Local Hire U.S. and Third Country National Personal Services Contractor (PSC): Strategy Special Advisor

  • Added Date: Friday, 13 March 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 03 April 2020

Solicitation No.: Mission Notice 20-46**

Issuance Date: March 13, 2020

Closing Date/Time: April 03, 2020 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)

SUBJECT: Solicitation for Local Hire U.S. and TCN Personal Services Contractor (PSC): Strategy Special Advisor, GS-15

Dear Prospective Offerors:

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from qualified U.S. Citizens and Third Country Nationals residing in Kenya to provide personal services under contract as described in this solicitation.

Offers must be in accordance with Attachment 1, Sections I through IV of this solicitation. Incomplete or unsigned offers will not be considered. Offerors should retain copies of all offer materials for their records.

This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.

Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.



Natalya Komarova

Executive Officer



  1. SOLICITATION NO.: Mission Notice (MN) 20-46

  2. ISSUANCE DATE: 03/13/2020

  3. CLOSING DATE/TIME: 04/03/2020 at 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)

  4. POSITION TITLE: Strategy Special Advisor, GS-15

  5. MARKET VALUE: $109,366 to $142,180 annually equivalent to GS-15. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

  6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: One (1) year base period, with one one-year option subject to funding availability and satisfactory performance or better.

  7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya

  8. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens and Third Country Nationals (TCN) currently residing in Kenya[1]. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.

  9. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: USAID/Washington-issued clearance level at the Facility/Computer Access Level (if U.S citizens) or Moderate Risk Public Trust access authorization (if U.S Permanent resident or Third Country National)

  10. POINT OF CONTACT: Executive Office/Human Resources, Patrick Bii, HR Assistant, email at pbii@usaid.gov

  11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The primary location of work will be on the U.S. Embassy/USAID compound in Nairobi, Kenya. No special demands are required to perform the work.



USAID/Kenya and East Africa (KEA) initiated the design and development of a new Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) and Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS).[2] These five-year strategies will define USAID/KEA’s chosen approach to its assistance efforts in Kenya and efforts in the Region. The strategies will also provide the context for USAID-implemented programs and expected results. The strategies will represent Administration and Agency priorities, including USAID’s reorientation of its traditional activities to focus on journey to self-reliance in Kenya and the region. The CDCS and RDCS will closely link to the National Security Strategy, the State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan, and will be fully integrated in the Embassy Nairobi’s Integrated Country Strategy. The CDCS will be codesigned with and represent Government of Kenya and County Government development priorities, as well as represent the interests and concerns of the private sector, other stakeholders, and the Kenyan people. The strategies will endeavor to identify areas of mutual interest to Kenya and the East African region

USAID/KEA is seeking an experienced professional to facilitate and provide ongoing support for the design and development of USAID/KEA’s new, five-year CDCS for Kenya and RDCS for the East Africa Region. The Special Advisor must have demonstrated experience and expertise in strategic planning, possess in-depth knowledge about USAID policies and procedures, and be conversant on Kenyan and East African development priorities. The successful applicant will also be knowledgeable about Kenya’s political, social, and economic context, East African context and should be fully available for full-time, onsite work beginning in July 2020. The Special Advisor will sit within the Strategic Planning and Analysis Office (SPA) and will be supervised by the Supervisory Program Officer. The Special Advisor will have extensive engagement with USAID Leadership, U.S. Government interagency colleagues, American and Kenyan Senior Staff, senior Government of Kenya and regional officials, development partners, and a broad array of civil society, private sector, and academic stakeholders. The successful candidate is expected to perform his/her responsibilities in close collaboration with the SPA office and its teams, other mission staff assigned to work on the strategies, and other support consultants/contractors. However, a high-degree of independent work and ability to self-direct and lead mission-wide processes is expected.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Special Advisor will play a key role, working with the SPA team, to provide leadership and coordination in all steps required to complete the design and development of new strategies, subsequent Project Appraisal Documents (PADs), and strategy implementation. The successful candidate will be responsible for providing full-time, on-site support. She/he will be responsible for providing regular updates to the Mission Management and the Mission Leadership Council, Supervisory Program Officer and other USAID staff on the status of the design and implementation. She/he will work closely with USAID staff members, both leading and participating on teams/working groups as required, to help manage the effort required to complete the strategies.

