SOLICITATION NO.: 72064924R00001
ISSUANCE DATE: November 3, 2023
CLOSING DATE/TIME: November 24, 2023, at 04:30 p.m. (Nairobi Time)
POSITION TITLE: Senior Stabilization Advisor – Somalia
MARKET VALUE: $117,518 to $152,771 annually equivalent to GS-15. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value based on the successful candidate’s salary history, work experience and educational background. Salaries over and above the top of the pay range will not be entertained or negotiated. USPSCs performing overseas are not entitled to Locality Pay.
PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two (2) year base period, with three one-year options subject to funding availability and satisfactory performance or better.
PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya. Overseas USPSCs may be authorized to telework or remote work only from a location within the country of performance, in accordance with Mission policy. Telework or remote work from outside the country of performance may only be authorized in certain situations in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract.
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens and/or U.S Resident Aliens. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.
SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Secret
POINT OF CONTACT: Executive Office/Human Resources, Patrick Bii email@example.com Noel Sikasa < firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
 U.S. resident alien means a non-U.S. citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.
STATEMENT OF DUTIES/POSITION DESCRIPTION
The USAID/Somalia seeks to contract for a U.S. Personal Services Contractor (PSC) to lead USAID/Somalia’s Stabilization team and advance USAID/Somalia’s goal of preventing and countering violent extremism. The Senior Stabilization Advisor will: (1) provide expert management and technical leadership of USAID stabilization efforts, including the $46 million Transition Initiative for Stabilization Saddex (TIS3) program and associated stabilization and conflict mitigation programs (currently valued at a total of $77.5 million); (2) represent USAID at the highest levels in the interagency and with host government partners on issues surrounding stabilization and broader efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism; (3) ensure USAID/Somalia stabilization, conflict mitigation, and related programs achieve measurable impact in reducing the influence of Al-Shabaab in USAID’s focal zone; and (4) supervise a team that currently includes a GS-13/14 Stabilization Advisor based in Mogadishu and a Program Management Specialist focused on Stabilization based in Nairobi.
USAID/Somalia’s approach to stabilization recognizes that stabilization programs must be a bridge to and catalyst for longer term development processes, be grounded in efforts to advance political inclusion, and connect with efforts to resolve grievances and conflict that can drive instability. To be successful, USAID’s programs must both look ahead to identify new stabilization opportunities created by clearing operations while simultaneously looking back to ensure that al-Shabaab’s influence is sufficiently eroded so that longer term development processes can take root. This approach requires USAID to engage with communities recently recovered from al-Shabaab and in communities that may have been recovered for several years but remain vulnerable to al-Shabaab and where opportunities exist to consolidate and expand stabilization gains. USAID must also consider how to address citizen grievances in these same communities as an absence of justice is often cited as one of the root causes of instability in Somalia and a key driver of violent extremism.
The Senior Stabilization Advisor reports to the Democracy, Stabilization, and Governance (DSG) Office Director. Somalia is one of the most complex political and security environments in the world, and approximately half of USAID/Somalia’s nearly $60 million annual Development Assistance budget supports the Agency’s largest and most comprehensive Democracy, Rights, and Governance (DRG) portfolio in all of Africa. This portfolio includes programs that support elections, public sector capacity building, legislative development, human rights, local governance, access to justice, and stabilization and reconciliation. The DSG Office is a team of nine, composed of two USDHs, three USPSCs, and four FSNs.
The Senior Stabilization Advisor serves as a core team member overseeing the Mission’s strategic vision and implementation of its Development Objective #1: “Targeted local institutions govern in a more legitimate manner, diminishing influence of violent extremist organizations.” This includes coordinating the stabilization activities within the broader DSG portfolio and with the Economic Growth and Education teams. S/he crafts the vision for stabilization in the coming years, ensuring the new Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) guides stabilization and political inclusion efforts. S/he represents USAID to the highest levels within the inter-agency community and senior government and donor officials on issues related to stabilization. S/he also provides USAID/Somalia with strategic and technical leadership on a full range of Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) programming, and is responsible for managing and mentoring staff in all aspects of the Office’s portfolio, including but not limited to planning, design, budgeting, procurement, program management, and M&E. Strong management and interpersonal skills, strong stabilization experience, and political astuteness are essential to the incumbent’s success in the position.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Under the direct supervision of the DSG Office Director or her/his designee, the duties and responsibilities of the Senior Stabilization Advisor include:
- Supervise a team that currently includes a GS-13/14 Stabilization Advisor based in Mogadishu and a Program Management Specialist focused on Stabilization based in Nairobi, being responsible for managing and mentoring these staff in all aspects of the Office’s portfolio, including but not limited to planning, design, budgeting, procurement, program management, and monitoring and evaluation.
