RFP No. SOL-486-14-000003 - Regional Environment Office Partnerships and Coordination Specialist

RFP No. SOL-486-14-000003

ISSUANCE DATE: November 1, 2013

CLOSING DATE : November 14, 2013 at 16.00hrs Bangkok Time

SUBJECT: Solicitation for Resident-hire U.S. Citizen Personal Services Contractor (USPSC) Regional Environment Office Partnerships and Coordination Specialist, RDMA, Bangkok, Thailand

To All Interested Applicants: The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking an application (Optional Form 612 and resume) from U.S. citizens interested in providing the PSC services described in the attachments. Submissions shall be in accordance with the instructions to applicants provided in the attachment and delivered to the undersigned in Bangkok, Thailand at the place and by the time specified. Interested applicants must submit all the materials required by the solicitation and should retain for their records copies of all enclosures which accompany their applications. Only short listed candidates will be contacted. Email submissions shall be sent to: Ms. Praveena ViraSingh, Acquisition Specialist, at the e-mail address pvirasingh@usaid.gov. To ensure delivery by the due date it is recommended that applications be sent in as email attachments. Late applications will not be considered. The award of a contract hereunder is subject to the availability of funds. Applicants are required to sign the certification at the end of the OF-612. Applications that are received without a signature or incomplete applications will not be considered for the position. Permanent residence status and/or requisite visas and work permits for Thailand is required. This solicitation does not represent a commitment on behalf of USAID the U.S. Government is not obligated to make an award or to pay for any costs associated with the preparation and submission of a proposal in response to this solicitation. USAID reserves the right to award all or none of the contracts contemplated herein, subject to availability of funds. Sincerely, Martha Aponte Regional Contracting Officer USAID/RDMA, Bangkok, Thailand Mailing Address: USAID Box 47 USAID/RDMA APO AP 96546, USA Regional Office of Procurement (ROP) Athenee Tower, 63 Wireless Road, 25th Floor, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

ATTACHMENT 1:

1. SOLICITATION NUMBER: RFP No. SOL-486-14-000003

2. ISSUANCE DATE: November 1, 2013

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME SPECIFIED FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS: November 14, 2013 at 4.00 P.M. Bangkok Time

4. POSITION TITLE: Regional Environment Office Partnerships and Coordination Specialist

5. MARKET VALUE OF POSITION (Base Pay): GS 13 equivalent ($71,674 - $93,175 per annum) Salary to be paid within this grade will depend on experience, qualifications, and salary history. The standard compensation package also includes a contribution for life and health insurance and a contribution to FICA. This is a resident-hire position. As a resident-hire PSC the selected candidate will NOT be entitled to receive offshore-hire benefits and allowances such as post differential, housing, international travel and shipment benefits.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: To start as soon as possible, for a period of one (1) year with the possibility of extensions depending on the need for continuation of such services, availability of funds, satisfactory performance, and the needs of the USAID Mission.

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Bangkok, Thailand.

8. SECURITY ACCESS: Secret Level.

9. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens only;

