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Job Title

Project Management Specialist ( Regional Market Systems and Food Safety)




Advert Details

Recruiter: USAID Kenya Updated on: 2019-10-19 02:10:01
Contract Permanent
Location: Kenya Available: Immediately
Category: Project Management Specialist Offer: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 (Step 1: 4,327,568 KSH to Step 13:7,356,848 Ksh per annum).



The Project Management Specialist (Regional Market Systems and Food Safety) position will be a senior member of the Office of Economic Growth and Integration (OEGI), and she/he will manage regional Feed the Future (FTF) and other related programs and relationships in support of regional agricultural markets, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) systems to reduce poverty and advance food security.

Minimum Requirements


Any application that does not meet the minimum requirements stated below will not be evaluated. Only short listed applicants will be contacted. If you have not been contacted within one month from the closing date of this advertisement, please consider your application unsuccessful.


  1. Education: University degree in agricultural economics, agronomy, entrepreneurship development, food security or related field is required.
  2. Prior Work Experience:  A minimum of five years combined working experience is required with organizations directly involved in agricultural market systems development, food, animal and plant safety, agribusiness, trade and economic development.
  3. Post Entry Training:  Familiarization and training in specific USG and USAID procedures, regulations, and methods will be provided. Participation in courses offered for USAID staff will be supported, as appropriate. The incumbent will be expected to successfully complete the course for COR/AOR and become certified as soon as practical, in compliance with USAID regulations. Other standard courses, including Programming Foreign Assistance, Performance Management Plan, and Project Design and Management, are directly relevant to the performance of core responsibilities. Subject to the availability of funds, the incumbent will be encouraged to participate in courses, seminars, web-based learning opportunities, conferences and other activities related to the functions of the position USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) and related Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives (AAPDs) provide relevant guidance on topics related to the roles and responsibilities of the incumbent. CCN PSCs may participate in temporary duty (TDY) travel to USAID/Washington and other Missions in order to participate in the Foreign Service National Fellowship Program described in ADS 495maa. 
  4. Language Proficiency: Level IV (fluent) knowledge of English is required. The incumbent must have excellent oral and written language and communication skills in English.
  5. Job Knowledge:  The incumbent must have a good knowledge of the institutions in East Africa involved with commodity markets, marketing, private sector commodity and input associations, resilience, food security, and food safety and statistical analysis. These include the regional economic communities; regional and national research organizations; national agricultural research institutes, policy institutes; international institutes and private sector organizations. He or she should have demonstrated experience working collaboratively with public institutions and private sector partners that support trade, food security, and SPS activities and interface with implementing and governmental partners.  He/she should also be familiar with trade, food security and SPS issues pertinent both inside and out of East Africa, including the policies in place within East African countries to address matters of food security and trade. He/she should also have knowledge and understanding of: the provisions and principles of regional agricultural development and trade; regional market system dynamics and constraints and opportunities in intraregional and global trade; food security and livelihoods in Eastern Africa and the IGAD and COMESA region; and Sanitary and Phytosanitary and relevant agricultural issues in sub-Saharan Africa. He/she should also have knowledge of: USG positions and approaches to SPS infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, agriculture, trade, capacity building, economic development, complex linkages in SPS policy and programs; USG and international organizations involved in setting SPS regulatory standards; and knowledge and understanding of social, economic, language and cultural differences within East Africa and the ability to employ such knowledge in sensitive negotiations with U.S. and international partners, where programs may involve substantial resources, sensitive cultural differences, and conflicting goals and objectives. The incumbent has the ability to advise members of diverse teams to accomplish the goals and objectives of the projects under assignment. The incumbent will be expected to learn the USAID/KEA Regional Cooperation Development Strategy and implement relevant objectives through his/her portfolio.                                                                                                                                      
  6. Skills and Abilities: 


Applicants must submit a resume/cv which describes how their relevant professional experience and education has prepared them to meet the specific challenges of the duties and responsibilities described above.  As part of the interview process, those applicants ranked highest may be required to submit a timed writing sample on a topic provided.  The selection committee may conduct reference checks at any time during the selection process.

Applications that do not meet the required minimum qualifications will not be scored. 

Total possible points:  100

Candidates meeting the above required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application and reference checks.   References will be asked to assess the applicant’s technical knowledge, work performance, communication skills, and group dynamics, using the above criteria.   USAID reserves the right to conduct interviews with the top ranked short-listed applicants.  The interview will be one of the determining factors in the final selection.



Job Specification


       1.   SOLICITATION NO.: 19-139

       2.   ISSUANCE DATE: September 28,  2019       

       3.   CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: October 18,  2019 (4:30 PM East Africa Time)                      

       4.   POSITION TITLE: Project Management Specialist (Regional Market Systems and Food Security).                              

       5.  MARKET VALUE:  Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 (Step 1: 4,327,568 KSH to Step 13:7,356,848 Ksh per annum). In                    accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of USAID/Kenya and East Africa. Final                      compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

       6.  PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:  Initial 1 year probationary period with 4 additional option years contingent on                          performance, position need, and funds availability. 

