Jan 262018

Organization: US Agency for International Development
Country: Ghana
Closing date: 07 Feb 2018

ISSUANCE DATE: January 24, 2018

CLOSING DATE: February 07, 2018 at 17:00 Hours Accra Local Time

SUBJECT: SOLICITATION NUMBER Solicitation: 72062418R00005


Ladies and Gentlemen:

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from qualified U.S Citizens currently residing in Ghana and interested in providing Personal Services Contractor (PSC) services as described in the attached solicitation.

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 required documentations. The Certifying Officer Position is located in Accra, Ghana.

Interested candidates meeting the requirements of the solicitation must submit all the following required materials for consideration (see details on pages 7 & 8):

· Cover Letter;

· Curriculum Vitae or resume;

· Signed Form AID 302-3 (available at;

· Supplemental document addressing the evaluation factors; and

· List of three to five professional references.

All application packages are to be submitted via email to:

The highest ranking applicants may be selected for an interview. The purpose of the interview is to provide additional information on how the applicant meets the requirements of the solicitation. The interview will be part of the evaluation process.

Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line of your email application. Any attachments provided via email must be in a format compatible with Microsoft Word 2003/2010 or PDF and not zipped. Note that attachments to email must not exceed 3 MB.

Any questions concerning this solicitation may be directed to Daniel Kissiedu at with copy to Nana Derby at no later than January 31, 2018; no questions will be entertained after this date.

Application Form AID 302-3 must be signed. Incomplete and unsigned applications will not be considered. Late applications will not be accepted and will be handled in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 52.215.1.

USAID/West Africa anticipates awarding one (1) Personal Service Contract as a result of this solicitation. Please note this does not constitute any guarantee that a PSC will be awarded as a result of this solicitation nor does it constitute any authorization by USAID to reimburse costs incurred in the preparation of an application.


Karla Camp

Contracting Officer

USAID/West Africa

SOLICITATION NUMBER: Solicitation: 72062418R00005

ISSUANCE DATE: January 24, 2018

CLOSING DATE: February 07, 2018 – 17:00 Hours Accra Local Time


MARKET VALUE OF POSITION: GS-14 ($89,370 – $116,181) Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value based upon the candidate’s salary history. Salaries over and above the top of the GS14 pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to U.S. Citizens currently residing in Ghana. Proof of residency must be provided with application. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.

PERIOD OF PERFORANCE: Two (2) years with option to extend. Extensions will be contingent on satisfactory performance, continued need for the services and availability of funds.



CLEARANCES: Selected applicant must obtain facility access and medical clearance within a reasonable period of time. USAID will provide details regarding these clearances to the selected candidate. If such clearances are not obtained within a reasonable time or negative suitability issues are involved, any offer made may be rescinded.


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 and international stakeholders on the work USAID/Ghana is performing to benefit the people of Ghana.

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 priorities including but not limited to: the G8 Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition; Domestic Resource Mobilization; Power Africa; the Security Governance Initiative; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Education; and Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance. Under Power Africa, 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.

Ghana’s strong commitment to democracy and good governance has led to a growth in USAID funding from $41 million in 2007 to over $140 million in 2017, making the USG the largest bilateral donor in Ghana. Under its 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 three 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; (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; and (3) to ensure USAID, Congress, and interagency officials in Washington, as well as international development practitioners and thought leaders, are informed of successes and best practices from USAID’s work in Ghana.


• Development Outreach and Communication Strategy

The Senior DOC Specialist counsels the USAID Front Office and senior USAID Mission Staff on all communication and outreach efforts. S/he updates 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, oversees the preparation of briefing materials and scene setters, coordinates meetings and briefings with Implementing Partners (IPs), constituents, other donors, and officials; and provides communications and logistical support for 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.