10. JOB DESCRIPTION:

A. Position Title: Regional Environment Office Partnerships and Coordination Specialist

B. Supervision: The position is directly supervised by the Deputy Office Director, Regional Environment Office (REO).

C. Introduction and Background: USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) is a large, fast-paced Mission located in Bangkok, Thailand with total regional and bilateral funding of over $100 million annually. RDMA manages regional programs throughout Asia as well as substantial bilateral programs in countries without bilateral USAID missions, including China and Laos. Activities are aimed at improving environmental conditions and climate change adaptation; promoting democratic governance and economic reform; supporting the creation of an integrated Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community; increasing effective responses to infectious diseases including malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and Avian Influenza; and humanitarian and other assistance for vulnerable populations, particularly those of Tibet and Burma. The USAID Asia Bureau’s vision for RDMA is that the Mission serves as the forward operating base to support implementation of USAID Forward reforms in the region. RDMA is in the process of realigning its resources to meet this objective, including recruiting a Local Capacity Development Officer, a Disaster Risk Reduction Officer, a Gender Advisor, and a Regional Economist, among others. The Regional Environment Office (REO) manages a complex portfolio of spanning 18 countries in the areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change, low emissions development, forestry, marine/fisheries management and environmental governance. The REO has a staff of 20 people and manages a portfolio valued at over $30 million dollars annually. A crucial objective for REO is to improve outreach and communications with the bilateral Missions in the region as well as key USAID/RDMA stakeholders. REO aims to work more effectively with our existing USAID bilateral Mission counterparts in the Asia region to coordinate programs for improved development impact. Similarly, REO aims to further develop and maintain relationships with key external stakeholders in the region from governments, donors, civil society partners, and the private sector to enhance our development effectiveness.

D. Major Roles and Responsibilities: BASIC FUNCTIONS: The REO Partnerships and Coordination Specialist serves as the principal advisor for REO on internal and external communication strategies and systems. The incumbent will be tasked with designing and managing a comprehensive new internal communication system for REO to improve information flow and planning with bilateral Missions, US Embassies, and potentially other US government agencies throughout Asia in order to advance development impact. Similarly, the incumbent will be tasked with developing and maintaining relationships with key USAID/RDMA stakeholders in the region including government officials, regional institutions, donor partners, civil society leaders, and the private sector. This is a new position and will require effective diplomatic, strategic thinking, and writing skills as well as the qualities of a self-starter who is highly motivated and able to exercise independent judgment.

E. Duties and Responsibilities:

Internal USAID and USG Communications:

  • Develops and implements a comprehensive communications and outreach strategy to improve REO's coordination with RDMA and bilateral Missions in the Asia region;
  • Serves as regional communications liaison between REO and counterparts in USAID bilateral Missions, US Embassies, and other US government agencies in the Asia region;
  • Liaises with counterparts in USAID's Asia and E3 Bureaus and the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (State/OES) at State Department as well as other US government partners based in the US;
  • Designs, develops and manages a virtual portal of information about RDMA programs and technical assistance opportunities as well as emerging environmental concerns and proposed solutions to enhance bilateral communication and technical support for USAID and USG environmental programs in the region;
  • Maintains regular contact with bilateral Missions and US Embassies in the Asia region to ensure they are cognizant and have up-to-date understanding of relevant REO activities as well as services offered by REO;
  • Understands and keeps apprised of the changing country-level requirements and processes for approvals for each bilateral country in the Asia region;
  • Regularly produces and disseminates information about REO's regional activities to bilateral Missions;
  • Organizes and leads monthly virtual coordination meetings with USAID bilateral Missions and (as appropriate) including Environment, Science and Technology and Health (ESTH) Officers at US Embassies;
  • Establishes points of contact at each bilateral Mission or US Embassy in non-presence countries and ensures effective information sharing;
  • Maintains collaborative relationships with USAID bilateral Missions and US Embassies in the region;
  • Increases the sharing of lessons learned and best practices among REO, bilateral Missions, and other USG partners.

External USAID Communications:

  • Develops and implements a comprehensive REO-level communications and outreach strategy to improve external communications;
  • Develops and maintains relationships with key USAID/RDMA stakeholders in the region from governments, regional institutions, donors, civil society, and the private sector to advance the effectiveness of development programming;
  • Works closely with RDMA's Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Office to ensure REO is effectively and appropriately communicating our story to external audiences, including liaising with the Public Affairs Office of US Embassy Bangkok and other embassies in the region in order to correctly convey and protect USG interests;
  • Designs and implements relevant media and communications training to REO's development partners;
  • Advises REO partners on bilateral Mission and relevant US Embassy coordination protocols, as necessary;
  • Compiles, edits and publishes REO's weekly updates for an external audience;
  • Tracks and manages REO 'tweets', photography, video, and other outreach media in close coordination with the RDMA DOC Team;

Strategic Planning:

