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Project Management Specialist (Gender), USAID/Afghanistan

Dexis Consulting Group
Washington, Dist. of Columbia
Closing date
Dec 6, 2021

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Position Type
Full Time
Gender and Sexuality
Organization Type
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About Us: Dexis is a professional services firm that solves the most pressing social challenges in complex environments, paving the way for a more secure and prosperous world.
Dexis embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion and strives to build and maintain a safe environment where we celebrate diverse backgrounds, treat everyone with respect, and value the unique lived experiences each person brings based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, military or veteran status, national origin, age, marital status or family status and related conditions.
At Dexis, you will experience a corporate culture of inclusiveness, fairness, and trust. You will be given the means and mentorship needed to succeed, and your creativity will be rewarded.
About the Position: Dexis is seeking a Project Management Specialist (Gender) to provide support to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Afghanistan Mission. This position is based within the United States supporting USAID/Afghanistan. The Program Management Specialist (Gender) will provide technical and programmatic support to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Afghanistan. This Foreign Service National (FSN) position is in the Gender Office (GO), one of the technical offices in the USAID/Afghanistan Mission. Under the general supervision of the Gender Office Director and/or Deputy Director, the incumbent serves as a Program Management Specialist. S/he provides intellectual leadership and serves as one of the Gender Offices expert professionals and technical advisors responsible for leading gender equality, social inclusion and womens empowerment programs. The Incumbent will have a wide range of duties to include program and project management and oversight. S/he will provide expert technical advice on gender equality and womens empowerment to USAID/Afghanistan. The Incumbent will engage and partner with Afghan experts, civil society, NGOs, academia, multilateral organizations, donors, private-sector entities, USAID/Washington staff, US government partners (the Interagency), and others as appropriate to facilitate innovative and responsive USAID programs that advance gender equality goals.

The Incumbent will design, manage and evaluate USAID gender programs and initiatives that promote social inclusion and womens empowerment, ensuring alignment to areas of greatest need and development potential in Afghanistan. The Incumbent must be knowledgeable about and committed to the principles of gender equity and equality, including the prevention and response of gender-based violence. S/he should have experience designing and overseeing gender and/or social analyses and integrating the results into activities.

The Project Management Specialist will also provide expertise and technical assistance focusing Gender Office outcomes and impact and integrating that information into USAID/Afghanistans monitoring and evaluation systems, programming decisions, and collaboration with partners. Incumbent contributes to the Missions intellectual leadership by helping to coordinate and implement Gender Office capacity in the following areas: gender integration, womens empowerment, social inclusion, gender-based violence, womens role in the peace process, positive youth development, positive masculinities, among other related topics. S/he must keep Mission Senior Management up-to-date with all issues that affect project performance; ensuring the implementation of the multi-tiered monitoring approach will provide the evidenced-base data on which the leadership can act upon.

The Incumbent is required to exercise extensive judgment in planning and carrying out tasks, in resolving problems and conflicts, and in taking steps necessary to meet deadlines. The Incumbent contributes to the management of the overall Gender Office portfolio. This position calls for flexibility, reacting to changing priorities, developing quick, accurate analyses, an ability to work under pressure, and a willingness to assume other job responsibilities for short periods of time due to the absence of staff in the Gender Office.

The position is 100% remote. The start date is immediate.
Responsibilities: This position serves as the Project Management Specialist in the form of Activity Manager for the Gender Office awards that promote gender empowerment/equity and capacity building. These awards range from $10 to $55 million each. The incumbent is responsible for project design, management and implementation. As Activity Manager the incumbent monitors the award recipient's progress in achieving the objectives of the Contract or Program Description and verify that the recipient's activities conform to the terms and conditions of the award. The Incumbent provides performance management guidance, contributes to strategy and project design development, monitoring and evaluation and ensures lessons learned and best practices are shared among the wide community of practice.

