Local Governance & Civic Engagement Advisor - USAID Zambia District Governance Strengthening

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 16 October 2019

Job Description


Abt Associates seeks a dynamic Local Governance and Civic Engagement Advisor for the anticipated five-year USAID Zambia District Governance Strengthening (DGS) program. This program aims to help build up a local system of governance capable of responsive service delivery to drive USAID results and advance Zambian self-reliance. This system will maximize the impact of local partners, build the capabilities of service providers, enhance coordination across sectors, and improve targeted citizen oversight of government performance. This program seeks to attain the following objectives:

Objective 1: Citizen-responsive governance structures acquire skills to effectively assess service-delivery needs and performance, and constructively engage with government.
Objective 2: The sub-national governance system develops the capacity to respond to citizen needs and improve service delivery outcomes.
Objective 3: Zambia’s commitment to open government increases, advancing self-reliance.

The position will be based in Lusaka and Zambian applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Position is contingent upon contract award to Abt Associates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Build capacity of citizens and civil society organizations to collaborate with local governments to improve service delivery and management in health, education, nutrition and natural resources management, and provide technical assistance and training to ensure they can plan an active role in monitoring and oversight of local government
  • Interact regularly with local authorities, civil society leaders, media organizations, chiefs, faith-based groups, academics and business leaders
  • Provide technical leadership on citizen engagement in local decision-making processes and citizen monitoring and oversight mechanisms
  • Lead the development of program strategies, planning and implementation of civic engagement activities across all project components
  • Support inclusive citizen and civil society organization engagement with local government through existing mechanisms for oversight and participation in governmental decision-making
  • Guide and ensure the highest quality of project monitoring, evaluation, reporting and communications, in line with USAID’s rules, regulations and requirements
  • Document implementation successes, challenges, and lessons learned and share them with Abt and USAID
  • Provide mentoring and professional development support to project staff, with emphasis on building capacity of national staff
  • Deliver technical presentations on program achievements to audiences, including implementing partners, civil society organizations, government officials, USAID, and other relevant organizations

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Master’s degree in a related field, such as international development, political science, public administration, or public policy and 8 to 10 years of relevant experience; or Bachelor’s degree in relevant field plus 8 to 10 years of relevant professional experience
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in the civil society and governance development field, preferably in Zambia or Southern Africa
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience in strengthening citizen participation at the local level, preferably in Zambia or Southern Africa
  • Successful track record in advising local governments and civil society on citizen engagement and participation, including methodologies for oversight of local government
  • Ability to establish strong working relationships with civil society, local government officials, civic leaders, media, private sector representatives, and international donors
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, oral and written communications skills, with keen attention to interpersonal skills and effective communication
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively with diverse teams and building partnerships
  • Demonstrated commitment to gender integration and social inclusion
  • Familiarity with USAID-funded projects

Minimum Qualifications

  • (8+) years of experience and a master degree OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

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. www.abtassociates.com

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