Kenya: Senior Youth Workforce Development Advisor (American Citizens ONLY)

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Organization: US Agency for International Development
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 19 Jul 2018

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72061518R00008

  2. ISSUANCE DATE: 06/20/2018

  3. CLOSING DATE/TIME: 07/19/2018 at 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)

  4. POSITION TITLE: Senior Youth Workforce Development Advisor

  5. MARKET VALUE: $89,370 to $116,181 equivalent to GS-14. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

  6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two (2) years, with one (1) one-year option subject to funding availability and satisfactory performance or better.

  7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya

  8. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Secret

  9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES/POSITION DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND:

Youth, defined broadly as people between 10 and 35 years old, constitute more than a third of the total Kenyan population of 48 million and are a potential demographic dividend for Kenya. However, this large youth population will continue to act as a stressor contributing to destabilization and inadequate economic growth unless youth are engaged and supported by national and local institutions, businesses, communities, and families to contribute more fully to development. Smart and inclusive investments in youth directly, and through better functioning formal and non-formal youth-serving institutions, will help reverse youth disaffection and harness their energy for the development process.

Emerging industry sectors where skilled youth are needed include: information technology, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, extractive industries, and environmental conservation as indicated in the Workforce Connections Report of 2014. Other sectors requiring skilled youth differ by county contexts.

In addition, Kenya faces threats posed by terrorism, localized conflicts, and violent crime. The country has been subject to frequent terrorist attacks by militants, including Somali based al-Qaida and affiliated groups like al-Shabaab. Minimal economic prospects and opportunities, increased marginalization and inadequate participation of youth have increased vulnerability to recruitment into violent gangs and extremist groups. These factors were also identified as critical drivers for youth participation in the 2007 post-election conflict. It was noted that the counties with the highest ratio of youth population to total population (Nairobi, Coast, Rift Valley and Western Kenya regions) are the ones that experienced the highest number of post-election conflicts in 2007-2008.

The cross-sectoral Youth Assessment Report 2009 also highlights the significance of provision of economic opportunities for youth by indicating that approximately 800,000 youth join the labor market each year against an absorption capacity of a paltry 50,000 formal sector jobs. This leaves hundreds of thousands of youth without formal employment opportunities. The informal “*jua kali*” sector thus becomes the principal and default source of income for the 60 percent of Kenyans who live on less than $2 a day.

Kenya has a very robust education system with a National Enrollment Rate (NER) of 95.7 percent. This statistic masks geographic areas with low enrollment and completion rates. Furthermore, a decline in primary completion rates has been observed from 2003 to 2009 for youth aged 15-24 in the Nairobi, Coast and Eastern counties for females, and in Nairobi and Central for males. This is a worrying trend considering that when young adolescents drop out of school, they are more likely to engage in practices that undermine their health and well-being, thereby making it increasingly difficult for them to build the skills necessary for gainful employment. Lower education outcomes are also associated with reduced lifetime earnings that could have an impact on nutrition, health and education outcomes for the next generation.

Studies indicate that a majority of youth who remain in school are not mastering basic skills and thus are not adequately prepared to participate in the 21st century workforce. As a result, more than 2.5 million Kenyan youth are either unemployed or inactive. The disconnection between industry and academia/education curricula means that the private sector is not getting the workers it needs, and young people are not well-equipped for employment or enterprise. This scenario has frustrated both youth and potential employers, with a negative impact on national productivity. Current reform efforts across the education sector include a strong focus on narrowing the skills gap by developing demand driven skills training curricula that is competency based. These government-led and development partner supported investments in competency based training are intended to build practical skills required for youth to enter either wage or self-employment.

