About the Organization
Solicitation for U.S. Personal Services Contractor (PSC)
Senior Economic Growth Specialist
USAID/Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. SOLICITATION NUMBER.: 72066920R00004
2. ISSUANCE DATE: June 11, 2020
3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS: July 10, 2020 5:30pm
4. POINT OF CONTACT: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
5. POSITION TITLE: Senior Economic Growth Specialist
6. MARKET VALUE: GS-15 ($109,366 -$142,180) GS-15. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value based upon the candidate’s past salary, and educational background, work history, and qualifications. This position is taxable; the incumbent will be required to pay U.S. Taxes. NOTE: Experience and education which exceed the requirements set forth in the position description but which are not directly related to or required in the performance of expected duties WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED AS JUSTIFICATION FOR UPGRADING THE POSITION OR DESIGNATED SALARY AS SET BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.
7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Employment shall be through a USAID personal services contract for an initial period of twelve (12) months with an option to extend the contract in six (6) month increments for up to an additional 12 months. This personal services contract is subject to the availability of funds.
8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Monrovia, Liberia
9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: United States (US) citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents (non-U.S. citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residency).
10. SECURITY CLEARANCE REQUIRED: Secret (or the ability secure a Secret security clearance)
11. STATEMENT OF DUTIES
USAID/Liberia’s Office of Economic Growth (OEG) implements a wide range of development assistance activities. The OEG consists of a staff of 16 including 6 FSOs, 2 USPSC and 8 FSNs. The complex portfolio of economic policy, finance, private sector engagement, agriculture, forestry and infrastructure support is valued at $300 million. The current portfolio is also expanding as significant new activities are coming online in agriculture, forestry, ecotourism, energy and in the private sector engagement, representing new multi-year investments of over $50 million. The OEG implements the Power Africa Initiative and is a Feed the Future (FtF) aligned country. Additionally, the OEG provides expert engineering support to offices across the mission, WASH expertise in collaboration with the Health Office and support for mission disaster relief and response.
The Senior Economic Growth (EG) Specialist converses and negotiates with the highest levels of Liberia's government and industry, on topics related to monetary and fiscal policy, banking, money supply, national budget, unemployment, and other related fields of macro-economic policy. EG Specialist provides guidance, strategic direction, day-to-day management, and quality assurance for the most diverse portfolio of development activities at the Mission. S/he works across technical sectors, with the Embassy interagency and with public, private and civil society institutions to foster an environment that stimulates and sustains equitable economic growth. This is a challenging and exciting position as it involves the rebuilding of a nation post-conflict and post-Ebola, and is now working to overcome a pandemic. It affords the incumbent access to the highest echelons in the Government of Liberia (GOL) and an opportunity to make an unprecedented impact in one of the largest USAID programs in sub-Saharan Africa. The Senior EG Specialist's greatest challenges will be to understand economic drivers and effectively use USG assistance to further monetary and fiscal policy, influence reforms that attract private sector investment, leverage greater private sector participation for equitable development, attract resources to the Mission to promote food security, facilitate non-USG donor coordination, and build local capacity. The opportunity to deepen the Agency’s understanding of post-conflict economic development abounds and the Senior EG Specialist will be at the epicenter of this process. The Senior EG Specialist is expected to represent the Mission in programmatic and protocol discussions with senior representatives within the GOL, the Embassy interagency, other multilateral and bilateral organizations, and all private local and international implementing partners. The Senior EG Specialist reports directly to the Deputy Mission Director.
The Senior EG Specialist is responsible for creating and nurturing a team ethos that is proactive, high-performing and committed to achieving the Mission’s goals regardless of the obstacles or conflicting demands. Consequently, the Senior EG Specialist must be able and willing to devote time to mentor the EG office staff, especially FSNs.
The Senior EG Specialist must identify barriers to program implementation and success and develop solutions to maximize program impact. S/he must also track development of and analyze political, media and social issues crucial for the successful implementation of economic growth programs. To successfully achieve this requires working closely across Mission teams (Education, Health, Democracy, Rights & Governance and Program) and with the Embassy interagency. To this end, the Senior EG Specialist is a member of the Mission Management Team. This Team is one of several forums that enable Office Directors to think and work across sectors in order to maximize USG assistance to Liberia.
B. MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
1. The Senior EG Specialist is responsible for providing senior-level technical expertise, practical knowledge, and experienced leadership to the Mission’s Office of Economic Growth (OEG). Working in close collaboration with the Mission Front Office and the other Technical Office Directors, s/he is responsible for oversight of the Policy and Reform, Private Sector, Environmental and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Infrastructure, and Power Africa portfolios.
2. The Senior EG Specialist is responsible for engaging appropriate GOL entities and senior GOL officials in high-level policy discussions on issues related to USAID’s economic growth portfolio. The Senior EG Specialist will assess potential engagement opportunities with the GOL and then design and implement USAID’s responsive interventions.
3. The Senior EG Specialist will engage appropriate Liberian and international private sector actors to assess factors limiting private sector expansion, promote financial inclusion, identify potential engagement opportunities, and popularize USAID interventions.
4. The Senior EG Specialist will keep USAID management and staff abreast of economic trends and key economic events in Liberia and the West Africa region, while demonstrating technical expertise, practical knowledge, and broad experience in program management, acquisition and assistance planning, program design, and monitoring and evaluation.
5. The Senior EG Specialist will provide strategic guidance and oversight for the Mission’s OEG programs, with a specific focus on developing senior-level policy dialogue programs which support key USG-GOL foreign policy objectives, and new private sector partnerships.
6. The Senior EG Specialist will serve as a key contributor in OEG; working closely with USAID’s technical office teams, the Mission Front Office, and the Embassy interagency. As assigned, the Senior EG Specialist will serve as the OEG technical lead for economic growth activities in various stages of the project design cycle, the creation of new Development Objective Agreements, the completion of amendments to existing activities, and the constant alignment of the portfolio with the Mission’s Country Development and Cooperation Strategy. S/he will also provide guidance to the OEG Team on all aspects of monitoring, performance measurement, and evaluation.
7. The Senior EG Specialist will monitor the economic growth implementing partners’ performance and verify that it conforms to the technical requirements and quality standards agreed to in the terms and conditions of the relevant awards.
8. The Senior EG Specialist must be able to think and operate strategically and programmatically, analyzing complex situations in order to assist in the development of OEG activities and providing a full range of consultative, advisory, information-gathering, analytical, and evaluative technical services of broad scope and complexity.
9. Finally, the Senior EG Specialist will frequently coordinate activities, messaging, and implementation approaches with external parties, including representatives of the international donor community (e.g. European Union), international financing organizations (e.g. the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, African Development Bank, etc.), and a variety of international organizations (e.g. the agencies and organizations of the United Nations).
These tasks will be carried out in the following areas and approximate proportions.
a. Policy & Program Development (30%)
On a continual basis, the incumbent critically reviews USG and other donor activities to ensure maximum coordination and leverage for USG policy initiatives. Based on a thorough understanding and analysis of economic drivers, the incumbent recommends new and/or changes to existing programs and activities, including partnerships with the private sector. S/he works closely with the Office of Acquisition and Assistance and leads or overviews Design Teams for the development of scopes of work (SOW) and/or program descriptions for new EG activities, project assessments, evaluations and other related efforts. S/he assures quality control and timely preparation of financial obligating documents and authorizations for signature by responsible superiors.
b. Program Management and Oversight (50%)
S/he reviews, critiques, and approves annual work plans, monitors progress towards implementation of annual work plans, reviews financial documentation for compliance with program performance, and ensures delivery of products and services. The incumbent will ensure the EG team maintains accurate records of accrued expenditures for program management purposes and provides this data to the Office Financial Management (OFM) staff on a regular basis. Consistent with the overall Mission strategy, s/he coordinates EG programs with other USG agencies, non-USG donors, the Liberian private sector, and non-governmental organizations (NGO) in an effort to maximize aid effectiveness. S/he also identifies barriers to program implementation and success, and develops solutions to maximize program impact.
c. Program Evaluation and Reporting (20%)
The incumbent will be responsible for managing the preparation of the EG team Operational Plan, semi-annual portfolio reviews, Feed the Future reporting, Power Africa Initiative reports, and other standard and ad hoc reports as needed. S/he monitors accomplishments against grantees and contractors’ annual work plans and performance measurement indicator targets and designs and procures both internal and external program evaluations, as required.
