Agency for International Development, Overseas Missions | Published June 6, 2016
1. SOLICITATION NUMBER: SOL-669-16-000007
2. ISSUANCE DATE: May 23, 2016
3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME: June 14, 2016, 4:30 pm Local Time, Monrovia, Liberia
4. POSITION TITLE: Senior Education Advisor
5. MARKET VALUE OF POSITION: The position is the equivalent of a GS-15 ranging from $102,626 to $133,443 per annum. Final compensation will be based on the individual's salary and work history, experience and educational background, within the above salary range. 6. EVALUATION FACTORS: Evaluation will be based on a 100-point Scale: Experience (30 Points), Technical knowledge and abilities (40 Points),Written communication (20) and Education (10 Points). 7. Period of performance: A base of one (1) year with an option of a one-year extension. Exercise of option will depend on a continuing need for services, availability of funds and satisfactory or better performance. 8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Monrovia, Liberia
9. SECURITY ACCESS: Secret Clearance (USPSCs) and Facility Access (TCNPSCs)
10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens or Third Country Nationals
11. STATEMENT OF DUTIES:
BACKGROUND: USAID/Liberia's Education Office supports development goals and objectives as set out in USAID's 2013-2017 Country Development and Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) under the Development Objective "Better Educated Liberians" (DO4). USAID aims to increase educational achievement in Liberia by improving the educational opportunities provided to Liberian children, youth, and young adults. USAID seeks to address the critical shortage of qualified teachers, as well as strengthen institutional capacity, which is necessary to support teachers. Long standing impacts from the 14-year civil war, compounded by the recent school closure due to the Ebola Viral Disease outbreak continue to take a toll on the fragile education system. After nearly 14 years of peace, Liberia is still in the process of rebuilding its educational system and remains significantly behind most other African countries in nearly all education statistics. The ability to make headway in reversing declines in Liberia's education system is further challenged by frequent turnover of key policy and technical staff within the Ministry of Education.
The key donor-partners active in the education sector include the European Union, UNICEF, World Bank, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Food Program and the Open Society Foundation (OSF). With contributions exceeding those of all the other partners combined, USAID is the largest donor in the sector. USAID's recent education programs focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning in early grade reading and math, and increasing equitable access to safe learning opportunities for girls and for youth who missed out on education due to postwar reconstruction and a weak education system. USAID is helping rebuild the curricula, teaching and management staff, instructional and learning resources, data systems and policy environment essential to providing quality basic education services to all Liberians.
For more information about USAID/Liberia and its Education Programs, please see: https://www.usaid.gov/liberia
USAID/Liberia's Education Office (EO) Overview: USAID EO is currently putting in place new activities to achieve its CDCS DO4; "Better Educated Liberians" and the Quality, Access and Governance Project. These activities fit the Liberian political and developmental environment and contribute directly to the goals of USAID's Education Strategy.
The CDCS identifies staffing needs for the EO to implement a range of programming in educational strengthening and reform at both the basic and higher education levels. These are aimed to improve access equitable access to education, increase school enrollment, improve the quality of education, and enhance education sector governance and management. The EO is working towards meeting identified staffing needs in the CDCS and for the DO4 activities. Current staffing is capped at eight full-time persons. The staffing plan includes: • Education Office Director (EOD) and Deputy Education Office Director (DEOD)• Senior Education Advisor• Local staff of five including four education specialists and one project assistant The EO portfolio is in a period of transition. Flagship programs in teacher training and girls' education have closed while the youth program is coming to a close. The team is entering an intense period of activity design that will set the course for the portfolio over the next 3-5 years. Government counterparts have issued new policy priorities and are eager to see tangible improvements in the education sector before elections take hold in 2017. As the largest bilateral donor in Liberia, USAID exercises strong leadership in coordinating donor responses to the Government's engagement in education. To program resources effectively in shifting internal and external contexts, it is essential that the EO team be organized appropriately, staffed with qualified personnel, and has an effective division of responsibility. The team needs a strategic approach to making design decisions and engaging in a reorganization process.11. CORE FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY: The Senior Education Advisor will serve primarily as one of the Mission's senior technical and policy analysts in this sector. S/he will provide senior-level technical support to the Education Office. S/he will bring state-of-the-art knowledge and international best practices of education policy, strategy, programming and impact measurement, and be able to apply these to the team's portfolio. S/he will also be expected to coordinate with the Mission's other DO/Technical Office teams to identify opportunities to maximize synergies across portfolios. The incumbent will liaise with host government partners, other donors, and implementing partners, and the Global Partnership for Education and represent the EO in events sponsored by USAID development partners, including conferences, workshops, donor subgroup meetings and other relevant meetings on education. The Senior Education Advisor will contribute to mentoring staff in the EO and represent USAID with a diverse set of education stakeholders. The Advisor will use her/his professional experience to promote collaboration and mutual accountability within USAID Liberia, with senior Liberian government officials and other stakeholders. As such, the incumbent is expected to exercise a high level of professional judgment on technical and political sensitivities make recommendations to the EO Director and other USAID Mission senior leadership. The position will be highly visible and a key component of broader US government efforts to advance objectives in Education. S/he advises the Senior Management team to help with the Education program's budgeting, planning, design, procurement, implementation, evaluation and monitoring, reporting, and activity management efforts. The Senior Education Advisor may serve as Acting Office Director during his/her absence. In the absence of EOD and Deputy the Advisor may directly supervise and provide activity management and planning guidance to the EO team. S/he reports to the Education Office Director.
