USPSC Press and Communications Advisor (Multiple Positions)

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USAID / BHA
Published
April 19, 2021
Location
Washington, D.C.
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Bachelor's
Travel Required?
Not specified
Base Salary
$110,000 - 120,000

Description

SOLICITATION NUMBER: 720BHA21R00032

ISSUANCE DATE: April 20, 2021
CLOSING DATE AND TIME: May 11, 2021, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Service Contractor (USPSC)

Dear Prospective Offerors:

The United States Government (USG), represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Global Policy, Partnerships, Programs, and Communications (G3PC), is seeking offers from qualified U.S. citizens to provide personal service as a Press and Communications Advisor under a United States Personal Services Contract (USPSC), as described in the solicitation.

Submittals must be in accordance with the attached information at the place and time specified. Offerors interested in applying for this position MUST submit the following materials:

1. Complete resume. In order to fully evaluate your offer, your resume must include:

(a) Paid and non-paid experience, job title, location(s), dates held (month/year), and hours worked per week for each position. Any experience that does not include dates (month/year), locations, and hours per week will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
(b) Specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work.
(c) Education and any other qualifications including job-related training courses, job-related skills, or job-related honors, awards or accomplishments. Failure to identify an academic discipline will result in disqualification.
(d) U.S. Citizenship
(e) Optional: How did you hear about this opportunity? (beta.SAM.gov, BHA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).

Your resume must contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation. This information must be clearly identified in your resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration.

2. USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. AID 309-2 is available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.

NOTE REGARDING DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING SYSTEM (DUNS) NUMBERS AND THE SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT

All USPSCs with a place of performance in the United States are required to have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database prior to receiving an award. You will be disqualified if you either fail to comply with this requirement or if your name appears on the excluded parties list. The selectee will be provided with guidance regarding this registration.

NOTE: As of March 28, 2018, all new SAM.gov entity registrations will now require a signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. Additional information on the format of the notarized letter and where to submit can be found via the below Federal Service Desk link:

https://www.fsd.gov/fsdgov/answer.dosysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&sysparm_search=kb0013183

Offerors can expect to receive a confirmation email when offer materials have been received. Offerors should retain for their records copies of all enclosures which accompany their offers. Your complete resume must be emailed to:

G3PC Recruitment Team
E-Mail Address: BHA.G3PCRecruitment@usaid.gov
Website: www.BHAjobs.net

Any questions on this solicitation may be directed to the G3PC Recruitment Team via the information provided above.

Sincerely,

Sonja Stroud-Gooden
Contracting Officer

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.: 720BHA21R00032

2. ISSUANCE DATE: April 20, 2021

3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: May 11, 2021, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

4. POINT OF CONTACT: G3PC Recruitment Team, BHA.G3PCRecruitment@usaid.gov

5. POSITION TITLE: Press and Communications Advisor (Multiple Positions)

6. MARKET VALUE: $103,690 - $134,798 equivalent to GS-13 (includes locality pay)

Salaries over and above the top of the pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.

If the position is for a Washington based PSC, offerors who live outside the Washington, D.C. area will be considered for employment, but no relocation expenses will be reimbursed.

7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two (2) years, with three (3) one-year options

8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Washington, D.C.

9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: U.S. Citizens

10. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.

11. STATEMENT OF DUTIES

POSITION DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) is responsible for facilitating and coordinating U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian assistance overseas in response to all types of international disasters, including slow-onset disasters such as droughts or famine, natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, or man-made disasters such as conflict or war. BHA is responsible for planning, coordinating, developing, achieving, monitoring, and evaluating international humanitarian assistance falling into two conceptual areas:

