Project Support Specialist - USAID Learning Activity

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 9 October 2019

Job Description

  • Monitor implementing partner (IP) performance, helping to ensure the quality and accuracy of IP data and reporting, IP compliance with U.S. Government policies and regulations, and progress toward results. Meet USAID/Uganda reporting requirements.
  • Monitor IP expenditures to ensure that expenditures are reasonable and consistent with activity progress. Make recommendations with regard to administrative approval of expenditures.
  • Knowledge gathering: external evidence synthesis, literature reviews, overall evidence tracking, outcome and output data culls from USAID reporting systems and directly from project IPs as needed, relevant data and evidence gathering from other USAID projects and activities with potential impact on respective assigned project.
  • Knowledge management: Theory of Change tracking, assumption monitoring, internal PMT updates on project progress; support Theory of Change refinement.
  • Knowledge dissemination: internal and external presentations on relevant knowledge for project management and collaboration. Prepare briefing papers, success stories and other outreach documents.
  • Project support advisory services: continuous advisory services support related to USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) guidance on project management, overall program cycle, and specific monitoring, evaluation, and learning requirements for effective project management.
  • Collaboration and engagement: ideation, supported design, and facilitation of project collaboration activities, including internal USAID collaboration and external collaboration with IPs or other partners; stakeholder mapping and analysis; relationship building with external project partners as needed.
  • Project coordination support: activity site visits, regular meetings with PMT leadership, regular meetings with PMT. Plan for USAID/Uganda events and field trips.

Qualification:

  • Bachelor’s in Development Studies or another relevant field.
  • Experience working closely with or directly on USAID, USG, or other similar donor projects.
  • Understanding of USAID and development programming. Understanding of development partner and host country government development landscape, key stakeholders, and potential USAID partners within respective project focus areas.
  • Knowledge of USAID project management processes and overall program cycle, including monitoring, evaluation, and learning practices and policy, extensive knowledge of USAID ADS 201.
  • Strong analytical skills and a deep attention to details.
  • Clear communication skills in both written and oral forms. Accuracy and fluency in written and spoken English, additional fluency in any of Uganda’s local languages preferred.
  • Ability to work independently and excellent time management. Ingenuity, ability to generate ideas for a variety of activities, propose new courses of action, suggest appropriate, mitigated risks.
  • Relationship building skillset, ability to understand and respond to project management needs and develop trust.
  • Synthesis, ability to gather information from disparate sources and connect the dots to form a coherent picture of project progress and external circumstances, ability to tell a compelling story with evidence.
  • Proactive, ability to take on new tasks with little direction, chart a course of action, advise clients, colleagues, and supervisors on possible opportunities and challenges.
  • Collaborative, ability to work with colleagues and partners across sectors and outside traditional functional expertise in order to catalyze activity toward shared objectives.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite.

About the Organization

QED is a global consulting firm with more than 20 years of experience providing data-driven and insightful solutions in close to 100 countries. We are passionate about transforming lives through knowledge-based solutions. Leveraging deep expertise in monitoring, evaluation, global health, and learning, we help our clients collect, analyze, visualize, and ultimately use data in more effective ways. Our work maximizes results through the use of cutting-edge technologies and innovation, organizational development, and evidence-based decision-making.

Project Background

The purpose of the USAID Learning Activity (ULA) is to further strengthen USAID/Uganda performance and improve the performance of its implementing partners, with a focus on collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA), in order to enhance the impact and sustainability of USAID-supported contributions to Uganda’s development. The ULA will achieve this through three objectives:

  • Collaboration: Strengthened collaboration, both internally and with external stakeholders, enables USAID to better leverage expertise, learning and resources; and deepens local ownership.
  • Learning: Systematic learning, through applied research, monitoring and evaluation, informs and improves the relevance, quality and cost- effectiveness of programs and operations
  • Performing: Adaptive management of program implementation and meta-level interventions to improve the quality of USAID program outcomes.

Position Background

We envision that with the support of project management specialists for each of the five USAID/Uganda projects respective project management teams (PMTs) will be empowered to proactively integrate USAID learning cycle processes into a cohesive project management approach which leads toward collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA) for improved development results. Further, the project management specialists will support USAID/Uganda in monitoring the work of implementing partners.

We anticipate hiring five project management specialists, one assigned to each of the five USAID projects:

  • Resilience Project: health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, food security, conflict mitigation, climate change adaptation, environmental protection, and agriculture activities.
  • Demographics Project: health, family planning, education, youth, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and economic productivity activities.
  • Market Systems Project: agriculture, education, and health market systems activities.
  • Health Systems Project: health system activities.
  • Governance Systems Project: democracy, human rights, and governance activities.

Each project management specialist will be responsible for overall support to their respective assigned project(s). S/he must support the USAID project management team and project managers/coordinators to facilitate cohesive project management through the use of collaboration, learning, and adaptation. S/he must support the USAID PMT to track project progress toward its project purpose. S/he must support USAID PMT informed decision making with appropriate knowledge collection and dissemination within the project. S/he will track the overall project theory of change over the life of the project, monitor assumptions, and advise the PMT on opportunities and challenges related to USAID’s achievement of key project outcomes. S/he will facilitate internal and external collaboration with the project and other USAID projects, as well as with external project partners and stakeholders. S/he will provide overall project support and advisory services which enable USAID PMTs to manage the project effectively and cohesively, catalyzing continuous improvement, and galvanizing demonstrated project impact. S/he will work collaboratively within a team of project management specialists on the USAID Learning Activity, led by a Senior Project Support Manager.

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