       7.  PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya; with possible travel as stated in the Statement of Work.

       8.  SECURITY CERTIFICATION REQUIRED: Prior to joining USAID, the selected candidate will be required to:


10.  AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens, Third Country Nationals (non-US, non-Kenyan citizens) and current employees of the U.S. Mission.  Employees currently on probation are ineligible to apply. USAID provides equal opportunity and equitable treatment for employment of all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status or sexual orientation.

       11.  PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The position requirements do not involve rigorous physical demands.


The Project Management Specialist (Regional Market Systems and Food Safety) position will be a senior member of the Office of Economic Growth and Integration (OEGI), and s/he will manage regional Feed the Future (FTF) and other related programs and relationships in support of regional agricultural markets, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) systems to reduce poverty and advance food security, resilience and trade in Eastern Africa.  

The primary responsibility of the position is to manage regional programs and partnerships in support of regional, national and community level initiatives and develop relationships with senior regional officials and private sector actors to coordinate USAID activities. OEGI works in partnership with a multitude of African institutions and private sector partners to achieve development goals and promote U.S. foreign policy objectives.

OEGI and its partners jointly seek to increase inclusive agricultural-led economic growth, improve nutrition, especially among women and children, and strengthen the resilience of people and systems.  In particular, the position will contribute to efforts that reduce trade barriers, increase the productivity and competitiveness of the region, particularly in agricultural value chains; improve transit corridors.  USAID/ KEA also supports the adaptation and clean energy initiatives in response to global climate change; to improve access to clean water and sanitation; and to help maintain regions rich biodiversity as a sustainable and globally­ recognized asset.  OEGI coordinates with bilateral USAID Missions and U.S. government interagency partners within East Africa on policy, program, and technical issues.


Technical Support Services to African Regional Partners and USAID Missions (35%)

The position requires important coordination, communication and management skills related to a broad-based technical assistance program involving many stakeholders including regional and national government departments and private sector actors in highly visible and politicized sectors. The incumbent will provide advice, leadership, and specialized skills and services to strengthen market systems along key value chains and improve regional and national capacity in SPS systems across East Africa.

The position will engage regularly with Regional Economic Community partners, including East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the International Authority on Government Development, IGAD and private sector stakeholder groups such as the East Africa Grains Council, East Africa Cross Border Traders Association and other private sector trade and food security entities. The incumbent will work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture.

The position will provide senior level leadership within USAID for the design, implementation, and evaluation of technical assistance programs, training and workshops in the realm of agricultural market system development, which includes regional value chains such as maize, livestock, pulses, and other strategic value chains such as seeds, processed foods and nutritionally dense food products that reduce poverty and malnutrition.  The position will also provide expertise and manage activities on plant and animal health, and food safety in East Africa in collaboration with other OEGI staff members.

Activities will support several U.S. Government efforts such as the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy, Feed the Future Initiative (FTF), Prosper Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance. These efforts will focus on bringing agricultural policy, legislation, regulations and production methods in Eastern Africa into compliance with international obligations and strengthening trade and SPS regulatory infrastructure. These efforts will also support agricultural market development and assist in meeting international standards, which will enable agricultural commodities produced in sub-Saharan Africa to become eligible for export to new markets creating opportunity for economic growth and private investment.

Duties include providing expert technical review, leadership and policy and program guidance in identifying market system opportunities and providing leadership on SPS program directions and objectives, establishing priorities, implementing activities and providing budget and resource recommendations to USAID/KEA, USAID's Bureau of Food Security, Bureau for Africa, bilateral and regional missions, and partners working in trade, plant health, animal health, and food safety sectors. The incumbent will identify and report on barriers to regional and international agricultural trade and actively participate in actions and measures to prevent, minimize, or remove them, with particular attention to SPS issues.

The position will establish and maintain productive working relationships with public and private-sector representatives throughout the region of responsibility to promote regulatory policy development and implementation in line with USG and international policy. The incumbent will work closely with USAID, implementing partners, relevant USG regulatory agencies and private sector associations to support regulatory development processes in African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and national governments. Specifically, the incumbent will be able to identify, analyze and address trade SPS policies that will impact the ability of African agricultural producers to access broader markets and create economic opportunity for growth and investment in the sector.

The Regional Markets and Food Safety Advisor will serve as COR/AOR and Activity Manager for relevant programs.

Program Management (35%)

The position will manage programs for USAID/ KEA regional, which includes coordination with relevant bilateral missions, Washington and private sector stakeholders on regional agricultural market systems and SPS regulatory issues that affect poverty reduction, agricultural development, food security and trade in East Africa.

Specifically, the position will assist OEGI and the Contracts/Assistance Office in the design and management of grants, agreements, and contracts with regional programs in the technical areas mentioned above. Provide leadership in the writing of technical program descriptions and scopes of work, providing technical support to food security knowledge management projects and serving as USAID Agreement Officer’s Activity Representative (AM) or COR/AOR (technical project supervisor) or alternate COR/AOR for awards, leading or participating in field supervision visits, evaluation teams, as needed.

