USAID/UKRAINE SOLICITATION FOR A RESIDENT HIRE U.S. PERSONAL SERVICES CONTRACTOR (USPSC), DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE SPECIALIST, GS-14 294 views

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72012120R00004

2. ISSUANCE DATE: February 03, 2020

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: February 17, 2020 (11:59 p.m. Kyiv Time)

4. POSITION TITLE: Democracy and Governance Specialist

5. MARKET VALUE: $92,977 – $120,868 per annum, equivalent to GS-14

Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: one (1) year, with four (4) one-year options.  Options may be exercised based upon satisfactory contractor performance, mutual agreement between the Contractor and USG, continued Mission requirements and the continued availability of funds

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Kyiv, Ukraine

8. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Secret

9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES:

BACKGROUND

USAID/Ukraine’s Office of Democracy and Governance (ODG) is one of three technical offices in the Mission and is responsible for the management of a portfolio, which supports the Government of Ukraine (GOU) and civil society to strengthen Ukraine’s democratic governance, advance self-reliance, and support key reforms, encompassing the rule of law, decentralization, parliamentary strengthening, elections and political processes, civil society, and media development sectors.  ODG leads implementation of Development Objective (DO) 1, Corruption Reduced in Target Sectors, and Development Objective 3, Democratic Governance Strengthened, under the Mission’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) for 2019-2024, and substantially contributes to DO 2, Impacts of Russia’s Aggression Mitigated, through a range of cross-cutting programs designed to improve transparency, support key institutions and watchdogs, improve strategic communications and access to information, advance Ukraine’s values-based unity, and build confidence in eastern Ukraine.

Despite significant progress in advancing democratic governance since the events of the 2013 EuroMaidan protests and 2014 Revolution of Dignity, further work is necessary to cement Ukraine’s trajectory as a democratic, self-reliant member of the European community.  The election of Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2019 and the commanding majority of his Servant of the People party in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, represents a Ukraine’s best opportunity in a generation to defeat corruption, make reforms irreversible, and secure inclusive economic growth.  This work takes place against the constant backdrop of Russia’s aggression and hybrid war against Ukraine and continued efforts of the country’s oligarchic elite to stymie real, systemic reforms.  USAID and ODG — with a portfolio of deep investments in strengthening democratic institutions at the central and local levels, building the rule of law, supporting representative and accountable political processes, free and fair elections, and supporting Ukraine’s vibrant civil society and media sectors — lies at the heart of U.S. priorities in Ukraine and the broader region.

BASIC FUNCTIONS OF THE POSITION

The Democracy and Governance Specialist (“Specialist”) will provide technical, strategic, and project management support to ODG and its implementing partners, with a specific focus on the DO 3, Democratic Governance Strengthened portfolio. Under the direct supervision of the Office Director or his/her designee, the Advisor will lead the design, management, and strategic alignment of activities in the decentralization, parliamentary strengthening, civil society, media development sectors in particular — and other sectors as needed — and leads various planning and reporting processes.  The Specialist will be based in Kyiv.

The Specialist works in closely with all USAID and USG stakeholders, Embassy counterparts, other donors, Government of Ukraine (GOU) counterparts, implementing partners, and local stakeholders.  S/he directly represents USAID activities to Mission and Embassy leadership as well as high-level host country counterparts, advising management on political developments, policy implications, and the strategic direction of relevant USAID activities.   As a Specialist, the incumbent may serve as the Contracting or Agreement Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR) or Alternate on one or more ODG activities.  More broadly, the Specialist will provide critical program development support to ODG, helping manage the office budget, procurement plan, regular reporting processes (Operational Plan, Performance Plan and Report, Portfolio Reviews, Annual Budget Reviews), local staff, and day-to-day operations.

The Specialist has advanced expertise in the area of international development and the management of democracy and governance programs; and will be responsible for independently planning and carrying out important programs/projects and activities; determining the approach to be taken and the methods to be used; resolving or referring conflicts and questions as needed; coordinating work with others; and interpreting policy in terms of established objectives.  The Advisor keeps supervisors informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, and problems with far-reaching implications.

