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A -- Agriculture Development Specialist

Notice Date
Notice Type
Sources Sought
Contracting Office
Agency for International Development, Overseas Missions, Kazakhstan USAID-Almaty, Dept. of State, Washington, DC, 20521-7030
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Response Due
Archive Date
Point of Contact
Beth Salamanca , Contracting Officer , Phone +7 3272 50 76 17 , Fax +7 3272 50 76 35 , - Tatiana Rossova, Personnel Assistant, Phone 7 3272 50 76 17, Fax 7 3272 50 76 35,
E-Mail Address
bsalamanca@usaid.gov, trossova@usaid.gov
1. SOLICITATION NUMBER: 48/2003 2. ISSUANCE DATE: 10/24/2003 3. CLOSING DATE/TIME SPECIFIED FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS: 11/21/2003 (6 p.m. Almaty time) 4. POSITION TITLE: Agriculture Development Specialist 5. MARKET VALUE: $72,381 - $94,098 per annum (GS-14 equivalent) with 25% Post Differential 6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two years (renewable) 7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: USAID/CENTRAL ASIA, Almaty, Kazakhstan with regional travel both in-country and throughout the Central Asia Region (CAR) i.e., Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan 8. JOB DESCRIPTION: A. BACKGROUND USAID/CAR Background: USAID/CAR is responsible, in close consultation with the five U.S. ambassadors in the region, for the design, development and management of assistance programs in five republics. The central office is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan with offices in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Bishkek and Osh, Kyrgyzstan; Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; and Dushanbe, Tajikistan. USAID is one of the Agency?s largest Missions responsible for approximately $100 million of assistance annually, with activities in the areas of energy and natural resources, economics and finance, democracy and media, and health and humanitarian assistance. The Mission works in partnership with over 80 grantee and contractor teams. USAID/CAR?s assistance seeks to mitigate conflict and expand opportunities for participation, livelihood and quality of life for the citizens of the Central Asian Republics. Staff frequently travels to each of the five countries to manage and monitor development assistance. Recognizing the importance of the CAR natural resource base, and the historic mismanagement of those resources, in fostering the emergence of a competitive, market-oriented economy, USAID/CAR established a strategic objective (SO) to introduce the integrated management of natural resources in the region. Specifically, SO 1.6 ?Improved management of critical natural resources, including energy? covers the FY2000 to FY2005 period. Success under this SO, as defined in the USAID/CAR strategic plan, is ?successful models of integrated resource management adopted and applied?. Strategy components consist of: a) broad training in environmental and natural resource management, including the development of pilot demonstrations; b) improved policy and regulatory framework; and, c) the establishment of a greater awareness of environmental and natural resource issues among the public. In Central Asia, the agricultural sector plays a vital social and economic role. Sixty per cent of Central Asians live in rural areas, and agriculture contributes to approximately 30% of the countries? GDP. These numbers are even higher in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Food security is of particular concern in Tajikistan. Recent developments indicate there is a loosening up of strong government control of the agriculture sector in the areas of land policy, farmer privatization, credit and marketing policies. This liberalization of the sector creates opportunities for new assistance programs. Within USAID/CAR, the Office of Energy and Water (EW) has the primary responsibility for all energy (oil, gas, electric power) and water resources, including water activities, several of which are related to agriculture. These include irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation, improving the planning and allocation of irrigation water, communication upgrades and related training. The office also serves as USAID/CAR?s contact point for various agricultural activities including the Agency-funded Farmer to Farmer Program, a centrally-funded Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) in support of Livestock, and activities with the Israeli International Development Agency (MASHAV). EW is about to enlarge its agricultural activities, especially in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and perhaps Kyrgyzstan. EW is the primary USAID/CAR point of communication and coordination for all energy, water and most aspects of agricultural development with the governments of the five Central Asian republics, the respective U.S. Embassies, local and international NGOs, other local donors, and private commercial entities. The other technical office of the Mission implementing programs dealing with agriculture is the Office of Enterprise and Finance (EF). Activities include providing business training to assist entrepreneurs (several of whom are agribusinesses), with planning, accounting, marketing and other aspects of successful business development. EF also funds agricultural consulting services in the region through an agreement with MASHAV, the Israeli Development Agency, and assistance to the agricultural input industry in Kyrgyzstan. An expanded land policy activity is about to be extended from Kyrgyzstan to both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. EF has a focused program of agribusiness development in the Osh region of Southern Kyrgyzstan. In Tajikistan, the Mission has funded several grants to organizations to do agricultural activities