This position includes frequent regional travel in Eastern Africa, with some attention to key countries in the COMESA region. Manage the capture, retention and sharing of USAID and stakeholder's collective knowledge through connecting people to information, experience and expertise. Provide up to date information on innovation and development as relates to USAID/KEA’s trade and food security portfolio. Maintain professional collaborative and/or team working relationship with the technical and analytical branches of other USAID bureaus, missions, offices, and staff.  Coordinate the regional internal-USAID network of Feed the Future and Trade team members supporting COMESA, EAC and IGAD to promote trade, food safety, and resilience work and identify areas of synergies with bilateral missions. 

Representation and Reporting (30%)

A respected development professional, the Project Management Specialist, Regional Market Systems and Food Safety, will be called upon to liaise with local, regional, and international private-sector partners, as well as agricultural policy and promotion officials in the public sector. He/she may be required to represent USAID to a number of different stakeholders including Ambassadors, Mission Directors, other senior USG Agency representatives, regional economic communities, national level counterparts, bilateral and multilateral donors, and corporate executives.  

Serve as a liaison to connect USAID, other USG agencies, relevant technical partners, and national and regional trade and SPS agencies throughout East Africa. Specifically, the incumbent will establish partnerships between OEGI and other relevant trade and SPS actors to provide leadership in strategic planning for East African regional trade and SPS initiatives which support domestic economic and agricultural development. Areas covered include:  Regulatory guidance on the development of science-based SPS policy and regulations; Capacity building programs to expand and promote the safe trade of African agricultural commodities and food products across borders; Support for the integration of East Africa and constituent countries into regional and global markets, and SPS stakeholder support needed to drive economic growth and increase investment opportunities for the private sector in East Africa.

As a member of the Agriculture and Food Security team, participate in the writing of annual and other reports, success stories, press releases, etc.; prepare approval documents, budgets, and memos; help manage USAID's internet-based information management systems and respond to tasks from within USAID/KEA, Washington, as needed. The incumbent will also liaise with bilateral Missions, and respective trade, agriculture and resilience staff, on reporting responsibilities and other duties that may arise in respect to economic growth activities.

The incumbent is expected to respond flexibly and capably to a wide range of work-related requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, responding to U.S. Congressional inquiries and other Washington policy and operational requests, supporting VIP visits, and carrying out ad-hoc assignments as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements at the discretion of the Mission Director, Deputy Director, or OEGI Office Director.


A. Supervision Received:   The incumbent will receive direct supervision from the OEGI Regional Agriculture Team Lead and is part of the larger OEGI Office. The incumbent may also receive direction from the OEGI Deputy Chief.   Assignments are made orally and in writing. 

B. Supervision Exercised:  None

C.  Available Guidelines:  Available guidelines include USAID Mission Orders, Mission strategy, Technical strategy such as the East Africa Global Food Security Strategy, the Private Sector Engagement Strategy, Prosper Africa; and USAID Agency relevant reports including: the Automated Directives System (ADS); and, USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, the FAR and AIDAR, and other published and unpublished guidelines.  Guidelines are often general in nature and not specific to the situation at hand, requiring considerable interpretation.

D.  Exercise of Judgment:  Substantial judgment (discretion) is used daily in giving technical guidance to USG, USAID, and national governments and regional bodies.  Independent judgment is required for developing, implementing, and managing assigned program/project activities, for reporting, and for other assignments.  Substantial judgment is required in analyzing and determining whether or not to recommend approval of proposed programs/projects, in choosing among alternative proposals, and in evaluating data for reliability.

E.  Authority to Make Commitments:  The job holder has no authority to commit funds on behalf of the USG, but has the authority and responsibility to make technical recommendations to senior management.

F.  Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts:  The Specialist maintains a full range of contacts within the within USAID and the USG; governmental organizations; and, maintains contact with implementing partners and grantees implementing USAID-funded programs/projects/activities. 

G.  Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level:  One year.

How to Apply:

Step 1:             Register in MyJobsInKenya at (Please use Internet Explorer to access this                                    site)    

Step 2:             Complete the job application questionnaire at (Please use Internet                                         Explorer to access this site) . The applicant must answer all the questions in the Questionnaire.

Step 3:             Internal Applicants/Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five                           pages), a copy of your most recent Performance Evaluation Report, and copies of all relevant certificates.                               Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya (Please use                                  Internet Explorer to access this site).


                          External Applicants/Not Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more                                  than five pages) and copies of all relevant certificates. Upload all the documents to                                                                MyJobsInKenya (Please use Internet Explorer to access this site) .

Note to Applicants:

  1. Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted through as stated in Section IV.
  2. Submissions will only be accepted through (Please use Internet Explorer to access this site). Late and Incomplete applications (those that do not contain the applicant’s most current and up to date detailed CV and relevant education certificates) will not be considered for the position. The closing date for receipt of applications is indicated above.


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