Monday, September 28, 2015

OTI Country/Senior Country Representative - Honduras

The OTI Country/Senior Country Representative - Honduras is a full-time Personal Services Contract (PSC) position at the GS-14/GS-15 equivalent level and located in Honduras. Applications for this position are due no later than October 2, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, please read the entire solicitation at www.OTIjobs.net.
                              
INTRODUCTION
Honduras remains one of the world’s most homicidal countries.  Crime statistics from the Government of Honduras show a homicide rate of 75 per 100,000 population, while the average for Central America is 24 per 100,000 and for the world, 6.2 per 100,000.   The majority of violent crimes are concentrated in low-income, urban areas and along narco-trafficking routes on the Caribbean coast and into Guatemala and El Salvador.  These areas coincide with strong gang presence and areas where the influence of the security and justice sectors is least present, least effective, and most distrusted.  Underlying the violence are numerous governance and socioeconomic challenges, including extreme poverty.  According to the World Bank, 59% of Honduras’s 8 million citizens are below the poverty line, with over 36% in extreme poverty.   School drop outs total 60% for youth aged 13-15 and 72% for 16-18 year olds.  On top of this is a political system characterized by weak and ineffective democratic processes, corruption, low capacity, and limited resources; evidenced by high levels of impunity for criminal acts and Honduras having one of the lowest police to population ratios in the world. Honduras’s violence has significant ripple effects outside of its own borders, contributing to the large influx recently of Unaccompanied Children to U.S. borders as well as the relatively unencumbered flow of narcotics into El Salvador and Guatemala and ultimately to the U.S.
The Honduran government, under President Juan Orlando Hernandez, has demonstrated increased political will to address violent crimes.  President Hernandez has established a military police unit (PMOP), a Vice-Ministry of Prevention within the Ministry of Security, as well as a National Security Inter-Institutional Force (FUSINA) to coordinate the operations of various security and justice sector actors to reduce violence.  However, there remains significant ambiguity as to the implementation of various security policies; notable are the lack of transparency in the allocation of the “Security Tax” as well as in the aggregation of crime statistics given the government’s decision to establish alternate data collection bodies from the long-established and internationally-recognized Violence Observatory. 
The U.S. has invested $642 million in a Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) since 2008 to assist a number of Central American countries, including Honduras, in strengthening law enforcement, security forces, and the justice sector as well advancing community policing and gang prevention.   Under CARSI, USAID/Honduras has been supporting community-based and municipal-led efforts to prevent crime and gang activity.  OTI’s program directly contributes to the USAID Mission’s 2015-2019 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) objective: Citizen security increased for vulnerable populations in urban, high-crime areas.  USAID/Honduras’s geographical focus comprises at-risk “hot spot” urban areas where crime and violence statistics are among the highest in the country, including the two largest cities, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, as well as communities along the “Northern Corridor”. 
OTI launched a program in July 2012 to disrupt the systems, perceptions, and behaviors that support violence.  By building an alliance of communities and other government institutions, the program goal is to lower rates of homicide and other violent crime in the short- to medium-term, principally in USAID/CARSI targeted areas. 