such as Water User and Private Farmer Association development, farmer training and crop improvements. These tend to be smaller activities focused in one area of the country. B. STATEMENT OF DUTIES Basic Function of the Position: The Agriculture Development Specialist will provide project management, and serve as the Mission specialist, for agriculturally related activities throughout CAR. This includes identifying, analyzing, and implementing sector programs and activities; identifying key policy constraints to improved agricultural development; formulating, quantifying and tracking results and performance indicators; and providing guidance to contractors, grantees, the public sector, and PVO and NGO implementing partners. The person will work in close cooperation with other donors active in the region as well as with key counterparts both to collaborate on programs and to explain USAID?s program. He/she will give recommendations and help develop new activities for the EW office, as well as evaluate ongoing Mission programs, including other technical offices when appropriate. Total cost of the current projects under the incumbent?s management responsibility is $20 million per three year period. In addition, he/she must keep abreast of changes in his/her profession and interface between the Mission and the Agency on agriculture, and other related issues and program matters. It is anticipated that work obligations will require the incumbent to travel approximately 20-30 percent of the time. Most travel will be in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, though some travel throughout the CAR region will likely be required. Major Duties and Responsibilities: The responsibilities of the Agriculture Development Specialist include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Provide Technical Leadership on CAR Agricultural Issues. The incumbent will serve as principal Mission expert on matters involving development, utilization and management of agriculture restructuring/development programs in the CAR region. He/she will provide overall conceptual guidance to any USAID/CAR agriculture restructuring/development programs, including project formulation, design, implementation and monitoring activities. 2. Serve as the Cognizant Technical Officer (CTO) for the New Agricultural Initiative in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Duties include, (in close cooperation with effected USAID County offices), all aspects of developing and implementing this initiative. This includes preparing required scopes of work, selecting contractors/grantees, establishing a performance monitoring plan, reviewing reports, performing site inspections to monitor activities, and meeting with development partners to explain requirements, monitor progress, and resolve issues. The incumbent will track financial progress, oversee and assist in the review of contractor/grantee vouchers, and undertake financial project planning, as required. 3. Serve as team leader for an interoffice agricultural team. The focus of this team is on the integration of Mission activities that have an impact on agricultural sector development. The interoffice team will consist of activity managers that have relevant activities in the program areas. The Agricultural Development Specialist will be required to provide technical advice, and offer suggestions for project coordination that will improve the chances for success in developing the agricultural sector. Depending on the issue, this coordination may include other donors. 4. Serve as the CTO for the New Water User Association Support Program (WUASP) Initiative. WUASP is currently in the process of being developed. The incumbent will serve as CTO and activity manager. Duties include: managing project start-up, meeting with key counterparts to inform them of the program, and all other regular CTO duties. It is critically important that the WUASP and the new agricultural initiative for which the Agricultural Development Specialist are responsible for, is fully integrated with each other, as well as with the other agricultural activities of the Mission. 5. Provide technical backstop for the Program Coordinator Ferghana Valley Initiative. USAID/CAR plans to position a coordinator in the Ferghana Valley an area of large agribusiness and agricultural processing to report on and provide limited activity management for agricultural development activities in that region. It is envisioned that that person would report to the Enterprise and Finance office, and would be a member of the interoffice agricultural team. When needed, the Agricultural Development Specialist will provide technical advice on agriculture issues to that initiative. 6. Serve as the Mission Contact Person for USAID/W-funded Agriculture Activities. These include: Farmer to Farmer Program, the Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) in support of Livestock, and the Cooperative Research Program. The incumbent will be required to interact successfully with the Washington-based CTOs of these programs, contractor staff in the field, and the CTO/activity managers of related Mission-funded programs in order to better integrate and focus these activities with the goal of increasing their effectiveness. He/she will provide professional and programmatic leadership, guidance, and advice to these and other USAID consulting firms, field advisors, and grantees on agricultural issues and policy. 7. Participates fully as a USAID/CAR staff member. This includes attending staff meetings, contributing to annual reports, serving on Mission or Embassy committees and performing other staff duties as assigned by the EW Office Director. 