Basic Function of Position:
The Specialist provides high-quality technical expertise and guidance to USG programs related to Power Africa and all its stakeholders. He/she ensures operational excellence, efficiency and expediency in moving forward Power Africa’s objectives, and is therefore, an expert in both the outward engagement of stakeholders and on the internal processes for ensuring implementation of USG programs. The Specialist serves as an integral member of the larger Energy Office in performing the following principal responsibilities:
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
A. Program Management and Monitoring – 40%
●Serves as COR/AOR and/or as Activity Manager of major Power Africa implementation mechanisms in the energy sector. This includes, but is not limited to, the Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA), a 5yr $47 million cooperative agreement.
●As such, leads the effective management of contracts, cooperative agreements, and/or grants, performing the full range of COR/AOR responsibilities as delegated, to include: technical direction in accordance with the instrument’s scope and Power Africa’s priorities; monitoring, evaluation and reporting of results and of implementing partners’ performance; coordination with Posts where program activities take place, to include the host governments; and compliance with USG and USAID regulations and policies.
●Maintains up-to-date records of the financial status and performance of contracts, cooperative agreements, grants and inter-agency agreements, and reports this information upon request to Power Africa, other USAID missions and offices, and USAID/Washington.
●Provides strategic direction to contractors and grantees to ensure their activities effectively contribute to Power Africa’s off-grid connections objectives and adjust to shifting implementation priorities and realities.
●Initiates and executes formal actions to either modify existing programs as necessary to adjust to shifting implementation priorities or realities, or to create new programs/activities that will effectively contribute to Power Africa’s off-grid connections objectives.
●Manages daily activities through interfacing with the implementing partners and counterparts in Embassies, conducts on-site visits and inspections, and ensures implementing partners receive needed information on USAID regulations and policies, including audit regulations, and assistance with politically sensitive issues.
●Monitors and evaluates progress of implementing partners toward achievement of off-grid connections results through regular field trips, and meetings/communications with senior leadership of the implementing partners’ organization.
●Provides technical support in establishing performance monitoring systems and ensures appropriate accountability of resources by tracking quarterly accruals, maintaining project pipeline information, and providing leadership in meeting audit recommendations.
●Accountable for high performance in all program management functions, including planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and managing for results.
●The Specialist offers technical, managerial and programmatic contributions to support Power Africa and embassy efforts regarding submissions such as Congressional Budget Justifications (CBJ), Congressional Notifications (CN), Operational Plans (OP), annual Performance Plan and Reports (PPR), and other standard and ad hoc reporting documents as required.
B. Strategic Planning and Program Design – 30%
● Supports Power Africa’s engagement and management of off-grid and mini grid efforts through work plan design and planning and ensures close coordination and co-design with the mission to align to both Power Africa and mission portfolios.
●Contributes technical expertise to relevant program design processes and planning undertaken by other USAID missions and offices across sub-Saharan Africa, representing Power Africa
●Assists in the procurement of new programs and activities by preparing studies, interviews with outside experts and compiling existing research, statements of work, project and activity design documents, supporting the development of procurement documents, and assisting in award processes. This may also include supporting Technical Evaluation Committees and reviewing and responding to requests for information for planned procurements.
●Understands existing cross-cutting development programs at USAID missions dealing with health, education, and agriculture, and incorporates this information into energy program design.
● Capitalizes on opportunities in coordination with Power Africa leadership, developing proposals for new activities, areas of intervention or support, and determinations of achievable results that will serve to meet Power Africa’s off-grid connections goals.
●Working with the larger Power Africa team in Pretoria, Washington and at Posts, provides substantive technical, operational and managerial input to the initiation, design and implementation of new activities, to include results frameworks, design documents, activity packages, budgets, background documentation, and performance monitoring plans.
Remains cognizant of Power Africa priorities across Posts and helps support that coordination with other USG agencies active in the off-grid energy sector, to ensure complementarity and integration with USAID- and USG-funded programs including those in the health, education, and agriculture sectors.
●Plans, coordinates and leads as directed by the supervisor new activity design processes, to include necessary expertise and resources, conducting in-depth technical analyses of challenges and opportunities, convening consultations with Power Africa stakeholders and other pertinent actors, and drafting and collecting all necessary documents, including technical, budgetary, sustainability and gender analyses to ensure successful and impactful implementation.