● Humanitarian Response activities comprise needs-based humanitarian assistance provided to save lives, alleviate suffering, and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies. Humanitarian assistance is grounded in humanitarian principles and is directed toward the most vulnerable populations.
● Early Recovery, Risk Reduction, and Resilience (ER4) activities will set the initial foundations for longer-term recovery as appropriate, and will work in close conjunction with humanitarian assistance. Early recovery is an approach that supports communities impacted by crises to protect and restore basic systems and service delivery. Early recovery builds on humanitarian response efforts and establishes the initial foundations of long-term recovery. Early recovery activities are implemented for a specified, appropriate timeframe that assists populations recovering from an identifiable shock. Risk reduction is the prevention of new and reduction of existing disaster risk and management of residual risk, which contributes to strengthening resilience and to the achievement of sustainable development. Resilience is the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.
BHA has seven offices, as follows:

The Bureau’s three geographic offices are: (1) Office of Africa; (2) Office of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean; and (3) the Office of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Each geographic office designs, provides, and assesses humanitarian assistance for their respective regions, including assistance related to responding to, recovering from, and reducing the risk of man-made and natural disasters, while linking with other USAID investments that build resilience.

The Office of Global Policy, Partnerships, Programs, and Communications (G3PC) shapes and influences USAID’s role within the international humanitarian system; leads engagement on a range of policy, programmatic, and operational issues; and positions the Agency to influence collective response to emergency needs across the globe.

The Office of Technical and Program Quality (TPQ) leads the Bureau's efforts to provide high-quality programmatic and technical leadership, oversight, and guidance. In addition, TPQ leads the Bureau’s external engagement with academia and coordinates research to advance the effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of humanitarian and multi-year programming.

The Office of Humanitarian Business and Management Operations (HBMO) is responsible for maintaining 24/7 operability by providing leadership, planning, quality assurance, technical expertise, and process management. HBMO ensures effective stewardship of the Bureau’s support services, including workforce planning, staffing, financial management, internal controls, facilities operations and infrastructure.

The Office of Field and Response Operations (FARO) leads and manages operational assistance and the purchase and delivery of goods and services in response to declared foreign disasters and international humanitarian needs in key functional areas, including supply-chain management, procurement, logistics, oversight, and operational coordination with the U.S. military.

INTRODUCTION

Within USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the Office of Global Policy, Partnerships, Programs, and Communications (G3PC) shapes and influences USAID’s role within the international humanitarian system; leads engagement on a range of policy, programmatic, and operational issues; and positions the Agency to influence collective response to emergency needs across the globe. The office has seven divisions, including the Strategic Communications and Humanitarian Information Division (SCHI).

G3PC, through its SCHI Division, plays a critical role in strategic communications and humanitarian information and is responsible for providing strategic communications guidance for the Bureau, as well as managing and coordinating bureau-level external and internal communications. This includes positioning BHA as a leader in humanitarian messaging by best showcasing our high-profile disaster responses and creating a wide range of public information products with close coordination with other external communications and press offices within USAID and the broader USG interagency. This division also analyzes BHA’s communication activities, develops and implements comprehensive strategies, and creates content to increase awareness of BHA’s impact, expertise, and value added to internal and external audiences. It includes the Humanitarian Information Teams for Global and Africa; Outreach and Internal Communications Team; Content Development and Online Communications Team; and Press and Strategic Communications Team.

The Press and Strategic Communications team is responsible for handling all BHA media engagement and leads on public messaging about our work, working in coordination with the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs to ensure that BHA’s activities are deservedly and accurately represented in the media. The team will also produce communications products such as talking points, press releases, and funding announcements to demonstrate BHA leadership in its humanitarian activities.