- Set the vision, oversee, and manage USAID’s complex stabilization, conflict mitigation, and related programs portfolio (currently $77.5 million) and coordinated closely with other USAID, other donor, and Government of Somalia efforts to ensure programs achieve measurable impact in reducing the influence of Al-Shabaab in USAID’s focal zone with a wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment. This includes leading the conceptualization and development of program strategies, objectives, and new activities based on detailed political analysis of the evolving political and security environment, in support of U.S. Government (USG) policy and strategic objectives, and in close coordination with the U.S. Mission to Somalia, Department of State, and host-country officials.
- Serve as the Contract Officer’s Representative (COR) for the flagship Transition Initiative for Stabilization Saddex (TIS3) activity ($46 million award) and other upcoming stabilization activities, and ensure progress toward agreed-upon goals, targets, and objectives. This includes conceptualizing and designing program strategies and objectives in close coordination with implementing partner staff and host government partners based on political and context analysis and U.S. Government policy, and initiating strategy reviews as needed in line with changes in context and policy;
- Represent USAID Somalia with other USG agencies, the Federal Government of Somalia, and donors at the highest level on stabilization interventions and programs, ensuring USAID’s portfolio and approaches are relevant and effective in the Somali environment.
- Provide expert programmatic, operational, and strategic guidance to USAID implementing partners (contractors and/or grantees), ensuring that all stabilization activities are contributing to USAID’s program objectives, align with broader U.S. strategic goals, and remain within the scope of their award instrument.
- Maintain an in-depth understanding of political, economic, organizational, and stakeholder interests specific to Somalia. Analyze, synthesize and report on current political developments, security concerns, and other pertinent information required to achieve USAID’s stabilization objectives.
Supervisory Controls: The Senior Stabilization Advisor will perform his/her duties under the supervision of the USAID/Somalia DSG Director. Supervisory direction will include prioritizing broad objectives and results areas. The incumbent must exercise extensive independent judgment in a wide area of topics, including leading USAID/Somalia’s stabilization team, setting a vision for the team and program, planning and carrying out tasks related to this, resolving problems and conflicts within USAID and with the interagency, other donors, and representatives of the Somali Government, and taking steps necessary to meet USAID’s overall stabilization and preventing/countering violent extremism goals.
Knowledge Level: The incumbent must be an expert in multiple fields and have a mastery of a broad field of expertise. This includes an expert-level understanding of local governance development, reconciliation and peacebuilding, rule of law, and other conflict-related programs characterized by multi-disciplinary approaches, and their role in U.S. foreign policy. S/he must have comprehensive knowledge of donor programming policies and international donor regulations, procedures, and practices as well of host country development strategies at both the state and federal level. The incumbent must show past experience in performing successfully at high levels, with minimal supervision and daily direction, and ability to exercise excellent independent judgment.
Degree of Responsibility for Decision-making: This position requires the ability to act independently in a complex and highly sensitive political environment with a wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment. The incumbent must have an advanced experience in negotiation with high-level government counterparts. The work is of outstanding difficulty, and the incumbent must demonstrate exceptional levels of leadership, mastery of the complex areas of stabilization and countering/preventing violent extremism programming, and detailed understanding of the complexity surrounding stabilization programming and how it relates to U.S. strategic interests.
The incumbent must be able to independently plan, design, and carry-out interventions and studies and be able to oversee a diverse portfolio of stabilization activities with a wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment. To do this, the incumbent will provide technical and programmatic advice and support for the management and implementation of USAID/Somalia Country Development and Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), the highest-level strategic planning document for USAID/Somalia. The CDCS guides all programming priorities, policies, and activities of USAID’s program in Somalia. The incumbent must ensure Mission engagement with the host country government in stabilization activities. This requires facilitating effective development cooperation in this multi-sectoral area of interventions and is critical to ensure that USG investments are directed towards the greatest results.