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
At the GS-14 “Country Representative” Level:
  • Conceptualize and design program strategies and objectives in close coordination with OTI staff, USAID personnel, U.S. Embassy and local civil society officials, based on political analysis and U.S. Government policy. When necessary, refine strategic objectives and advocate on behalf of new programmatic approaches in country, linked to neighboring country programs where appropriate;
  • As requested by embassies or USAID Missions, provide support for the design and execution of programs that follow OTI’s quick-impact programming model. Support to embassies and USAID Missions may include attendance and/or facilitation of program management processes for follow-on programming including rolling assessments, strategy review sessions, program performance reviews, and management reviews;
  • Communicate and coordinate in-country activities between OTI and its implementing partners, the U.S. Embassy, and other donor organizations; 
  • Design staffing plans to meet overall program objectives and recruit, train, supervise, mentor and evaluate the performance of in-country OTI staff, providing regular feedback;               
  • Monitor local and regional political developments and regularly brief OTI and partner staff on their potential programmatic impact;
  • Manage and provide day-to-day programmatic, operational, and strategic guidance to OTI’s implementing partners (contractors and/or grantees), ensuring that activities are contributing to OTI’s program objectives and are within the partner’s scope;
  • Provide recommendations to the Washington-based Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and/or the Regional Team Leader on the implementing partner’s performance, budget, and appropriateness of scope in achieving OTI’s country objectives, presenting modifications thereto;
  • Provide USAID concurrence on all implementing partner activities, including final approval of grantees for grants under contract in accordance with USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS);
  • Ensure that OTI programs and activities are monitored and evaluated, and that lessons learned feed into ongoing or future activities;
  • Analyze and report on current political developments, security concerns, and other pertinent information required to achieve OTI’s program objectives;
  • Ensure appropriate resource allocation among OTI field offices and implementing partners;
  • Prepare and maintain OTI program budgets for field operations;
  • Serve as OTI’s primary liaison with USAID personnel, U.S. Embassy staff, ambassadors, local government officials, United Nations organizations, indigenous and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other pertinent agencies and organizations. Develop and maintain collaborative relationships to ensure close coordination at the field level, identify the widest range of potential partners and opportunities, and achieve maximum synergy with other programs;
  • Prepare operational plans in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, including logistics and property use guidelines, closeout and hand-over, security procedures, contingency and evacuation plans;
  • Ensure the use of OTI systems and procedures to maintain effective and efficient management of funds, programming, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • Ensure that all OTI and partner field staff adhere to the in-country security guidelines set by the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officer and other organizations such as the United Nations or host government;
  • Prepare and disseminate programmatic, financial and quarterly reports to the U.S. Embassy, OTI/Washington and other organizations as appropriate;
  • Supervise staff in conjunction with the Regional Team Leader. Provide orientation, training, and mentoring for staff supervised; assign work, explain how duties are to be performed to meet expectations, and communicate how the successful performance of those duties will be measured; evaluate staff performance; recognize good performance; communicate where performance needs to be improved; resolve complaints; and approve leave requests and timesheets as well as training, travel, program and operations requests;
  • As needed, serve on short-term assignments with other USAID offices or bureaus in direct support of OTI programs. These placements shall not exceed three months;
  • Perform other duties as determined by the supervisor to ensure successful OTI program implementation.
At the GS-15 “Senior Country Representative” Level:
Performs the duties of the GS-14 Country Representative, as well as ongoing technical assistance to the Government of Honduras (GOH) to prepare for the implementation of peace accords that will end the longest running conflict in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Manage a high-profile program in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. Based on political analysis and U.S. Government policy, conceptualize and design program strategies and objectives with the support of OTI staff, USAID, the U.S. Embassy, and other U.S. agencies and departments, as well as national and local government officials, and local civil society representatives. When necessary, refine strategic objectives and advocate on behalf of new programmatic approaches in country, linked to neighboring country programs, where appropriate;
  • As requested by embassies or USAID Missions, provide support for the design and execution of programs that follow OTI’s quick-impact programming model. Support to embassies and USAID Missions may include attendance and/or facilitation of program management processes for follow-on programming including rolling assessments, strategy review sessions, program performance reviews, and management reviews;                     
  • Communicate and coordinate OTI’s in-country activities between OTI and its implementing partners, USAID, and other donor organizations; 
  • Expertly lead, build, and motivate a team comprised of multiple USPSCs, and a significant number of implementing partner staff, in several locations in the country of performance.  Continuously review and design staffing plans to meet overall program objectives and recruit, train, supervise, and evaluate the performance of in-country OTI staff.  Maintain staff morale in a difficult security and work environment; 