●Translates strategies, analyses, and program concepts into functional statements of work (including budget estimates) for award of contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, and donor-to-donor and inter-agency agreements that deliver technical services to governments, companies, and investors.
●Takes a leadership role in implementing changes to existing activities, as warranted by shifts in the enabling environment or Power Africa priorities.
●Serves as a member of, and sometimes leads, technical review teams for off-grid energy-related concept papers, solicited or unsolicited proposals, and proposed new activities under USAID-funded awards as needed in Pretoria, Washington or in other Power Africa countries.
C. Sector Knowledge and Technical Leadership – 30%
●Serves as a seasoned energy professional, with a strong knowledge of the off-grid and mini grid energy sector and its dynamics in SSA, keeping abreast of trends and issues.
●Reviews and analyzes developments and advises team members and leadership, and as required, other USG officials on highly specialized and complex issues relating to off-grid energy development in SSA, particularly those bearing on USG interests.
●Provides expert-level input to ensure that Power Africa development assistance programming related to off-grid energy reflects best practices and state-of-the-art knowledge.
●Assists Embassy staff at Post, other USAID staff, and visiting officials in all aspects of preparing for and participating in field trips, public meetings, conferences, and interactions with private-sector and donor partners.
●Liaises and engages frequently and regularly with USAID/Washington and Embassy counterpart staff, USG officials, and other partners to provide information, advice, and guidance, as required.
●Conducts data, policy, and trends analyses and provides technical recommendations and leadership to inform strategic planning exercises at the country, regional, Agency, and inter-agency scale.
● At a country level, analyzes and informs on the status of off-grid and mini grid enabling environments and their economic impact. Understands existing cross-cutting development programs at USAID missions dealing with health, education, and agriculture, and incorporates this information into energy program design.
● Acts speedily and effectively in response to time-sensitive activities that require interaction with multiple offices to ensure timely submission, sometimes with overlapping guidance.
●Respond flexibly and capably to a wide range of work-related requirements such as: 1) responding to taskers and inquiries; 2) supporting both traditional and VIP visits; and 3) carrying out ad hoc assignments as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements at the discretion of the Supervisor, Energy Office Director, Deputy Coordinators, and/or Coordinator or his/her designee.
●In collaboration with Country Desk Officers, communications specialists, and others, prepares documents as needed, including, but not limited to, speeches, talking points, website text, and outreach materials.
CCN PSCs may participate in temporary duty (TDY) travel to USAID/Washington and other Missions in order to participate in the Foreign Service National Fellowship Program described in ADS 495maa.
Job Knowledge: The Specialist must have expert knowledge of public and private sector dynamics related to energy, and a good knowledge of (or the potential to quickly gain a good knowledge of) USG programming and international donor operations in the sector. In addition, the Specialist must have, or have the potential to quickly acquire, knowledge of USG regulation, policy and practice relating to development assistance; USG programming policies, regulations, procedures, and documentation; and, of the objectives and methodology underlying USG and Power Africa goals and priorities for SSA. The Specialist must have knowledge of and an understanding of the organization and roles of the different levels of host-governments in the targeted region in order to maintain effective communication, and to develop consensus on plans for carrying out difficult and technical energy-sector development.
Skills and Abilities: The Specialist must have demonstrated skill in reviewing and developing formal documentation in the form of terms of reference, contractual statements of work, program descriptions, and other technical documents. Skills in program/project/activity design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation is essential. The ability to effectively communicate complicated policy, strategy, and program issues in English – orally and in writing – is demanded by the assignment; the Specialist must be able to analyze complex data and relationships in order to prepare complete, precise, and accurate factual and analytical reports; render advice objectivity; prioritize and manage various tasks simultaneously; develop and maintain a network of mid- to senior-level contacts within the USG, USAID, Power Africa, and other development partners and intergovernmental organizations; operate efficiently and effectively in a multi-cultural, team environment; and, work under pressure to meet tight deadlines. The Specialist must have good interpersonal, coordination, and time management skills, and the ability to coordinate successfully with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders to advance program interests. The Specialist must have a high level of tact, diplomacy and public speaking skills in order to represent Power Africa and the USG authoritatively, and exercise good judgment in speaking on behalf of USAID in high-level meetings with the private sector, USG, partner governments, NGOs, and other donors and in various fora. The Specialist must have an advanced facility with most applications in the Microsoft Office and Google G Suite in the preparation and presentation of reports and other official documentation (e.g., policy documents, project descriptions, taskers, MOUs, and Agreements).
