Engagement Manager, Market Systems and Partnerships

  • Senior-level, Long-term consulting assignment
  • Posted on 27 October 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 13 November 2020
  • Current

Job Description

Position Title:

Engagement Manager

Contract Name:

Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP)

Contract No:


Period of Performance:

November 2020 – June 2025 (includes 2-year option)

Place of Performance:

Washington, DC / currently under remote work

Maximum Level of Effort (LOE)


Project Description: The purpose of the Feed the Future Market Systems & Partnerships (MSP) Activity is to provide USAID Missions, Bureaus, and Independent Offices (MBIOs) and their international and local implementing partners with the evidence, capacity, tools, technical assistance, and/or services required to design, implement, monitor, and/or evaluate market systems development (MSD) and private sector engagement (PSE) activities that lead to inclusive and resilient agricultural-led economic growth, improved food security and nutrition, and/or increased incomes for the poor. The MSP project is a DC-based contract designed to support USAID in its efforts to bring about a major cultural transformation by integrating PSE across all activities, while at the same time deepening MSD and facilitative approaches across the FTF program cycle. MSP will advance learning and good practice in PSE and MSD, ultimately resulting improving the effectiveness of Feed the Future, USAID, and other USG programs to bring about sustained development outcomes at scale.

While the specific buy-in activities will be demand-driven, and can range in complexity, they could include facilitating private sector partnerships such as helping USAID to establish new blended finance mechanisms or develop partnerships that create shared value from the alignment of core business objectives and development goals; supporting USAID in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of market systems and private sector engagement activities; advancing learning on private sector engagement and market systems development through both developing theoretical frameworks and practical implementation tools; and, building capacity of USAID and implementers to design, implement, monitor, evaluate, and learn from market systems and private sector engagement activities.

Overview of the Employee’s Tasks and Responsibilities: The Engagement Manager will report to the MSP Senior PSE Advisor and is responsible for overseeing the successful implementation of designated MSP buy-ins. She or he will support the MSP Chief of Party and Senior Private Sector Engagement Advisor to provide the oversight needed to ensure technical excellence and operational efficiency on Field Support buy-ins in both PSE and MSD. Engagement Managers will often play both the manager and technical advisor role on a buy-in activity.


  • Serve as designated manager for assigned buy-ins;
  • Participate in consultations for potential new buy-ins; support their advancement by drafting buy-in scopes of work (SOWs), arranging and participating in technical and management discussions with the client; and preparing other documentation for getting buy-in approvals and launching activities;
  • In collaboration with the Senior PSE Advisor, identify learning opportunities from the buy-in aligned with the MSP Learning Agenda and incorporate them into the buy-in SOW;
  • Serve as the key point of contact for MSP with the USAID Activity Manager or other client buy-in point of contact and maintain regular communication, including providing routine updates on technical progress and funding levels of the buy-ins.
  • Develop SOWs for STTA, independent consultants, and subcontractors/sub-awardees;
  • Serve as the technical lead for all recruitment of STTA and independent consultants; for procurements and grants; and for buy-in implementation, including core partner selection through Expressions of Interest
  • Manage the performance of STTAs, consultants, and sub-awardees, including reviewing and approving timecards, invoices, and technical deliverables.
  • Undertake field visits and other travel* as needed to secure buy-in approvals and provide technical and managerial oversight during implementation, working directly with the USAID Activity Manager and buy-in consultants and subcontractors;
  • In collaboration with the MSP grants team, develop program statements for technical partnership solicitations and other grant requirements, under MSP’s Grants Under Contract Fund.
  • Participate on the selection committees for MSP partnership selection and awards as needed.
  • Contribute to development of grant agreements for partnerships, including establishing milestone payment and verification plans; facilitate partnership co-creation processes to develop grant agreements, as appropriate.
  • Work closely with the operations team to monitor funding levels for assigned buy-in activities. Maintain updated partner profiles to feed into the MSP CRM system or for other reporting purposes as requested by USAID, the Senior PSE Advisor, or Chief of Party.
  • Provide oversight of partnership implementation, including verifying completion of milestones.
  • Provide quality assurance on all technical deliverables of the assigned buy-ins by editing, reviewing, and checking compliance of reports and other deliverables submitted by subcontractors and consultants;
  • Support subcontractors/consultants with implementation of buy-ins, including raising awareness of issues that need additional support from others in the MSP team.
  • As applicable, identify additional niche technical advisory support required, develop SOWs, and leverage MSP’s network to source qualified candidates.
  • Provide a brief, weekly update to the Senior PSE Advisor either in writing or during weekly check-in.
  • Alert supervisor to any risks and/or negative feedback from the client in real-time.
  • Upload all client meetings notes and relevant documents to the MSP SharePoint site.
  • Manage buy-in budget and monitor monthly spending.
  • Provide technical assistance to client as needed in alongside core MSP team, as appropriate.
  • Support data collection and quality assurance for MEL and ensure that indicators for each activity are rolled into the project-level indicators, in accordance with the MSP MEL plan;
  • Ensure learning capture from each major intervention.
  • Provide a summary of learnings to be included in regular RFS reporting, as well as in response to on-demand update requests from USAID and other stakeholders.

Place of Performance:

The MSP Team is currently working remotely. Once it is deemed appropriate and safe, the MSP Team will work from an office location based in Washington, DC. The Engagement Manager will be required to work from the Washington, DC office.

International Travel:

Approved international travel under COVID-19 will only be issued for mission-essential activities. So long as the global health pandemic is not yet under control, the Engagement Manager can expect to travel internationally once or twice during the first 12-months of employment. If/when COVID-19 is under better control and it is safer to fly, the Engagement Manager can expect to travel up to 30-50% of the time.*

Required Qualifications:
  • Master’s degree and 8-10 years’ experience or Bachelor’s degree and 11-15 years’ experience in relevant field;
  • Exceptional project and client management and budget skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in client relations management and in managing activities to achieve contract specific objectives.
  • Demonstrated experience designing and managing private sector engagement strategies to facilitate investment for development impact; and/or experience co-creating and implementing partnerships with the private sector; and/or leading market systems development projects.
  • Strong project management, organizational and interpersonal skills, with an ability to multi-task across different areas for meeting established deadlines and within accepted quality standards;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, and experience working with diverse stakeholders, such as host country governments, national level ministries, business associations, civil society organizations, and NGOs;
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and as a part of a complex team;
  • Ability to prioritize effectively in an environment where prudent judgement in essential.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin

*During the global COVID-19 pandemic, all travel will follow DAI’s COVID-19 travel policies and principles.

About the Organization

DAI is an international development companywith corporate offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Nigeria, and project operations worldwide. We tackle fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. Named one of the world’s top 40 international development innovators, DAI has delivered transformational development results in more than 150 countries for clients including development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and national governments.

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