OBJECTIVE

BHA requires the services of a Press and Communications Advisor in order to meet its objectives of coordinating with other parts of the USG on media and messaging issues related to BHA’s humanitarian activities.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Press and Communications Advisor will work closely with other members of the Press and Strategic Communications Team to develop and implement strategies to increase awareness and appreciation for BHA and partner activities. The Press and Communications Advisor will report to the Press and Strategic Communications Team Leader but work closely with other teams within SCHI, including the Humanitarian Information Teams and with the other offices of BHA. Specific responsibilities include:

Emergency and Regional Response
● During BHA disaster responses, lead the Bureau’s communications efforts in coordination with the Press and Strategic Communications Team Lead to provide communications guidance and support to BHA staff and regional teams, generate talking points and press releases, field media requests, and engage in proactive press outreach.
● Work closely with BHA regional teams and relevant staff to best tell BHA’s story through the production of external messaging products, including social media, blogs, infographics, talking points, press releases, and other materials.
● Work closely with USAID’s Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) to pitch BHA stories to the media, in coordination with relevant BHA staff. Draft talking points for interviews and prepare BHA staff or other USAID principles for media Question & Answer.
● Coordinate closely with LPA, USAID regional bureaus, and other U.S. Government entities to ensure that BHA’s activities and messages are clearly communicated to the public and other key stakeholders.
● Sign-up for and serve as needed, on Washington-based Response Management Teams (RMTs), which provide services and support to Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) deployed in response to disasters. The duties on RMTs will vary.
● Serve as the BHA after-hours duty officer on a rotational basis, for approximately one week every six months.
● As needed, serve on DARTs, which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.
● As needed, may serve on temporary details within the office or region to meet operational needs during staff shortages, not to exceed six months. Duties performed while on detail will be aligned with the Team’s existing duties and responsibilities as well as directly related to the scope of work provided.

Strategic Communications
● Develop and implement communications plans and campaigns that reflect changing messaging priorities and highlight BHA’s impact, expertise, and value. Identify key outreach opportunities to advance strategic BHA messages. Feed in appropriate BHA messaging and content for relevant USAID agency-wide campaigns.
● Develop and implement new ways to communicate BHA’s investments in risk reduction and resilience, which save lives by preventing or reducing the impacts of shocks.
● Liaise with BHA partners to obtain strong content on how BHA’s programs are making a difference on the ground and use materials for strategic public messaging on BHA’s life-saving efforts.
● Provide editorial input for materials generated by the Press and Strategic Communications Team and BHA staff.
● Develop ways for BHA to effectively convey or tailor messages in a clear, concise manner, avoiding jargon and technical language.
● Engage with the Content Development and Online Communications Team to conceptualize multi-media content to tell BHA’s story across various platforms.
● Become certified and serve as an Agreement Officer’s Representative/Contracting Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR), as assigned. The AOR/COR provides financial and programmatic oversight of all aspects of managing the agreement or contract; this includes but is not limited to reviewing invoices, requests for approvals, program/project deliverables (i.e. work plans, annual reports, month status reports), travel requests, key personnel requests, and financial/budget reports. They are responsible for drafting and submitting the annual contractor performance evaluation in Contract/Assistance Performance Assessment Review System. They prepare and review contract/assistance modifications documentation and assist the Contracting/Agreement Officer to ensure performance is compliant with the terms and conditions of the contract/agreement, the FAR, and USAID policy. AOR/CORs are responsible for all related requirements in the COR designation letter and the AOR designation letter.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP:
The USPSC will take direction from and will report to the Press and Strategic Communications Team Leader, with guidance from the Division Chief or a designee of the SCHI Division.

SUPERVISORY CONTROLS:
Supervisor sets overall objectives and resources available. The USPSC consults with the supervisor to develop deadlines, projects, and work to be done. The USPSC is responsible for planning and carrying out assignments. The USPSC is responsible for planning approaches or methodology to be used in carrying out assignments.

12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands. During deployment on DARTs (if required), and during site visits, there may be some additional physical exertion including long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain, or carrying of moderately heavy items (less than 50 pounds).

13. WORK ENVIRONMENT

Work is primarily performed in an office setting. During deployment on DARTs (if required), and during site visits, the work may additionally involve special safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.

14. START DATE: Immediately, once necessary clearances are obtained.

II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)

Bachelor’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including, but not limited to, communications, public outreach, journalism, international relations, political science, or a related field) plus seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience working on communications issues, with excellent verbal and written communication skills.