Post Entry Training: Familiarization training in USAID-specific procedures, regulations, and methods, and orientation to working from a donor-Agency perspective, will be provided. The Specialist will be required to serve as a program/project/activity manager; formal COR/AOR training will be provided. Training to maintain professional capability in the field, and other courses offered for professional USAID staff, as appropriate; and courses, seminars, conferences, and other activities in fields related to the function and needed to maintain and update professional qualifications may be provided as they become available, subject to availability of funds.
Supervision Received: The Specialist reports to the BTG Team Lead. The Specialist is expected to work independently to perform the duties and responsibilities of off-grid -related work and be assigned other program related duties as needed. The Specialist will be largely expected to perform autonomously the required review, analyses, approval, authorization, and M&E responsibilities. The Specialist will be expected to develop his/her own work schedule, procedures for accomplishing tasks and independently resolve problems which may arise during accomplishment of these objectives.
Supervision Exercised: The supervision of other staff is not contemplated.
Available Guidelines: Guidelines include Agency regulations, the USAID Automated Directives System, Africa Bureau procedures, Power Africa Initiative Orders and standard operating procedures, and professional development literature. In cases where guidelines are general in nature, the Specialist must be able to translate the guidelines into an appropriate course of action.
Exercise of Judgment: Good judgment and the ability to deal with ambiguity are essential. The Specialist will provide technical direction and guidance as the AOR/COR and will manage the $46 m Health Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA) program. S/He will also be required on occasion to make recommendations and initiate actions in highly skilled and technical areas and situations which will not always be covered by available written guidelines. In these cases, the Specialist will need to use their professional judgment, develop original ideas, and use creative thinking to develop high quality solutions to problems or matters for which there is little precedent. Project design, review and approval responsibilities involve the analysis of complex economic, financial, administrative, social, and technical factors, as well as management of complex USAID procedures. Project monitoring responsibilities involve the utilization of reporting and management control systems, as well as interpretation of problems and advice to Power Africa leadership. All of these responsibilities require the Specialist to develop, check, analyze, interpret, and evaluate facts before work can progress. In making decisions, the Specialist will need to consider and be sensitive to the merits of proposals, their feasibility given local conditions and a variety of factors including sensitive matters. Each project/activity designed and/or reviewed will be different, as will the circumstances under which it will operate. This will require attention to a variety of feasibility issues and departure from past approaches.
Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist will speak with authority on USG legislative, fiscal, budgetary and administrative requirements, but has no authority to make financial or policy commitments on behalf of the US Government. The Specialist is accountable for clearance of technical project documentation.
Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Specialist will represent the Power Africa BTG Team to Embassy and Mission staff in 20 countries, including Econ, Energy, Health, Agriculture, and Education Officers, to provide technical leadership on matters related to strategy and implementation of off-grid energy programs. The Specialist will also represent the Power Africa BTG Team in meetings and discussions with development partners active in the off-grid energy sector. As dedicated Relationship Manager for approximately twelve energy companies and investors, the Specialist will represent the BTG Team in regular meetings with formal partners, using these opportunities to exchange valuable information, align strategies, and assess partners’ performance against formal commitments. The nature of the position in the Mission structure requires that the individual be highly knowledgeable in the substantive and administrative elements of Power Africa’s assistance mechanisms and procedures and be capable of working independently with minimal direction.
Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year.
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. The FAR provisions referenced above are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far
The following factors, and points for each, will be the basis for the evaluation of applications meeting the required minimum qualifications. All applications will be evaluated based on the documentation submitted with the application. USAID reserves the right to contact your previous employers for relevant information concerning your performance and may consider such information in its evaluation.
FACTOR 1: Relevant Work Experience (30 points) - Extensive experience in program management, monitoring, budgeting and managing financial data. Experience in strategic planning, analysis and interpretation of program designs.
FACTOR 2: Job Knowledge (30 points)- Extensive knowledge in the energy sector and related energy trends and issues. Knowledge of program design and management. Existing knowledge of international programming and international donor operations such as programming policies, regulations, procedures.
