back up to front Office Administrative Assistant as needed;
B. Program Management Support: 40%
• Prepares, finalizes and circulates for approval project implementation documents, including: Development Objective Agreement (DOAG) action memos, statements of work, Independent Government Cost Estimates and other required documents/reports as directed by the USDH General Development Officer and Country Representative.
• In collaboration with the M&E Specialist, researches regional sources to collect relevant data, studies or reports (regional donor databases and information banks); summarizes findings and drafts relevant documents, which consolidate all the information obtained.
• Collects, collates, prepares and presents, in report or memo form with spreadsheets and charts, relevant data, as needed, for meetings. Wage
• Assists with the development of required reports for internal USAID purposes (e.g. operational plan, briefers, taskers, talking points) for the team;
• Develops familiarity with and maintains skills at using current USG and USAID Systems, such as FACTS (OP data entry), and entry of PMP requirements;
• Works with Doc and assists in organizing program events and information, reporting data, and success stories from implementing partners of the GDO team;
• Works on special projects, including research on activity related topics or initiatives to design new projects/programs;
• Assists in planning for portfolio reviews by compiling technical offices submissions to the program office for accuracy and consistency with planned results, benchmarks, funding levels, pipeline guidelines, and meeting planned earmarks.
• Assists technical teams with reporting on progress and status of results achieved. Perform support functions in the analysis; Understands the priorities setting and decision-making process of USAID; and be aware of and capable of interpreting a wide range of priorities; familiarizes him or herself with all regional programs;
• Performs miscellaneous technical services to assist GDO team members at technical meetings, tracking and assisting in completing close out of activities;
• Liaise with other technical office as needed;
• Exercise direct supervision over the driver of the mission in order for incumbent to monitor and schedule travel planning for all program staff. Performs ad hoc tasks that support the efficient operation of the General Development Office.
C. Regional coordination and support: 15% Acts as the administrative point person with West Africa on programs and projects using West Africa funds in Benin; In collaboration with the GDO and Program Office Teams, updates and maintains teams' procurement plan reflecting past, current, and planned procurement actions for the team and the Regional Acquisition and Assistance Office.
III. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA
a. Education (15points): The incumbent should possess at least two years of college/university education in a social science program, project management, development assistance, business administration, financial management, or related field.
b. Prior Work Experience (20 points): At least minimum of three to five years of progressively responsible experience as administrative support to medium or large-scale enterprises or international agencies, with demonstrated expertise in managing information and providing administrative and programmatic support to multiple staff members. Expertise in program support administration and/or financial program support and other related experience in relief or development-related work is required. At least three years of serving in such a position should have been within a donor related organization, corporation, International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The relevance and length of time of the previous experience must demonstrate ability to achieve full proficiency in this position.
c. Language Proficiency (20 points): (List both English and host country language(s) proficiency requirements by level (II, III) and specialization (sp/read): Level 4 English / French.
d. Job Knowledge (20 points): Incumbent is expected to have sound knowledge of efficient administrative, financial operations, reporting and project support management, Good knowledge of the concepts, principles and practices employed in development programs is required. Knowledge of West African institutions as well as familiarity to socio-cultural factors affecting development in the region may be a plus.
e. Skills and Abilities (25 points): Minimum requirements for this position include ability to use computers effectively. This includes speed and proficiency in word processing and good skills in 3 1Page using spreadsheets. In addition to Word and Excel, this includes PowerPoint, Outlook and the Internet. The incumbent should be highly flexible and able to work under conditions of ongoing change. This includes an ability to efficiently manage multiple competing priorities, with minimal supervision, highly pro-active, self-starter, who actively advances priority with little prompting from supervision and other colleagues; must have ability to effectively communicate and engage in opposing points of views in a diplomatic and professional manner; must be used to team work and perform with high professionalism. The incumbent must be able to collect and use relevant information in preparing precise and accurate reports; must also be able to draft correspondence; high level of proficiency in word processing and Excel is required.
a. Supervision Received: The incumbent is supervised by the Country Representative or designee; assignments are made via jointly agreed upon work objectives and plans, and will be updated as the situation requires. The incumbent works independently with minimal guidance from the supervisor, prioritizing all work and setting or meeting deadlines as applicable.
