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Job Title

Project Management Specialist (Energy)




Advert Details

Recruiter: USAID Kenya Updated on: 2019-04-26 10:08:45
Contract Permanent
Location: Nairobi Available: Immediately
Category: Energy Offer: Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 (Step 1 4,327,568 KSH to Step 13 7,356,848 KSH per annum)



The USAID Project Management Specialist - Energy is responsible for contributing to the design, development, and management of Mission plans and programs to support the Kenyan and regional energy sector development.

Minimum Requirements


Any application that does not meet the minimum requirements stated below will not be evaluated. Only short listed applicants will be contacted. If you have not been contacted within one month from the closing date of this advertisement, please consider your application unsuccessful.


A. Education: A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Finance or Law is required. 

B. Prior Work Experience:  A minimum of five years of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in an energy sector-related area is required. Experience must have provided the opportunity for development of sectoral and project documents, and performance of project design, program planning, financing and/or implementation work. At least two years of this experience should have been in development-related work for, other donor agencies, Government ministries, or private-sector institutions. Experience should also include performance monitoring, and/or the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data.

C. Post Entry Training:  Familiarization training in USAID-specific procedures, regulations, and methods will be provided. Orientation to working from a donor agency perspective will also be provided. Completion of formal COR/AOR certification courses is required and the training will be provided. Additional training to maintain professional capability and development in the relevant field will be offered including Fellowship opportunities. 

D. Language Proficiency: Fluency in written and spoken English (Level IV) is required, as well as ability to produce clear, articulate and logical written reports. English language level will be tested. 

E. Job Knowledge: Strong knowledge of the Government policies, developmental initiatives and priorities for energy sector and related areas, as well as the understanding of socio-political culture in various geographical regions of Kenya is required. Also required is a thorough knowledge of issues relating to public and private sector roles in energy sector development, as well as the sector strengths, opportunities and vulnerabilities, for Kenya and the region. Additionally, the Specialist needs expert knowledge of a broad range of issues of energy policy, generation, transmission, distribution, access and human resources capacity building as well as knowledge of private-sector development and competitiveness. Knowledge of strategies, programs, and the working methodologies of other donor agencies and banks in the energy sector in Kenya is required. 

F. Skills and Abilities:  A high level of technical expertise and ability in energy and private-sector development is required. The Specialist should possess the ability to advise the Mission management on Kenyan energy sector development and issues across a wide range of energy related topics (such as the regulatory environment for energy, key barriers to energy reform, etc.) and their implications on USAID programs. Program design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation skills are essential. The ability to effectively communicate complicated policy, strategy, and program issues orally and in writing is also required. The Specialist must have good interpersonal, coordination, and bureaucratic skills, and be able to coordinate successfully with all parts of the USAID Mission and Embassy to advance program interests. The Specialist must be able to handle sensitive issues diplomatically, represent USAID authoritatively, and use good judgment in speaking on behalf of USAID in high-level meetings with the USG, government of Kenya, NGOs, and other donors and in conferences, seminars, and workshops. The Specialist must possess good organizational and management skills.


Applicants must submit a resume/cv which describes how their relevant professional experience and education has prepared them to meet the specific challenges of the duties and responsibilities described above.  As part of the interview process, those applicants ranked highest may be required to submit a timed writing sample on a topic provided.  The selection committee may conduct reference checks at any time during the selection process.

Applications that do not meet the required minimum qualifications will not be scored.  

- Prior work experience (      points) 

- Job Knowledge (      points)

- Skills and abilities (     points)

Total possible points:  100

Candidates meeting the above required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application and reference checks.   References will be asked to assess the applicant’s technical knowledge, work performance, communication skills, and group dynamics, using the above criteria.   USAID reserves the right to conduct interviews with the top ranked short-listed applicants.  The interview will be one of the determining factors in the final selection.


Job Specification



2. ISSUANCE DATE: January xxx, 2019

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: January xxx, 2019 (4:30 PM East Africa Time)

4. POSITION TITLE: USAID Project Management Specialist (Energy)

5. MARKET VALUE:  Equivalent to FSN-PSC 11 (Step 1 14.327,568 KSH to Step 13 7,356,848 KSH per annum).  In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of USAID/Kenya and East Africa. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:  Initial 1 year probationary period with renewable contract(s) contingent on performance, position need, and funds availability.

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Nairobi, Kenya; with possible travel as stated in the Statement of Work.

8. SECURITY CERTIFICATION REQUIRED: Prior to joining USAID, the selected candidate will be required to:

• Undergo a comprehensive background investigation 

• Undergo a health check to obtain medical clearance and;

• Obtain and Retain an embassy issued Security Certification.


10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to qualified Kenyan Citizens and current employees of the U.S. Mission.  Employees currently on probation are ineligible to apply. USAID provides equal opportunity and equitable treatment for employment of all people without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, disability status, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic for equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The position requirements do not involve rigorous physical demands.


