USAID/Ukraine Solicitation for a Resident Hire U.S. Personal Services Contractor (USPSC), Resilience Advisor, GS-14

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72012118R00003

2. ISSUANCE DATE: February 01, 2018

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: February 16, 2018 (6 p.m. Kyiv Time)

4. POSITION TITLE: Resilience* Advisor

5. MARKET VALUE: $89,370 - $116,181 equivalent to GS-14 

Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: One (1) year initially, but with the possibility of renewing annually for up to four (4) additional years

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Kyiv, Ukraine

with possible travel as stated in the Statement of Work.

8. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Secret Level

9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES

BASIC FUNCTIONS OF THE POSITION / BACKGROUND

Following the EuroMaidan Revolution of fall 2013, the 2014 Revolution of Dignity spurred the flight of former President of Ukraine Yanukovych in February of that year. In response, the Russian Federation illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 and fomented an armed uprising by so-called separatists, now referred to as Russia-led proxy forces, in Donbas in April 2014 which continues to this day. While the impacts of Russian aggression are manifest throughout Ukraine, they are particularly visible throughout the Donbas and surrounding oblasts, and in Crimea. Since the onset of conflict in spring 2014 up to November 2017, over 10,000 Ukrainians have been killed according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). According to USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), as of September 30, 2017, 4 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance and 1.7 million are considered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of the ongoing conflict. Additionally, widespread and systematic war crimes and human rights abuses committed by the Russian Federation and Russia-led proxy forces in Donbas and Crimea have only accelerated with impunity. Credible reports by OHCHR, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), and watchdog groups show that despite efforts to achieve peace in Donbas, the parties have failed to comply with the Minsk II peace agreements, with grave human rights consequences for the conflict-affected population, especially those living near the contact line and in non-government controlled areas (NGCAs).   

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*USAID defines resilience as “the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.” In the context of Ukraine, the advisor will specifically focus on the situation with regard to the nexus between humanitarian relief, early recovery, and long-term development.

Populations in Donbas and neighboring regions harbor perceptions of being left out, marginalized, or rebuked for being perceived as Russian-leaning. They are also the most unaware and/or skeptical of the reform process and, as a result, less accepting of the national government’s proclamations and policies than any other parts of the country. While early progress has been made in implementing reforms in the East and South since the Revolution of Dignity, enduring governance and service delivery challenges, along with the impact of Russia attempts to propagate divisive narratives and exploit existing social divisions, are undermining greater support for Ukraine’s democratic transition and European future in these regions.

In response to the humanitarian impacts of the ongoing conflict, the U.S. Government (USG), since 2014, has provided $151 million in humanitarian assistance (HA) to meet the emergency food, health, protection, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs of conflict-affected populations in Ukraine, to counter gender-based violence, support psychosocial services, address reproductive health needs, and provide capacity-building activities for the GOU to better respond to the humanitarian needs of IDPs.

To date, these USG agencies have provided HA in Ukraine:

  • USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA): $53.7 million
  • USAID/Food for Peace (FFP): $18 million
  • U.S. State Department/Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM): $79.3 million.

USAID’s OFDA contributes to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) for coordination and information management; and provides emergency shelter and winterization kits, relief commodities, protection support, logistics support; and WASH support to conflict-affected populations in Eastern Ukraine.  USAID’s FFP provides funding to the World Food Program (WFP) to provide emergency food assistance and food vouchers in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. The State Department’s PRM provides funding to UNHCR, UNFPA, IOM, and ICRC for logistics and relief commodities, health services, food assistance, protection, emergency shelter; and WASH support to vulnerable populations.

