Strategic Planning Specialist

USAID Kosovo
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ISSUANCE DATE: May 13, 2020
CLOSING DATE/TIME: May 28, 2020, Local Time (KOSOVO) 17:00 PM

SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Service Contractor (USPSC) - Strategic Planning Specialist

This is a Resident Hire Position – (RHPSC)

Dear Prospective Offerors:

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking offers from qualified persons to provide personal services under contract for Strategic Planning Specialist position as described in the solicitation.

This position is open to individuals who meet all the following criteria of a Resident Hire:

Resident hire means a U.S. citizen who, at the time of hire as a PSC, resides in the cooperating country as:

  • a spouse or dependent of a U.S. citizen employed by a U.S. government agency or under any U.S. government-financed contract or agreement,
  • or for reasons other than for employment with a U.S. government agency,
  • or under any U.S. government-financed contract or

A U.S. citizen for purposes of this definition also includes persons who at the time of contracting are lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States.

U.S. resident alien means a non-U.S. citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Abroad means outside the United States and its territories and possessions.

Offers must be in accordance with Attachment 1 of this solicitation. Incomplete or unsigned offers will not be considered. Offerors should retain copies of all offer materials for their records.

This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.

Any questions in response to this solicitation must be directed to the Point of Contact specified in Attachment 1.


Gëzim Hysenagolli
Supervisory Executive Officer



SOLICITATION : 72016720R00006

ISSUANCE DATE: May 13, 2020

CLOSING DATE: May 28, 2020 by 17:00 pm Local Time (Kosovo)

POINT OF CONTACT: Mimoza Këpuska, email at

POSITION TITLE: Strategic Planning Specialist

MARKET VALUE: GS-13 equivalent ($ 78,681- $ 102,288 per annum) The final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: One (1) year base period, with an option for renewal, subject to the availability of funds and agency/mission requirements.

Base Period: o/a June 2020- June 2021 Option Period 1: o/a June 2021 – June 2022



SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Employment Authorization (USPSCs) – Facility Access


Country/Situational Background:

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. Although over the last decade the country made considerable progress in building state institutions, its governance and legal systems are young. Kosovo established a fully autonomous legal system with locally staffed courts and prosecution offices for the first time in 2019.

Kosovo is Europe’s youngest country with a population of 1.8 million. The average age is 26, and 38 percent of the population is younger than 20. If democratic and economic opportunities are increased, youth represents a resource for Kosovo’s prosperity. A young, well-trained labor force could be a comparative advantage for strengthening democratic systems and boosting productivity. If not, the incoming youth bulge will exacerbate pressure on the current infrastructure, education, the economy, public services, and political stability.

The economy remains heavily based on consumption, with remittances accounting for about 16 percent of its GDP. Firms are small and lack the expertise to identify and export to foreign markets. A bloated public sector with high wages and remittances make private sector jobs less desirable. A weak investment climate, insufficient and unreliable supply of electricity, political favoritism, and an inadequately skilled workforce deter investment and impede the development of a competitive private sector. A growing exasperation among youth is manifesting itself by youth leaving the country for perceived better opportunities elsewhere. Kosovo remains the third poorest country in Europe with a GDP per capita that is approximately 11 percent of the EU average.

USAID/Kosovo and other donors have expended considerable investments in assisting the GOK to stand up the institutions of government. To address the challenges discussed above and build upon the significant assistance to date from the international community, USAID/Kosovo recently developed its second Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) CDCS, which is expected to be approved in Spring 2020. The Strategic Planning Specialist facilitates key processes to operationalize the Mission’s new CDCS. Further, the Incumbent manages CDCS-related communication internally among Mission offices and externally with Washington, DC and other stakeholders.

USAID/Program and Policy Office:

The Strategic Planning Specialist will be located in the Program and Policy Office (PPO) of the USAID/Kosovo Mission. PPO leads Mission implementation of the USAID Program Cycle, including strategic planning, project and activity design, budget management, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), strategic communications, and donor coordination efforts. The Strategic Planning Specialist will play a lead role in implementation of the CDCS.