OR

Master’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including, but not limited to, communications, public outreach, journalism, international relations, political science, or a related field) plus five (5) years of progressively responsible experience working on communications issues, with excellent verbal and written communication skills.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

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. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.

SELECTION FACTORS
(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)
● Offeror is a U.S. Citizen.
● Complete resume submitted. See cover page for resume requirements. Experience that cannot be quantified will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
● USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
● Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.
● Ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance.
● Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
● Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.

OFFEROR RATING SYSTEM
The offeror rating system factors are used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified offerors in comparison to other offerors. Offerors must demonstrate the rating factors outlined below within their resume, as they are evaluated strictly by the information provided. The evaluation of writing tests will also take into consideration the quality of written responses. Aspects of written responses including, but not limited to typos, grammatical errors, spelling errors, and incomplete sentences will be factored into the evaluation process. The rating factors are as follows:

Professional Experience (10 points)
● Demonstrated experience working in communications, including working crisis communications in a fast-paced environment.

Technical Knowledge (10 points)
● The position requires technical knowledge and the capability to craft strategic communication plans and information messages in various media formats (e.g. press releases, talking points, blogs, social media, etc.), targeting a variety of audiences.
● Demonstrated experience in communicating complex and sensitive subjects both written and oral to a variety of audiences and providing messaging guidance to high-level principals.

Skills and Abilities (5 points)
● Strong communication, interpersonal skills, and ability to work with teams is required.
● Excellent critical and strategic thinking is required.
● Excellent coordination and organizational skills within a multicultural work environment is a must.

Interview Performance Round 1 (10 points)

Interview Performance Round 2 (30 points)

Timed Writing Test (35 points)

Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks (PASS/FAIL)

Total Possible Points: 100

BASIS OF RATING: Offerors who meet the Education/Experience requirements and Selection Factors will be further evaluated in accordance with the Offeror Rating System. Those offerors determined to be competitively ranked may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.

Offerors are required to address each factor of the Offeror Rating System in their resume, describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received as it pertains to each factor. Be sure to include your name and the announcement number at the top of each additional page. Failure to address the selection factors and/or Offeror Rating System factors may result in not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.

The most qualified offerors may be interviewed and required to provide a writing sample. BHA will not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews. Professional references and academic credentials will be evaluated for offerors being considered for selection. Note: Please be advised that references may be obtained independently from other sources in addition to the ones provided by an offeror. BHA reserves the right to select additional offerors if vacancies become available during future phase of the selection process.

IV. SUBMITTING AN OFFER

Offers must be received by the closing date and time at the address specified in the cover letter.

Qualified individuals are required to submit:

1. Complete resume. In order to fully evaluate your offer, your resume must include:

(a) Paid and non-paid experience, job title, location(s), dates held (month/year), and hours worked per week for each position. Any experience that does not include dates (month/year), locations, and hours per week will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
(b) Specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work.
(c) Education and any other qualifications including job-related training courses, job-related skills, or job-related honors, awards or accomplishments. Failure to identify an academic discipline will result in disqualification.
(d) U.S. Citizenship
(e) Optional: How did you hear about this opportunity? (beta.SAM.gov, BHA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).

Your resume must contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation. This information must be clearly identified in your resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration.

2. USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. AID 309-2 is available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.

Additional documents submitted will not be accepted.

By submitting your offer materials, you certify that all of the information on and attached to the offer is true, correct, complete, and made in good faith. You agree to allow all information on and attached to the offer to be investigated. False or fraudulent information on or attached to your offer may result in you being eliminated from consideration for this position, or being terminated after award, and may be punishable by fine or imprisonment.

To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, please reference the solicitation number on your offer, and as the subject line in any email.

DOCUMENT SUBMITTALS

Via email: BHA.G3PCRecruitment@usaid.gov

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