8. Facilitate Donor Coordination. Duties include developing linkages with other international donor programs, particularly those with agriculture restructuring/development-related loan conditionalities leading to large disbursements of the World Bank and/or Asian Development Bank; and analyzing and recommending to Mission Management the feasibility of integrating USAID funded activities into these IFI activities, and at what level. He/she will need to establish a reputation for leadership in the donor community involved in agricultural restructuring/development. 9. Liaison with CAR Government and Agribusiness Leaders. Duties include establishing productive business relationships with senior CAR government officials for the purpose of promoting USAID?s programs and resolving problems that arise in program planning and implementation. Also, to advocate, as appropriate, USAID?s development strategy and operational approaches and address controversial issues to achieve diplomatic and amicable resolution of issues. He/she will also work closely with private sector leaders including managers/representatives of major U.S. firms to assess how reforms are affecting those companies making investments in the sector. 10. Liaison within the U.S. Government. Duties include conducing or participating in meetings with senior policy and technical officials in the five U.S. Embassies in the region, the Foreign Commercial Service, and other U.S. Government entities to advance the U.S. Mission?s agricultural development strategy. He/she will prepare and deliver briefings to USAID Mission management, USAID/Washington, to Deputy Assistant Secretary levels of the State Department, Commerce, Agriculture, Treasury, National Security Council, and to other high level officials of the USG, including Congressional staff, and to inform them on key developments and issues. The incumbent will serve as a primary source of strategic information, analysis and recommendations related to the agricultural sector. 11. Participate in the development of new and existing EW activities as part of the SO 1.6 Team. Duties include: assist in the drafting and reviewing new program descriptions, scopes of work, as well as other technical requirements for the contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements that are, or will be part of SO 1.6. The incumbent may also participate as EW representative and assist the CO in any activities needed to select implementing partners, as assigned by the EW Office Director. 12. Other duties as specified by EW Office Director to develop and implement EW and water and natural resource management activities. C. POSITION ELEMENTS 1. SUPERVISION RECEIVED: The USAID/CAR, Energy and Water Office Director will provide general supervision to this position. 2. EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT: Given the incumbent will handle most work independently and in accordance with established Federal and Agency regulations, polices, and procedures, excellent (balanced) judgment is critical to the successful performance of the job. The incumbent will be expected to use initiative, and exercise discretion and patience to resolve problems that arise during the course of the work to which there is no clear or immediate solution and where contact with the supervisor is not possible. 3. TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE FULL RANGE OF DUTIES AFTER ENTRY INTO THE POSITION: The incumbent is expected to immediately possess the necessary technical, administrative and management skills/abilities required to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the position. D. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENTS 1. PRIOR WORK EXPERIENCE: A minimum of six (6) years of project management in the field of agriculture, land policy, natural resources, or agribusiness development is needed. At least two (2) of the six years? prior experience will have been with a U.S. Government Agency, other international donor organization(s) and/or USAID-funded Contractor or Grantee. NIS field experience is highly desirable and applicable experience in Central Asia is preferred. Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision or guidance is required. Strong interpersonal and communication skills enabling him/her to establish and maintain strong contacts with counterparts both inside and outside of USAID and to work collaboratively with USAID customers/clients and donor partners is required. 2. KNOWLEDGE: There are several possible technical profiles for the ideal candidate for this position. Experience with agriculture sector restructuring and agribusiness development is desirable, including relevant areas such as collective farm restructuring, land privatization, agribusiness development, national and local level farmer associations and organizations, commodity exchanges and farm credit unions. However, a technical background in agriculture or a career focused on the agriculture sector is not mandatory. Individuals with experience in business development in a transition economy, preferably in the NIS or CAR, with an ability to provide leadership to USAID?s addressing of agribusiness and agriculture sector and policy reform issues are encouraged to apply. Demonstrated knowledge of managing USAID funded contracts is necessary. CTO certification is desirable, but not mandatory. The incumbent must have thorough understanding and knowledge of public participation and government information systems as tools for the development and implementation of public policy. 