U.S. Embassy Recruitment for Senior Program Development Specialist

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking to employ a suitable and qualified candidate for the position of:

Job Title:
Senior Program Development Specialist

Solicitation No.: AID-620-S-00-18-00007-00
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Period of Performance: Five (5) years renewable

Basic Function of the Position

  • The Senior Program Development Specialist position is located in the USAID/Nigeria Program Office
  • The incumbent plays a key role in the Program Office on issues related to the implementation of Development Objective (DO) programs, such as design of new activities, budget/pipeline, or identification of best practices to be shared Mission-wide.
  • S/he assists in the preparation and review of outreach and briefing materials on the USAID/Nigeria program
  • The incumbent advises Mission senior management on host-country political and/or economic developments that may impact the Mission’s strategic plans and program performance
  • Occasionally s/he will serve as Acting Deputy Program Office Director or Acting Office Director during the absence of the senior principals.

Major Duties and Responsibilities
Program Administration and Monitoring / Government Liaison and Coordination:

  • The Specialist oversees the drafting of the bilateral agreement with the Government of Nigeria. This includes preparing originals and amendments and negotiating concurrence, clearance and signing by the Government of Nigeria – in close consultation with the Resident Legal Officer and senior management
  • S/he is responsible for ensuring that obligation documents meet requirements for consistency and quality
  • S/he is responsible for coordinating regular meetings at
  • all levels with Government of Nigeria (GON) officials to keep them updated about the USAID assistance program, particularly the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and also prepares or coordinates all reporting to the GON on planned budget by agreement/sector and disbursements
  • S/he briefs GON officials at all levels on the USAID program. Consequently, s/he maintains close contacts with GON officials.
  • On behalf of the U.S. Embassy Nigeria, s/he coordinates the preparation of the Operational Plan and the annual Performance Plan and Report. This entails ensuring that guidance is distributed to and understood by all U.S. government (USG) staff (which includes USAID staff and other USG agencies/sections that receive foreign assistance in Nigeria), planning and executing preparation, drafting/revising key issues narratives, and working closely with the Mission Environmental Officer to ensure that environmental compliance requirements are met
  • In collaboration with the office directors and technical team members, the Specialist conceptualizes, prepares, and edits relevant documentation and analyses for semi-annual portfolio reviews in accordance with the Agency policy and the Mission’s Performance Management Plan
  • S/he oversees the tracking of program actions and issues for resolution arising from program portfolio reviews and preparing status reports for Mission management
  • Jointly with the Office of Financial Management and Mission teams, s/he reviews and reports on quarterly budget status. S/he may also mentor and train Mission staff on budget planning, design, and performance management.

Program / Project Development and Coordination:

  • The incumbent is a key Mission expert and principal advisor to the Mission on Agency and policies related to the Program Cycle including program/budget planning, monitoring, implementation, and reporting
  • The Specialist participates with considerable weight and at the highest levels in planning for, as well as implementation of, the USAID/Nigeria Country Development and Cooperation Strategy
  • The Specialist will develop and maintain contacts with officials and representatives of the World Bank, DFID, African Development Bank, and other key development partners.
  • The Specialist provides coordination and support as directed to strategy development/implementation, analyses of Government of Nigeria priorities, analyzes and prepares documentation that outlines resources needed to achieve results; analyzes USAID/Washington guidance on strategy development and advises technical offices on priorities and parameters
  • S/he helps conceptualize and support the overall preparation and review process (including regular reviews and stock-taking exercises) for strategy development and implementation. This includes providing budget and programming analyses and advising the technical teams and senior management on issues affecting programming, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and managing for results for USAID development assistance activities
  • For project/program/activity design and development, s/he advises technical teams on USAID and other USG requirements
  • Responsibilities include providing technical and programmatic input to draft requests for solicitations of proposals or assistance
  • S/he coordinates Mission response to unsolicited proposals and assistance requests – some of which may be politically sensitive – in collaboration with program managers and in accordance to Agency and Mission Orders
  • S/he serves as a member of technical evaluation committees to evaluate proposals and applications.

Program Office Representative to Technical Teams:

  • The Specialist serves as Program Office representative to technical teams. S/he works with office directors and team members to develop and update program budgets and procurement plans; and tracks activity monitoring, evaluation, and reporting. This includes advising (training and mentoring as needed) team management and team members on formulation of procurement documents, statements of work, government budget estimates, and assisting with identifying and using appropriate program elements and fund accounts
  • S/he advises office directors and team members on USAID and USG requirements for budget and obligation management, pipeline and forward funding
  • S/he provides guidance in developing Performance Management Plans (PMPs), collecting and assessing data, conducting data quality assessments, and using PMPs as a tool for measuring program performance and effectiveness.

Area of Consideration

  • Nigerians and all individuals eligible to work in Nigeria with a valid Work permit.

Physical Demands

  • The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

Minimum Qualifications Required For This Position

  • A University Degree in a field relevant to Development Assistance, including but not limited to Finance, Economics, Business Administration, Social Sciences, or International Affairs is required. An advanced Degree in any of these fields is highly desirable.

Prior Work Experience:

  • A minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible work experience in development program management, strategic planning and coordination, budgeting, analysis, and, planning or execution is required
  • Experiences in project/activity design, program planning, program/project budgeting and evaluation or closely related work is required. At least two years of this experience should be in an English-language environment with a US government agency or other international organization, or non-governmental organization
  • Prior experience in collaborating with high-level counterparts or their representatives (government and/or private sector) is required
  • A basic understanding of the procedures, policies and goals of international development programs is required.