The work of the Specialist requires teamwork, the exercise of discretion, judgment, and personal responsibility. As a member of an extremely high-pressure and fast-paced office, the incumbent performs a wide range of administrative functions to help ensure programmatic success. The incumbent has a high level of integrity and attention to detail to ensure the use of USAID systems and procedures to maintain effective and efficient management of funds, programming, and monitoring and evaluation. The incumbent is highly flexible and willing to work under conditions of ambiguity and ongoing change, and remains professional and respectful of colleagues and authority in a diverse workforce. S/he places a premium on the building of positive relationships with his or her respective team — in particular with foreign service national (FSN) staff — and with key stakeholders both in and outside of USAID. The incumbent is able to prioritize and complete tasks with minimal supervision, while also filling in gaps as needed to ensure the success of the team. The Specialist is a strategic thinker, articulates innovative ideas, presents solutions, and is a positive role model for colleagues. The Specialist will leverage their knowledge, skills, and experience to develop Mission and ODG staff, particularly FSN staff – in their area of expertise. The Specialist may on an ad hoc basis support other offices with the USAID/Ukraine Mission on related areas of the below Major Duties and Responsibilities.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Program/Project Management

  • Serve as the contracting/agreement officer’s representative (COR/AOR; i.e. the lead project manager) for ODG activities, and/or the alternate AOR/COR for ODG activities
  • Provide USAID and its implementing partners with technical direction in the decentralization, parliamentary strengthening, civil society, and media development sectors in order to make programmatic decisions;
  • Review vouchers, sub-grants, annual implementation plans, performance monitoring plans, key personnel, and other issues requiring AOR/COR “substantial involvement”.
  • Conduct site visits to monitor ODG activities, which may require travel outside of Kyiv, as well as regular meetings and correspondence with partners and program stakeholders.
  • Track partner performance against activity objectives and results.
  • Track partner reporting; ensuring complete reports are submitted on-time and reported results are consistent with the contract or agreement.
  • Assist AORs/CORs in providing input into weekly bullets; program briefs; portfolio reviews; operational plans; annual performance plan and reports; scene-setters; briefers for USAID and other USG officials; report-outs from meetings and events; and other reporting as required.

Planning and Procurement

  • Participate in and/or lead the assessment, design, award and modification of activities, projects and strategies.
  • Draft polished assessments, concept papers, program descriptions, statements of work, modifications, Project Appraisal Documents, and other analytical and planning documents.
  • Draft and circulates for approval pre-obligation documents Chair and/or serve on Technical Evaluation Committees.
  • Conceptualize and draft statements of work for activity/project assessments or evaluations, and assist AORs/CORs in responding and adapting to evaluation/assessment findings.
  • Plan for and coordinate USAID/Washington or other temporary duty assistance in designing or evaluating new ODG activities.

Strategy and Coordination

  • Provide analysis and recommendations on democratic governance issues and activities, particularly in the decentralization, parliament, civil society, and other sectors.
  • Track key political and reform developments to update the Front Office and Embassy, and to ensure USAID programs are designed and targeted to respond to needs, opportunities, and challenges
  • Regularly brief Embassy and Mission management on updates in relevant ODG sectors.
  • Meet regularly with USG stakeholders, other donors, government counterparts, civil society organizations, implementing partners, and other stakeholders to share information and coordinate ODG programming
  • Represent USAID in external meetings related to democratic governance issues.
  • Draft or edit written responses to requests from the USAID Front Office, Embassy Front Office, interagency, and/or USAID/Washington for information about the ODG activities and strategy; proactively identify opportunities to showcase program achievements through success stories, events, and other public channels.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP:

The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Democracy and Governance Office Director of the USAID Regional Mission for Ukraine and Belarus, or her/his designee.

10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION:  US Citizens, Resident Hire.

In accordance with AIDAR, Appendix D, 1 (Class Deviation M/OAA-DEV-AIDAR-17-02c):

(b) Definitions:

(5) 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.

11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

12. POINT OF CONTACT: All questions and offers must be submitted by email to [email protected]

  • To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your e-mail &cover letter where (vacanciesinukraine.com) you saw this job posting.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

Education: A Master’s Degree in international relations, international development, public policy, law, or a related field.

Prior Work Experience:  A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience planning, implementing, and monitoring democracy assistance programs is required.  A minimum of three years of experience in a supervisory role in an international context is required.

Only offerors clearly meeting the above minimum qualifications will be considered for further evaluation.

Security and Medical clearances: The ability to obtain the required security and medical clearances in a reasonable timeframe is considered a minimum qualification. See Section V.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

Selection Process and Basis of Evaluation: Offerors who clearly meet the aforementioned minimum education and work experience qualification requirements may be further evaluated through review of the offeror’s submitted required documents (see section IV below) and ranked based on the below evaluation and selection factors. A competitive range may be established of the highest-ranked offerors, who may be further evaluated through technical tests, interviews, and reference checks to determine the most qualified/highest-ranked offerors.  Reference checks may be conducted with the highest-ranked offerors. Reference checks may be conducted with individuals not provided by the offeror. Any offeror not receiving satisfactory reference checks will no longer be considered for the position. Negotiations may be conducted with the most qualified/ highest-ranked offerors at the conclusion of evaluations.

Education (10 points): A Master’s Degree or higher in international relations, international development, public policy, law, or a related field.