The position requires someone who can work independently with minimal supervision, exercises excellent verbal and written abilities, plans well within a close working team, supports and mentors Foreign Service National (FSN) team members on strategic planning and implementation, multi-tasks and prioritizes deadlines, and exercises quality control over all documentation. In support of the Mission’s roll out and socialization of the new strategy, the Incumbent will have limited working-level contact with external stakeholders, such as other donors, GOK officials, USAID implementing partners, civil society, private sector actors, and representatives from other U.S. government agencies operating in Kosovo.

The new CDCS cuts across formal organizational structures within the Mission and, therefore, the Strategic Planning Specialist will be required to support USAID/Kosovo staff from PPO and other offices, including in particular the Democracy and Governance Office (DGO) and the Economic Growth Office (EGO), to develop and implement internal systems and processes for ensuring effective cross-sectoral implementation of the strategy.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

The Strategic Planning Specialist reports to the Office Director or his/her designee, and has the following areas of responsibility:

Strategic Planning and Implementation (60%)

The Strategic Planning Specialist will serve as the Mission’s CDCS point of contact and will be responsible for key strategic planning and implementation activities, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Plan and facilitate strategic discussions among PPO, EGO, DGO, and other Mission staff around key cross-cutting issues to advance the Mission’s operationalization of the strategy and inform project and activity design and implementation. Compile, analyze, and disseminate within the Mission key outcomes from these discussions to contribute to Mission-wide learning on these topics;
  • Plan and organize USAID staff presentations for and consultations with key stakeholders, such as government of Kosovo officials, donors, private sector actors, civil society, USAID implementing partners, and Kosovo diaspora representatives, to socialize the new strategy and to gather feedback on the new strategy to inform implementation and adaptation. Prepare briefing and presentation materials, such as briefers, scene setters, talking points, speeches, taskers, power points, one-pagers, etc, to be used by USAID staff, including from PPO, EGO, DGO, and Mission leadership, during these key stakeholder engagements;
  • Develop public-facing materials to socialize the new This includes developing, in coordination with the Mission’s Development Outreach and Communication team, new materials and/or updating existing materials, such as fact sheets, summary papers, etc. for publication on the USAID website, social media, etc.;
  • Draft portions of USAID input for the new Integrated Country Strategy (ICS) and participate in interagency fora for developing and finalizing the ICS;
  • Support PPO team members in developing plans and templates for Mission processes for ensuring collaborating, learning, and adapting occurs throughout the implementation of projects and activities in support of the CDCS;
  • Draft ad-hoc reports requested by Mission management;
  • Support PPO team members in planning and organize portfolio reviews, including CDCS Mid-Course
  • Coordinate the completion of urgent tasks from Washington as needed, especially tasks that are cross-sectoral in nature or relate to issues at the strategy

Project and Activity Design (10%)

The Strategic Planning Specialist shall have responsibility for supporting activity planning and design of required strategic documents, including implementation of the Mission’s CDCS. Other responsibilities include:

  • Advise Mission project design teams, which are comprised of USAID staff from DGO, EGO, PPO, the Regional Contracting Office, the Financial Management Office, and the Resident Legal Office, on strategy alignment for each new project and activity design;
  • Assist PPO team members who work on project and activity design with identifying the most-appropriate cross-sectoral team structures for project implementation, to implement the CDCS
  • Work together with project and activity design teams to draft strategy alignment portions of design documents, including Project Design Plans, Project Appraisal Documents, and other required documents.

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (20%)

The Strategic Planning Specialist will play an integral role in shaping the Mission’s CDCS- level new Performance Management Plan (PMP), including its Collaborating, Adapting, and Learning (CLA) Plan. Tasks included, but are not limited to the following:

  • Assist PPO team members with developing plans and templates for Mission processes for ensuring CLA occurs throughout the implementation of CDCS projects and activities;
  • Draft sections of the PMP in coordination with PPO and other Mission staff;
  • Assist PPO team members with the Mission’s semi-annual portfolio reviews by designing, in coordination with PPO team members, the format for the reviews and ensuring quality control of the submissions and presentations from project

Representing USAID/Kosovo Program and Policy Office (10%)

