International Development Group LLC (IDG) is currently looking for the following experts to join the USAID Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth Project (EDGE):
- 1 Vacancy: Western Balkans Regional Sector Expert in Agriculture and Ag processing: fruits and vegetables
- 1 Vacancy: Western Balkans Regional Sector Expert in Light Manufacturing: Apparel and Textiles and/or Wood Processing/Furniture Production
- 1 Vacancy: Western Balkans Regional Sector Expert in Tourism: ecotourism, rural tourism and adventure tourism (as defined by UN World Tourism Organization)
Duty Location(s): Western Balkans Countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia;
Appointment Type Details: Part-time consulting contract of a continuing nature and expected to be part of a series of sequential annual contracts, all not to exceed the five-year limitation.
Supervisory Position: No
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed: No
Travel Required: The incumbent will be expected to perform work-related travel in the region
International Development Group (IDG) LLC is the prime contractor of the USAID Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth Project (EDGE), a 3 to 5-year, regional activity in Europe and Eurasia (E&E) that aims to create inclusive, sustainable economic growth and to support intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration. EDGE aims to generate synergies among the USAID projects working in economic growth and bring together stakeholders across countries to work on mutual problems, giving the USAID E&E portfolio a regional dimension. EDGE activities are designed to promote regionalization, reduce barriers to trade and support the growth of SMEs in the three identified value chains in (1) Agriculture and ag processing; (2) Light manufacturing; and (3) Tourism; and to help SME’s in those value chains adopt and use modern information and communication technology.
The Development Objective and (DO) of EDGE is Inclusive, sustainable economic growth supporting intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration. EDGE will support the following Intermediate Results (IRs) and sub IRs:
IR 1: Improved Business Enabling Environment and Reduced Barriers to Trade
Sub IR 1.1: Reduced Barriers to Cross-Border Trade and Investment
IR 3: Improved Competitiveness through Value Chains and Trade Promotion
Sub IR 3.1: Improved Business Sophistication
Sub IR 3.2: Improved Market Integration and Expanded Market Linkages
Cross-Cutting IRs: Countered Malign Influences, Corruption and Violent Extremism and Gender Integration
GRANTS UNDER CONTRACT
Local Capacity Building and Greater Intra-Regional Linkages through Grants Under Contract (GUC)
A primary objective of the EDGE GUC Program is to build the capacity of local organizations to enable them to implement EDGE activities in support of EDGE’s IRs. EDGE will use a Grants Under Contract (GUC) mechanism for this purpose, to promote capacity building and sustainability of local associations and organizations, government entities, and the private sector. The GUCs will address local sustainability and capacity building when applicable, while contributing to the achievement of the IRs. This approach supports USAID’s focus on building Self-Reliance, in which Government entities, the private sector and other stakeholders assume greater ownership of development initiatives. The grants will support a variety of partnerships that will leverage both public and private sector resources. Grants must include beneficiaries or implementers in a minimum of two countries in the region in order to build partnerships and linkages among local organizations and the private sector to work regionally. This regional approach to grant awards is intended to allow for networking, information-sharing, knowledge transfer and joint advocacy.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Under the direction of EDGE COP and IDG Senior Project Manager, the three Experts will apply highly specialized and technical research skills to the design, management, and analysis of the economic impact of programs and activities in each of the three Value Chains activities portfolio managed by EDGE. Emphasis will be on coordination of the technical implementation of Western Balkan Region Grants, but the Experts will also be expected to develop concepts for other activities that EDGE can carry out with stakeholders and to support the implementation of those activities.
The Western Balkans Regional Sector Expert will perform the following specific tasks:
- In each respective value chain liaise with relevant stakeholders from the 6 Western Balkan Countries including USAID Missions and Projects, other donors, implementing partners, Government Officials, Local NGOs, and companies, etc. and build and maintain relationships in order to identify opportunities for interventions and generate ideas for grants and activities that support the implementation of IR 1 and IR 3.
- Keep abreast and inform EDGE of developments in the Western Balkan Region that are relevant to EDGE’s mandate.
- Design and support the implementation of interventions that involve at least two EDGE countries to improve competitiveness of the targeted value chains and increase trade with EU and other markets, including compliance with EU standards and supporting SMEs to leverage opportunities from the EU trade agreements in the region. An important part of this work will entail coordinating with USAID projects working in the targeted value chains to identify joint activities that contribute to EDGE’s IRs and give the bilateral projects a regional dimension. The Sector Expert is expected to organize at least three activities/events depending on the resources available. The Sector Expert will prepare a written description of the activity/event and a budget that will be approved in advance by the Chief of Party.
