USAID/Belarus Solicitation - Development Outreach and Communications Specialist

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72011319R05

2. ISSUANCE DATE: 09/05/2019

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: 09/26/2019 at 11:59 p.m. Kyiv Time

4. POSITION TITLE:  DEVELOPMENT OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS SPECILAIST

5. MARKET VALUE: Basic Annual rate (in U.S. Dollars): $32,920 to $42,803

In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and ADS 309, the Local Compensation  Plan (in effect at the time) of the U.S. Embassy to Belarus forms the basis of compensation. The LCP consists of the salary schedule, which includes salary rates, authorized fringe benefits, and other pertinent facets of compensation. Final basic compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value. Salaries over and above the top of the pay range will not be entertained or negotiated. This salary range is not inclusive of other benefits and allowances.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Employment under any contract issued under this solicitation is of a continuing nature. Its duration is expected to be part of a series of sequential contracts; all contract clauses, provisions, and regulatory requirements concerning availability of funds and the specific duration of the contract shall apply. The initial CCNPSC contract will be for five years with an option of renewal pending continued need for the position, contractor performance, and funds availability.

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Minsk, Belarus

8. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Foreign Service National Security Certification

9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES:

Based in Minsk, the Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Specialist assists the Belarus office of the USAID Regional Mission by overseeing the production and dissemination of information about USAID/Belarus program activities. In addition, the DOC Specialist is responsible for the design of public information products for dissemination to a variety of audiences in the United States and Belarus. In collaboration with the Belarus technical team, develops and regularly updates a communications and outreach strategy for USAID/Belarus staff and external stakeholders. Assists in providing quality control and branding compliance to stakeholders. The DOC Specialist helps coordinate public events to promote USAID/Belarus strategic objectives and achievements.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

A. Outreach efforts: Participates in the development, execution, and regular updates of a communications strategy that promotes USAID’s program in Belarus to both internal and external audiences, facilitates information access and sharing within the Mission, and strengthens the Mission's reporting functions to AID/W, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and other stakeholders. The strategy will define the role and objectives of USAID assistance, and how information will be used to show the impact of USAID assistance and partnerships in Belarus and in the region. To achieve this goal, the DOC specialist will maintain up-to-date knowledge of all USAID/Belarus activities and processes, as well as in-depth awareness of political, social and economic issues.

Manages the preparation and maintenance of an updated standard information package on the USAID program in Belarus for briefings and for distribution to the public, the media, USAID/W, the State Department, Congress, and other stakeholders, including scene setters, program briefing papers, project status reports, human interest stories, maps, photos, and general information about the country. Oversees the creation of materials that tell the story of USAID’s investments in Belarus to a variety of key stakeholders.

The DOC Specialist works on developing content for USAID/Belarus’ printed and online publications and social media platforms. The incumbent uses design and video software to develop a variety of outreach products which may include video success stories, graphics, photographs, and others, to help promote and advance USAID strategic results. The DOC Specialist ensures that the developed content is uploaded to relevant online publications associated with USAID/Belarus, including, but not limited to, the USAID website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition, the DOC Specialist is responsible for maintaining and updating the Mission’s external websites for Belarus.

B. Public/Media relations: The DOC Specialist serves as the principal USAID contact for local and international press and media and as a principal liaison with the Public Affairs Section (PAS) in Minsk. Advise the Country Director and other USAID Mission staff on press and media relations, coordinate press and media relations with PAS, maintain press and media contacts, draft and finalize speeches for USAID and USG officials, and develop press and media materials such as press releases and activity background papers. Coordinates with the Legislative and Public Affairs Bureau in Washington, the Regional Mission DOC team, the Regional Mission Director, the Belarus Country Director, AORs/CORs/Activity Managers, USAID implementing partners and U.S. Embassy Minsk PAS to promote press and media coverage of Mission activities.

The incumbent oversees the development and maintenance of public relations materials in three languages - English, Belarusian, and Russian. This may include (but is not limited to) newsletters, fact sheets, country profiles, video documentaries, visual displays, websites, etc. Disseminates information to the Mission's audiences and constituencies, which include: host government and NGO counterparts; assistance beneficiaries; USAID contractors and grantees; other donors; local and U.S. public; local and international press and media; AID/W; State Department; and the U.S. Congress, press and media, and the general public. The incumbent is responsible for preparing and printing various publications, such as briefing and handout materials, brochures, reports; and for disseminating these outreach tools. Also, the DOC specialist maintains USAID/Belarus’ internal sharing site outreach related sections, ensuring that all materials are updated and accurate.

C. Public events and site visits: The DOC Specialist helps coordinate public events to promote USAID/Belarus strategic objectives and achievements. The incumbent supports all program outreach efforts, including event planning and coverage, and coordination with partners on branding/marking and outreach materials.

