Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Development Assistance Specialist - USAID (Apply by: 16 April 2014)

USAID/India is accepting applications for the following Foreign Service National (FSN) Personal Services Contract position: 

Advertisement No. : USAID/14-04

Position Title : Development Assistance Specialist (Development Outreach and Communications)

Number of Positions : One 

Office : Program Support Office (PS)

Grade : FSN-11

Location : The position is based at New Delhi.

Working Hours : 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm


A Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, public relations, communications, English, or a related field is required. An advanced degree in a related field is desired.


A minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible experience in communications, public relations, or journalism, in an English-language work environment, is required. This experience should provide assurance that the Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Specialist is skilled in disseminating information to a variety of target audiences. Previous work with the U.S. Government (USG) or another international development organization is highly desired.


The Development Assistance Specialist supports the Mission in the achievement of its objectives by producing and disseminating public information about Mission programs/projects/activities in India, and educating and promoting a better understanding of USAID programs. The Specialist is responsible for collecting, investigating, managing, and distributing information associated with the USAID foreign assistance program in India, and serves as the primary Mission point of contact and liaison for information requests. The Specialist is the primary person responsible for reviewing all branding and marking plans for USAID/India projects and ensuring that these projects are compliant with Agency branding and marking regulations. S/he reports to the Program Officer, and collaborates closely with the Mission Director, Deputy Mission Director, Technical Team Leaders, and implementing partners (IPs) to develop and implement the overall Mission communications strategy.

Broadly the incumbent’s responsibilities include:

A. Communications Management and Strategic Planning 

The Development Assistance Specialist is responsible for contributing to policies and procedures for Mission communications and outreach that clarify roles and responsibilities within USAID and with other Embassy sections and IPs, including templates for various communication tools, standards for creating and finalizing DOC materials, and guidelines for planning and managing events. The Specialist is responsible for the drafting of original and annual updates to, and the implementation of, the Mission communications strategy, identifying objectives, messages, audiences, products, and budgets, and developing plans in coordination with USAID managers and technical teams consistent with the Mission development strategy and the overall Embassy communications strategy. The Specialist leads in the design of public information products, ensuring that Mission communication products contain appropriate and consistent messages that support the approved Mission communications strategy; and, provides quality control on all print and electronic public information materials such as the external website, organizational brochures and information packets, and briefing books produced by the public relations contractor and other USAID staff.

1. Media Relations: The Specialist is responsible for Mission media activities; liaising with PAS, and working closely with Public Affairs Section (PAS) staff to generate press coverage of USAID activities in India. The assignment includes arranging and preparing for press interviews, press conferences, briefings, tours of programs/projects/activities, and interaction with host-country and American journalists. The Specialist tracks USAID program/project/activity milestones and events to ensure that appropriate press coverage is provided; advises the Mission Front Office and staff on press outreach priorities, and whether coverage is culturally and politically appropriate; oversees and produces media materials (including news releases, backgrounders, and fact sheets) designed to inform editors and reporters of technical programs/projects/activities and their achievements; coordinates with technical offices and with Public Affairs Officer (PAO) to produce and release timely, accurate, and useful written material for the host-country and American media; and, advises and works with PAS to expand opportunities for coverage of USAID efforts. The Specialist helps technical offices to define activities for coverage, participates in field visits to assess newsworthiness, and accompanies the press to interviews and site locations for filming.

2. Public Events and Visitors: The Specialist plans and executes activities to present Mission programs to the public and to VIP visitors, including a range of communications tools and distribution to a variety of audiences. The Specialist prepares visits for high-level officials to highlight key USAID programs/projects/activities and strategies; and, provides or supervises advance work for planning, including scheduling, coordination with Development Objective (DO) Teams (and other Embassy Sections as appropriate), and overseeing the production of briefing materials and trouble-shooting during VIP visits. For project site visits or events that involve the Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, and/or the USAID Director or Deputy Director, the Specialist works with the Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Officer to ensure that all event information (e.g., briefing memo, scene setters, talking points, speeches) have been prepared, and meet quality standards and time requirements. The Specialist coordinates and consults with technical offices on program/project/activity signing ceremonies or other milestone events, including finalizing press releases and ensuring logistics are handled.