FACTOR 3: Skills and Abilities (40 points) - Ability in reviewing and developing formal documentation related to project/program design. Demonstrated ability in program budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Ability to effectively interpret and analyze reports and complex data.
Total possible Factor points: 100
INTERVIEW PERFORMANCE – 100 points
How the Selection will be made:
● After the closing date for receipt of applications, applications will be reviewed for submission requirements and the established minimum requirements for the position. Applications that meet the minimum requirements will be forwarded to a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC).
● The TEC will review each of the forwarded applications against the established evaluation criteria to develop a shortlist of applicants to be tested and possibly interviewed.
● Shortlisted applicants may be further evaluated. Assessments to include English writing, computer and other technical skills may be administered to determine competitively ranked applicants for possible interviews. Competitively ranked applicants will be interviewed. Reference checks will be made only for the interviewed applicants.
● Following the interview, during which the applicant will be evaluated against the established criteria, the TEC will make a preliminary determination of applicants to be considered for employment and conduct and document reference checks. Please note that references may be solicited from current as well as former supervisors in addition to the references you provided in application packages. References will only be solicited for those interviewed applicants who are being considered for ranking. The applicant’s references must be able to provide substantive information about their past performance and abilities. If an applicant does not wish USAID to contact a current employer for a reference check, this should be stated in the applicant’s cover letter; USAID will delay such reference checks pending the applicant’s concurrence.
● Based on this final input, the TEC will make its final decision on applicant ranking and submit a selection memo to the Contracting Officer (CO) for final determination on whether an offer of employment will be made. Unsuccessful applicants who were interviewed will be contacted and advised of their non-selection. As a positive medical clearance and security certification are a condition of employment, the selected candidate will undergo a stringent investigation prior to employment with USAID/SA.
Submitting an Offer:
● All interested and eligible candidates should visit http://usaid.ci.hr to apply. Applicants with PNet accounts can log-in from the above website to apply and first-time users will be required to register on the site before they can apply.
● Offeror submissions must clearly reference the Solicitation number on all offeror submitted documents.
● Kindly note that when you apply via cellphone you are not able to complete the required questionnaire. And if you do not complete the required questionnaire for the position, you will automatically be eliminated from further review.
● For an application to be considered complete, please include a high-quality cover letter, explaining why you are qualified for the position and a CV of no more than 4 pages. Failure to comply with these instructions may result in your application being considered “non-responsive” and eliminated from further consideration.
● Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I.
● The U.S. Mission in South Africa provides 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. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also strives to ensure equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations.
● Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Applicants who do not follow the application instructions may be dropped from further consideration.
Points of Contact:
· Lavinia Denation, Telephone: (012) 452-2054
· Mary-Jane Molema, Telephone: (012) 452-2358
· Thabang Mothupi, Telephone: (012) 452-2198
· Engeline Sebego, Telephone: (012) 452-2188
· Odessa Sifora, Telephone: (012) 452-2112
· Carol Masemola, Telephone: (012) 452-2058
· Caitlyn Uys, Telephone: (012) 452-2088
· Noluthando Magudulela, Telephone: (012) 452-2287
This position is open to South African citizens and South African permanent resident permit holders. USAID Southern Africa management will consider nepotism/conflict of interest, budget, need for continuity, and residency status in determining successful applications. Current USG employees on probationary status (i.e., within their first year of employment) are not eligible to apply.
Three (3) references, who are not family members or relatives, with working telephone and e-mail contacts. The references must be able to provide substantive information about the applicant’s past performance and abilities. USAID reserves the right to contact an applicant’s previous employers for relevant information concerning applicant’s performance and may consider such information in its evaluation of the application.
VI. 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:
a. Conditional Selection Letter.
b. Security Eligibility Requirements.
c. Medical Clearances or Statements.
VII. BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances: basic salary, miscellaneous allowance, pension fund and medical aid subsidy in accordance with the Local Compensation Plan.
Every CCNPSC staff member in the Mission regardless of agency affiliation is required as a condition of employment, to pay their taxes to the South African Government.
IX. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO CCNPSCs
USAID regulations and policies governing CCNPSC awards are available at these sources:
1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix J,
“Direct USAID Contracts With a Cooperating Country National and with a Third Country National for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/ads/policy/300/aidar