- Activities may include:
- Identifying and addressing skills, knowledge, and information gaps of SMEs in the selected Value Chains.
- Improving the export capacity of business associations, chambers of commerce, other private sector support organizations’ members- SMEs, spanning the export and regional trade process.
- Supporting the digitization of SMEs in the value chains,
- Proposing interventions that strengthen business service providers management and operational capacity.
- Assisting Project stakeholders in establishing linkages to new buyers by organizing B2Bs, trade shows, buyer inbound visits, familiarization trips etc.
- Organizing and conducting regional workshops
- Under the direction of the M&E Specialist, collect information and data for EDGE’s AMELP. Prior to implementing an activity/event, the Sector Expert will work with the M&E Specialist to determine M&E data needed and the appropriate data collection forms to be utilized. The Sector Expert will ensure that the required data are collected from activities/events and submitted in timely matter. The Sector Expert may also be requested to collect other data for EDGE’s AMELP.
- Conduct a workforce assessment for assigned value chain. The Sector Expert will work with the COP to develop the methodology for the assessment and prepare data collection tools. It is envisioned that the assessment will consist of a review of relevant literature, analysis of existing workforce data, and interviews with stakeholders to identify key workforce constraints impacting the value chain. Produce a report presenting findings and recommendations for actions to address the problems identified.
- Under the guidance of the Grants Manager, facilitate constructive engagement with the Grantees, monitoring closely the implementation of the technical portion of the Grant and assisting in gathering relevant information and documentation from the Grantees.
- Provide technical assistance to Grantees as needed which could entail formal or on-the-job training and mentoring.
- Provide written input and pictures for EDGE’s newsletters (produced 3-4 times/year) which could include articles on EDGE activities in assigned value chain, relevant trends, best practices implemented by EDGE or other USAID projects, events, etc.
- Submit weekly bullets on activities undertaken during the week and planned activities for the following week.
- Provide regular written reports and support the preparation of EDGE’s Annual Work Plans, Annual Reports, Quarterly Reports, Budgets, M&E reports, success stories, etc.
- Other tasks assigned by the Chief of Party.
Each Expert will report to the Chief of Party and his/her work related to grants will be supervised by the Grants Manager.
- At least 3 activities/events developed and successfully implemented.
- A written report from each activity/event summarizing results (a template for the report will be provided).
- Data and other input for EDGE’s AMELP
- A written report with findings and recommendations arising from the workforce assessment, described above.
- Weekly bullets on the work performed.
- Written input to EDGE’s Annual Work Plans, Annual Reports, Quarterly Reports, M&E reports, success stories, etc.
- Additional oral and written reports as requested by the COP or Grants Manager.
- Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in agriculture, business, economics, or closely related field from an accredited institution.
- Expertise in at least one EDGE’s value chains: fruits and vegetables, tourism, light manufacturing (apparel textiles and wood manufacturing) with at least five years of specific experience in managing or implementation of economic growth projects in one of the selected Value Chains, preferably with a donor institution.
- Experience in designing, implementing, managing, and overseeing programmatic activities to improve the competitiveness of value chains in one or more of the following Economic Growth Program Areas: Business Enabling Environment, capacity building for business service providers, Trade, Access to Finance, and/or Regional Value Chains/Competitiveness; including experience working with or for international development organizations in a context relevant to the promotion of rapid, sustained and broad-based economic growth in developing and transition countries.
- Significant experience in and knowledge of the economic growth landscape in the respective Value Chain in the Western Balkans region, and key institutions and organizations relevant to economic growth issues in the region.
- Demonstrated track record of successful design and implementation of interventions to improve competitiveness of the targeted value chain and increase trade with EU and other markets, including compliance with EU standards and supporting SMEs to leverage opportunities from the EU trade agreements in the region.
- Demonstrated ability to manage relationships with local partner organizations that achieve the desired results.
- Experience in working collaboratively and effectively with local and regional staff, USAID and other donors, host government counterparts, and other relevant stakeholders on project implementation.
- Demonstrated ability to prepare the deliverables associated with this contract, including Annual Work Plans, Annual Reports, Budgets, and reporting to USAID on results.
- Knowledge of EU accession processes desirable.
- Professional-level English (both written and oral) and at least one other official language of the region.
How to Apply:
Please submit the required documents listed below to the following email address: email@example.com
- Cover Letter
- University Diploma
- List of 3 References
NOTE: Due to the high volume of applications received, we will only contact applicants who are being considered. Thank you for your understanding.