  • Develops a comprehensive REO-level internal and external communications and outreach strategy including effective operational procedures;
  • Works with REO's leadership and technical teams to identify and target key stakeholders in government, regional, donor, civil society and private sector organizations in order to advance USAID/RDMA's development impact In the environment sector;
  • Strategically allocates REO's human resources to respond to bilateral demands for temporary technical support (TDY support);
  • Tracks and manages requests for REO temporary technical support (TDY) to bilateral Missions in the region;
  • Designs, organizes, and facilitates REO's bi-annual regional climate change coordination meetings for environment officers in Asia;
  • Provides critical input on communications and outreach to the REO Deputy Office Director, the REO Office Director, and the RDMA Development and Outreach Communications team.

F. Post-Entry Training: The incumbent will be expected to possess the necessary organizational and communications skills required to perform the duties/responsibilities required of the position. Post entry training will be focused primarily on the Agency's established policies, procedures and regulations. Organized/formal training (both internal & external) may be provided if it is determined to be in direct support of USAID/RDMA activities. The incumbent may also receive some on-the-job training from the DOC Team as well as the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

G. Language Proficiency: Level V, strong written and oral proficiency in English is required. Given the nature of the position, effective written and oral communications are absolutely critical to perform successfully in this position.

H. Degree of Responsibility for Decision-Making Assigned to the Position: The incumbent will be given guidance and direction by the REO Deputy Director. The incumbent is tasked with creating new coordination guidelines between REO, all of our bilateral Missions, and key USG partners in the region to improve the effectiveness of our development programming. The incumbent is expected to resolve most communication and coordination issues independently. The incumbent must demonstrate ingenuity, diplomacy, and creativity to resolve communication challenges and achieve objectives.

I. Supervision Received: The REO Partnerships and Coordination Specialist will report directly to the REO Deputy Office Director, who will provide guidance on USAID/RDMA strategic objectives and goals. The incumbent is expected to coordinate closely with the REO Deputy Office Director while exercising independent judgment in designing and maintaining new coordination strategies with the bilateral Missions and other key stakeholders in the region with the goal of advancing the development impact of USAID/RDMA programming. The incumbent is expected to establish priorities with minimal guidance and must be proactive as well as self-motivated and self-directed.

J. Level of Complexity of Work Assignments: This position requires a high level of knowledge about environment and communication issues, as applied, specifically, to the USAID context. The incumbent is expected to generate innovative solutions to continually evolving and changing communication challenges. The incumbent is expected to lead REO in designing a system to more effectively and efficiently share information in the Asia Region to ensure the most efficient adoption of best practices to improve development outcomes.

K. Physical Condition: The successful candidate will be required to pass a physical certification exam, paid for by the U.S. Government. USAID prohibits discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of physical or mental impairment. USAID promotes, with reasonable accommodation, the full realization of equal employment opportunities for the disabled in recruitment, promotion, assignment, and training.

L. Exercise of Judgment: The incumbent is required to exercise independent judgment and ingenuity to develop strategies and establish systems to resolve internal and external communication problems and reposition REO as a regional service provider. The use of initiative, discretion, diplomacy, and patience is expected from the incumbent in serving as a liaison between USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia’s Regional Environment and USAID Bilateral Missions and other development partners. In addition, considerable judgment is required when managing REO’s external communications to ensure that USG interests are protected. The incumbent will be required to follow and adhere to USAID's Code of Ethics and Conduct.

M. Available Guidelines: The incumbent is required to quickly understand Mission and Agency specific policies and procedures which govern communications, project design, and activity management in addition to the USAID/RDMA’s established administrative operating procedures, policies, and reporting formats. The incumbent is expected to identify new strategic partnerships and opportunities for REO with few available guidelines. Oral and written guidance from the REO Deputy Director and the REO Director is primarily with regard to USG policies, priorities, and operational goals.