To address challenges facing Kenyan youth, the Government of Kenya (GOK) and its development partners have launched youth platforms, such as the National Youth Council (NYC) and the National Youth Bunge Association (NYBA). These organizations are attempts to unify youth to address the challenge of access to youth-friendly services and their participation in other development processes. In addition, the GOK has established funds such as the Uwezo Fund and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to support young Kenyans. However, these platforms need support to build their capacity. Most young people are unable to access such GOK and private sector funds due to factors ranging from stringent regulations and little awareness of their existence. Many other youth lack national identity cards, a necessary prerequisite for many facets of civic adult life in Kenya.

In response to this development challenge, USAID/Kenya and East Africa’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) considers youth as a high Mission priority. The strategy envisions working directly with young people to improve health outcomes, increase skills for economic productivity and civic engagement, and develop individual and community resiliency to resist extremism and ethno-political conflict. The empowerment of youth will forge healthy, productive, and engaged citizens over the long term. With recognition of the challenges posed by a demographic youth bulge, the Mission does not view the youth of Kenya as victims or problems but as a critical part of the solution. Youth can and must drive Kenya’s progress toward responsive, citizen-centered government and a sustainable economy with shared growth to achieve the goals set out in Vision 2030, the national long-term development blue-print.

The Senior Youth and Workforce Development Advisor will lead USAID/Kenya and East Africa’s cross-sectoral project to strengthen the ability of Kenyan youth to contribute to the country’s social, political, and economic development. The Adviser will foster cross-sectoral collaboration and systemic, locally-led solutions wherever possible in alignment with USAID’s Youth in Development Policy. In doing so, the Adviser will operationalize the development hypotheses relevant to and emerging from each sector engaging with youth to support the Mission-wide youth goal: Kenyan youth are empowered and engaged in social, political, and economic development.

To achieve this, the Youth Project addresses three key development problems: minimal participation and representation of youth; minimal economic prospects and opportunities; and inadequate access to youth-friendly services. Addressing these issues requires multiple approaches and the integration of key principles into programming targeting youth. These include:

· SKILL-BUILDING: Intentional focus on broadening youth perspectives; development of social, problem-solving, communication, and labor market demand skills;

· PARTICIPATION: Engaging and partnering with youth by offering meaningful and developmentally appropriate opportunities for participation (e.g., youth-led discussions) and leadership (e.g., youth as partners in development programming – mobilizers, tutors, evaluators, and other contributors to development outcomes);

· RESILIENCE: Investing in assets that build youth resilience giving youth the ability to absorb and overcome difficulties such as poverty, conflict, and disease;

· INNOVATION: Embrace innovation and technology by and for youth;

· NORMS AND EXPECTATIONS: Establishing norms and high expectations for positive youth behavior and action that are sanctioned by the group;

· ADULT-YOUTH RELATIONSHIPS: Establishing deep and meaningful ways for young people and adults to relate and engage with each other and specific training for adult leaders; and

· INFORMATION AND SERVICES: Providing problem-specific information and access to developmentally appropriate services.

INTRODUCTION:

The Senior Youth and Workforce Development Adviser, Office of Education and Youth (EDY), will provide leadership support to EDY in the following ways:

The USPSC will report to and participate fully with the EDY Office Chief in providing guidance and overall direction of the development and execution of USAID/Kenya and East Africa-financed activities related to education sector reforms in Kenya, with particular emphasis on existing and planned new activities related to livelihoods and workforce development. The USPSC will be expected to work independently and with minimal oversight from the Office Chief of EDY, based on a general assignment of responsibilities. The USPSC will provide a work plan for accomplishing assigned duties and responsibilities, and will be responsible for daily management of assigned Mission-critical activities, informing and consulting with the Chief of EDY, Deputy Chief of EDY, Deputy Mission Director, Mission Director, and Embassy Front Office, as necessary. Within the scope of work assigned, the USPSC will have considerable latitude in the exercise of their duties, including program/project design, management and evaluation, and the identification and resolution of issues affecting program performance within and outside of the Mission. The USPSC will participate in oversight of the design and implementation of all youth-related programs/projects across the Mission; collaborate with other technical teams (including Economic Growth and Integration; Democracy, Conflict & Governance; Environment & Natural Resource Management; Health, Population and Nutrition); supervise FSN(s) in implementing and approving programs and activities; confer and negotiate with senior level Government of Kenya (GOK) officials, NGO/PVOs, and private-sector partners; participate in or direct staff participation in meetings with GOK officials, members of international organizations and other donors, private-sector representatives, and others to discuss program/project areas and to resolve problems of mutual concern.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

