Development Program Specialist

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 27 July 2020

Job Description


The USAID Development Program Specialist is posted in the Environment Office (EO), USAID/Philippines. The Specialist leads the program and budget operations within EO and coordinates with other USAID/Philippines offices and stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of portfolio requirements for the USAID bilateral energy, environment and climate change programs in the Philippines as well as for the environment programs that the Specialist also manages, supports or backstops EO activities in the Pacific Islands.

The Specialist performs five basic functions: 1) leads the preparation of program and budget specific documents for program implementation including the EO procurement plan and formulation of budgets, 2) monitors, analyzes and reports on EO program compliance with targets under USAID initiatives such as USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance, Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), other USAID Initiatives like Private Sector Engagement, and other Presidential initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS); 3) leads EO response to Washington, Program Office and U. S. Embassy taskers and other reporting requirements, 4) advises the EO Office Director and EO technical staff on budget and program matters, 5) liaises with USAID/Washington on program and budget issues. S/he serves as the EO primary point of contact on matters relating to program operations within EO. Travel within the Philippines is required on a limited basis.

In this role, the Specialist is required to coordinate multiple and competing EO priorities and should be able to research, analyze and report on a variety of program and budget issues. S/he is expected to use a refined level of professional judgment when asked to provide guidance or approval, and is expected to provide guidance on, and compliance with Automated Directives System (ADS) rules. In addition, s/he must be familiar with a broad range of technical issues including biodiversity conservation, water use and access, forestry, the energy sector, climate change, and will be called upon to provide technical input into EO program related documents. The Specialist must exercise superior judgment of a skilled, highly capable, and experienced operations specialist.

Major duties and responsibilities include:

A. Portfolio Budget, Procurement Planning and Financial Management (50%) – Portfolio budgeting, financial management, budget management and reporting, procurement planning, earmark monitoring and reporting, activity budgeting and management.

B. Portfolio Operations and Management (30%) – Bilateral agreement, inter-office coordination on procurements/awards, portfolio and activity compliance, program and activity audits, procurement requisitions through GLAAS (Global Acquisition and Assistance System), other administration and management.

C. Other Reporting and Taskers (20%) – Program reports, information requests and taskers, activity trackers.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP: The Specialist works under the day-to-day supervision of the Environment Office Deputy Director. Assignments are made orally and in writing and the Specialist exercises independence in most phases of the assignment. Supervision of other staff is not contemplated. The Specialist does provide work guidance to the EO team leaders and members, verifies work submitted for accuracy, and clears documents for administrative action.


a. Education – Completion of Bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields: Business Administration, Social Science, Natural Science or Environmental Science. Note: Additional education may NOT be substituted for Experience.

b. Prior Work Experience – Minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible work experience in accounting, financial analyses and, budget planning, justification and execution, and project design and management, including , program planning, program/project budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, or closely related work is required. At least two (2) years of this experience should have been in the field of development assistance in energy, environment and climate change. Note: Additional experience may NOT be substituted for Education.

c. Language Proficiency / Communication Skills – Must have excellent communication skills in English and Tagalog, both in oral and written forms. With this level of communication skills, the Specialist is expected to: prepare regular and ad hoc reports, project documentation, and briefing papers; develop and deliver professional quality reports and presentations.

d. Job Knowledge – Thorough knowledge and understanding of budget and accounting principles, theories, practices, and terminology, and thorough knowledge, or the ability to quickly gain such knowledge, of United States Government (U.S.G.) appropriation, allotment, accounting, and other budgeting procedures used in maintaining, reconciling, balancing, and closing accounts; USAID accounting policies, regulations, and procedures; disbursements, reimbursements; and, the principles and practices of cost accrual. A good understanding or ability to quickly gain understanding and knowledge of the USAID administrative and functional structure; USAID goals for the region; and, the USAID regional program portfolio; an understanding of the political and economic situation in region, and constraints to development; areas of USAID manageable interest/involvement; and, an awareness of key donor organizations, private organizations, non-government organizations, and other workings in the country is highly desired. The Specialist must have demonstrated knowledge of development in the Philippines, with demonstrated experience in the energy, environment and climate change sector.

e. Skills and Abilities – The Specialist must have the ability to plan and analyze program budgets, and have excellent written and oral communication skills; must be able to collect and analyze complex data and prepare precise, accurate, and complete reports; must be able to analyze accounting records and determine the need for various types of entries and adjustments; to record, reconcile, and balance accounts; and, to relate the purpose and objectives of environment, energy, and climate change programs/projects to their costs and fiscal requirements. The Specialist must be able to relate funds management to USAID/Philippines and regional needs; and, to understand changes in strategic program priorities and deadlines, their implications for budget management, and to recommend appropriate adjustments to USAID/Philippines financial plans. S/He must have problem-solving skills and the ability to recommend solutions in complicated situations, taking into consideration myriad factors and variables, such as late budget appropriations and delayed availability of funds, uncertain funding levels, and unexpected budget reductions. The Specialist must be knowledgeable in MS Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and other data management skills, such as familiarity with other database management applications.


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