The USAID Project Management Specialist - Energy is responsible for contributing to the design, development, and management of Mission plans and programs to support the Kenyan and regional energy sector development. The Specialist reports to the Mission’s Energy Team Leader, and provides technical advice on national and regional power sector development trends, with a major focus on energy access, efficiency, policy and energy infrastructure development for power generation, transmission and distribution.

The Specialist utilizes his knowledge of the Kenyan and regional energy sector trends, and of economic growth issues in Kenya to help USAID achieve high impact programs. The Specialist works to improve energy policy and regulations and contributes to the design and implementation of projects/activities that facilitate expansion of power generation, transmission and distribution to increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity in Kenya and to a lesser extent regionally. Further, the Specialist drafts and analyzes technical documentation (Requests for Application, Requests for Proposal, Statements of Work, etc.) needed to develop strategy, obligate funds, and award grants and contracts; and serves as a member on Technical Evaluation Committees, contributing to the review and selection of project proposals.

The Specialist provides input to the conceptualization and articulation of energy and economic growth strategies and supports the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of existing and new power programs. The Specialist will work with the Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OAA) as Agreement Officer's Representative/ Contracting Officer's Representative  (AOR/COR), alternate  Agreement Officer's Representative/ Contracting Officer's Representative  (AAOR/ACOR) or activity manager for grants and contracts. The Specialist is required to monitor and evaluate on-going programs, prepare performance reports, annual reporting documents, briefing papers, concept papers, and other periodic documentation for the Mission, USAID/Washington, USAID/Power Africa, the State Department and other relevant US government agencies. 

The Specialist also represents the Mission in discussions and negotiations with the government of Kenya, other development partners and implementing partners (IPs). The Specialist assists USAID staff including senior managers, visiting USG officials, and others in sector-related public meetings, field trips, and discussions with Kenyan officials and partner organizations. Finally the Specialist advises on the allocation of budget available for the energy/power portfolio and establishes and maintains contacts for Mission management in the energy sector, including individuals in the government, private and non-governmental institutions, and donor community.


  Program Management and Monitoring (50%)

The Specialist tracks clean energy projects in Kenya and to a lesser extent in the East Africa region, collaborating closely with the Energy Team Leader and with senior Mission management as required. The Specialist serves as the USAID Foreign Service National (FSN) employee responsible for interpreting, explaining, and clarifying US Mission policies, programs, and strategies in the energy sector, through regular contact with the government and utility officials, NGOs, IPs, other donors, and civil society organizations. The Specialist establishes and maintains contacts with government counterparts, donor agencies, the private sector, and a wide range of NGOs, research institutions, and universities. 

The Specialist directs, coordinates, and monitors activities necessary to achieve the desired policy reforms and energy sector results supporting clean energy development; manages implementation mechanisms, and provides advice and constructive feedback. The Specialist manages daily activities through interface with Implementing Partners (IPs) and relevant governments, conducting site visits and inspections (as approved by the Regional Security Officer (RSO) and others), and ensuring IPs receive needed information on USAID regulations and policies, including audit regulations, USAID-provided logistical support services, and assistance with country-level issues. The Specialist monitors and evaluates progress of IPs towards achievement of results through regular field trips, and meetings with IP management and project officials. The Specialist provides technical support in establishing performance monitoring systems for results frameworks in coordination with Mission management and IPs; and, ensures appropriate accounting of resources by tracking quarterly accruals, maintaining project pipeline information, and providing leadership in meeting audit recommendations whenever required.

The Specialist provides regular analysis and reports on the energy situation in Kenya and the East African region, with a focus on the status and impact of USAID and other donor programs in support of clean energy. The Specialist provides recommendations to Mission management on longer-term energy activities, prepares and submits regular progress reports- both on a periodic and ad hoc basis for situation updates, and maintains regular contact with selected offices in USAID/Washington in order to provide information and advice as required. The Specialist provides input on energy-related budgetary issues to Mission management and the Power Africa team, and provides analyses of budgetary needs for the existing and planned Office of Economic Growth and Integration (OEGI) energy-sector portfolio, and participates in decision-making about funding allocation within the energy portfolio. The Project Management Specialist Energy, working with the OAA as alternate AOR/COR is responsible for the development and implementation of annual energy work and operation plans, schedules for budget allocation, obligation, and expenditure, portfolio reviews, evaluation planning and implementation, audits, development and outreach communications, and closeouts. These responsibilities are defined in the AOR/COR letter issued by the Nairobi Office of Acquisition and Assistance. The Specialist will support OEGI, Mission, and USG efforts to ensure effective, cost-effective, and responsible programming and reporting in compliance with USG and USAID regulations and ethics standards, including environmental compliance, and, ultimately, help USAID achieve its economic growth objectives in Kenya.

Energy Policy and Technical Advise (30%)

The Specialist serves as an energy expert, with a strong knowledge of energy policy, trends and issues in Kenya and a good understanding of broader policy, trends and issues in the East Africa region. He/she reviews and analyzes developments and advises Mission management and, as required, Embassy officials on issues relating to the energy sector in the country, particularly those bearing on bilateral assistance or other USG interests. The Specialist assists the Mission officials, other USAID staff, Power Africa Initiative and visiting officials in preparing for and participating in field trips, public meetings, conferences, and negotiations with the governments in the region, occasionally involving planning the events, managing field activities and logistics, and serving as a control officer for the field visits. The Specialist maintains regular contact with Power Africa teams in Pretoria and Washington DC, and provides them with information, advice and feedback as required.

Energy Strategic Planning and Program Design (20%)

The USAID Program Management Specialist, Energy provides technical and managerial support to the conceptualization, planning, implementation and monitoring of significant components of the overall Mission/Power Africa energy strategy. The Specialist obtains support from and coordinates the involvement of IPs and major stakeholders (including relevant Government ministries, energy sector parastatals, independent power producers, and private companies, businesses and investors) to identify components of effective clean energy strategies, proposals for new activities, and determinations of achievable results that will serve to improve the economic condition of women and men in Kenya. The Specialist obtains Mission-level approval for the initiation of new activities, provides support and input for the drafting of relevant OEGI Energy sections of Mission strategy statements, and other concept papers and relevant documents such as results frameworks, activities packages, budgets, background documentation, and performance monitoring plans. The Specialist coordinates the drafting of activity design, analysis, and assessment documentation and related technical, policy, economic, and budgetary analyses; takes a leadership role in implementing changes to existing clean energy activities, and serves as a member of Mission technical review teams for energy-related (and other) concept papers, solicited or unsolicited proposals, and proposed awards under USAID-funded activities.


A. Supervision Received:  The Specialist works under the supervision of the Energy Team Lead. Assignments are made orally and in writing. Most assignments occur in the normal course of the work, but the Specialist is required to determine those that must be coordinated with the supervisor. The supervisor provides a review of the assignment, the goals and objectives to be achieved, and the results expected. The Specialist will seek advice and assistance as required. Work is reviewed in terms of results achieved.

B. Supervision Exercised:  Supervision of USAID/Kenya and East Africa staff is not contemplated.

C. Available Guidelines:  Available technical guidelines include clean energy guidance, energy program and initiative descriptions and program documents as well as sector analyses and strategies. General program and operation guidance comes from USAID Mission Orders, Mission strategies and other relevant reports, the Automated Directives System (ADS), USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR), USAID Acquisitions Regulations (AIDAR), and other published and unpublished guidelines. Guidelines are often general in nature and not specific to the situation at hand, requiring considerable interpretation. 

D. Exercise of Judgment:  Independent judgment is required for developing, implementing, managing evaluating and reporting major energy sector programs/projects/activities. Judgment is required in order to make decisions, based on a careful analysis of facts and variables, possible alternatives, and potential political and development implications and impact. The Specialist exercises good judgment, and completes work independently, monitors implementation of energy-sector activities and maintains accountability for results achieved.

E. Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist exercises the authority given to all USAID activity managers and CORs/AORs, and may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission policy. The Specialist takes action and establishes priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment. Guidance is sought when needed, and the supervisor informed of activity and project status. Within the scope of the authority delegated, the Specialist may indicate to ranking counterpart and IP officials that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity issue or problem. The Specialist may negotiate ad referendum for the immediate supervisor.

F. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Specialist directly oversees components of the OEGI energy portfolio, requiring substantive contacts with political and civil service personnel of the Government ministries and energy sector parastatal organizations. The work includes frequent contact with private sector, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and research institutions up to the leadership level, and with other donor representatives as well as other USG agencies. Some contacts are for oversight of work carried out by IPs and grantees to ensure compliance with contract and grant agreements. The Specialist coordinates and participates in regular meetings with IPs, grantee representatives, banks, energy agencies and government ministries and relevant departments to review progress of programs/projects. The Specialist identifies implementation problems and recommends ways to strengthen program interventions.

G. Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year. 

VII. How to Apply

Step 1: Register in MyJobsInKenya at

Step 2: Complete the job application questionnaire at The applicant must answer all the questions in the Questionnaire. 

Step 3: Internal Applicants/Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages), a copy of your most recent Performance Evaluation Report, and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya.


External Applicants/Not Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya . 

Note to Applicants:

1. Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted through as stated in Section IV.

2. Submissions will only be accepted through Late and Incomplete applications (those that do not contain the applicant’s most current and up to date detailed CV and relevant education certificates) will not be considered for the position. The closing date for receipt of applications is indicated above.


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