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6 Mar 2019


Job Description



OPEN TO: All Interested Candidates

POSITION: Strategic Information Specialist

OPENING DATE: March 4, 2019

CLOSING DATE: March 22, 2019

WORK HOURS: Full-time; 40 hours/week

SALARY: FSN-10. (ZMK 359,840.55 – 559,484.59.)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Zambia is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for the position of a Strategic Information Specialist.


The Strategic Information Specialist (SIS), in close coordination with the Program Office, is the principal advisor to the Economic Development (EDEV) Office on implementing the USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) guidance in the areas of strategy formulation; activity design; program performance monitoring, evaluation, and learning; budget planning and analysis; and annual planning and performance reporting. S/he works closely with, and acts as advisor to, the EDEV Director, Deputy Director and other EDEV staff. S/he also coordinates and consults with Program Office, Financial Management Office, Office of Acquisition and Assistance, USAID/Washington, other USAID missions, and implementing partners.

The incumbent will serve as a member of the EDEV management team (comprised of the Office Director, Deputy, and SIS) and will routinely be required to exercise a high level of independent judgement in the development of complex actions to achieve USAID’s objectives for EDEV programming in agriculture, trade, energy, climate change, biodiversity conservation, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.


A. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Plans and develops state-of-the-art monitoring and evaluation systems, policies, and objectives for EDEV to ensure that development impact is validated, captured, and accurately reported.
Champions Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) within EDEV, advising how learning from monitoring can be built back into the management of activities.
Leads the development of the EDEV Performance Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (PMELP), and ensures that progress is measured against this plan in order to validate overall development impact.
Plans, designs, and leads EDEV performance and impact evaluations in conjunction with the Agreement/Contracting Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR) to ensure that they comply with both the Mission’s and USAID’s Evaluation policy.
Advises on the utilization of evaluation findings, conclusions, and recommendations to support adaptive activity management, modification, and/or future activity design.
Provides direction and capacity building to implementing partners for monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) Plan development, indicator selection and definition, and evaluation needs.
Liaise with Program Office on ADS guidance on monitoring, evaluation, and indicator changes to ensure continual EDEV alignment.
May serve as Activity Manager or alternate AOR/COR for cooperative agreements or contracts associated with monitoring and evaluation.
Acts as EDEV’s primary point of contact with the mission-wide MEL Community of Practice
B. Performance Management Systems Oversight

Oversees and guides EDEV AOR/COR’s communications back to implementing partners to ensure effective communications is achieved on performance management, and works with AOR/COR to validate progress through targeted site visits and document review.
Works with the USAID Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OAA) and Program Office (PRM) to develop a standard quarterly report template to ensure effective and efficient performance reporting by implementing partners.
Works with EDEV AOR/CORs to establish annual site visit plans to roll up into a broader EDEV field monitoring plan which can adequately validate progress on key indicators across multiple-partners.
Engages OAA and PRM to accompany staff of relevant field visits to help build EDEV capacity on performance management systems as appropriate, particularly with regards to new awards supporting local systems where the monitoring challenges may be quite substantive.
In coordination with PRM and EDEV AOR/CORs, leads data quality assessments (DQA’s) with implementing partners in the field.
In coordination with the AOR/COR, periodically monitor activities undertaken by EDEV’s implementing partners to track progress against their Performance Monitoring Plans and work plans, assess progress and potential barriers to achievement of expected results, and recommends any relevant modification to improve program performance and management.
Assist with submission of weekly communication updates to the USAID Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Team and success stories from activity implementation.
C. Design, Reporting and Budget Management

