Political Economy Analysis Expert
Background: The Biodiversity Results and Integrated Development Gains Enhanced (BRIDGE) project works closely with USAID’s Forestry and Biodiversity Office in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3/FAB) to support the implementation of the Agency’s Biodiversity Policy. The Policy helps shape USAID’s biodiversity conservation efforts, mandating increased rigor in programming and encouraging the integration of biodiversity conservation with other development objectives. The BRIDGE project works with the FAB office, as well as other Washington-based and in-country mission staff, to advance the second goal of the Policy, specifically in providing technical leadership and guidance in programming the integration of biodiversity conservation with other development sectors.
Purpose: USAID’s Applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA) Field Guide is one of the tools that can generate evidence to strengthen cross-sectoral analysis of biodiversity conservation problems and identify entry points for integrated programming. USAID’s Applied PEA Framework encourages a deeper look at the political processes that influence the incentives, behaviors, rules, and norms and foundational factors that shape resource management decisions. In the biodiversity sector, the PEA process can improve thinking and working politically (TWP) by promoting a deeper understanding of the political context that drive threats to biodiversity and facilitate or constrain biodiversity conservation strategies and programming. It can also refine a theory of change by testing particular assumptions and examining specific aspects of causal relationships through a political lens. A better understanding of these dynamics can help practitioners unpack the “political will” box and identify ways to address the political constraints, either through design, adaptive management, or integration with other sectors.
The BRIDGE project is therefore interested in immediately hiring a PEA expert to provide technical assistance to USAID missions that have applied PEA, or would like to apply PEA, to biodiversity programming. The PEA expert will also be required to collaborate with USAID Washington to document how PEA can improve TWP politically in the USAID biodiversity sector.
Position Description: The PEA expert will be a member of BRIDGE’s core team based in Washington DC. Reporting to the BRIDGE DCOP, the selected candidate would be responsible for the following.
- Conducting targeted follow-on interviews with USAID staff that have applied biodiversity sector PEAs to understand how PEAs have been used to advance TWP and adaptive programming in the biodiversity sector.
- Collaborating with open standards for the practice of conservationexperts to develop concrete strategies for using PEA findings to help inform or adjust programming. Documenting where and how political economy knowledge can support the process of developing results chain based theories of change, and how this knowledge supports adaptive management. Developing case examples (from missions that have applied biodiversity sector PEAs) to illustrate where and how PEA has supported biodiversity programming through the open standards process.
- Working with missions, the USAID Democracy, Rights and Governance (DRG) Center and FAB to lead biodiversity sector focused PEAs. Providing support to biodiversity sector PEAs in 3-4 USAID missions and providing follow up support to apply the PEA findings at different stages of the program cycle, including strategy development, project/activity design, and/or implementation. The goal is to engage in PEA not as a theoretical exercise, but as part of a broader effort to advance TWP and adaptive programming within USAID programs (each PEA will require a specific SOW with tasks and deliverables customized to the activity).
- Collaborating with the DRG Office to review, adapt and document DRG best practices for the biodiversity sector such as the development of solicitations that invite context-driven adaptive programming and tools for integrating PEA into implementation. This task will support the development of guidance for the biodiversity sector on the current thinking around how different mechanisms (and mechanism management tools e.g. workplans, annual/semi-annual reports, MEL plans) can be used to allow flexibility and adaptive management for the incorporation of political economy findings.
- Developing training material on the use of PEA to improve TWP in the biodiversity sector.
- Other activities as identified.
Location: The advertised position will be based in Washington DC, working out of the BRIDGE offices. Interested candidates must also be willing and available to travel for overseas assignments, for periods up to 3 weeks in length. The estimated ratio between DC-based work and overseas travel is approximately 4:1.
Hiring Status/Duration of assignment: The position will be full-time with benefits. Duration of assignment is one year from hire date, with the possibility of extension(s) depending upon client demand and availability of funds.
- A graduate degree in social sciences, international development, or related field with demonstrated competence in PEA or similar assessment frameworks is required.
- Significant knowledge and experience with the USAID institutional setting and program cycle.
- Demonstrable experience leading PEA teams and applying PEA as part of the design and implementation of international development programming.
- Experience with USAID’s applied PEA framework and how it has been used to inform more effective, adaptive and integrated programmingand efforts to promote improvements in TWP politically in developing countries.
- At least ten years of experience working in development assistance programming with USAID and other donors as a staff member, implementing partner, or consultant preferred.
- Excellent spoken and written English language skills.
- Must be authorized to work in the United States.