Supervision Exercised: The Senior Stabilization Advisor also supervises, mentors, trains, and oversees a team that currently includes a GS-13/14 Stabilization Advisor based in Mogadishu and a Program Management Specialist focused on Stabilization based in Nairobi.
Level of Complexity: The work is of the highest level of complexity. Decisions involve largely undefined areas and issues and require extensive probing and analysis to determine the scope of the problem. Responsibilities involve areas of uncertainty in approach, methodology, interpretation and evaluating processes due to the difficult work environment in Somalia. The work requires originating new techniques, establishing criteria, and at times developing new data on what will achieve U.S. goals on stabilization and preventing and countering violent extremism. As a result, the work requires a continuing effort to re-evaluate and establish new concepts and theories of change as the U.S. works to resolve unyielding problems and respond to continuing changes in the political and security developments, and other unknown phenomena. Complexity in managing processes and programs that span across countries, U.S. Embassies (Kenya and the US Mission to Somalia), and multiple host country governments (Federal Government of Somalia and six Federal Member States that do not yet form a cohesive government), requires the incumbent to be constantly in tune to, flexible, and responsive to changing political, security, programmatic and organizational demands.
Guidelines for Required Work: USAID policies on preventing and countering violent extremism, conflict sensitivity, rule of law programming and the broad range of administrative policies and precedents, ADS chapters, USG/Embassy/USAID/and Bureau and Mission directives, and technical Monitoring and Evaluation references, including specific references, are available. The Stabilization Advisor is required to understand USG, Mission, and Agency-specific policies and procedures around the broad field of stabilization, preventing and countering violent extremism, conflict mitigation and sensitivity, rule of law programming and those which govern program activity management in addition to the USAID/Somalia established administrative operating procedures, policies and formats. Oral guidance from the immediate supervisor and specific detailed instructions will be given (when necessary) for carrying out unique assignments. The incumbent will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies, including but not limited to the Automated Directives System (ADS), Mission Orders, Mission Notices, USG Procurement regulations, and USAID Program Strategy and Policy Documents. In many instances, the incumbent will have to rely on his/her knowledge and extensive prior experience to enforce guidelines as s/he carries out his/her duties. The incumbent must be able to use excellent judgment and the ability to deal with ambiguity at all levels.
Scope and Effect of the Work Performed: The work directly affects the development of major aspects of the Mission’s strategy and involves planning, developing and carrying out vital programs that are essential to the achievement of U.S.’s principle foreign policy goal of preventing and countering violent extremism. As a result, the individual serves in a role that directly influences the success of USAID/Somalia strategy and that will provide advice on and guide high-level decisions and policy-making. The individual will provide expert advice and support in the management and implementation of USAID/Somalia’s overall portfolio and as well as USAID/Somalia Country Development and Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), the highest-level strategic planning document for USAID/Somalia. S/he is responsible for coordination and joint approaches with the Economic Growth and Social Services technical offices, as well as the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance office. S/he is responsible for coordinating with senior government and donor officials at the highest level, and defining USAID policy and programming positions in national and regional forums with non-USG senior stakeholders. S/he will also work closely with senior-level FSNs, USDHs, and USPSCs, requiring high-level expertise and experience.
Level and Purpose of Contacts: The Senior Stabilization Advisor will be required to maintain relationships at the highest level and use these contacts to justify, defend, negotiate, and settle matters involving significant issues among decision-makers related to U.S. efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism in Somalia. This includes relationships with various USAID offices in the field and in Washington, across the interagency working on Somalia, all donors and host-country counterparts working on Stabilization and related fields. Contacts will be at the highest levels with the U.S. Mission to Somalia and other bilateral and multilateral donor organizations, host-country officials of multiple Federal and State-level ministries, relevant academic institutions, the private sector, and civil society. Contact will be of a continuous nature through day-to-day meetings and periodic review sessions. The Senior Advisor will represent the USAID/Somalia in a range of meetings and fora. The purpose of contacts is to influence, motivate, or persuade persons or groups who are typically skeptical, resistant, or uncooperative, and who must be approached skillfully and tactfully to obtain the desired effect.
Security Clearance Requirement: Secret
Travel Requirement: The incumbent will be expected to travel to Somalia on an as-needed basis depending on the security situation and access to the travel destination, approximately 30 percent.