3 SKILLS AND ABILITIES: The following skills and abilities are essential to the successful performance of the duties/responsibilities of the position and are also sought: ? Must have demonstrated experience in working in a team environment, sensitivity to others, balanced judgment and the ability to conceptualize, both strategically and programmatically. ? The ability to work effectively as a team member in culturally diverse team environments and communicate with, and understand, the needs of non-technical internal clients is essential. ? Ability to apply the principles of sound management and negotiation is required. ? In addition, Mission is seeking a self-starter to be responsive to client needs with the ability to work calmly, tactfully and effectively under pressure. ? Command and ease in the use of Microsoft Office software programs (word processing, e-mail, databases, PowerPoint, tracking systems and spreadsheets) for the purpose of preparing USAID internal reports and other documents, briefing presentations, etc. ? The ability to travel, sometimes under difficult conditions, throughout Central Asia. ? The ability to adapt to the existing management team, be a good listener, a team builder, and an articulate advocate of the Regional Mission?s overall EW Strategic Objectives and Goals specific to technical area of assignment. 4. LANGUAGE AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS: Native Speaker (Level 5) in both written and spoken English required and Level 3 (Good Working Knowledge) in spoken Russian is highly desirable. Given the level of responsibility associated with this position, both written and oral communication skills must be demonstrated. Exceptional interpersonal skills and diplomacy are required to maintain excellent working relationships with all Mission personnel, internal/external contacts, counterparts, shareholders, and clients. A proven ability to develop and maintain professional relations with senior-ranking Central Asia stakeholders (i.e., regional NGO representatives, local international donor representatives, heads of local delegations, and other key stakeholders and partners) is required. 5. EDUCATION: The successful candidate will have a minimum of a Masters Degree in agricultural economics, business management, land policy, international development, law, or a similar field. A Ph.D. in one of these specialized fields is desirable. E. OTHER REQUIREMENTS In addition, the incumbent must also be: 1) a U.S. Citizen; 2) Available and willing to commit to the Contract Performance Period of 24 months; 3) Able to attain a USG-issued security clearance at the level of SECRET and StateMed medical clearance; 4) Available and willing to work additional hours beyond the established 40-hour workweek and outside established Monday-Friday workweek, as may be required or necessary; and 5) Willing to travel to work sites and other offices as requested. B) Selection Criteria: Applicants will be evaluated against the following criteria: Technical Knowledge and Experience: 30 points Managerial and Leadership Experience: 20 points Academic Qualifications: 15 points Language and Communication Skills: 15 points Relevant NIS Experience: 15 points Computer Skills: 5 points Total: 100 points 9. APPLYING Qualified individuals are requested to submit a U.S. Government Application for Federal Employment SF-171 including experience, salary history and references, and writing sample (one page analytical essay) no later than COB (6 p.m. Almaty time) November 21, 2003. Applications which do not include explicit references, including their contact information, will not be considered. The form is available at the USAID website, http://www.info.usaid.gov/procurement_bus_opp/procurement/forms or Internet http://fillform.gsa.gov, or at Federal offices. Applications, recent supervisor reference and three (3) personal references may be submitted by e-mail, fax, DHL or FedEx air courier by the closing date, above, to: Beth Salamanca Contracting Officer Personnel Office USAID/CAR Almaty 99/97A Furmanov Street, 480091 Almaty, Kazakhstan Tel: 7 3272 507612 ext. 345, Email: per.Almaty@usaid.gov Email or faxed documentation is preferred as mail delivery may be untimely. To ensure consideration of applications for the intended position, please reference the solicitation number on your application, and as the subject line in any cover letter. Selection will be made by a Mission committee no later than December 2, 2003. USAID/CAR expects to award a personal-services contract for an off-shore or resident hire US Citizen for two-year period from on or about December 28, 2003 to on or about December 24, 2005, renewable up to five years by mutual agreement subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds. The contract will be signed by December 16, 2003. On or about December 28, 2003, the incumbent shall proceed to Almaty, Kazakhstan to commence performance of the duties specified, subject to medical and security clearance. The duty post for this contract is Almaty, Kazakhstan. 10. Benefits include post differential, housing, and other benefits per USAID regulations. Basic household furnishings, will be available in quarters to be provided by USAID. 11. Almaty is a beautiful city nestled against mountains, bursting with parks and fountains, with tree lined streets and flower gardens. The city has the excitement of Kazakh culture with its nomadic and warrior heritage as well as the benefits of the Russian culture ballet, museums, opera, choirs, and circus. It has the charm and challenges of colorful native markets, as well as the convenience of modern supermarkets. Located at an altitude of 650 meters, where steppe meets mountain, Almaty is backed by the snow capped Tien Shan to the South and faced by a vast plain which stretches to Siberia in the North. There are many places for skiing, skating, hiking, rafting, helicopter trips, camping, and other outdoor activities outside the city. The Almaty International School provides American curriculum for children in grades K 12.
Place of Performance
Address: 99/97A Furmanov Street, Almaty,
Zip Code: 480091
Country: Kazakhstan
SN00458345-W 20031025/031023213014 (fbodaily.com)
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