Post Entry Training:

  • USAID will provide necessary specialized training related to USAID operations in both formal and on-the-job settings
  • In addition to formal classroom training, the incumbent should also be prepared to participate in on-line and self-teaching learning activities. Formal training opportunities are subject to course offerings and availability of funds
  • The incumbent must complete and maintain USAID certification requirements that relate to job responsibilities; these may include areas such as budget and program planning, procurement, project/activity design, evaluation, and supervision.

Language Proficiency:

  • Level IV (full professional fluency) in English oral and writing ability is required
  • A good working knowledge of one or more Nigerian languages is helpful.

Job Knowledge:

  • A thorough knowledge and understanding of development theory underlying strategic planning, program/project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation is required.
  • The incumbent is expected to master procedures governing USAID requirements and the USAID Program Cycle, as well as the Agency budget cycle, including the Congressional Notification process, Congressional earmarks, and Agency priorities, policies and strategies.
  • S/he must also be able to develop a good understanding of the USAID administrative and functional structure, the regional Africa Bureau (AFR), the overall USAID Mission, and the AFR budget planning office
  • Successful performance in this position also requires a basic understanding of the political and economic situation in Nigeria and the region; problem areas in general (state of the economy, energy sector, governance, territorial integrity) and status of basic socio-economic indicators
  • The incumbent must also have an awareness of key donor organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders working in the country.

Skills and Abilities:

  • The position requires strong analytical, communication (oral and written), interpersonal and teamwork skills. The ability to serve as an effective liaison, both within and outside of the USG, is important
  • Must have the ability to appropriately apply USAID and other USG guidelines and policies in the areas of strategic planning, activity/project/program design, evaluation, budget planning, reporting, and management
  • The incumbent must have ability to collect and analyze complex data and prepare precise, accurate, and complete reports which meet guidelines for style and content
  • Must be able to relate the purpose and objectives of development programs/projects/activities to costs and fiscal requirements. Must be able to help Mission senior management and technical teams manage funds within guidelines and make appropriate recommendations on adjustments to financial plans, changes in project or strategic direction
  • The Specialist may need to recommend solutions in complicated situations, taking into consideration myriad factors and variables such as late budget appropriations, delayed availability of funds, uncertain funding levels and unexpected budget reductions
  • S/he must have the ability to orient, train and supervise Foreign Service National (FSN) personnel and counterparts as appropriate. A successful incumbent in this position will have a high degree of motivation, curiosity, and skill as a systems thinker
  • The incumbent must be able to prepare and/or approve substantive reports and briefing papers in a timely manner. Familiarity with a wide range of program-related issues, such as health, economic growth, agribusiness, power, civil society, governance, and education is highly desirable
  • This work requires flexibility, an ability to react to a changing environment, the capacity to provide sound analyses objectively, and the ability to work under pressure. The Specialist must be knowledgeable in MS Office applications including

Evaluation and Selection Factors

  • Applications will be required to have the minimum qualifications expressed above.
  • Qualified applicants possessing skills above the minimum requirements will be assessed based on the following factors:
    • Education (10 points)
    • Work Experience (20 points)
    • Knowledge (30 points)
    • Language Proficiency (10 points)
    • Skills and abilities (30 points)
  • Per this scoring rubric, Work Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities are the most important factors
  • Applications will initially be screened for conformity with minimum requirements and a short list of applicants developed.
  • USAID reserves the right to interview only the highest ranked applicants in person or by phone OR not to interview any candidate.
  • After the closing date for receipt of applications, a committee will be convened to review applications and evaluate them in accordance with the evaluation criteria. Applications from candidates which do not meet the required selection criteria will not be scored
  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. No response will be sent to unsuccessful applicants.
  • As part of the selection process, finalist candidates may be interviewed either in person or by telephone at USAID’s discretion.
  • Reference checks will be made only for applicants considered as finalists. If an applicant does not wish USAID to contact a current employer for a reference check, this should be stated in the applicant’s cover letter, and USAID will delay such reference check pending communication with the applicant
  • Only finalists will be contacted by USAID with respect to their applications.

As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:

  • Health Insurance
  • Annual Salary Increase (if applicable)
  • Annual and Sick leave
  • Annual Bonus

Allowances (as applicable):

  • Transportation Allowance
  • Meal Allowance
  • Miscellaneous Allowance
  • Housing Allowance.

Market Value:

  • N11,581,095.00 equivalent to FSN-11
  • In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of United States Mission, Nigeria (Effective September 04, 2016).
  • Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.


  • The Mission emphasize to its employees of the fact that they are obliged to observe Nigerian Laws, including those concerning income and related tax obligations
  • Payment of such taxes is a matter between the individual employee and the Nigerian Government. In the absence of a specific international agreement, the U.S. Government will not withhold local taxes from an employee’s salary.

Application Closing Date
12th March, 2018.

How to Apply
Interested applicants for this position MUST submit the following, or the application will not be considered:
  • Application for US Federal Employment (DS – 174) , or a current resume or curriculum vitae that provides the same information as a DS – 174; plus,
  • Any additional documentation that supports or addresses the requirements listed above (e.g.transcripts, degrees, NYSC certificate/exemption etc.)
  • A type – written and signed application letter specifically applying for this position, and addressing the minimum requirements as advertised. Please reference the job title and announcement number on the application letter.
  • Limit all electronic (e-mail) submissions to one entry/e – mail not larger than 5MB. Please submit attachments in PDF and Word formats, not pictures.
  • E-mails received without the appropriate subject line and incomplete applications will not be considered.


  • To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number in the offer submission.
  • List of Required Forms for PSC Hires
  • Once the 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:
    • Medical History and Examination Form (Department of State Forms)
    • RSO Security Questionnaire
    • BI Guide Questionnaire
    • THOR Enrollment Intake Form.

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