Support Items: The incumbent will be provided with the support services, equipment, and supplies necessary to perform the work e.g., desktop computer, shared office equipment (such as printer, scanner and shredder), office supplies and support services.
Sunday Pay: Is not authorized.
SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
The incumbent must meet the following requirements in education and professional experience:
Education (0 points): Minimum of a Master’s degree in a relevant area such as, but not limited to, international relations, conflict analysis, international development, social sciences, or law.
Prior Work Experience: Minimum of thirteen (13) years of progressively responsible management experience with a USG entity, international assistance organization, or non-governmental organization in community development, stabilization, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, reconciliation, citizen security, and/or political analysis; within which there must be a:
- Minimum of seven (7) years of overseas field experience working on stabilization, reconciliation, local governance, conflict prevention, dispute resolution, community development, or other relevant programs;
- Minimum of five (5) years of supervisory experience (including mentoring, training, and guiding staff).
Language Proficiency: Fluent (Level IV), fluent verbal and written English communication skills and analytical ability are required.
Technical Knowledge: The incumbent must have an expert-level understanding of stabilization and/or other conflict-related programs characterized by multi-disciplinary approaches, and their role in U.S. foreign policy. S/he must have comprehensive knowledge of donor programming policies and international donor regulations, procedures, and practices. Candidates must show past experience in performing successfully at high levels, with minimal supervision and daily direction. Prior experience designing and implementing flexible, iterative, small grants programs highly desired.
Abilities and Skills: The incumbent must have demonstrated ability in dealing effectively and diplomatically with stakeholders from a variety of organizations. The individual must have prior experience managing high-profile programs in dynamic environments, and providing strategic, programmatic, and operational guidance to USAID/Somalia Implementing Partners. The individual must be able to develop and maintain an extensive range of contacts with both senior and working level staff in USAID/Somalia, USAID/Washington, US Mission in Somalia, and the inter-agency, as well as development partners, donors, host-country representatives, and other stakeholders. The individual must be able to effectively identify, mobilize, and draw upon the expertise of USAID personnel, including subordinate staff.
Candidates must have the ability to independently manage activities and deliver quality, timely products that require minimal review and oversight. Proven written and oral English communication skills, as well as strong research, teamwork, and interpersonal skills are required to perform successfully in this position. The incumbent must be comfortable developing outreach strategies, and delivering formal briefings and presentations.
The ability to provide information and advice with objectivity is required. The incumbent must be able to excel in a fast-paced, multicultural work environment, and be able to deliver multiple tasks simultaneously. The individual must therefore apply expert-level analytical skills and judgment to determine the best solution from the range of possible alternatives.
EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
Candidates will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria: Candidates must meet the Selective Factors listed below. Consideration and selection will be based on a panel evaluation of the criteria.
Education: Null (minimum criteria required)
Work Experience: 15 points
Technical Knowledge: 40 points
Skills and Abilities: 45 Points
Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – Pass/Fail (no points assigned)
Maximum Points Available: 100 Points
How to apply
Interested applicants are required to submit the following:
- Offerform AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with individuals,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms or by searching AID 309-2 on your web browser.
- An up-to-date current CV/resume. The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the Offers in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing particular selection criteria. Complete dates (month/year) are also required on CV.
- Applicants also must address the above Section: Evaluation and Selection Factors, in a Summary Statement to be included in the Offers. This Summary Statement, limited to two (2) pages, must describe specifically and accurately what experience, training, education, and/or awards the applicant has received that are relevant to each selection factor above. The Summary Statement must include the name of the applicant and the announcement number at the top of each page.
- Applicants must provide a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of five (5) references within the last five years from the applicant’s professional life, namely individuals who are not family members or relatives. Three references must be from direct supervisors who can provide information regarding the applicant’s work knowledge and professional experience. Applicants must provide e-mail addresses and/or working telephone numbers for all references.
- Copies of diplomas, certificates or relevant degrees may be included to corroborate the CV/resume.
- Applicants must provide their full mailing address with telephone, and email address and should retain for their records copies of all enclosures that accompany their submission.
Applications must be submitted electronically via email to email@example.com by the closing date and time indicated above.
Offeror submissions must clearly reference the Solicitation number on all offeror submitted documents.