Independently, or in collaboration with Embassy and Regional Mission colleagues, strategizes, coordinates and plans public events related to USAID’s activities, and leads the team to negotiate protocol issues with staff of implementing partners and/or participating government officials in such things as establishing event schedules, etc. Assists in preparing high-level USG visits, provides materials for and assists in compiling briefing books and maintaining “off the shelf” briefing book resources, which may include video files or other resources. Serves as USAID/Belarus’ primary point of contact for public events and site visits by official visitors from the U.S. Embassy, USAID/Washington, Congress, and other USG agencies or entities. To that end, coordinates with the Embassy on schedules and logistics. Leads the preparation of briefing materials, scene setters, and other information products and processes to support these visits. Maintains a diverse list of potential site visit locations appropriate for a variety of Congressional Delegation (CODEL), Congressional Staff Delegation (STAFFDEL), and other high-level visitors to Belarus.

D. Capturing program success: To highlight USAID/Belarus program progress, collects and develops success stories and blog posts from internal and external sources to be used on the website, social media, regular bureau reporting, and newsletters. Takes photos at events, conducts photo shoots, and/or secures photos from sources to run with stories. Uses social media as a method for Mission communication and dissemination of success stories.

The DOC Specialist will identify and execute metrics to measure effectiveness of communication materials and activities. The incumbent will work with the team’s program and technical specialists to capture and effectively share information related to USAID programs, for example in developing materials such as infographics and social media campaigns to communicate USAID’s work on various policy issues including the Journey to Self Reliance (J2SR), the Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Strategy, and others.

The DOC Specialist instructs technical teams and implementing partners on branding/marking requirements; reviews printed and electronic public information products; and provides quality control to ensure consistency with approved messaging.

In addition to the tasks described above, the DOC Assistant performs a number of other functions:

1) reviews and analyzes periodic newspapers/TV programs on accurate representation of USAID’s activities, tracks media reports to identify disinformation articles and outlets;

2) helps orient USAID implementing partners on USAID guidelines concerning public relations activities; and develops and conducts training on communications and outreach activities for USAID/Belarus staff and external stakeholders, implementing partners, contractors and grantees.

3) Serves as a resource for the Belarus Country Director, AORs/CORs/Activity Managers, and partners/contractors/grantees on branding and compliance with the ADS 320 and the Agency’s Graphic Standards Manual. Assists in providing quality control and branding compliance to stakeholders.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP: The DOC Specialist will be supervised by the Belarus Country Director. The DOC Specialist should be able to independently plan and carry out assignments, and is responsible for the quality of their work; work is normally reviewed in terms of results achieved and in meeting unit objectives. Most work occurs within normal working hours, in a planned manner, but special activities may be assigned at any time.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: N/A

10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to All Interested CCN (Cooperating Country National) Candidates.

“Cooperating country” means the country in which the employing USAID Mission is located.

“Cooperating country national” (“CCN”) means an individual who is a cooperating country citizen or a non-cooperating country citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the cooperating country.

NOTE: ALL CCNs MUST HAVE THE REQUIRED WORK AND/OR RESIDENCY PERMITS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION. THE MISSION DOES NOT SPONSOR WORK PERMITS.

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

12. POINT OF CONTACT: Completed applications (including all required documents - see section IV below) must be submitted electronically to: kyivvacancies@usaid.gov. When submitting an application, the solicitation number and the title of the position are to be mentioned in the subject line of the email.

II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

Education: Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Affairs, Public Outreach, or a similar field is required.

Prior Work Experience:  Five years of progressively responsible work experience, of which three years in Communications/Public Outreach in an international or host-government organization. Experience in an English-language work environment is required. The incumbent must have demonstrated experience using social media; organizing and conducting a variety of events; photography; producing web content and videos; planning and delivering training; and working collaboratively with journalists.

Language Proficiency: High degree of proficiency in both written and spoken language, including the ability to translate and interpret. Level IV (fluent) oral and written communications ability in English; Fluency in Belarusian and Russian is required.

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

Foreign Service National Security Certification and Medical Clearances: The ability to obtain the required foreign national security certification and medical clearances for the position is considered a minimum qualification. See section V below.

The probationary period is twelve months.

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/language tests, interviews, and reference checks to determine the most qualified/highest-ranked offeror. Reference checks may be conducted with individuals not provided by the offeror, and without prior notification to 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 offeror at the conclusion of evaluations.

10 points – Education:  Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Affairs, Public Outreach, or a similar field is required. Additional education in the aforementioned areas is desired.