· The Contractor will serve as a senior and trusted policy and technical advisor to the Office Chief of EDY, USAID/Kenya and East Africa, the US Mission to Kenya, and the GOK on education sector reforms, and will speak for the Mission on technical youth matters as required.

· The Contractor will participate fully with the Chief of EDY in providing technical leadership and program implementation oversight to USAID/Kenya and East Africa-funded implementing partners working under contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants. Work will require the USPSC to liaise with implementing partners to best facilitate the exchange of technical information and ideas, to collaborate on cross-cutting issues, to provide effective collaboration with the private sector, GOK, and other development partners to promote program/project synergies. The USPSC will select or develop appropriate systems for monitoring implementing partners and activities, for obtaining and reporting on results and possible setbacks, and for initiating programmatic adjustments, when necessary.

· The Contractor will analyze economic, political, and other trends affecting youth and workforce development. Identifies ways to further meet both USG foreign policy and GOK youth sector policy objectives in Kenya.

· The Contractor will maintain a wide range of contacts with government, private sector, voluntary institutions as well as other multilateral and bilateral donors on matters related to youth initiatives to ensure proper activity design and implementation. Actively represents USAID at donor coordination meetings and other events on issues related to youth.

· The Contractor will participate as assigned in the supervision of the Office of Education and Youth’s Foreign Service National (FSN) staff. In total, the EDY Team consists of one U.S. Direct Hire (USDH) EDY Office Chief, one USDH Education Officer who serves as Deputy Office Chief, seven FSN professional staff and one FSN administrative staff. The USPSC will be required to assist in creating a supportive work environment that values diversity, and elicits the highest possible level of performance from the entire Development Objective (DO) Team; assist in setting clear individual and EDY Team work objectives; and help ensure that the staff carries out those assignments. The USPSC is also expected to encourage FSN staff development by assigning and guiding on additional responsibilities.

· The Contractor will assist the Mission in collecting information and evaluating the impact of all youth sector activities. This responsibility encompasses: a) completing youth and workforce sections of the Operational Plan annually; b) participating in evaluations of current and completed activities, including the performance of contractors and grantees; c) ensuring that relevant recommendations are implemented and taken into consideration in the design of new initiatives; and d) evaluating audit report findings and recommending and participating in corrective action.

· The Contractor will participate in ensuring cost-effective allocation and management of USG resources for all activities/projects under the Mission CDCS. The USPSC will assist in providing oversight to ensure that sufficient funds are supported annually in the Congressional presentation and to USAID/Washington for the youth program; that USAID/Washington and USAID/Kenya and East Africa allocate funds and provide other administrative support necessary to meet DO program/project needs; that DO programming, budgets, and schedules for obligation and expenditure are well thought-out, and will lead to achievement of the expected results; and, that USAID/Kenya and East Africa, implementing partner, and Kenyan counterpart organizations’ funds management procedures and practices comply with USG and USAID regulations and ethics standards.

· The Contractor will interact with all other USAID offices on issues related to youth, including reporting, budgeting, and outreach functions. Also coordinates with other USAID/Kenya and East Africa Mission offices on cross-cutting issues affecting youth, i.e., livelihoods, HIV/AIDS education, and civic education.

· The Contractor will support USAID/Kenya and East Africa bilateral efforts on the presidential Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), coordinating with the YALI Regional Coordinator for East Africa based at the Mission, and the Embassy’s Public Affairs Section.

POSITION ELEMENTS:

Supervisory Controls: Work will be performed under the general direction of the Chief, Office of Education and Youth, USAID/Kenya and East Africa, located in Nairobi, Kenya. Performance will be evaluated annually based on accomplishments.