Despite the USG’s robust support to HA efforts in Ukraine, the USG’s level of HA funding may decrease in the coming years as it shifts resources and efforts to early recovery and more durable, long-term development. Yet, there is still a need for humanitarian, early recovery, and development actors to monitor the situation as it could rapidly deteriorate. Ukraine is ranked ninth in the world in terms of the number of IDPs with 1.7 million registered as such. Overall, there are an estimated 4.4 million people affected by the conflict. Of this amount, 3.4 million people need assistance (30% of whom are elderly). Furthermore, the 2018 UN Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requests $187 million for Ukraine which would only support 2.4 million people: 1.8 million in non-government controlled areas (NGCAs) and 600,000 in government controlled areas (GCAs). Of note in this humanitarian crisis as opposed to other crises around the world, is the large number of elderly people in need of assistance as well as growing concern over the lack of international attention to the suffering of Ukrainians given the decline in HA resources. Because of the ongoing conflict, traditional market, social, and political systems have been destroyed thereby leaving hundreds of thousands of people without homes, property, status, and employment. People have increasingly been placed in a vulnerable position which has deprived them of access to basic services, undermined their confidence, increased frustration, and diminished their trust in authorities and social networks.

Lastly, as USAID/Ukraine embarks upon the development of its new five year Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), including the design and implementation of new activities that assist conflict-affected populations in Eastern Ukraine, the Resilience Advisor will play an important role in supporting these efforts.   

USAID/Ukraine is hiring a Resilience Advisor to continuously monitor the situation in Ukraine as it relates to the nexus between HA, early recovery, and long-term development; represent USAID at relevant coordination meetings, workshops, and presentations with USG and international partners; and provide continuous reporting to USAID, and other elements of the U.S. Mission in Kyiv, in order to help develop appropriate policies and responses to the situation, respond to requests for information, and maintain close collaboration with all relevant stakeholders on the ground in Ukraine.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Resilience Advisor's responsibilities will include the following:

  • Develop and contribute to the formulation and articulation of appropriate strategies, recommendations and policies, and provide timely information and responses to resilience-related inquiries from within USAID and from the rest of the USG.
  • Collaborate with the USAID Mission, USG colleagues, and OFDA and PRM regional representatives on resilience issues and programming, including the provision of technical input into strategic initiatives and policy discussions.
  • Assist with the preparation of background documents, briefing papers, talking points, information memos, and other relevant humanitarian-specific documents as necessary.
  • Represent USAID at resilience-related fora and meetings both within and outside of the USG.
  • As needed, travel to regions of Ukraine to attend meetings, lead site visits, monitor the general resilience situation, and represent USAID with local government officials and NGOs.
  • Prepare briefing materials, position papers, and other reports.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP:

The Resilience Advisor will take direction from and will report to the Deputy Mission Director or his/her designee.

10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION:  US Citizens,  Resident Hire

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

(b) Definitions:

(5) Resident Hire U.S. Personal Services Contractor means a U.S. citizen or resident alien who, at the time of hire as a PSC, resides in the cooperating country –

(i) for reasons other than employment that provides for repatriation to the U.S., including-

(A) with a U.S. government agency;

(B) under any U.S. government-financed contract or agreement; or

(C) under any other contract or employment arrangement.

(ii) as a spouse or dependent of a U.S. citizen with employment that provides for repatriation to the U.S., including –

(A) with a U.S. government agency;

(B) under any U.S. government-financed contract or agreement; or

(C) under any other contract or employment arrangement.

11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands.  There will be frequent site visits during which there may be some additional physical exertion including long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain, or carrying of moderately heavy items (less than 50 pounds).

12. WORK ENVIRONMENT:

Although work is primarily performed in an office setting at the USAID Mission within the US Embassy Kyiv compound, the incumbent will be required to conduct frequent travel to sites near the Line of Contact in Eastern Ukraine as work will include working directly with conflict-affected populations. During such travel, the work may involve additional special safety and/or security precautions, traveling in armoured vehicles, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.

13. POINT OF CONTACT:  James Berscheit, Supervisory Regional Executive Officer, e-mail at jberscheit@usaid.gov.

II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

The following minimum qualifications are required for this position.