Program/Project/Activity Management (50%)
  • Serves as an Activity Manager for programs/projects/activities awarded through the Gender Office, supporting the COR/AOR in providing technical and/or administrative oversight to ensure contracts and grants achieve anticipated results, and are linked to and enhance attainment of the Gender Office, Mission, and USG objectives. In this capacity, s/he works under the guidance of the Contracting/Agreement Officers Representative to oversee the awards.
  • Participates in activity design of new Gender Office funded activities for gender equality and womens empowerment, including developing program descriptions and other technical components for new procurements.
  • Within the context of approved protocols (i.e. multi-tiered monitoring system, written reports, and regular communication with implementers and recipients), monitors progress and provides technical and programmatic recommendations to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and judicious use of U.S. Government (USG) funding.

Technical Guidance and Leadership (20%)
  • Serves as technical resource for the Gender Office in the area of gender equality, womens empowerment, positive masculinities, gender-based violence, and other topics, to ensure that these issues are effectively integrated across the entire Gender Office portfolio.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues in the Gender Office, across the USAID/Afghanistan Mission, US Embassy and with host country partners to identify opportunities for collaboration and ensure complementarity among gender equality and womens empowerment programming, including prevention of and response to gender-based violence.
  • Provides technical leadership and oversight to implementing partners to ensure that the gender equality and womens empowerment activities are carried out in alignment with approved work plans and USAID and USG guidance and priorities.
  • Stays abreast of state-of-the-art knowledge on programming and coordinates exchanges and sharing of best practices among USAID, USG and other stakeholders to strengthen gender equality and womens empowerment interventions.
  • Consistent with the overall Mission strategy and work plans, the incumbent independently cultivates/maintains contacts and dialogue with local partners.
  • Guides USAID and local partners on strategic decisions and policy formulation to strengthen interventions for gender equality and womens empowerment.

Representation and Reporting (30%)
  • Represents the Gender Office, Mission, and USG at national and/or international technical and programmatic meetings, within various working groups, the interagency, senior host country officials and other social sector donors, government officials, and IPs.
  • Conducts data and trend analysis and provides technical recommendations to improve the performance of the activities managed at both site and national levels.
  • Responds to requests for information from authorized auditors and/or investigators.
  • Prepares ad hoc reports as required for the Mission, USAID/Washington, donor coordination groups, and others.
  • Drafts talking points and/or speeches for the Office Director, Mission Director, Ambassador and others, as required; prepares briefing papers and presentations.
  • Provides leadership on activity-related inputs to the development of the annual planning and reporting exercises.
  • Supports routine budget analysis and reporting tasks, such as pipeline reports.
  • Prepares information sheets, presentations, and other documents about US government funded gender equality and womens empowerment programs. Drafts briefing materials, progress reports, memoranda, and other Front Office communications materials as needed. Identifies and submits success stories, best practices, and images to be highlighted by USAID media.

Minimum Requirements: *
  • Ability to obtain facility access
  • Bachelors degree in a relevant field (Gender or Womens Studies, Social Science (History, Law, Political Science, Cultural/Heritage Studies, Social Anthropology/Work), Behavioral Sciences, Political Science, Development Studies (International/Rural/Social/Sustainable Development, International Relations) or Public Administration/Policy or other related fields) and six (6) years of professional work experience OR Masters degree in a relevant field plus four (4) years of professional work experience OR High School Diploma plus ten (10) years of relevant professional work experience.
  • Prior Work Experience: Relevant experience with a proven track record of programmatic accomplishment and professional achievement. The incumbent must have a demonstrated practical experience with project management and oversight, monitoring and evaluation and budget management that demonstrates knowledge about the local conditions, capacities and challenges of Afghanistan, and/or experience that demonstrates increasing responsibility for managing, analyzing, coordinating, and guiding significant research, analytical, or project management efforts.
  • Be proficient in the use of Windows, Google, Internet search engines, and e- mail applications.
  • Post Entry Training: Familiarization training in USAID-specific strategies, procedures and methods will be provided. Training to maintain professional capacity, and other relevant courses for professional USAID staff will be provided as appropriate, at the discretion of supervisor, as they become available, and subject to availability of funds.
  • Language Proficiency: Incumbent must have Level IV {Fluent) of English speaking/reading/writing and Level IV (Fluent) in Dari and/or Pashto.
  • Job Knowledge: A thorough knowledge and understanding of Afghanistan and development efforts that have taken place since 2001. This knowledge must be complemented by a thorough understanding of: 1) the country's economic, political, and cultural characteristics, 2) the social problems, resources, and 3) the context for womens empowerment and gender equity and equality development prospects/priorities for Afghanistan.. Must have good knowledge, or the potential to acquire such knowledge, of US legislation relating to development assistance, international development, monitoring and evaluation, budget management, programming policies, regulations, procedures and documentation; and of the objectives and methodology.
  • Skills and Abilities: The incumbent must have demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgement concerning his/her responsibilities, plan and execute work assignments proactively and independently, be able to work under pressure and produce high-quality results quickly and be able to predict issues of concern. S/he should have excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish and maintain relationships with a wide array of contacts. The incumbent must have strong analytical, financial management, analytical and leadership skills, and the ability to prepare and present factual and interpretative reports covering complex subject matters. The incumbent must be able to function collaboratively and productively as a member of a multi-functional team, and must have the ability to work effectively in a team environment to achieve consensus on policies, activities, and administrative matters. Excellent command of software programs for e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and graphics presentations required.