Specific Duties:

  1. Coordinate and plan the process for the development and implementation plan of the new CDCS, RDCS, and PADs, and brief USAID leadership on requirements, challenges, and next steps. This will include strategy development guidance changes amidst USAID/Washington Transformation processes, including the Journey to Self-Reliance.
  2. Identify opportunities to gather relevant data, evidence, and learning, and organize consultative sessions with partners/stakeholders/beneficiaries.
  3. Develop knowledge management platform(s) for internal and external audiences and implement strategy to increase knowledge sharing throughout the strategy and PAD development processes.
  4. Organize and manage design meetings with senior and technical staff to discuss and move forward the development of a new, RDCS for the East Africa region, plans to implement an integrated CDCS for Kenya and PADs for both strategies.
  5. Organize and manage “Strategy Champions” to discuss policy and programmatic issues for resolution, documenting issues and decisions in issues papers archived in the knowledge management system.
  6. Coordinate with the Government of Kenya, county and regional government representatives, and other stakeholders to facilitate participation in a collaborative design process and to ensure interests of key stakeholders are accounted for in the final strategies and PADs.
  7. Lead in the development of draft implementation documents, such as collaboration frameworks, to outline the operationalization of the CDCS/RDCS.
  8. Facilitate and support USAID technical and support teams in the realignment of programs and awards to the new CDCS/RDCS, including in areas such as government-to-government financial support, private sector partnerships, results-based programing, adaptive management, and local solutions.
  9. Draft meeting notes, memorandum, and portions of the CDCS/RDCS and PADs; facilitate the collection of written products from USAID staff; edit and revise as needed.
  10. Coordinate the development of and lead stakeholder meetings with individuals and groups, including high level government officials at the national and county level, parliamentarians, donors, sector experts, and Kenya/region watchers.
  11. Management of files and folders in a clear standard to ensure effective record keeping and management of information.
  12. Other tasks as necessary that would be required for the design, development, and completion as well as the implementation of the new CDCS and RDCS, including internal USAID processes (e.g. PADs, monitoring, learning and adapting plans, stocktaking, etc.) and engagement with other Missions and offices in Washington, DC.

Position Elements

a. Scope and effect of the work performed: The Special Advisor will serve in a role that is directly related to Mission decision and policymaking. S/he is an expert in a broad array of functional areas within the entire program cycle. The individual will provide expert advice and support in the management and implementation of the CDCS/RDCS, which are the Mission’s broadest and highest development strategies. S/he will also work closely with senior-level FSNs, USDHs, and USPSCs, including the Mission’s Leadership Council, requiring high-level expertise and experience.

b. Supervision Received: The Special Advisor will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by Supervisory Program Officer, and is expected to be in regular contact on the status of work with the USAID Mission Director and Deputy Mission Directors as required to provide updates on timelines, challenges, and next steps. The Special Advisor is the technical expert in the design and development of the CDCS/RDCS and his/her work will be completed with limited technical direct and considered authoritative.

c. Degree of responsibility for decision-making assigned to the position: The Special Advisor is expected to exercise senior decision making in the preparation, production, design, and development of the CDCS/RDCS, through all coordination and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. The Special Advisor will exercise discretion and independent judgment in managing the CDCS/RDCS design process. She/he must be able to work independently in an efficient and timely manner, including preparation of reports, identifying issues, and suggesting areas of improvement in various aspects of the CDCS/RDCS design process while also collaborating with USAID colleagues, other interagency colleagues, and other stakeholders.

d. Level of complexity for work assignments: The work assignments for the position are highly complex and to be delivered with limited direction. The CDCS is the most advanced, highest level strategy for USAID’s work in Kenya, and RDCS for East Africa. The design and development of the strategy will require consolidating and coordinating a broad range of data, information, opinions, practices, procedures, and priorities from a range of internal and external stakeholders into one document that summarizes USAID’s strategic approach for the next five years.

e. Availability Guidelines: The Special Advisor will be informed by the USAID Automated Directive System, relevant USAID Sector and Cross-Cutting Strategies, Agency and bureau guidance related to the CDCS/RDCS, and other relevant project/activity design, evaluation, and learning documents. The Special Advisor will be required to report on the CDCS/RDCS design and development process to the Mission Director and will be expected to brief on key developments to senior Kenyan and regional government officials.

f. Complexity of the work environment: The position will be located within USAID’s offices in the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The position will be required to maintain a facilities access clearance and may be required to complete limited travel within Kenya and East Africa.

g. Knowledge level required: Expertise in government engagement and facilitating collaborative design with various stakeholders. Knowledge of integrating organizational development principles and learning methods into strategies.

h. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Special Advisor will be responsible for maintaining contacts and engaging with internal and external stakeholders throughout the design and development of the strategies. Contacts will include heads and deputy heads of national-government ministries, governors and executive staff of counties, heads of parastatal organizations, heads of cooperation representing various governments, heads and technical leads from multilateral organizations, heads of nongovernmental and civil society organizations, heads and deputies from private sector businesses, heads and technical staff of research organizations, chiefs of party for USAID implementing partners, heads of section across the U.S. Government interagency in Kenya, USAID staff in Kenya, the region, and Washington, D.C., and other stakeholders as required but yet undetermined.