1. Technical and Policy Adviser (40%) The incumbent is expected to serve as a senior and trusted technical and policy adviser to the EOD. This includes, but is not limited to:
• Supporting the EO in planning, designing, implementing and monitoring activities under the education portfolio in order to achieve a high level of excellence in program impact and cost-effectiveness • Reviewing USAID and other donor activities in education to ensure maximum coordination and leverage for USAID policy initiatives• Supporting the EOD to cultivate contacts with other education donors and implementing partners the Liberia with respect to best practices in planning, implementing, managing and monitoring education activities • Playing an active role in the ESDC and serving as the chief liaison to the GPE; thus playing a pivotal role in the effective management of donor resources directed to improving education and educational facilities in Liberia• Advising the EOD and other senior Mission management on political, economic and social developments affecting education and educational development in Liberia• Serving as one of the USG's principal liaisons with the Liberia Minister of Education and education counterparts
2. Program Monitoring, Reporting, and Budgeting (30%)The incumbent supports the EO's evaluation and budgeting requirements by providing advice as follows:• In coordination with the Program and Financial Management Offices, ensure that correct funding levels and appropriate expenditures are maintained and accounted for; that funds are used appropriately and within budgetary limits; and prepare budget analyses for activity monitoring and reporting• Advises and collaborates closely with the EO staff in estimating budgetary requirements, following-up and evaluating the results of education activities • Designing or directing appropriate research activities to collect information from a variety of sources. Prepare factual, statistical, and analytical reports, on the effectiveness of education, both written and oral • Advises the EOD M&E Education Specialist about measurement of the education programs' progress against established goals and objectives in the Mission Strategy and the Education Program Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP), and updates the PMP as required. Aids in drafting responses to incoming EO queries and requests, ensuring Mission clearance and timely responses
3. Program Management and Oversight (30%)As appropriate, the Senior Education Advisor is expected to play a major role related to the conceptualization, design, documentation, and/or management of education activities. This includes but is not limited to:• Serving as a Contracting Officer's Representative (COR), Agreement Officer's Representative (AOR) or as an alternate COR or alternate AOR to provide project management, oversight, and support • Drafting and finalizing scopes of work, budgets, and scheduling of technical assistance for EO portfolio activities • Ensuring timely and systematic submission of reports, preparing oral and written reports, and keeping the EOD informed of activity status • Reviewing all activity reports and collaborating with A/COR to take action, including recommending activity evaluations, modifications, measures to rectify implementation problems or to improve monitoring and reporting • Identifying existing and potential problem areas and propose specific actions to resolve them after consulting with appropriate Mission staff and contractors/grantees• Supporting EOD to cultivate contacts with other education donors and implementing partners in Liberia with respect to best practices in planning, implementing, managing and monitoring education activities within compliance with established strategies and regulations • Advises other A/CORs and the Contracting Officer to ensure that all EO activity procurement actions are coordinated in a timely fashion with contractors/grantees
12. POSITION ELEMENTS
The Senior Education Advisor will handle all assigned work either independently or, as required, as part of the teams identified above, according to established Mission policies, practices and programmatic guidance, and in accordance with all applicable USAID regulations and guidance as provided in the USAID ADS and elsewhere. The Senior Education Advisor is expected to make independent judgments that can be defended as necessary. As a highly qualified professional, substantial reliance is placed on the employee to independently plan and carry out the specific activities entailed in fulfilling major duties and responsibilities. The employee will resolve problems that arise by determining the approaches to be taken and methodologies to be used, developing, coordinating, and clearing proposed solutions with all necessary parties, and taking appropriate actions necessary to resolve the problem.
a. Supervision Received/Exercised: The Senior Education Advisor will work under the general supervision and policy guidance of the Education Director or his/her designee. The Education Director or his/her designee will review and approve the Senior Education Advisor's work plan and performance measures. Supervision will be generally confined to weekly staff meetings and scheduled biweekly consultations.