B. Publicity Materials 
The Specialist is responsible for the production of high-quality print and electronic communications products that translate complex messages and technical information into understandable, meaningful messages that resonate with a variety of audiences, both Indian and American. The Specialist serves as editorial director of all published and website materials, including information brochures, special publications, and the external USAID/India website; manages a small public relations contractor in producing graphic designs, written text, photographs and other outsourced products; and, ensures that contractor tasks are completed in a cost effective, high-quality, and timely manner. 
The Specialist oversees and develops regular and specialized information materials for Washington opinion leaders and audiences, in coordination with the Regional Bureau and Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) colleagues; travels to USAID program/project/activity sites throughout the host country and the region to interview beneficiaries and photograph programs/projects/activities for the USAID website and for news releases; serves as Mission point of contact for Agency Branding Graphic Standards, within USAID/India and among partners; prepares and keeps current a packet of informational materials communicating Mission strategic priorities and focus areas; acts as editor for key reports and documents, as assigned; ensures that public outreach products include people-oriented success stories that “tell our story” to external and internal audiences, and are politically and culturally appropriate; and, manages the external web site ensuring that information is “fresh,” current, and inviting to browsers. The Specialist also ensures that learnings and findings from evaluations and assessments of USAID projects are effectively disseminated and works closely with Mission staff to incorporate these learnings and findings into the designs of new projects, bilateral agreements with the Government of India, memorandums of understanding, and similar documents.

Performs other duties as assigned or required.


Fluency (Level 4) in English and Good Working Language (Level III) in Hindi is required.


The Specialist must have a thorough knowledge of the principles, methods, practices, and techniques of communication, and skill in applying such knowledge to develop written information materials for dissemination through a variety of media, in order to determine and effectively use the most appropriate means for transmitting information, and to evaluate the effectiveness of plans developed to communicate with targeted audiences. This includes an understanding of the use of written communication in developing news releases, feature stories, background statements, fact sheets, media spots, and scripts that effectively transmit information about complex USAID/India programs/projects/activities and functions. The work requires a solid understanding of websites; an excellent knowledge of English grammar and American word usage and spelling; good knowledge of graphic design, printing, and publishing processes; a general understanding of procurement processes; and, a broad understanding of issues related to international development. 

Ability and Skills:

The required abilities include: ability to oversee printers and/or publishers; ability to work independently, taking initiative once guidance is provided, and managing several activities simultaneously and under pressure to meet deadlines; ability to establish and maintain collegial relations with press and media contacts, as well as Embassy and IP counterparts, and to exercise sound judgment in representing the USG, along with the ability to manage interactions with high-level dignitaries and officials with maturity and confidence; ability to travel throughout the host country, in order to organize and implement outreach events and visit project sites.

The required skills include: skill in developing and maintaining effective relationships with media representatives, and the public affairs personnel of organized groups, and in establishing and enhancing communication between USAID and its audiences using media and groups; skill in making oral presentations designed to seek cooperation of specialized groups and media in providing fuller coverage to USAID/India programs/projects/activities, and to encourage open communication between USAID/India and its audiences; skill in analyzing the effectiveness of communication plans once implemented, and developing recommendations to change the nature of the USAID/India public affairs program; excellent oral and written communications skills, including news and technical writing, editing, and research skills; strong organizational and project management skills, that may be applied within a multi-cultural work environment; very good computer skills, including the use of Microsoft Office, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word; strong interpersonal skills.

In addition, a basic familiarity with Web design, Dreamworks, Acrobat, and other page making software is highly desired.

Opening Date for Applications : March 26, 2014

Closing Date for Receipt of applications: April 16, 2014 at 1700 hours

To Apply: 

1. Interested applicants must apply on Universal Application for Employment (UAE) as a Locally Employed Staff (DS-174) (attached). Please note: Must answer all the questions in DS-174 application form.
You may also click the link below to access the above form:

Applications not submitted in the specified form will not be accepted.

2. Submit print copies of applications to:
Human Resources
United States Agency for International Development
U.S. Embassy
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi – 110 021

Electronic Submission to:

3. Applicants must specify the advertisement number and position title in Column 1 of the Employment Form. Applications without reference to a specific advertisement number will not be accepted.


Probationary Period: FSN employees currently serving their probationary period or with less than one year of USG service are not eligible to apply. Employees desiring a change after the initial probation period will be required to be in their present position for not less than 120 days.

Compensation: The selected individual will be compensated in accordance with the Local Compensation Plan for Foreign Service National (FSN) employees. 

Applicants living outside New Delhi / NCR should note that if selected for the position, no resettlement travel or housing is associated with the position. It would be the candidate’s responsibility to travel to New Delhi in a timely manner for the pre-employment clearances.

Age Requirement: Consistent with local law, customs, and practices, the separation/ retirement age for Foreign Service National (FSN) employees is 60 years.

Equal Employment Opportunity: It is the policy of the United States Government to ensure equal employment to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, caste, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. 

Due to a high volume of anticipated applications, only short-listed candidates will be notified.

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