i. Supervision Exercised: The Special Advisor will not directly supervise any staff, but will be required to assist in organizing and managing a team of USAID staff working on the strategies, and will play a critical mission-wide coordination function.

j. Time Required to Perform Full Range of Duties After Entry into Position: It is expected that the Special Advisor will have the ability to immediately perform the full range of duties as listed above. This will require specific experience with USAID policies and regulations, and a familiarity with USAID’s strategy design process.

k. Authority to Make Commitments: The Special Advisor is expected to take initiative and act independently with little direction but will have no authority to make financial commitments on behalf of the USG unless such authority is specifically delegated.

l. Security Clearance Requirement: USAID/W issued clearance level at the Facility/Computer Access Level (if U.S citizens) or Moderate Risk Public Trust access authorization (if U.S Permanent resident or Third Country National)

m. Travel Requirement: The incumbent may be required to complete limited travel within Kenya and East Africa.

n. Support Items: The incumbent will be provided with the support services, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform the work e.g. desktop computer, shared office equipment (such as printer, scanner and shredder), office supplies and support services.

o. Sunday Pay: Is not authorized.


A. Education (10 points): Minimum of a master’s degree in the field of economics, political science or law, international relations/trade, management, public or business administration, psychology, social work, development studies or a related subject is required.

B. Prior Work Experience (20 points): A minimum of seven years of experience in leading teams in strategic planning and/or related exercises to improve the strategic plan and capabilities of a large organization. Experience working in Kenya and/or East Africa, as well as USAID programming at various points within the program cycle is expected.

C. Job Knowledge (35 points): An expert knowledge and understanding of development programs and strategic planning, as well as a firm grasp of all USAID business practices, gained through prior work in the development field, and procedures is required. Expertise in government engagement and facilitating collaborative design with various stakeholders. Knowledge of integrating organizational development principles and learning methods into strategies. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team is also required. Experience with USAID programming at various points within the program cycle is expected. Expertise in innovative and integrated development programming, private sector engagement, and/or intergovernmental engagement is preferred.

D. Skills and Abilities (35 points):

i. Broad development experience in strategic planning, analysis, and performance management.

ii. Demonstrated working knowledge of USAID priorities and reorganization efforts, particularly the Agency’s commitment to innovation and private sector engagement, and its vision for Kenya’s journey to self-reliance.

iii. Demonstrated experience in working with USAID business processes. In particular, an understanding of the Automated Directive System (ADS) and the structure of bureaus and missions.

iv. Ability to facilitate meetings, work on teams to accomplish complex tasks, develop program objectives, results, and logical frameworks, and produce performance management strategies.

v. Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in planning and implementing development programs, including private sector engagement in development.

vi. Ability to produce concrete approaches for tackling long-standing and difficult organizational problems and challenges.

vii. Ability to coordinate sensitization and listening sessions with stakeholders and beneficiaries to solicit contributions to the strategy design and feedback, as well as the ability to organize gathered information to inform strategy designs.

viii. Demonstrated experience developing PADs.

ix. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, as well as the ability to work with standard computer software. Working knowledge of Kiswahili a plus.


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.

The factors below will be the basis for evaluating and ranking applicants who meet the Required Qualifications and Selection Criteria for the position. All applicants are scored based on the documentation submitted with the application. Applicants are encouraged to write a brief appendix to demonstrate how prior experience and/or training address the following Evaluation Factors:

  1. Education (10 points)
  2. Prior Work Experience (20 points)
  3. Job Knowledge (35 points)
  4. Skills and Abilities (35 points)

Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – Pass/Fail (no points assigned)

Maximum Points Available: 100 Points

[1] Resident Hire U.S. Personal Services Contractor means a U.S. citizen or resident alien who, at the time of hire as a PSC, resides in the cooperating country (i) for reasons other than employment that provides for repatriation to the U.S., including (A) with a U.S. Government agency;(B) under any U.S. Government-financed contract or agreement; or (C) under any other contract or employment arrangement.(ii) as a spouse or dependent of a U.S. citizen with employment that provides for repatriation to the U.S., including (A) with a U.S. Government agency; (B) under any U.S. Government-financed contract or agreement; or (C) under any other contract or employment arrangement..

Third Country National (TCN) means an individual who is neither a cooperating country national (in this case Kenya) nor a U.S. national, but is a citizen or lawful permanent resident (or equivalent immigration status) of any country other than the countries which are prohibited sources.

[2] USAID/KEA’s current CDCS (2014-2020) will come to an end in March 2020. https://www.usaid.gov/kenya/cdcs

This vacancy is archived.