Additional Details: *
  • Supervision Received: Under the overall direction of the Gender Office Director, or his/her designee, plans and carries out day-to-day management of his/her portfolio with a high degree of independence. Assigned duties demand innovative thinking, sound judgment, personal initiative, and the ability to assume increasing responsibility and authority. Meets regularly with supervisor to discuss office/team priorities, program objectives and related activities.
  • Supervision Exercised: Supervision of other Mission staff is not contemplated.
  • Available Guidelines: Available administrative guidelines establish a broad pattern of operation that requires frequent need to exercise judgment and interpretation, and provides an opportunity for initiative and innovation. Relevant guidelines include the USAID Automated Directives System (ADS), USAID Evaluation Policy, the USAID/Afghanistan Country Development and Cooperation Strategy, Mission Orders, USAID strategies and policies (i.e. Gender Equality and Female Empowerment, Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence, Child Marriage, etc.) and other directives.
  • Exercise of Judgment: The incumbent exercises a high level of independent work. He/she must be able to react to changing priorities in U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan, and exercise professional judgment regarding their effects on priorities for the region. He/she plays a key role in providing expert advice to the Gender Office and the wider Mission for team decision-making.
  • Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist exercises the authority given to activity managers and, with meaningful oversight and, whenever necessary, final approval by an agency official, may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission and Office policy. The Specialist takes action and establishes priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment. Guidance is sought when needed, and superiors informed of activity and project status. Within the scope of the authority delegated, the Specialist may indicate to ranking counterparts and IPs that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity, issue, or problem. The Specialist has no independent authority to commit the USG to the expenditure of funds but may negotiate ad referendum for the supervisor.
  • Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The job holder has a full range of contacts with the Mission at all levels and maintains contact with implementing partners regarding program implementation. Within the Embassy, contacts are with counterpart and senior staff at USAID and the State Department. Frequent and substantive personal contacts with local experts, other donors, and civil society, are for the purpose of explaining and defining USAID policies, objectives, and procedures; to transmit and interpret local attitudes and concerns to senior USAID officials; and to directly influence the host country government, USG interagency and development partner investments and activities. In addition, the Project Management Specialist provides technical assistance and guidance on best practices to USG staff, and host government and partners.

Dexis is on a mission to help solve todays most pressing global political, social, and economic challenges and create a world where all people are safe and prosperous. As a Dexis employee, you will be challenged, empowered, and mentored. Our motto is find a way or make a way thats how Dexis goes all in. How will you?
If you are passionate about this opportunity, apply now!
Only those applicants who meet the above criteria will be contacted for interview.
Dexis is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, pregnancy, disability, age, genetic information, military service, veteran status, ethnicity, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, childbirth and related medical conditions, including lactation, or any other protected class under applicable law.

If you are hired for a position that is paid from the Dexis home office, we will require you to prove that you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, unless you qualify for a reasonable accommodation due to a valid religious or medical reason preventing you from being vaccinated.

Job Type: Full-time

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