  • Monitor local and regional political developments and regularly brief OTI and partner staff on their potential programmatic impact;      
  • Manage and provide day-to-day programmatic, operational, and strategic guidance to OTI’s implementing partners (contractors and/or grantees) ensuring that activities are contributing to OTI’s program objectives and are within the partner’s scope;
  • Provide ongoing advice and technical assistance to senior Government of Honduras (GOH) officials including government ministries, the Attorney General’s Office, the Director General of the police and local police units, Mayors and other local officials;
  • Provide recommendations to the Washington-based Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and/or the Regional Team Leader on implementing partner performance, the appropriateness of the partner’s scope to OTI’s country objectives, partner’s budgets, and modifications thereto;   
  • Provide USAID concurrence on all implementing partner activities, including final approval of grantees for grants under contract, in accordance with USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS); 
  • Ensure that OTI’s programs and their activities are monitored and evaluated, and that lessons learned from the activities feed into ongoing or future activities;
  • Travel extensively in low-security areas of focus to monitor and assess political conditions, meet with potential grantees, and develop activity ideas;                         
  • Analyze and report on current political developments and security concerns as well as other pertinent information required to achieve OTI's program objectives;
  • Ensure appropriate resource allocation among OTI field offices and implementing partners;
  • Prepare and maintain OTI program budgets for field operations;
  • Serve as OTI’s primary liaison with USAID personnel, U.S. Embassy staff, ambassadors, local government officials, United Nations organizations, indigenous and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other pertinent agencies and organizations.  Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with them in order to ensure close coordination at the field level, identify the widest range of potential partners and opportunities, and achieve maximum synergy with other programs;
  • Create operational plans in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, including logistics and property use guidelines, closeout and hand-over, security procedures, and contingency and evacuation plans;
  • In close coordination with other DCHA offices and the U.S. Embassy, develop an exit strategy and operational closeout plan;
  • Communicate and coordinate OTI’s in-country activities between OTI and its implementing partners, USAID, and other donor organizations;
  • Ensure the use of OTI systems and procedures to maintain effective and efficient management of funds, programming, and monitoring and evaluation.                        
  • Ensure that all OTI and partner field staff adhere to in-country security guidelines set by the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officer and other organizations such as the United Nations or host government, as appropriate;
  • Prepare and disseminate programmatic, financial and periodic reports to the USAID Mission, OTI/Washington and other organizations as appropriate. Draft periodic reporting cables on OTI activities on behalf of the U.S. Embassy;
  • Supervise staff in conjunction with the Regional Team Leader. Provide orientation, training, and mentoring for staff supervised; assign work, explain how duties are to be performed to meet expectations and communicate how the successful performance of those duties will be measured; evaluate staff performance; recognize good performance; communicate where performance needs to be improved; resolve complaints; and approve leave requests and timesheets as well as training, travel, program and operations requests;                   
  • As needed, serve on short-term assignments with other USAID offices or bureaus in direct support of OTI programs. These placements shall not exceed three months;
  • Perform other duties as determined by the supervisor to ensure successful OTI program implementation.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
At a minimum, the applicant must have:
At the GS-14 level:
  • A Master’s Degree with a minimum of seven (7) years of work experience;
OR
A Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of nine (9) years of work experience;
AND
  • Six (6) years of project management experience with a U.S. Government foreign affairs agency, international or domestic assistance organization, or non-governmental organization in community development, economic development, mediation/arbitration, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, human rights activities, and/or political analysis.
  • Four (4) years of overseas field experience working in one or more developing countries undergoing political transition;
  • Three (3) years of supervisory experience (including mentoring, training, and guiding staff).
At the GS-15 level:
  • A Master’s Degree with a minimum of nine (9) years of work experience;
OR
A Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of eleven (11) years of work experience;
AND
  • Nine (9) years of project management experience with a U.S. Government foreign affairs agency, international or domestic assistance organization, or non-governmental organization in community development, economic development, mediation/arbitration, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, human rights activities, and/or political analysis.
  • Six (6) years of overseas field experience working in one or more developing countries undergoing political transition;
  • Six (6) years of supervisory experience, of which at least three (3) year must include supervisory management experience (defied as supervising at least one other supervisor within an office, division, or team).
Please direct questions about this position or the application process to the OTI Recruitment Team at otijobs@usaid.gov.

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 
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