Education:  Bachelor’s degree in: international law, economics, international relations, political science, psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology, or related field.

Work Experience:  Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience working in USG foreign affairs agencies, international organizations, or NGOs specializing in one or more of the following: international development, early recovery, humanitarian relief, human rights protection, internally displaced persons and refugee issues, transitional justice/rule of law, conflict resolution or a closely related field.  At least three (3) years must have been spent working specifically on/with conflict-affected populations, two (2) years of which must include assessing, designing, monitoring, managing, implementing, and/or evaluating programming in disaster-affected or fragile contexts overseas. 

Job Knowledge:  Knowledge of USG laws, policies, regulations and procedures related to international development assistance. Knowledge of USAID’s strategic program and project development process and the principles of sound program oversight, budgeting and reporting, monitoring and evaluation, assistance and acquisition is required. A working knowledge of the Eastern European region, its institutions, and peculiar development challenges is preferred.

Language:  Written and spoken fluency (native) in English but with some Russian or Ukrainian a plus.  

Skills and Abilities:  Excellent verbal, writing, and communications skills are essential.  The ability to work on a team and with US Government and Government of Ukraine professional colleagues is essential as is the ability to mediate situations with a variety of stakeholders with varying viewpoints to come to a consensus and move forward.  The Advisor will need to exercise diplomacy and sound judgement as s/he will have the authority to make decisions independently that will further the progress of the project. The Advisor should have extensive experience making formal presentations to high-level audiences, and writing reports that will be disseminated to various audiences. S/he should be familiar with common office software, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  Ability to self-drive and/or deliver passengers/ materials expeditiously and safely. Must have a driver license appropriate to vehicles operated.

Other Requirement:  Assignment is contingent on obtaining a medical and security clearance. Ability to quickly obtain security clearance is highly desired.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

To be considered for this position, applicants must meet the minimum qualifications noted above. For those who do, further consideration and selection will be based on a panel assessment of the selection factors listed below.

Candidates will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria to a maximum score of 100 points. The following factors will be the basis for determining the qualifications of all applicants:

  • Education (10 points)
  • Work Experience (35 points)
  • Job Knowledge (30 points)
  • Language (10 points)
  • Skills and Abilities (15 points)

The most qualified candidates will be interviewed and may be asked to provide a writing sample. Professional references will be evaluated for applicants being considered for selection.  Note:  Please be advised that references may be obtained independently from other sources in addition to the ones provided by an applicant.

IV. APPLYING

In order to be considered for the position, a candidate must meet the minimum qualifications listed in the solicitation at the time of submission and must submit all the following required materials:

  • Cover Letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume;
  • Complete and signed Form AID 302-3 “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts” (available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms/);
  • List of three to five professional references.

All application packages are to be submitted via email to: KyivVacancies@usaid.gov.

Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line of your email application.  Incomplete, unsigned or late applications will not be considered.  Only those applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted. 

Any questions concerning this solicitation may be directed to James Berscheit, Supervisory Regional Executive Officer at jberscheit@usaid.gov

V. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR USPSCs

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

  1. Medical History and Examination Form/ Medical Clearance Update (DS-6561/DS-3057)
  2. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions for National Security (SF-86), or
  3. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)
  4. Finger Print Card (FD-258)

VI. BENEFITS/ALLOWANCES

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

BENEFITS:

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

VII. TAXES

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

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

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

  1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix D, “Direct USAID Contracts with a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf.
  2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms.
  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.
  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 (EEO) STATEMENT

The U.S. Mission in Kyiv provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The US Government also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs. The EEO complaint procedure is not available to individuals who believe they have been denied equal opportunity based upon marital status or political affiliation. Individuals with such complaints should avail themselves of the appropriate grievance procedures, remedies for prohibited personnel practices, and/or courts for relief.

Issuing Country 
Date 
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 9:45am

Last updated: February 02, 2018