The Strategic Planning Specialist shall represent PPO at meetings with USAID team members from other offices, external stakeholder consultations, and other events as needed. These duties and responsibilities require a sophisticated understanding of USAID and the practical realities of operating in Kosovo. S/he will sometimes have to address controversial issues and make convincing arguments. Such representing shall entail:

  • Facilitate strategic discussions with USAID staff from various offices, such as PPO, EGO, and Be an active member of inter-agency working groups, especially those that contribute to ICS development;
  • Organizing presentations or other engagement with external stakeholders for Mission staff to present and gather feedback on the CDCS, including developing a schedule, coordinating with implementers and other counterparts to plan events, preparing briefing materials, and serving as site officer for these engagements;

Conduct, Travel, Reporting and Liaison

The Strategic Planning Specialist will handle all assigned work independently or as required as part of a team identified by the Office Director or the Mission Director, in accordance with all applicable USAID regulations and guidance as provided in the USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) and various Government regulations. As a highly qualified professional, substantial reliance is placed on the employee to independently plan and carry out the specific activities entailed in fulfilling major duties and responsibilities. S/he will resolve problems that arise by determining the approaches to be taken and methods to be used, developing, coordinating, and clearing proposed solutions with all necessary parties, and then taking appropriate actions to resolve the problems. S/he will maintain contact and interact technically and professionally in a highly collaborative manner with a limited range of interlocutors. S/he is expected to demonstrate appropriate skill levels in the following areas:

1) teamwork and professionalism, 2) resource management, 3) leadership, and 4) technical and analytical skills. Often the problems encountered will not be routine and require creative thinking to resolve effectively.

Travel in Kosovo may be required to support stakeholder engagement but is expected to be sporadic (less than 10 percent of the time).

All duties will be carried out under the general or specific guidance of the PPO Office Director, or his/her designee, as direct supervisor. The Strategic Planning Specialist will be expected to prepare and deliver written and oral reports on all aspects of his/her responsibilities or work, including external meetings, as requested by the Office Director and Deputy Office Director, and/or the Mission Director.

D.     Position Elements

Supervision Received: The incumbent will work under the general and specific supervision and policy guidance of the PPO Office Director, or his/her designee. S/he will review and approve his/her work plan and performance measures. In carrying out specific assignments, the Strategic Planning Specialist will consult and work closely with PPO, EGO, DGO, and other teams within USAID. S/he is expected to work independently with limited guidance, take initiative, and engage other members of the PPO, EGO, and DGO teams as required.

Supervision Exercised: The incumbent has no supervisory responsibility.

Decision Making/Exercise of Judgment: At the full performance level, the incumbent will exercise considerable independence and decision-making authority in carrying out duties, subject to final review by the PPO Office Director or his/her designee.

Complexity: Analyzes inter-related issues of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of strategic plans and develops detailed plans, goals, and objectives for the long-range implementation and administration of the Mission’s CDCS. Decisions related to strategic planning and implementation are complicated by the difficulty of operating in a politically sensitive country such as Kosovo.

Scope and effect of the work performed: The work performed will support the implementation of USAID/Kosovo’s new five-year Country Development Cooperation Strategy.

Available Guidelines and Systems: The Strategic Planning Specialist is required to understand and analyze Agency and Mission-specific policies and procedures governing Program Cycle implementation, in addition to the USAID/PPO established administrative operating procedures, policies and formats. S/he must be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies of PPO and the Mission, including but not limited to the Automated Directives System (ADS), Mission Orders, Mission Notices, and USAID and State Program Strategy and Policy Documents.

Authority to Make Commitments: The incumbent will have no independent authority to commit USG Mission funds.

Nature, Level and Purpose of Contacts: Contacts are with senior management within USAID, which may include USAID/Washington or other high-level USG officials, and working-level government officials from other countries as appropriate, as well as consultants, contractors, grantees, civil society representatives, and business executives. The incumbent will be required to facilitate strategic discussions with USAID staff from various offices and organize presentations or other engagement with external stakeholders. As such, s/he will sometimes have to address controversial issues and make convincing arguments.


The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.