Prior Work Experience (30 points):

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience planning, implementing, and monitoring democracy assistance programs is required.
  • A minimum of three years experience in a supervisory role in an international context is required.
  • Experience in the former Soviet Union and/or implementing decentralization, rule of law, parliamentary strengthening, civil society, or media development programs is preferred.

Job Knowledge (20 points): Demonstrated advanced knowledge of the following is required:

  • USAID internal regulations, processes, and systems.
  • USAID contract/grant management.
  • Best practices in democracy and governance assistance.

Skills and Abilities (40 points): The following skills and abilities are essential for this position:

  • Strong interpersonal, networking, negotiation, leadership, managerial, and teamwork skills, in particular an ability to develop and maintain productive working relationships with Foreign Service National (FSN) staff.
  • Proven ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize complex data.
  • Excellent listening, writing and verbal communication skills – including presentation skills.
  • Ability to recognize significant developments and trends in democracy and governance sector and identify the impact on program implementation.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle sensitive issues with professionalism, tact and diplomacy, including matters that require resolving disagreements or potentially divisive issues in a high-pressure, team-based environment.
  • Strong English language (oral and written) communication skills including the ability to prepare clear, succinct reports on findings and programming; basic working proficiency in Ukrainian and/or Russian preferred.
  • Strong computer skills, particularly Microsoft Excel.

Total Points: 100 pts

IV. APPLYING

1. Eligible Offerors are required to complete and submit all the following documents and information in English in order to be considered for the position:

a. Completed and signed form AID 309-2,“Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms/aid-309-2Only include base salary information in box 4 of sections B and C. Do not include bonuses, differentials, cost of living allowances, or other types of compensation. During negotiations, salary history may be verified through pay slips, earnings and leave statements, or other appropriate documentation.

b. A cover letter of no more than 2 pages that demonstrates how the Offeror’s qualifications meet the evaluation and selection factors in section III of this solicitation;

c. A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) of not more than 3 pages which, at a minimum, describes education, experience and career achievements relevant to the evaluation and selection factors in section III of this solicitation;

d. Names of three professional references, including at least one current/former supervisor, that have knowledge of the offeror’s ability to perform the duties set forth in the solicitation. This information may be included in the cover letter or resume/CV.

e. A scan of the document demonstrating the offeror’s resident hire status (permanent or temporary residence permit, MFA accreditation/ registration, etc.)

Late, incomplete, and/or un-signed offers will not be considered

2. Offers containing all required documents must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted electronically to the email Point of Contact in Section I, item 12.

3. To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors should prominently reference the Solicitation number in the offer submission.

V. PRE-AWARD DOCUMENTATION / LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES

Once the Contracting Officer (CO) informs the successful Offeror about being selected for a contract award, the CO will provide the successful Offeror instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms, needed to obtain medical and security clearances.

  1. Medical History and Examination Form/ Medical Clearance Update (DS-6561/DS-3057)
  2. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions for National Security (SF-86), or
  3. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)
  4. Finger Print Card (SF-87)

Timely completion and submission of the required documents are needed to obtain the necessary Security and Medical Clearances. Failure of the selected offeror to accurately complete and submit required documents in a timely manner may be grounds for the CO to rescind any conditional pre-contract offer letter and begin negotiations with the next most qualified/highest ranked offeror. Selected offerors who are unable to obtain required Security and Medical Clearances in a reasonable timeframe are considered un-qualified for this position.

Within 2 weeks after written notice from the CO that all required clearances have been received, or unless another date is specified by the CO in writing, the selected offeror shall proceed to Kiev, Ukraine to perform the services specified in section I, item 9.

VI. BENEFITS/ALLOWANCES

As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a Resident Hire USPSC is normally authorized the following benefits:

BENEFITS:

  • Employer’s FICA Contribution
  • Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
  • Pay Comparability Adjustment
  • Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)
  • Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation
  • Annual and Sick Leave

VII. TAXES

USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.

VIII. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs

USAID regulations and policies governing USPSC awards are available at these sources:

1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix D, “Direct USAID Contracts with a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad, ” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf

2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms.

Line Item Table

ITEM NO

(A)

SUPPLIES/SERVICES (DESCRIPTION)

(B)

QUANTITY

(C)

UNIT

(D)

UNIT PRICE

(E)

AMOUNT

(F)

0001 Compensation and Fringe Benefits/Other

Direct Costs (ODCs)

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497

Accounting Info:

1 year LOT
1001 Option Period (OP) 1 – Compensation and ODCs

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497

Accounting Info:

1 year LOT
2001 OP 2 – Compensation and ODCs

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497

Accounting Info:

1 year LOT
3001 OP 3 – Compensation and ODCs

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497

Accounting Info:

1 year LOT
4001 OP 4 – Compensation

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497

Accounting Info:

1 year LOT

3. Acquisition & Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available are at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs.

4. Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635.

See https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%20Regulations.

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