The Senior EG Specialist will report to the Deputy Mission Director or their designee. The Senior EG Specialist may periodically be called upon to serve as Acting in senior-level positions during gaps in the position assignment process.
C. SUPERVISION/OVERSIGHT OVER OTHERS
The Senior EG Specialist will provide general work guidance and oversight to all OEG staff, and could be required to complete performance ratings for CCNs. Direct Hires will report to the Deputy Office Director who will report to the Deputy Mission Director. This could change at the discretion, and with the approval of, the USAID Mission Director.
12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands.
II. QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
A. EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED FOR THE POSITION
Candidates must have (at a minimum) a Master’s degree in economics, economic development, finance, business or public administration, agricultural economics or agricultural science, or a related field. Additional work experience may be considered in lieu thereof. An MBA, PhD, or related degree is desirable.
Candidates must possess seven to ten years of relevant overseas experience, with the U.S. Government or other large international organizations. USAID experience is highly preferred, as is previous experience in West Africa or Liberia.
Candidates must have strong analytical skills with demonstrated experience managing complicated portfolios and establishing relationships with stakeholders, particularly government and the donor community. Experience in West Africa or Liberia is preferred.
Candidates must have extensive knowledge of economic theory and practice.
Candidates must possess sound and independent judgment with the skills to strategize, develop, and implement activities in a challenging operational environment. A practical knowledge of designing USAID programs and activities is required. Knowledge of U.S. Government's policies and procedures for technical program monitoring and management is preferred.
Candidates must possess excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to work well on a team, strong leadership skills, and the capacity to work independently with minimal supervision. Past supervisory experience is required.
Candidates must have the ability to be flexible and work in a fast-paced and time sensitive environment. Demonstrated ability to work in diverse teams with proven organizational administrative skills is a must.
Candidates must have excellent English communication skills, both orally and in writing, and must have the ability to present analysis and recommendations in clear written and oral formats.
Candidates must be a U.S. citizen and possess a secret security clearance with the U.S. Government (or the ability to obtain one). Periodic travel within Liberia and the region may be required.
B. ADDITIONAL FACTORS
USAID Liberia will consider issues such as conflict of interest, nepotism, and budget implications in determining successful candidacy. When equally qualified, American Family Members (American Family Members are defined as adult dependents of U.S. Government employees) will be given first preference.
Relevant Work Experience
Demonstrated knowledge, skills and abilities in Economic Growth Sector
Communication, Interpersonal, Leadership, Team Building Skills
III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
After initial screening of applications, qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Management will consider nepotism/conflict of interest, budget, and visa status in determining successful candidacy.
IV. SUBMITTING AN OFFER
1. Eligible offerors are required to complete and submit the offer form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals,” available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.
2. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted to the Point of Contact in Section I.
3. Offeror submissions must clearly reference the Solicitation number on all offeror submitted documents.
V. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS PRIOR TO AWARD
The CO will provide instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms after an offeror is selected for the contract award:
VI. BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a USPSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:
(a) Employer's FICA Contribution
(b) Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
(c) Pay Comparability Adjustment
(d) Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)
(e) Eligibility for Worker's Compensation
(f) Annual and Sick Leave
Section numbers refer to rules from the Department of State Standardized Regulations
(Government Civilians Foreign Areas), available at https://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=282&menu_id=101
− Temporary Lodging Allowance (Section 120)
− Living quarters allowance (Section 130) or government furnished housing.
− Post Allowance (Section 220)
− Supplemental Post Allowance (Section 230)
− Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)
− Education allowance (Section 270)
− Educational Travel (Section 280)
− Post differential (Chapter 500)
− Payments during Evacuation/authorized Departure (Section 600)
USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.
VIII. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs
USAID regulations and policies governing USPSC awards are available at these sources:
1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix D, “Direct USAID Contracts with a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf.
2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms.
3. Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins
(AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at
4. Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635. See https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: The U.S. Mission provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation.