Development outreach communication advisor
 
JOB TITLE: Development outreach communication advisor
EMPLOYER: USAID DUTY STATION: Azerbaijan
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05 LAST UPDATED: 2021-05-05 DEADLINE: 2021-06-04

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NUMBER: 72011221R00002/0001
2. ISSUANCE DATE: 04/27/2021
3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: 05/11/2021 (17:00 Baku time)
4. POINT OF CONTACT: All questions related to this solicitation should be sent via email to HR-Baku@usaid.gov
5. POSITION TITLE: Development Outreach Communications (DOC) Advisor
6. MARKET VALUE: USD 55,756 to USD 72,487 equivalent to GS-11. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.
7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The base period will be one year, estimated to start on/about July 7, 2021 (based on the security clearance receipt date). Based on Agency need, the Contracting Officer may exercise four additional option one-year option periods for the date(s) estimated as follows:

Base Period: o/a July 07, 2021- o/a July 06, 2022
Option Period 1: o/a July 07, 2022- o/a July 06, 2023
Option Period 2: o/a July 07, 2023- o/a July 06, 2024
Option Period 3: o/a July 07, 2024- o/a July 06, 2025
Option Period 4: o/a July 07, 2025- o/a July 06, 2026

8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE:
Baku, Azerbaijan with possible travel as stated in the Statement of Duties. Travel to the regions will be expected, on average one-two trips per month to visit potential or existing partners.

9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: All interested U.S. Citizens residing locally in Azerbaijan
Definitions:
Resident hire U.S. Personal Services Contractor (PSC) means a U.S. citizen or resident alien who, at the time of contract award,-

(i) resides in the cooperating country for reasons other than U.S. government or non-U.S. government employment, or under any contract or other arrangement, that provides repatriation to the U.S.; or
(ii) is a spouse or dependent of a U.S. citizen or resident alien who resides or will reside, in the cooperating country for the purpose of U.S. government or non-U.S. government employment, or under any contract or other arrangement that provides repatriation to the U.S.
U.S. resident alien means a non-U.S. citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

10. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Facility access

11. STATEMENT OF DUTIES:
The Development Outreach Communications (DOC) Advisor position is located in the USAID/Azerbaijan Program and Project Office (PPO), located in Baku. The DOC Advisor is a key member of the PPO and the Development Outreach Communications (DOC) team. The main purpose of the position is to work with the Mission Communications Specialist to promote the Mission’s work and advance USAID’s outreach and communications strategy, guided by USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). The DOC Advisor coordinates with USAID/Azerbaijan’s Mission Director’s Office, Technical Office, implementing partners and Embassy Public Affairs Section to develop and disseminate external communications products to showcase USAID activities in Azerbaijan; assist with USAID/Azerbaijan’s communications and outreach strategy development; and write and edit other key documents for the USAID mission. USAID/Azerbaijan's program activities are of exceptionally broad scope and complexity. In this capacity, the DOC Advisor is responsible for helping to strategically plan, develop, implement, and administer duties that promote better awareness and understanding of U.S. foreign assistance to Azerbaijan. The subject position is also responsible for helping to relay related policies and achievements to key audiences of the host country and the United States, and to other donor governments and organizations.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Develop Program materials - 20 %
Work with USAID program and technical staff to develop briefing materials for USAID/Azerbaijan and for the Embassy/Baku Front Office. This includes materials for senior level meetings with government officials, USAID site visits and media events, plus responses to requests from USAID/Washington, Embassy/Baku, STATE/Washington, the U.S. Congress, and others.
Assist in producing key program materials, including one-page descriptions of program activities, program impacts, lessons learned, stories, press releases, materials for updating the website, social media content and high-level speeches, and others as deemed necessary.
Respond in a timely manner to ongoing requests from USAID/Washington on USAID/Azerbaijan program accomplishments, updates and priorities.

B. Provide Editorial Quality Control and Manage Clearances - 50%
Serve as a native-speaker English language specialist to review and edit key documents produced by the Mission, rewriting for clarity and accuracy. These documents may include briefers for the USAID Mission Director and Embassy Front Office leadership, public speeches for the Mission Director and Embassy Baku Front Office, press talking points, the bi-monthly newsletter, official correspondence, the Baku Daily Report, and other program documents as requested. Responsible for ensuring all materials meet high quality standards.
Manage clearance process on Embassy-related documents. USAID works closely with interagency counterparts to ensure consistency of U.S. diplomatic messaging. The DOC Advisor will be the lead for coordinating and managing the majority of USAID-Embassy products. These may include action memos, background documents, briefing checklists, cables, and annual reports. Responsible for ensuring that all submitted products are of high quality and meet Embassy document standards.

C. Communications Planning, Support, and Implementation 15%
The incumbent works closely with the Foreign Service National (FSN) Communications Specialist, the expert in the local communications context, to develop and implement USAID/Azerbaijan’s communications plan that supports USAID/Azerbaijan’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy and advances the Mission’s goal “to enhance the enduring partnership with Azerbaijan.” S/he provides backstop support to the Mission Director and technical office to help them formulate and implement activity-specific communications that support the broader Mission’s communications goals. The incumbent will work with the FSN Communications Specialist to design appealing social media content and grow the Mission’s social media following and with the FSN Communications Specialist’s guidance will ensure consistent messaging across all platforms and by all USAID principals that is culturally appropriate and effective to the Azerbaijani context.
Along with Mission’s Communications Specialist, strengthen the internal reporting and external communications capacity of USAID staff and implementing partners. With Communications Specialist, serves as advisor to mission staff and implementing partners on design, format and content of reports, publications, communications and briefing products for senior leaders and provides guidance on developing effective communications materials.

D. Manage Public Outreach and Media Engagement - 15%
With the assistance of the FSN Communications Specialist, the incumbent plans, schedules, publicizes, and carries out activities to present Mission programs to the public. Activities may include using a range of communications tools (including photography and video) and distribution networks to reach a variety of audiences. Events can include, but are not limited to, field trips to specific venues or activities, as well as outreach and social media coverage for overall public information programming.

For site visits or events that involve the Ambassador, DCM, USAID Mission Director, the incumbent ensures that all information related to these events (e.g., backgrounders/scene setters, schedules, talking points, speeches, etc.) are prepared, and meet quality standards and within the time requirements.

Incumbent will work closely with FSN Communications Specialist to coordinate press engagements with local media for USAID Mission Director, Embassy Front Office, and other high-level visitors related to USAID, including but not limited to, brief press interviews at USAID events, talk shows, or longer-form interviews with television, radio or print media.

Coordinates closely with the Embassy/Baku Public Affairs Section (PAS) to support Post’s Communications Strategy, highlighting efforts that showcase USAID activities.

Occasionally, the Mission Director may ask the Development Outreach Communications Advisor to manage special projects based on the needs of the Mission. Previous examples include drafting and transmitting cables; serving as Control Officer for visitors from Washington or for Embassy Front Office; and supporting PAS to highlight its partnership and engagement with Azerbaijan.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP:

Work is performed under the supervision of the Program Office Director, a USDH officer, who assigns work orally and in writing. Most assignments occur in the normal course of the work, but the incumbent is required to determine those that must be coordinated with their supervisor.

SUPERVISORY CONTROLS:

The supervisor provides a review of the assignment, the goals and objectives to be achieved, and the results expected. The incumbent will work independently and seek advice and assistance as required. Work is reviewed in terms of results achieved.

12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
In order to qualify for this position, the offeror must meet the following minimum qualifications:
• Hold United States citizenship and meet the definition of the resident-hire USPSC as defined in in the Section I, item #9.
• Hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing, public relations, international relations, international development, social sciences, economics, political science or other relevant field.
• Have a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience, including writing and editing, in public relations or social marketing and have ability to represent USG or other international development organization or multilateral institution.
• The candidate must be a native English speaker or have near native fluency in both written or spoken English. Familiarity with American English preferred.

Only offerors clearly meeting the above minimum qualifications will be considered for further evaluation.

Security and medical clearances: The ability to obtain the required security and medical clearances in a reasonable timeframe is considered a minimum qualification.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306 ( c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.

Selection and Evaluation Process: All the offerors who clearly meet the aforementioned minimum requirements as set in the section II above, may be further evaluated through the review of the offeror’s submitted required documents (see section IV below) and ranked based on the below evaluation and selection criteria.

Evaluation/Selection Criteria.

Candidates will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria to a maximum score of 100 points:

- Previous Experience (35 points): Demonstrated progressively responsible experience in communications, writing, editing, public relations and/or social marketing, preferably with a USG or other international development organization or multilateral institution.
- Skills and Abilities (25 points): Displayed excellence in providing a variety of ad hoc briefing materials, in a short period of time, for wider distribution. The preferred candidate will have demonstrated experience in assimilating, preparing and adhering to the guidelines of a dynamic and multilateral interoffice clearance process. The candidate should also have demonstrated strengths in working independently and managing multiple time sensitive actions in consensus with other team members on strategy, policy, project and administrative matters.
- Job Knowledge (20 points): Exhibit knowledge of a variety of approaches to clear business writing relating to a broad understanding of current issues in international development and transition economies using various media or public relations tools, e.g., social marketing and social media platforms.
- Interpersonal and Communications Skills (20 points): The preferred candidate must have proven interpersonal skills and a demonstrated expertise in a variety of public communications forums, as well as demonstrated experience working in a diverse multicultural workspace. The successful candidate must demonstrate ability and professional tact and discretion in a variety of situations with strengths in initiating, promoting, and maintaining strong interpersonal relations among the public and other institutions and bureaus.

After the closing date/time for receipt of submissions, a selection committee will be convened to review the offers and evaluate them in accordance with the above evaluation criteria. Based on the evaluation results, the selection committee will proceed with the testing/interview sessions with the short-listed candidate(s).

USAID reserves the right to interview only the highest ranked applicant(s) in person or by phone.

Reference Verification(Pass/Fail):

- Reference checks will be conducted only for applicant(s) considered as finalists.
- Reference checks may be conducted with individuals not provided by the applicant and without prior notification to the applicant.
- Any applicant not receiving satisfactory reference checks will no longer be considered for the position.

Negotiations will be conducted with the most qualified/ highest-ranked applicant at the conclusion of evaluations.

IV. APPLYING

Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted via email to the Point of Contact in Section I: HR-Baku@usaid.gov.
Applications received after the closing date/time as specified in Section I, item 3, will be considered late and will not be further evaluated.
Offeror submissions must clearly reference the number of this Solicitation to ensure the offer is for the position in this Solicitation.

Eligible offerors are required to complete and submit the following documents:

1. Completed and signed form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts,” available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.
2. A cover letter and current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) containing sufficient relevant information that respond to the minimum requirements of the position (education and experience)
3. Additionally applicants are required to submit a document addressing each of the selection criteria describing specifically what relevant experience, knowledge and skills the applicant has received relevant to each selection criteria described above, providing periods of performance where possible. Responses are limited to 300 words per selection criteria.
4. Applicants are required to provide a three to five page writing sample as part of their application in order to demonstrate their written English language ability. The writing sample may be an excerpt of a larger work and need not be specifically written for this solicitation.
5. A minimum of three and a maximum of five professional references from the last five years. Offerors must provide email addresses and current telephone numbers for all references provided.
6. Statement of Availability: a written statement certifying the date and length of time for which the candidate is available for the position.

The applicants who do not submit the documents requested above under Section IV, items (1) through (4) will be disqualified.

V. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES

Once the Contracting Officer (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.

1. Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306)
2. Medical History and Examination Form (DS-6561)
3. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (for National Security) (SF-85)
4. Finger Print Card (FD-258)

VI. BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES:

A contractor meeting the definition of a U.S. Resident Hire PSC shall be subject to US Federal Income Tax, but shall not be eligible for any fringe benefits (except contributions for FICA, health insurance, and life insurance), including differentials and allowances.

1. BENEFITS:
a) FICA Contribution
b) Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
c) Pay Comparability Adjustment
d) Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)
e) Eligibility for Worker's Compensation
f) Annual & Sick Leave

2. ALLOWANCES (If Applicable):
No allowances are authorized for this resident-hire position.

VII. TAXES:

USPSCs are required to pay Federal Income Taxes, FICA, Medicare and as applicable U.S. state income taxes.

VIII. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs

USAID regulations and policies governing USPSC awards are available at these sources:

1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix D, “ Direct USAID Contracts with a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad”, including contract clause “General Provisions”, available at
https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf

2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms


3. Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs.

- AAPD 18-02 REVISED This AAPD extends and revises implementation of medevac regulations for USPSCs and TCNPSCs under AIDAR Appendix D and J, § 12, clauses #25 in Appendix D, and #21 in Appendix J. – December 18, 2019
- AAPD 10-01 – Changes in USG reimbursement amounts for health insurance and physical examination costs- 01/08/10
- AAPD 06-10 PSC Medical Expense Payment Responsibility – October 30, 2006
- AAPD 06-08-AIDAR, APPENDICES D AND J: Using the optional schedule to incrementally fund contracts – June 23, 2006
- CIB 99-15 - Changes to AIDAR Concerning Resident Hires and Deviations – 08/99
4. Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch”, available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635.

See https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%20Regulations.

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