b. Supervision Exercised: It is contemplated that the incumbent will provide direct supervision to the driver of Country Representative.
c. Available Guidelines: Guidelines include Agency regulations, Automated Directives Systems (ADS), requirements, USAID policies and strategies, Mission Orders, Office of Foreign Assistance guidance, Africa Bureau procedural guidance, Agency procurement guidance, Mission Orders and professional development literature.
d. Exercise of Judgment: Incumbent will have the autonomy to manage his/her workload under conditions of ongoing change with competing priorities; must be able to exercise sound independent judgment in prioritizing and carrying out assigned tasks; A high degree of independent judgment is required in providing administrative and basic programming support to the Regional Economic Growth Office
e. Authority to Make Commitments: The employee will have no independent authority to make resource commitments on behalf of the US Government, USAID or the Office of Country Rep.
f. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: Incumbent will have contact with partners, contractors, other donors, NG0s, and mid-level government officials as needed. Works with Mission's technical staff, Program Office, USG Officials, implementing partners and regional counterparts and local stake holders to convey information relevant to the health portfolio. Externally, the incumbent will be required to communicate and coordinate with staff of partners and other US Government agencies.
g. Time expected to reach full performance level: 1 year
INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANTS C
onsideration and selection will be based on evaluation of the qualifications and evaluation criteria by a recruitment committee.
Applications should be in English. Wage Applicants must submit a CV, an OF-612 form and should write a cover letter. Applicants who do not submit a CV, an OF-612 form and a cover letter in the application will not receive further consideration. Depth and relevance of qualifications will be primarily assessed by a review of candidates' applications and a written test followed by an interview if applicable. After candidates' applications have been initially reviewed, only those which give evidence of meeting minimum requirements for education, prior work experience and relevant skills will receive further consideration. The recruitment committee will identify a short list of candidates who will be invited to complete a written test followed by an interview. After reviewing all results, the recruitment committee will make a determination of candidates who have the requisite qualifications and experience to successfully fill the position. Applications must include the names and contacts information for at least three references. At least one should be the current immediate supervisor or have been an immediate supervisor.
USAID may seek additional contacts for reference check as appropriate or determined necessary. Candidates who do not wish to have current employers contacted must state this in the application; however such employers would be contacted for references, if candidate is among the most highly rated. Information from reference checks will be included in the final recommendation and ranking of candidates submitted to the contracting officer. These candidates may be invited to return to USAID for additional interviews. Application forms: Optional Form 612 can be obtained from the USAID website http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/OF612.pdf. If you encounter problems downloading the form, please contact us at email@example.com and copy Laurent Kpadonou at Lkpadonou@usaid.gov and Clemencia Acacha at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the form. Applicants should retain for their record copies of all enclosures that accompany their applications.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not include any award or certificate received in your application at this point; you may refer or cite them you will be asked to provide them at a later stage of the process.
Please reference the number of this solicitation when sending your application. Submissions must be made via e-mail and MUST be PDF format.
Note that only electronic submissions are accepted. Please do not send hard copies. Electronic submissions should be sent to: email@example.com and copy Laurent Kpadonou at Lkpadonou@usaid.gov and Clemencia Acacha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please quote the number and position title of this solicitation on the subject line of your e-mail application. Applicants are requested to provide their full mailing address and contact information (telephone and e-mail). No response will be sent to unsuccessful applicants.
VII. COMPENSATION The position grade is FSN 08. However compensation will be negotiated at trainee level within the range of the market value at Grade FSN-07 based upon the candidates past salary. Applicants falling at the FSN 07 will receive an annual salary increase of one step each year up to the maximum step FSN 07 upon fully successful performance.
If during the 12 months' waiting period, performance is rated unsatisfactory by the Country Representative, contractor may be terminated for convenience according to the Local Compensation Plan (LCP). They may move to the higher grade FSN-08 after one year, if their performance is rated more than fully successful. Salaries over and above the market value will not be entertained or negotiated. Only salaries and the benefits listed in the local compensation plan (LCP) will be paid. USAID/Benin would like to reiterate that this position has been classified as an FSN position and in no event will this status change to an off-shore hire during the contract term, including extensions, if any.