Posted on :
8 Oct, 2013
The United States Agency for International Development Mission to Ghana (USAID/Ghana) requires an experienced Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Specialist to provide senior-level technical expertise to the development and implementation of a communication strategy designed to educate the domestic population on the work USAID/Ghana is performing to benefit the people of Ghana.
Job Title: Senior Development Outreach and Communications Specialist At USAID Ghana
Subject: Solicitation No. 641-13-005
As a stable and democratic partner in the turbulent West Africa region, Ghana is a key ally of the United States. Because it continues to serve as a model and catalyst for good governance and development,
Ghana is a focus country for Feed the Future and Global Health Initiatives (including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative). Ghana is also a focus country for other high profile Administration priorities including but not limited to: the G8 Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition; USAID Forward, particularly implementation and procurement reform; Performance Management; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Education; and Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance. Ghana is also one of only four countries participating in the Partnership for Growth (PFG), which puts into practice the principles of the first-ever Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development by using a whole of government approach to address the key binding constraints to Ghana’s sustainable economic growth. The PFG brings together relevant USG and Government of Ghana (GoG) institutions to address key binding constraints to Ghana’s economic growth, namely, reliability of power and access to local finance. Under Power Africa, a recently announced new Presidential initiative, the USG is forging new partnerships with African governments and organizations, world leaders, the private sector, and other donors to identify key reforms and specific energy projects that will significantly increase the number of people with access to electricity and to ensure that energy resources are beneficially deployed. Specifically in Ghana, Power Africa complements and strengthens the power component of PFG.
Ghana’s strong commitment to democracy and good governance has led to a growth in USAID funding from $41 million in 2007 to $171 million in 2012, representing an increase of 310%, and making the USG the largest bilateral donor in Ghana. Under its recently approved five-year, estimated $858 million Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), USAID/Ghana’s targeted cooperation will help accelerate and sustain Ghana’s transition toward middle income status through focused support to democratic governance, sustainable, broadly shared economic growth, equitable improvements in Ghanaians’ health status, and improved reading performance in primary school. To implement this high profile, diverse, and complex program, USAID/Ghana has a current staff of 66.
There are two main purposes for this Senior DOC Specialist position: (1) to apply strategic planning to the promotion and education of the Ghanaian population on how a partnership with United States (via USAID/Ghana programs and activities) is providing better health and education for their families, increasing their economy’s competitiveness, expanding economic opportunities to more Ghanaians, and strengthening democratic institutions; and (2) to assure the Government of Ghana at its highest levels of the US commitment to educate and promote a partnership of development at all levels.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
• Development Outreach and Communication Strategy
The DOC Specialist counsels the USAID Front Office and senior USAID Mission Staff on all communication and outreach efforts. S/he develops and manages a comprehensive Development Outreach and Communication Strategy that promotes USAID/Ghana and all USG programs to internal and external audiences, ensuring public awareness of programs and projects being funded by USAID and other USG Agencies, facilitating information access and sharing within the entire US Mission to Ghana; and strengthening Mission reporting functions to USAID/Washington, the
Department of State, and the US Congress. The USAID/Ghana Development Outreach and Communication Strategy defines the role and objectives of USAID and USG assistance, and how information will be used to highlight the impact of USAID and USG assistance to Ghana. The
Specialist leads USAID staff and contractors in developing appropriate public information programs, oversees all USAID/Ghana branding, provides guidance to USAID staff and partners in their direct contacts with the media, and ensures a targeted, coherent, and consistent message from all USAID staff and partners. The intention is to substantially increase the effective use of multimedia to enhance the message of development throughout Ghana, through written and visual means. Additionally, as a senior official of USAID/Ghana, the Specialist serves as the lead for all official USAID/Ghana visitors. The Specialist manages and maintains site visit schedules, prepares briefing materials and scene setters, coordinates meetings and briefings with Implementing Partners (IPs), constituents, other donors, and officials; and, handles all logistics related to visits. It is fully expected that the materials developed by the Specialist will be used in US coverage of events in Ghana, and therefore geared toward a broad and experienced audience.
• USG Coordination
The Specialist assists USAID/Ghana, the Embassy Office of Public Affairs (PAS), and partners to achieve maximum exposure and understanding of USAID and USG humanitarian and development assistance efforts and initiatives; and develops, designs, and implements the development communications and outreach strategy to increase understanding of, and support for, USAID/Ghana programs to external target audiences. The Specialist manages all development outreach and communications-related contracts for the implementation of the strategy – including the oversight and execution of the approved outreach campaigns; produces media-savvy clips and campaign slogans, to ensure target audience awareness of programs/projects/activities funded by USAID/Ghana throughout the country; provides USAID/Washington and the Embassy with information on programs; advises Mission management and other USAID/Ghana staff on press and media relations; and, ensures a broadcasted, targeted, coherent, and consistent message comes from all USAID/Ghana staff and IPs.