Education: Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, International Development, Public Administration, Business Administration, Political Science, or a closely related field is required. Master’s degree preferred.

Prior Work Experience: Minimum of five years of experience in international development or equivalent experience. Demonstrated ability to work in post-conflict, complex, high- pressure, and fast-paced environment with minimal support. At least one year of demonstrated experience coordinating complex assessment, analysis, and planning exercises is strongly preferred.

Language Proficiency: Fluency in English speaking, reading and writing proficiency is required. The candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Knowledge: Extensive knowledge of international development concepts, principles and strategic planning and implementation is required. Demonstrated competence in drafting strategic planning documents, as well as strategic communications planning and implementation. Extensive knowledge of the operational policies and procedures related to

U.S. foreign assistance programming, especially previous experience with USG strategic planning, is required. Knowledge and experience in assessing, designing, managing, and monitoring international development strategies, projects, and activities is strongly preferred.

Skills and Abilities: The Strategic Planning Specialist must have proven capacity to analyze complex situations and provide technical guidance and recommendations to Senior Management and to his/her colleagues. S/he will be capable of representing the Mission in interagency working groups and in stakeholder consultations with external parties, synthesizing information and relaying it for analysis with recommendations for action to supervisor and key counterparts within USAID/Kosovo. S/he will have strong interpersonal, teamwork and team building, technical and analytic skills, cross-cultural communication and leadership abilities. S/he will be able to take initiative and also prioritize multiple deadlines.


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. The FAR provisions referenced above are available at

In order to be considered for the position an offeror must meet the minimum qualifications listed in the solicitation. Consideration and selection will be based on a panel evaluation of the applications vis-a-vis the required qualifications.

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

Education: (20 points)

Prior Work Experience: (30 points) Language Proficiency: (10points) Knowledge: (20 points)

Skills & Abilities: (20 points)


  1. Eligible offerors are required to complete and submit the offer form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals,” available at
  2. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted to the Point of Contact in Section I.
  3. Offeror submissions must clearly reference the Solicitation number on all offeror submitted documents.

Interested Offerors must submit all the materials required by the solicitation, which includes but is not limited to:

  • A cover letter, inclusive of the candidate’s experience in the relevant field, which should address how the candidate meets each of the requirements, not to exceed three (3)
  • A current resume/curriculum vitae (CV) and three (3) to five (5) references, who are not family members or relatives, with telephone and email contact The references will be asked to provide a general assessment of the applicant's suitability for the position. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure submitted references are available to provide a written or verbal reference in a timely manner.

The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing the particular selection criterion. USAID/Kosovo reserves the right to obtain relevant information from previous employers concerning the Offeror’s past performance and may consider such information in its evaluation.

  • A completed and hand-signed federal form AID 309-2. Applicants are required to sign the cover letter, the resume/CV, and the certification at the end of the AID 309-2. Please note that incomplete and/or unsigned applications will NOT be considered. (forms can be downloaded from:

- Send complete applications to Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line of your email application. Any attachments provided via email shall be formatted in one single PDF document in the following order: (1) cover letter, (2) resume/CV (with references), and (3) signed AID    309-2.


The Contracting Officer (CO) will provide instructions about how to complete and submit the needed forms after an offeror is selected for the contract award.

Requirements: The final selected offeror must be able to obtain security (Employment Authorization) and medical clearance for work within a reasonable time period. If such clearances are not obtained within a reasonable time or negative suitability issues are involved, any offer made may be rescinded.


As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a USPSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:


  • Employer's FICA Contribution
  • Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
  • Pay Comparability Adjustment
  • Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)
  • Eligibility for Worker's Compensation
  • Annual and Sick Leave

ALLOWANCES: N/A for Resident Hire Personal Services Contract


USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.


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 .
  2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at .


Item No.

Base Period – Compensation, Benefits, and other direct costs (ODCs)

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497 Accounting Info: TBD
TBD at award after negotiations with Contractor

Option 1 Period – Compensation, Benefits, and other direct costs (ODCs)

Award Type: Cost

Product Service Code: R497 Accounting Info: TBD
TBD at award


  1. Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at .
  2. 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




More information is available here.

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