30 points – Experience: Five years of progressively responsible work experience, of which three years should be in Communications/Public Outreach in an international or host-government organization. Experience in an English-language work environment is required. Proven experience with the design and execution of strategic communication campaigns is required. Experience with covering diplomacy, international affairs, humanitarian assistance or other international development issues is highly desirable. The incumbent must have demonstrated experience using social media; organizing and conducting a variety of events; photography; producing web content and videos; planning and delivering training; and working collaboratively with journalists. The incumbent should also have experience communicating for, or with, private sector entities. Additional experience in the aforementioned areas, especially with the US Government (USG), is desired.  

30 points – Knowledge: The incumbent should have knowledge of messaging/ marketing/social marketing. S/he must have the knowledge of how to create compelling messaging across a variety of media, including print, blogs, social media, video, and speeches. (S/he must have experience with the planning or execution of video content.) S/he must have knowledge of the private sector to successfully engage with private sector interlocutors. Advanced knowledge in one or more of the aforementioned areas is desired.

30 points – Skills and Abilities: The ability to think creatively about other means to tell the USAID story and convey key messages through multi-faceted strategic communication campaigns is essential. Proficiency in operating computers with standard software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, as well as specialized design and video software programs, is need for the successful performance of duties. The DOC Specialist must be proficient in using the Internet, email, Google Apps, Microsoft Suite, and social media platforms. The incumbent should be familiar, or able to quickly become familiar with the responsibilities and activities of the Development Outreach and Communications position, as well as possess a general knowledge of procedures and practices at international public or private organizations. The DOC Specialist should have the ability to quickly develop an excellent understanding of USAID’s communication strategy, branding and marking regulations, and public outreach goals and strategies.  In addition, the incumbent must have excellent written and oral communication skills and possess tact, judgement, diplomacy, and teamwork skills. Advanced skills/abilities in one or more of the aforementioned areas are desired.

TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS: 100 points

IV. PRESENTING AN OFFER/APPLYING FOR THIS POSITION

1. Eligible Offerors are required to complete and submit through email all the below documents in order to be considered for the position.

a. Completed DS-174 (application for Employment as Locally Employed Staff) which can be retrieved here: https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds174.pdf

Offerors must thoroughly complete the DS-174 form in English, and are advised to include all of their current and previous work experience related to this position. Offerors may use continuation pages to further explain their relevant work experience, if needed.

An Internal Offeror’s experience acquired before/after joining U.S. Government should correspond to the information provided in the Official Personnel Folder (OPF). Any discrepancy found between the current application form (DS-174) and the information provided in the OPF related to offeror’s qualifications could make the offeror ineligible for the position.

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. Excess pages (beyond 2) will not be read or considered.

c. Standard resume or CV of no more than 2 pages that demonstrates how the Offeror’s qualifications meet the evaluation and selection factors in section III. Excess pages (beyond 2) will not be read or considered.

Offerors who do not include all above required documents in their offer submission will not be considered for this position.

2. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted to the Point of Contact in Section I, item 12 by email with appropriate attachments. Documents/offers received through links to Google Drive, Sky Drive, and/or any other private cloud computing database/websites will not be considered.

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

NOTE:  Due to the high volume of applications received, we may only contact applicants who are being considered. Thank you for your understanding.

V. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES

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

  1. Questionnaire for Employment Authorization (U.S. Embassy Minsk form)
  2. Authorization for Release of Information (U.S. Embassy Minsk’s form)
  3. Certificate of Criminal Records (obtained from the pertinent authorities)

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 salary offer letter and begin negotiations with the next most qualified/highest ranked offeror.

VI. BENEFITS/ALLOWANCES

The local compensation plan (LCP) is the basis for all compensation payments to locally employed staff /CCNPSCs. The LCP consists of the salary schedule, which includes salary rates, authorized fringe benefits, and other pertinent facets of compensation such as health and life insurance, and retirement allowance. As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:

1. BENEFITS:

a) Health Benefits

b) Defined Contribution Fund 12%

2. ALLOWANCES (as applicable):

a) The Mission provides a Unique Conditions of Work Allowance 5%

Additional information may be provided to the selected offeror at time of salary offer.

VII. TAXES

Locally Employed Staff are responsible for paying local income taxes. The U.S. Mission does withhold year-end local income tax payments.

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

USAID regulations and policies governing CCN/TCN PSC awards are available at these sources:

1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix J, “Direct USAID Contracts With a Cooperating Country National and with a Third Country National 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.

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

  • AAPD 16-03 Expanded Incentive Awards for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals
  • AAPD 06-08 AIDAR, Appendices D and J: Using the Optional Schedule to Incrementally Fund Contracts

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.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:  The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. Management may consider the following when determining successful candidacy: nepotism, conflicts of interest, budget, and residency status.

Issuing Country 
Date 
Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 2:30am

Last updated: September 05, 2019