Supervision over Others: May exercise full range of normal supervision over two FSN Youth Project Management Specialists and one Project Management Assistant, providing overall policy guidance and coordinating the work of these employees to achieve activity objectives.

Exercise of Judgment: Overall management of the Education and Youth portfolio is done collaboratively in a team environment, with the USPSC participating fully in the process. Specific work plans and anticipated results are developed in consultation with the EDY Team.

The USPSC works independently, providing leadership to others involved in the management of the EDY portfolio, and in the development, design, and drafting of new Education and Youth activities. The work is reviewed in terms of achievement of established milestones, and the appropriateness of program/project activity focus.

Authority to make Commitments/Obligations: Because the position will be procured through a personal services contract, the incumbent cannot make financial commitments on behalf of the U.S. Government. However, because of the incumbent’s expertise and standing as a highly qualified professional in his/her field, great weight will be given to his/her conclusions and recommendations when commitments are made by those with the authority to do so.

Physical demands: The primary location of work will be the US Embassy Compound in Nairobi, Kenya. Work in the office is expected to be mostly sedentary. Secondary locations will include implementing partner offices and field offices, the location of program beneficiaries in rural and in urban areas, GOK departments and offices and the offices of bi- and multi-lateral donors and NGOs, and attendance at international conferences and trainings. In-country travel is a requirement of the position and the USPSC may occasionally face challenging living and working conditions while in travel status. Some travel may require USG Regional Security Officer approval.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENT:

In-country travel is a requirement of the position and the USPSC may occasionally face challenging living and working conditions while in travel status. Some travel may require USG Regional Security Officer (RSO) approval.

SUPPORT ITEMS:

The incumbent will be provided with the support services, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform the work.

SUNDAY PAY: Is not authorized.

  1. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens.

  2. 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.

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

II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS

· Master’s degree in a relevant discipline such as youth entrepreneurship or livelihoods development, international education, non-formal and/or other alternative youth approaches, workforce development, private sector and/or social/behavioral sciences;

· Minimum of seven years’ experience in developing countries designing and leading youth workforce development and private sector-led youth livelihood initiatives and/or USAID youth programming and strategic outreach to the private sector.

· The youth and workforce development adviser should have experience in designing and implementing tools and approaches that encompass cross-sectoral programming. The ideal candidate will have experience in both youth mobilization and workforce development as well as a proven track record in brokering successful public private sector partnerships to leverage resources and multiply the Mission’s investment in its youth portfolio. Prior experience in managing USAID-funded contracts and grants, particularly in the area of education or youth, is strongly preferred.

· Demonstrated experience in developing and maintaining counterpart contacts and relationships at both the senior policy and technical implementation levels is strongly preferred. This includes contacts with host government counterparts, other donors, and USG agencies.

· Native English writing and editing skills, as well as the ability to process information from a wide variety of sources into cohesive, polished documents is required. There is no requirement for local language proficiency, though knowledge of Kiswahili is desirable. Demonstrated ability in developing and maintaining counterpart contacts and relationships at both the senior policy and technical implementation levels is strongly preferred. This includes contacts with host government counterparts, other donors, private sector leaders and USG agencies. The position requires strong communication, mentoring, interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills, as well as the ability to prepare reports and technical and policy briefs sometimes with short deadlines.

· The position requires strong ability in communications, mentoring, interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills, as well as the ability to prepare reports and technical and policy briefs sometimes with short deadlines.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

Applicants are required to address each of the evaluation criteria on a separate sheet, describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received that are relevant to each factor.

Applicants will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria:

(Maximum Points Available: 100)

  1. Education (15 points) A Master’s degree in an area related to youth entrepreneurial or livelihoods development, international education, non-formal and/or other youth approaches, workforce development, private sector and/or social/behavioral sciences.