• Fostering Strategic Partnerships

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. The Senior DOC also bolsters USAID’s partnerships by providing USAID/Washington and the Embassy with information on programs; advising Mission management and other USAID/Ghana staff on press and media relations; and ensuring a broadcasted, targeted, coherent, and consistent message comes from all USAID/Ghana staff and IPs. The Specialist will oversee the production of outreach such as articles, the annual report, and the weekly newsletter to advance these goals and ensure USAID’s partners in and outside the USG are well informed of USAID/Ghana’s activities.

• 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 supports the planning of events, by advising technical officers and IPs on logistics, drafting speeches for high-level USG officials, and editing and advising on briefing materials and promotional materials for events. The Specialist oversees the drafting of press releases on program successes, project inaugurations, and significant developments, and provides drafts to 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; and participates in field trips as necessary.

As appropriate, 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, also 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.

• 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; trains IPs to skillfully interact with the media; reviews IP press releases and outreach to ensure they are on-message and high quality; 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. The Specialist is the primary USAID/Ghana liaison with PAS, with the USAID/Washington Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, and with the communication staff at the USAID Africa Bureau in Washington.


• Reporting Responsibilities

The incumbent will report to the Program Officer Director, 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 4 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):

a. 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: international relations, 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.

b. 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.

c. 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, etc.

d. 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.

How to apply:


Submission of a resume alone IS NOT a complete application. This position requires the completion of additional forms and/or supplemental materials as described in this section. Failure to provide the required information and/or materials will result in your not being considered for employment.

Note: Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen currently residing in Ghana.

Interested individuals meeting the Minimum Qualifications above are required to submit the following:

· Signed Form AID 302-3, Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts (available at

All applicants must submit complete dates (months/years) and hours per week for all positions listed on the form AID 302-3 to allow for adequate evaluation of your related and direct experiences. Applicants should note that the salary history for the purposes of the AID 302-3 is the base salary paid, excluding benefits and allowances such as housing, travel, educational support, etc.

· Cover letter and a current resume/curriculum vita (CV). 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. Complete dates (month/year) are also required on CV.

· Applicants must provide a minimum of three and a maximum of five 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.

· 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. The summary statement must include the name of the applicant and the announcement number at the top of each page.


The applicant selected to fill this position must be able to obtain a security clearance which involves applicant’s comprehensive background investigation performed by a U.S. Government Agency.

The applicant selected to fill the position must also receive medical clearance to work worldwide. Details of how to obtain such clearance will be provided after selection and acceptance of the job offer.

The final selected candidates must obtain security and medical clearances within a reasonable period of time (USAID will provide details regarding these clearances to the selected candidates). A substantial delay in obtaining either required clearance will make the applicant ineligible for selection.


Forms outlined below can found at:

  1. Application for Federal Employment (AID 302-3);

  2. Contractor Physical Examination (AID Form 1420-62). *

  3. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security)

(SF-86), or *

  1. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85). *

  2. Finger Print Card (FD-258). *

* Forms 2 through 5 shall be completed only upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.


CIBs AND AAPDSs contain information or changes pertaining to USAID policy and General Provisions in USAID regulation and procedures concerning acquisition and assistance including Personal Service Contracts and can be found at: AIDAR Appendix D and J apply to USPSC and TCNPSC respectively and can be found at


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

(NOTE: An individual defined as a USPSC employee may only be eligible for those benefits listed below).


Employee’s FICA and Medicare Contribution (USPSCs only)

Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance

Pay Comparability Adjustment

Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation

Annual & Sick Leave

Access to Embassy medical facilities, commissary and pouch mail service (USPSCs only)

*Note: If a US citizen, the Contractor’s salary will be subject to employee’s FICA and Medicare contribution. FEDERAL TAXES: USPSCs are not exempt from payment of Federal and State Income Taxes.

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Questions Typiques
“Where do you want to be five years from now?” “What employers are really asking is, ‘Is this job even close to your presumed career path? Are you just applying to this job because you need something? Are your long-term career plans similar to what we see for this role? How realistic are your expectations for your career? Have you even thought about your career long-term? Are you going to quit after a year or two?’”
Questions à poser
What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem? This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.