• Development Outreach and Media Activities
The Specialist directs the preparation and maintenance of information packages on the USAID in Ghana – with standard basic packages for differing purposes (media, the public, educational institutions, the GoG and district and local level governments, etc.), for briefings and for distribution to the public, the media, USAID/Washington, the US Embassy, etc. The Specialist oversees the drafting of press releases on program successes, project inaugurations, and significant
developments, and provides drafts to the PAS for dissemination, as appropriate; follows up with media to encourage and support coverage of public events; works with staff from throughout the Mission to develop and maintain public relations materials, including fact sheets, brochures, newsletters, presentations, websites, and other visual displays on USAID programs/projects/activities and their objectives; distributes reports on field trips and assessments
conducted by USAID staff; and, participates in field trips as necessary.
The Specialist represents USAID at a senior level in all matters pertaining to Development Outreach and Communication activities with the GoG, other donors, the UN, domestic and international media, and other groups and institutions; and, as appropriate, assists the GoG to build their capacity to manage public affairs and outreach activities. The Specialist is a creative agent for dissemination of important information through GoG intermediaries.
The Specialist manages a major multi-media outreach campaign that targets and informs specific portions of the Ghanaian public, including assisting in the design of Scopes of Work to be used in Requests for Proposals; may include participation in the evaluation and selection of parties to execute campaigns; and, may include in-kind assistance to GoG contractors executing promotional campaigns.
• Press and Media Coordination
The Specialist monitors local and international press coverage for awareness of, and attitudes toward, USAID/Ghana and USG programs/projects/activities; provides feedback to inform USAID staff on ongoing activities and future programming; serves as lead for USAID/Ghana in contacting representatives of local and international media in Ghana, in order to promote story ideas and feature stories on USAID programs/projects; organizes media tours and facilitates contacts among members of the media and USAID/Ghana IPs, in order to encourage in-depth coverage of USAID/Ghana programs/projects/activities in the local and international media; organizes and coordinates press events for USAID/Ghana programs/projects/activities, such as inaugurations, ribbon-cuttings, and project completions, including writing press releases, organizing background briefings for the media, compiling and disseminating press packets, dealing with protocol issues, site selection, staging and logistical issues, identifying and scheduling speakers, providing liaison with US and local government officials, and on-site coordination of media; and, assists the media to ensure coverage of public events. With GoG partners, the Specialist travels to the field for familiarization with programs/projects/activities, to capture success stories for dissemination through the website, outreach folders, and the media, and to coordinate media coverage. The Specialist responds to general inquiries from the public and media about USAID/Ghana and USG programs/projects/activities, practices, and other general information requests; and, maintains an archive of USAID press and media exposure articles for analysis and historical documentation, in an easily accessible database.
• Performs other duties as assigned or required.
OTHER SIGNIFICANT FACTS:
• Reporting Responsibilities
The incumbent will report to the Supervisory Program Officer, USAID/Ghana.
• Supervisory requirements
The Specialist supervises one local hire Personal Services Contractor DOC Specialist and one FSN DOC Specialist. On occasion, the Specialist will coordinate other Mission staff tasked with important outreach efforts for VIPs, GoG visits, and embassy-generated outreach efforts.
• Physical Demands
Work will be mainly in an office setting, but travel outside Accra is a part of the assignment. Travel to the field can be physically demanding, including transport on unpaved roads and rudimentary conditions. While interacting with rural communities, local culture and customs must be respected.
To be considered for this position, applicants must meet the minimum required qualifications outlined below. For those who do, further consideration and selection will be based on panel assessment of the Evaluation Criteria, also listed below in Section 5.
Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are required to address each of the Evaluation Criteria (in Section 5 below) on a separate sheet, describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education, and/or awards or recognition they have received relevant to each criteria (Education; Work Experience; Knowledge; Skills and
Abilities; and Communication Proficiency), and any related considerations. This should not exceed two pages. Be sure to include your name and the solicitation number at the top of each additional page.
Minimum Required Qualifications:
Education and Work Experience:
• Bachelor’s degree with significant study in relevant field plus at least eight (8) years of progressively responsible experience in international development and/or some combination of journalism, public relations, communications, and outreach.
• Master’s degree with significant study in relevant field, plus at least six (6) years of progressively responsible experience in international development and/or some combination of journalism, public relations, communications, and outreach.
