Call for Experts - USAID PNG Electrification Partnership (PEP) Activity

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 13 September 2019

Job Description


Abt Associates, a global leader in technical assistance, program implementation, and international development, seeks qualified individuals to fulfill four Senior Technical and Task Lead positions and a Chief of Party (COP) for the anticipated 5-year USAID-funded PNG Electrification Partnership (PEP) Activity.

The PEP Activity anticipates connecting 70% of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) population to electricity by 2030. Recognizing that access to electricity is fundamental to economic growth and is foundational for the development of the private sector and industries, the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States are working together to support this goal. The program will undertake four primary objectives:

  1. Strengthen PNG Power Limited (PPL)’s Utility Operations and Financial Viability
  2. Develop Viable Off-Grid Electrification Models
  3. Strengthen PNG’s Energy Regulation; and
  4. Catalyze Private Investment for Energy Projects

Under the technical oversight of the COP, Leads are responsible for developing the technical strategy and overseeing the technical implementation and administrative oversight of activities under one of the program’s four primary objectives listed above. Leads will also support additional program components including Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning reporting, integration of USAID’s Smart Development Screens, and development of external communications.

  • Utility Commercialization Task Lead- Oversees activities to strengthen the financial viability, operational efficiency, and long-term sustainability of PPL. Leads technical design of activities to support PPL by modernizing utility operations, expanding access to electricity, building human capital, increasing collections, improving customer service and relations, undertaking capital investments, partnering with the private sector, and reducing technical losses.
  • Off-Grid Electrification Task Lead- Oversees activities to develop viable off-grid electrification models that catalyze investment and increase electrification rates to meet PNG’s national targets. Off-grid electrification models should reduce high supply costs; and expand access to reliable, affordable, and high-quality electricity services to provincial centers, and island communities; and bolstering economic activity.
  • Energy Policy and Regulation Task Lead- Design activities to strengthen PNG’s energy regulations and ensure long-term sustainability of PNG’s power sector. Interventions should expand electricity connections, increase generation capacity, promote competitive procurement of energy services, and follow a rules based system that prevents predatory partners and investments in non-economically viable projects.
  • Private Sector Engagement and Partnerships Task Lead- Leads engagement with private sector entities to catalyze investment in new electricity generating projects including gas to power projects and renewable energy projects. Collaborates with the Utility Commercialization Task Lead to ensure PPL can be a credible off-taker for electricity generated by private sector projects. Supports the Off-Grid Electrification lead to facilitate investment in and deployment of economically-viable electrification models. Coordinates with the Energy Policy and Regulation Task Lead to share private sector perspectives with energy regulators and policy-makers. Supports the COP in building partnerships with financial institutions, donor organizations, government stakeholders, NGOs and civil society organizations to enable deployment of sustainable, viable power projects.

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Master’s Degree or PhD in engineering, finance, energy planning, policy, international development, or other relevant discipline is required
  • 10 years of professional experience working on complex projects in the power sector and a demonstrated ability to achieve the objectives of the PEP activity
  • Extensive experience working with power utilities, energy regulators, and the private sector to catalyze investment in both on-grid and off-grid power projects
  • A creative, business-minded and a proactive attitude; demonstrated skills in building, mobilizing, and leading multiple activities across multi-disciplinary teams, while meeting tight deadlines
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to build and maintain relationships with development agencies, NGOs, and relevant private sector players
  • Demonstrated capacity in facilitating in-depth and effective dialogues with internal team as well as with external stakeholders
  • Experience managing teams, consultants and sub-contractors to ensure high-quality, timely submission of technical work and deliverables
  • Highly self-motivated and adaptable to learning and understanding new things
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment
  • Familiarity with the political, social and cultural context of working in PNG or similar countries preferred
  • Fluency in English is required. Strong skills in oral and written English are essential

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1965, Abt Associates was built on the concept that sound information and empirical analysis are the best foundations for effective decision making. The firm blends the subject matter expertise of our staff with technical capabilities in applied research, program implementation, and data collection to shape policy, strengthen systems, measure performance, and deliver other solutions to our public and private sector clients. Examples of Abt Associates’ work include nationally recognized research, evaluation, and technical assistance to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems, the effectiveness of government housing programs, the production of food, and the measurement of public opinion. Abt’s staff of more than 2000 includes national and international experts who are known for their understanding of communities and governments worldwide, innovative research techniques, and insightful—and often groundbreaking—analyses and recommendations. Approximately 51 percent of our staff has graduate degrees; one in six has a doctorate. Our staff’s educational and professional disciplines include economics, engineering, environmental analysis, epidemiology, food security, health, housing, international development, psychology, social science, statistics, and survey methodology. Abt’s research staff is experienced with prominent statistical software packages, including SPSS, SAS, and STATA, along with qualitative software such as NVIVO and Atlas. In 2011, Abt Associates was ranked among the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 development innovators. Abt has offices in Atlanta, Ga.; Rockville, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Durham, N.C.; and New York City and program offices in nearly 40 countries in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.

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