Lead the development and submission of EDEV’s annual Performance Plan and Report (PPR) to the Program Office. Must ensure all data quality assessments and validation prior to submission, and validation of out-year indicator targets are well established.
Lead the development of EDEV’s Portfolio Review process, generally twice a year, in order to capture, validate and review progress on performance management.
Advise on input to the annual Operational Plan (OP) and Congressional Budget Justification with regards to supporting EDEV’s high level monitoring and evaluation systems.
Manage and update USAID Feed the Future Monitoring System (FTFMS), DevResults, and other designated mission management information systems in conjunction with AOR/CORs and implementing partners.
Lead EDEV’s engagement in strategic planning exercises, such as the Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) and Mission Strategic Resource Plan (MSRP).
Lead EDEV’s development of Project Appraisal Document (PAD) working closely with technical staff and Program Office. Ensure all activities and new procurement planning falls within approved PADs and/or lead efforts of new PAD design.
Assist in compliance with the Automated Directive Systems (ADS) on gender integration, sustainability, environmental compliance, and climate risk screening. Advise EDEV on any key changes to the ADS which impact program implementation.
Ensure Activity Checklists are completed and up-to-date for all EDEV activities.
Ensure Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) documentation is up-to-date with EDEV activities.
Develop and maintain EDEV budget tracker which includes earmark tracking and outyear budget planning by activity.
Under the supervision of EDEV Director and in collaboration with the Financial Management Office (FMO) ensure funds are available for program activities implementation, including budget formulation for Operational Plan (OP) submission and staffing.
Assist EDEV AOR/CORs with incremental funding actions through budget earmark identification.
Coordinates with Program Office to ensure that OPS Master budget spreadsheet is aligned with EDEV planning, and makes appropriate changes according to strategy shifts.
In collaboration with the FMO, assists EDEV in preparation, implementation, and follow-up actions of Quarterly Financial Reviews (QFRs).
Support development of the Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ).

A. Education: Bachelor’s degree in Monitoring and Evaluation, Agriculture, Development Studies, or Environment field with significant specialized training in monitoring and evaluation techniques.

B. Prior Work Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in design, management, and implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure sustainable development program results.

C. Post Entry Training:.

The incumbent will possess professional level technical training and skills required to perform the duties/responsibilities required of the position. Post entry training will be focused primarily on the Agency’s established policies, procedures and regulations that relate to 1) USAID’s Evaluation Policy; 2) USAID-specific activity management and procurement systems; and 3) USAID-sponsored training on the Program Cycle and Project Design. Organized formal training (both internal & external) determined to be in direct support of the position may be provided from time to time at the discretion of the supervisor.

D. Language Proficiency: Level IV (fluent) written and oral English proficiency is required.

E. Job Knowledge: Expert knowledge on developing monitoring and evaluation systems for development activities. Thorough knowledge is required on strategic planning within the development context, with experience in agriculture, environment, or economic development a plus. Thorough understanding is required of indicator development and monitoring. Understanding of budgeting and out year planning is a plus

F. Skills and Abilities: Solid ability to monitor, evaluate, and adapt projects, programs and activities is required. Ability to contribute to government policy and budget formulation. Must be able to work effectively in teams, both internally and in inter-agency working groups. Proven skills to work effectively in cross-cultural situations and in highly charged political environments. Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision.

Must possess Knowledge Management skills, specifically the ability to obtain, analyze, evaluate, organize and preserve, and present data in meaningful terms, including to the Zambian public. Ability to contribute to strategic communications efforts. Strong communications skills, both orally and in writing. Ability to advise on USAID project management issues. Familiarity with USAID regulations and procedures. Must be able to undertake field travel throughout Zambia. Must be able to use online platforms, such as Google Drive, Mail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets.


A. Supervision Received: Supervised by the EDEV Office Director, who sets annual work plans. Employee works with considerable independence, resolving problems and determining appropriate approaches in consultation with the supervisor. Work is evaluated primarily in terms of accomplishments.

B. Supervision Received: The position has no supervisory responsibilities.


Subject to availability of funds, this will be a five-year contract, with an option to extend, depending upon continuing need of the services.


The position is classified at FSN-10 level. The final salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated within that range, depending on qualifications and previous earnings history.

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How to Apply

Qualified candidates should send: A formal application letter or cover letter; A current CV; Photocopies of all professional certificates and degrees; A fully complete application form DS-174 (available online at; and Contact information for at least three professional references. SUBMIT ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS TO: [email protected] (E-mailed applications required.) The email subject heading must read: Application: Strategic Information Specialist (SIS), AID-001-19 Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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