Relevant fields of study include – but are not limited to – journalism, communications, international relations, international development, public administration, development/area studies, and social studies.
Language Proficiency: The candidate must be fluent in both spoken and written English, with a demonstrated high level of written and oral communications skills.
Applicants who do not meet the required minimum qualifications in Section D.1 above will be considered unqualified for the position and will not be further assessed against the selection criteria below. Those applicants who do meet the minimum qualifications will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria (maximum of 100 points):
Education and Training (10 Points):
A minimum requirement for the position is a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in a field related to communications or public relations. Additional related degrees or related study is highly desirable and will be taken into consideration. Additional training in one or more of the following areas will also be taken into consideration: development outreach and communications, writing, journalism, web site content management, presentation skills, or other areas that are relevant to the detailed duties and responsibilities outlined in Section 2: Major Duties and Responsibilities.
Work Experience (50 Points):
A minimum requirement for the position is six (with Master’s Degree) to eight (with Bachelor’s Degree) years of professional experience. Preference is given for experience in journalism, communication or public relations, preferably in an international setting, which would include work in an international organization, a corporation, for a foreign government, or an NGO. Overseas experience in a less developed or developing country for longer time periods is desirable, preferably in conjunction with development and/or economic assistance activities. Proven experience in
disseminating information to a variety of target audiences is a plus, as is demonstrated expertise in designing and implementing effective public relations/communications campaigns directed at both closely targeted audiences and the general public. Prior experience disseminating information on USAID programs/projects/activities is also desirable.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (20 Points):
The successful candidate will have demonstrated the ability to craft information messages in various media formats, targeting a variety of audiences; displayed outstanding coordination and organizational skills within multi-cultural work environments; demonstrated the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and to work effectively under pressure; and, exercised considerable initiative and creativity in past work environments. The candidate will show past experience in performing successfully at high levels, through samples of prior work or through a narrative description of earlier communication strategies developed and/or implemented. The candidate must demonstrate a strong sense of initiative in media campaigns, special programs, press conferences,
Communication Proficiency (20 Points):
The successful candidate must be a native English speaker, with a high level of written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and ability to work with a team. The Specialist will be expected to demonstrate computer skills and the ability to work in all appropriate Microsoft Office Suite applications, use desktop publishing software, and be familiar with Adobe Photoshop and one or more website development applications.
Those applicants determined to be competitively ranked may also be evaluated on interview performance. These interviews may be conducted by telephone.
INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANTS/APPLICATION PACKAGE
Interested applicants must submit the following:
• A completed and hand-signed federal form Application for Federal employment (SF-171) or OF-612 (including OF-612 continuation sheets as needed). (Note: All applicants must submit complete dates (months/years) and hours per week for all positions listed on the OF-612 to allow for adequate evaluation of your related and direct experiences.)
• A resume or curriculum vitae. The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application 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.
• Applicants must list at least three references who are not family members or relatives and provide current contact information, preferably both an e-mail address and a telephone number. The Selection Committee will conduct reference checks on all applicants who meet the required minimum qualifications. References will be asked to complete a questionnaire that assesses the applicant’s technical knowledge, work performance, communication skills, and group
dynamics, using the above specific criteria. The references will be asked to provide a general assessment of the applicant’s suitability for the position.
• Applicants also must address the above Section 5. Evaluation Criteria in a summary statement to be included in the application. This summary statement, limited to two 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 (Education; Work Experience; Knowledge, Skills and Abilities; and Communication Proficiency). The summary statement
must include the name of the applicant and the announcement number at the top of each page. Failure to provide this summary statement may result in the applicant not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, training, and/or awards.
How To Apply For The Job
Submission shall be in accordance with this solicitation and at the place and time specified. In order to be considered for the position, a candidate must meet the minimum qualifications listed in the solicitation and must submit all required documents as indicated in the solicitation. Incomplete and unsigned applications will not be considered.
All applications packages are to be submitted to:
Via courier Regional Executive Office
No. 24 Fourth Circular Rd. CT
P.O. Box 1630
Via email: [email protected]. Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line
of your email application. Any attachments provided via email shall be in a format compatible with
Microsoft Word 2003 or PDF and not zipped. Note that attachments to email must not exceed 3 MB.
Late applications will not be accepted and will be handled in accordance with Federal Acquisition
Regulations (FAR) 52.215.1.
USAID/Ghana anticipates awarding one (1) Personal Service Contract as a result of this solicitation. Please
note that this does not constitute any guarantee that a PSC will be awarded as result of this solicitation nor
does it constitute any authorization by USAID to reimburse costs incurred in the preparation of an
Closing Date: 16 October, 2013