In carrying out specific assignments, the Senior Education Advisor will consult and work closely with the Liberian government, international donors and their implementing partners. The Senior Education Advisor will also work closely with senior USG officials in Liberia and with USAID headquarters and the Department of State.
As Senior Education Advisor, he/she will collaborate with members of other technical and support offices in the Mission, as well as other USG agencies and implementing partners who will implement the full range of USAID/LIBERIA's programs over a strategy period.
The Senior Education Advisor may serve as Acting EOD during the absence of a US Direct Hire officer. In the absence of the EOD, the Advisor may directly supervise or provide activity management and planning guidance to the EO team.
b. Available Guidelines: The incumbent is required to understand and analyze Mission and Agency-specific policies and procedures which govern implementation of educational development activities, in addition to the USAID/LIBERIA established administrative operating procedures, policies and formats. The incumbent will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies which affect overall support to educational reform within the Liberia Mission; including but not limited to the Automated Directives System (ADS), Mission Orders, Mission Notices, USG Procurement regulations, and USAID and State Program Strategy and Policy Documents. The incumbent will be required to follow mandatory guidelines in ADS 188.8.131.52 on the delegation of roles and responsibilities to USPSCs.
c. Decision Making /Exercise in Judgment: At the full performance level, it is expected that the incumbent will exercise considerable independence and decision making authority in carrying out duties, subject to final review by the Education Director
d. Authority to Make Commitments: The incumbent will have no independent authority to commit U.S. Government (USG) Mission funds.
e. Nature, Level and Purpose of Contacts: Contacts are with senior management within USAID, high-level government officials in Liberia, government officials from other countries as appropriate, consultants, contractors, grantees, or business executives
f. Complexity: Analyzes inter-related issues of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of individual contracts, grants and cooperative agreements. Develops detailed plans, goals, and objectives for the long-range implementation and administration of the education program, and/or develops criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Decisions concerning design, planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating individual educational development activities are complicated by the difficulty of operating in a politically sensitive country. Coordination of several grantees and contractors requires in depth knowledge of the educational background, capabilities and interests of the government of Liberia
13. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The work is at times physically demanding. During site visits, there may be some additional physical exertion; including long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain or the carrying of moderately heavy material.
14. WORK ENVIRONMENT: Travel within Liberia is required. The Senior Education Advisor will be required to prepare and provide reports as required to effectively carry out the duties and responsibilities described above. The Senior Education Advisor will also provide in writing such reports on work progress or advice on education issues as may be required from time-to-time by Senior Mission Management or other senior USAID officials.
The Senior Education Advisor will also submit in-country trip reports on all travel performed during the contract period. The Senior Education Advisor will maintain contact and interact technically and professionally in a highly collaborative manner with a wide range of parties, including high level officials in Liberia, and other international organizations; senior officials of Liberian government ministries; and experts provided under assistance programs sponsored by non-governmental organizations and foreign government donors.
The Senior Education Advisor may also be required to interact with officials of other USG agencies involved in education endeavors. The Senior Education Advisor will also closely coordinate with the Mission's other technical offices and Program Office on all matters of mutual programmatic interest.
In the absence of EOD and the Deputy, the Advisor may directly supervise or provide activity management and planning guidance to the EO team.
15. START DATE: Immediately, once necessary clearances are obtained.
16. POINT OF CONTACT: See Cover Letter.
17. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SELECTION CRITERIA:
1. Education (10 points): The successful candidate must have at least a Bachelor Degree in education, international relations, or a related field. An advanced degree (Masters or Ph.D.) in international education, international relations, African regional studies, or a related field is desirable but not required.
2. Work Experience (30 points): a) A minimum of 10 years work experience in educational development, training, African development, or a related area, preferably working for an international donor organization with programs fostering development of education, is required. b) A minimum of 10 years of progressive levels of authority and responsibility managing programs, resources and personnel in overseas, developing country settings. c) A minimum of five years of experience in strategic planning and education program design, program planning and budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation of education and training activities is required.d) Experience resolving problems in a team context, while maintaining an aggressive work pace, in order to produce results under intense scrutiny is strongly preferred.e) Experience and familiarity with Africa, and sensitivity to sociocultural aspects bearing on education within an African context is strongly preferred.