N. Nature, Level and Purpose of Contacts: To effectively function in this position, the incumbent will be required to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all categories of USG staff and REO stakeholders in the Asia region. USG contacts are with USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia’s Regional Environment Office, Office Directors at all of our bilateral Missions in Asia that manage environment programs; Mission Directors at all USAID bilateral missions in the region; U.S. Embassy staff, including ESTH officers; USAID Washington, in particular the Asia Bureau; and other U.S. government agencies. External contacts are with senior managers and executives of host government counterpart agencies, key regional institutions (ASEAN, APEC, Lower Mekong Initiative, etc.), other international organizations and donors (Asian Development Bank, World Bank), NGOs, civil society organizations, and private sector actors. External contacts also include regional environment organizations, think tanks (both in Asia and worldwide), as well as other regional environment-related organizations, such as universities.

O. Limitations on Personal Service Contracts Personal services contracts may only be used when adequate supervision is available. 1. They may not supervise U.S. direct-hire employees of USAID or other U.S. Government agencies. They may supervise USPSCs and non-U.S. citizen employees. 2. They may not be designated as Contracting Officers or delegated authority to sign obligating or sub-obligating documents. 3. They may represent the agency, except that communications that reflect a final policy, planning, or budget decision of the agency must be cleared by a USDH employee. 4. They may participate in personnel selection matters, but may not be delegated authority to make a final decision on personnel selection.

P. Authority to Make Commitments: The incumbent will have no independent authority to commit U.S. Government (USAID/RDMA) funds on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Q. Supervision/Oversight Over Others: The incumbent will provide guidance and leadership to the REO office to achieve communication objectives in close consultation with the REO Deputy Office Director.

R. OTHER REQUIREMENTS: The incumbent must be:

  • A U.S. Citizen or third country national
  • Available and willing to work outside the regular 40-hour workweek when required/necessary
  • Willing to travel to work sites and other offices as/when requested

11. QUALIFICATIONS AND SELECTION CRITERIA: Applicants meeting the required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application and obtained through reference checks. Following is the evaluation criteria for this position: Education and Prior Work Experience (15 points): Education A minimum of a Master’s Degree is required, preferably in the field of public relations, environment, or a related international development area. An additional 5 years of direct experience in the above professional areas may substitute for a Master’s degree.

Prior Work Experience In addition to the educational degree mentioned above, a minimum of four (4) years of progressively responsible professional experience in focused on communications and outreach and at least three (3) years of international experience is required. Experience with natural resources management or another environmental field is preferred. Previous work experience or familiarity with USAID and USAID policies and business processes is desirable.

Technical Knowledge (30 points): Incumbent must successfully demonstrate, and reference in his/her resume, the following competencies:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the environment field and ability to facilitate technical trainings and meetings concerning environmental topics;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in communication and outreach; Communication Skills and Abilities (30 points): Incumbent must have the following:
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and the proven ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with USAID staff and managers and USAID/RDMA stakeholders including government officials, civil society and the private sector;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Excellent presentation skills and the ability to relate development experiences, success stories, and lessons learned to internal and external audiences;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to collaborate with USAID bilateral Missions and US Embassies as well as other development partners.

Leadership Skills and Abilities (25 points):

  • Ability to design, implement and manage a new communications strategy and systems in a complex implementation environment;
  • Ability to develop new systems and procedures, including a virtual information portal, for successful implementation of a REO communications strategy;
  • Proven record of establishing effective, team-based working relationships with a wide range of colleagues;
  • Demonstrated ability to design and facilitate professional technical trainings and meetings;
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment in resolving complex communications issues on a regional scale. 

12. OTHER REQUIREMENTS: The incumbent must be:

  • Able to obtain U.S. Government medical and security clearances;
  • Available and willing to work outside the regular 40-hour work week when required/necessary; and
  • Willing to travel to work sites and other offices as/when requested.

13. INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANTS: Interested individuals are requested to submit following: i. Fully completed and hand-signed copy of an Optional Application for Federal Employment Form (OF-612); ii. A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV); iii. Personal Information: full name, mailing address, email address, day and evening phone numbers, and country of citizenship; iv. Meeting the Evaluation Criteria: a. Education - Colleges and universities or technical vocational schools, name, city and state, majors, type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours); clearly state if experience is being substituted for a degree; b. Experience – Provide information for paid and non-paid work experience specifically related to this position; c. Knowledge – Pertinent information related to the qualifications required for the position including procurement training courses; on-the-job training and other job-related skills such as computer software training/experience; d. Skills and Abilities – Pertinent information on work/educational experiences which demonstrate the applicant’s performance and knowledge in a highly demanding work environment. v. A minimum of three and a maximum of five references including two references must be from direct supervisors who can provide information regarding the applicant’s knowledge of procurement work; vi. Information on current or prior U.S. Government security or employment authorization clearance and current or prior U.S. Government/employment medical clearances. Forms are available at the following website: http://www.gpo.gov/pdfs/careers/apply/of612.pdf or at Federal offices. Applicants should note that the salary history for the purposes of the OF-612 is the base salary paid, excluding benefits and allowances such as housing, travel, educational support, vehicle use, etc. NOTE: Submission of a resume alone IS NOT a complete application. This position requires the completion of additional forms and/or supplemental materials as described in this section. Failure to provide the required information and/or materials will result in your not being considered for employment. This office must receive your application prior to the closing date and time specified in this solicitation. Late applications will not be considered. Please note all applications must be signed – unsigned applications shall NOT be considered. Please reference the solicitation number on your application, and as the subject line in any cover letter. Interested candidates should send above via the internet, facsimile or international mail, to the attention of the addresses indicated below. To ensure that the application is considered for the intended position, please reference the solicitation number and title of position on your application and as the subject line in any cover letter. E-mail applications must be received by the closing date and time specified in the cover letter. Address: Regional Office of Procurement USAID/RDMA 25th Floor, Athenee Tower, 63 Wireless road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

14. ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT: As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC recruited is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances: BENEFITS: • Base Salary • Employer’s FICA and Medicare Contribution* • Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance • Pay Comparability and Adjustment • Annual Salary Increase • Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation • Annual & Sick Leave * Note: Successful applicant will be subject to employee’s FICA and Medicare contribution.

15. SECURITY AND MEDICAL CLEARANCE: Secret security clearance and medical clearances are required.

16. CONTRACT INFORMATION BULLETIN (CIBs) AND ACQUISITION AND ASSISTANCE POLICY DIRECTIVES (AAPDS) PERTAINING TO PSCS: AAPDs and CIBs contain changes to USAID policy and General Provisions in USAID regulations and contract. Those documents can be found at this website: http://transition.usaid.gov/business/business_opportunities/cib/ Additionally, AIDAR Appendix D can be found at: http://transition.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/aidar.pdf ALL QUALIFIED APPLICANTS WILL BE CONSIDERED REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE, COLOR, SEX, CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, LAWFUL POLITICAL AFFILIATION, NON-DISQUALIFYING HANDICAP, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AFFILIATION WITH AN EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION, OR OTHER NON-MERIT FACTOR.

17. SELECTION PROCESS: After the closing date for receipt of applications, a committee will be convened to review applications and evaluate them in accord with the evaluation criteria. Applications from candidates which do not meet the required selection criteria will not be scored. As part of the selection process, finalist candidates may be interviewed either in person or by telephone at USAID’s discretion. Reference checks will be made only for applicants considered as finalists. If an applicant does not wish USAID to contact a current employer for a reference check, this should be stated in the applicant’s cover letter, and USAID will delay such reference check pending communication with the applicant. Only finalists will be contacted by USAID with respect to their applications. The final selected candidate must obtain security and medical clearances within a reasonable period of time (USAID will provide details regarding these clearances to the selected candidate). A substantial delay in obtaining either required clearance will make the applicant ineligible for selection. - END of ATTACHMENT 1 -

Last updated: June 17, 2014

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