    1. Professional Experience (45 points)At least seven years of experience in youth programming with demonstrated experience in developing countries. This time should include experience in the design and leadership of youth programming with specialization in workforce development and private sector-led youth livelihood initiatives. The youth and workforce development adviser should have experience in designing and implementing tools and approaches that encompass cross-sectoral programming. The ideal candidate would have experience in both youth mobilization and workforce development as well as a proven track record in brokering successful public private sector partnerships to leverage resources and multiply the Mission’s investment in its youth portfolio. Prior experience in managing USAID-funded contracts and grants, particularly in the area of education or youth, is strongly preferred.

    3.Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (25 points)The successful candidate must demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of youth workforce development approaches and tools for development assistance. The candidate must be conversant and demonstrate experience in various youth programming approaches, project management, and US Government federal regulations and procedures. Knowledge of successful strategies to develop sustainable public and private sector partnerships to complement core programming is required. This level of knowledge is required as the successful candidate will be responsible for incorporating these strategies into technical documents required by the assignment. Prior certification to work as an Agreement/Contract Officer’s Representative (A/COR), and qualification to administer obligated funds under USAID contracting instruments such as grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts is strongly preferred. Knowledge of best practices for addressing the challenges facing youth (including formal and non-formal/alternative education approaches), human and institutional capacity building, and fragility and/or extremism is strongly preferred.
    1. Language and Communication Skills (15 points)

Level IV (Fluent) speaking/reading of the English language is required. Kiswahili language skills will be an asset.

Notice to Applicants:

Applicants should carefully review the required education and experience requirements stated in this solicitation to ensure they meet the full set of criteria before submitting an application for consideration. Applicants meeting the required qualifications will be evaluated based on information presented in their application and reference checks. USAID reserves the right to obtain from previous employers relevant information concerning the applicant’s past performance and may consider such information in its evaluation. USAID reserves the right to conduct interviews with the top ranked short-listed applicants.

IV. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES

Once the 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.

· Medical Form (DS Form 6561)

· EQIP Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security (SF-86) or

· EQIP Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)

· EQIP Signature Forms (3-CER, REL, MEL)

· Finger print Card (FD-258) (available from requirements office)

· AID 6-85 (Foreign Residence Data)

V. BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES

As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:

  1. BENEFITS:

(a) Employer’s FICA Contribution

(b) Contribution toward Health and Life Insurance

(c) Pay Comparability Adjustment

(d) Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)

(e) Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation (f) Annual and Sick Leave

  1. ALLOWANCES:

Section numbers refer to rules from the Department of State Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians Foreign Areas)

(a) Temporary Quarter Subsistence Allowance (Section 120)

(b) Living Quarters Allowance (Section 130)

(c) Cost-of-Living Allowance (Chapter 210)

(d) Post Allowance (Section 220)

(e) Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)

(f) Education Allowance (Section 270)

(g) Education Travel (Section 280)

(h) Post Differential (Chapter 500)

(i) Payments during Evacuation/Authorized Departure (Section 600), and (j) Danger Pay Allowance (Section 650)

VI. TAXES

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

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

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

  1. AIDAR: The Agency for International Development Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR) Appendix D – “Direct USAID Contracts with U.S. Citizens or U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clauses “General Provisions,” found at: http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/aidar.pdf

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

  3. Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs): AAPDs/CIBs for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at https://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

END OF SOLICITATION

How to apply:

  1. Interested applicants are required to submit the following:

(1) Offer form AID 302-3, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms/aid-302-3

(2) An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) or resume (no more than five pages)**, cover letter** explaining your qualifications for the position, copies of all relevant certificates and include three (3) to five (5) references, who are not family members or relatives, with working telephone and e-mail contacts.

  1. Applications must be submitted electronically via email to Patrick Bii at pbii@usaid.gov, with a copy to Natalya Komarova at nkomarova@usaid.gov , by the closing date and time indicated above.

  2. To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number in the offer submission/cover letter.

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