3. Technical Knowledge and Abilities (40 points):a) Demonstrated ability to provide oversight of large complex activities that are implemented under challenging social and political conditions, in particular education projects.b) Demonstrated ability to function with minimal supervision to address complex and challenging interagency and political dynamics is required.c) Experience-based knowledge of USAID educational design, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge of USAID budgetary and procurement processes and property management principles in a developing country context, preferably with an international donor organization.d) Demonstrated analytical and independent decision-making skills in demanding work environments.e) Knowledge of USAID management and monitoring systems is preferred.f) Demonstrated expertise and knowledge of education systems, methods, models and approaches is desirable. Demonstrated ability to lead systemic planning and to establish realistic benchmarks, milestones, and intermediate and terminal project targets is desirable. g) Knowledge and experience in the design, implementation and/or evaluation of development programs that have improved basic education h) Ability to creatively identify, propose and win support of major stakeholders to solve complex issues and to work collaboratively.
4. Communication Skills (20 points)(a) Ability to engage in discussions with government officials, other donors, international implementers, non-governmental organizations, U.S. Embassy and USAID officials.b) Demonstrated skills in facilitating meetings and making oral presentations logically and persuasively to senior officials and partners in a multi-cultural context.c) Demonstrated skills in communicating quickly, clearly, and concisely in both speech and writing.
Maximum Points Available: 100.
Qualified applicants are requested to submit:
A. Most current Curriculum Vitae or Resume;B. Completed and signed AID Form 302-3 (Offeror Information for PersonalServices Contracts), which can be found at the followingWebsite: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1866/a302-3.doc;C. Three references, who are not blood-related, with telephone and e-mail contacts;D. Brief appendix to demonstrate how prior experience and/or training address the minimumQualifications and Selection Criteria shown in the solicitation. Applications must be received by the closing date and time as specified in the Solicitation.
TERM OF PERFORMANCE
The base term of the contract will be for one year, which may be extended upon mutual agreement and subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds. This position has been classified as equivalent to a GS-15 position in the USG Civil Service. The actual salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated depending on qualifications and previous salary history. In addition to the basic salary, differentials and other benefits in effect at the time and which are applicable and subject to change on a similar basis as for direct-hire USG employees, will be added.
1. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
ACQUISITION AND ASSISTANCE POLICY DIRECTIVES (AAPDs) contain information or changes pertaining to USAID policy, regulation and procedures concerning acquisition and assistance including Personal Service Contracts. Please refer to the USAID website http://www.usaid.gov/procurement_bus_opp/procurement/psc_solicit/ to locate relevant AAPDs. As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits.
1. ALLOWANCES: as applicable.*
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), and
2. BENEFITS: Employee's FICA Contribution Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance Pay Comparability Adjustment Annual Increase Eligibility for Worker's Compensation Annual & Sick Leave Access to Embassy medical facilities, and pouch mail service
Note: If a US citizen, the Contractor's salary will be subject to employee's FICA and Medicare contribution.
FEDERAL TAXES: USPSCs are not exempt from payment of Federal Income Taxes.
3. Contract Information Bulletins (CIBs) Pertaining to PSCs.
97- 16 Class Justification for Use of Other Than Full & Open Completion for Personal Services Contracts with U.S. Citizens Contracted with Locally with CCNs and TCNs Subject to the Local Compensation Plan, and for Overseas Contracts of $250,000 or Less97-11 (Corrected) 1997 FICA & Medicare Tax Rates for Personal Services Contracts97-6 Contractual Coverage for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) Services97-3 New USAID Contractor Employee Physical Examination96-23 Unauthorized Provision in Personal Services Contract96-19 U.S. Personal Services Contract (USPSC) - Leave96-11 PSC's Annual Health Insurance Costs96-8 Determining a Market Value for PSCs Hired Under Appendix D, Handbook 1494-9 Sunday Pay for U.S. Personal Services Contracts (PSCs)93-17 Financial Disclosure Requirements under a Personal Services Contract (PSC)
List of Required Forms for PSCs
1. Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts - (AID Form 302-3) **2. Contractor Physical Examination (AID Form 1420-62). **3. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security) (SF-86), or**4. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85).**5. Finger Print Card (FD-258).Note: Form 5 is available from the requirements office.
_____________*Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians Foreign Areas).**The forms listed 2 thru 5 shall only be completed upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.
INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANTS:
All Applicants must address how they meet the Minimum Qualifications, as described below:
a. Submit a fully completed and hand-signed copy of an Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts - (AID Form 302-3), cover letter and a current resume/curriculum vita (CV) containing the following information which clearly demonstrates your education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities as they relate to the evaluation criteria. Forms are available at the USAID website, http://www.usaid.gov/forms/ or internet http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/formslibrary.do?formType=ALL or at Federal offices).b. Contractor Employee Biographical Data Sheet (AID Form 1420-17)
All applications packages are to be submitted to:
Sylvester BrowneDeputy Executive SpecialistUSAID/LiberiaEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line of your email application. Any attachments provided via email shall be Microsoft Word or PDF and should not be zipped. Note that attachments to email must not exceed 3 MB.