Development Assistance Specialist (Regional Mission Environmental Officer/Climate Integration) Jobs Vacancy Kenya 2020
Career Employment Kenya: Development Assistance Specialist (Regional Mission Environmental Officer/Climate Integration) Jobs Vacancy Kenya 2020
Job Description: Today Work Kenya


The USAID Development Assistance Specialist (MEO/CIL) provides a high level of technical guidance on environmental compliance and climate integration, as follows: 

a. Mission Environmental Officer (MEO) 

The Specialist serves as technical advisor to the Mission, ensuring its portfolio of programs/projects/activities is in compliance with Reg. 216, USAID Environmental Procedures, and with host-country government environmental and social safeguard regulations. The Specialist provides substantive guidance to the Front Office, Technical Offices, Agreement Officer’s Representatives/Contracting Officer’s Representatives (AORs/CORs), and IPs on environmentally sensitive work, such as agricultural development, tertiary roads, land restitution, and protected areas management. The Specialist facilitates efficient program/project/activity implementation in all sectors, by ensuring the high-quality documentation for environmental compliance; reviewing and approving environmental compliance aspects of Project Appraisal Documents (PAD), scopes of work, and activity descriptions; and, by identifying environmental compliance, concerns, with suggested approaches to achieve compliance. The Specialist reviews environmental analyses and documentation (Initial Environmental Examinations [IEEs], Requests for Categorical Exclusions [RCEs], Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plans [EMMPs], Environmental Assessments [EAs], etc.), from all Teams for quality, rigor, and adherence to USAID regulations, policies, procedures, and guidance. The Specialist is the primary liaison between the Mission and the Regional Environment Advisor (REA), the regional Bureau Environment Officer (BEO), and the Agency Environmental Coordinator (AEC) on all environmental matters leading communication and facilitating approvals by USAID/Washington for all procurement actions under the Mission’s portfolio. The Specialist provides strong team membership in the review, approval, and monitoring of Mission activities compliance with Reg. 216, reviewing and approving all sub-activities and quarterly reports in the information system. The Specialist leads the review of Multilateral Development Bank, Global Environment Fund, and similar environmentally significant projects in the host country, coordinating the environmental and social reviews with Mission and Embassy staff, and ensuring reviews are timely and technically sound, that the reports are of high quality, and that they meet USAID policy and guidance and relevant external mandates, including the International Financial Institutions Act, Title XIII. As required, the Specialist may serve as AOR/COR, and/or Activity Manager for programs/projects/activities and oversight of analytical work to inform strategy development, such as the Tropical Forest and Biodiversity Analysis required under the Foreign Assistance Act Sections 118/119. 

b. Climate Integration Lead (CIL) 

The Specialist serves as the Mission Climate Integration Lead, ensuring compliance with USAID climate risk management processes, as detailed in relevant ADS mandatory references. The Specialist is a technical advisor to Mission staff and IPs, working to identify and analyze climate vulnerabilities, and develop mitigation measures by monitoring, identifying, and sharing opportunities to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation into Mission strategies, programming, and operations. The Specialist assures an appropriate level of climate risk screening is considered throughout the program cycle, including at the strategy (Country Development Cooperation Strategy), project (Project Appraisal Document), and Activity levels, providing guidance to design teams and AORs/CORs/Activity Managers to properly identify, mitigate, and document climate risks. The Specialist works within the Mission information system, and with other tools, to document and manage compliance with USAID climate risk requirements and contributes climate risk expertise to the management and improvement of existing information systems. The Specialist is the designated Mission point of contact with USAID/Washington for all areas of climate risk management needs.  

c. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) 

The MEO/CIL works with Mission staff to support regular and effective monitoring of the environmental and social compliance aspects of development activities, periodically monitoring programs/projects/activities through office reviews and field visits, and supports staff and IPs to carry out their activity monitoring responsibilities. The Specialist ensures development of, and effective oversight of, Mission document tracking information systems, including all environmental compliance (IEEs, RCEs, EMMPs, EAs) and climate integration documentation. The Specialist supports proper and timely reporting, e.g., the environmental compliance reports required in the Operation Plan, by regular monitoring of information systems, noting the need for new documents, status of pending documents, and any outstanding issues, e.g., projects where no environmental compliance field monitoring is being conducted. The Specialist participates directly with Mission staff to remedy outstanding issues and keeps Mission management and the regional BEO informed of issues and resolution. The Specialist travels to all areas of the host country and/or the Region to conduct field visits, in order to support USAID technical leads to monitor environmental compliance, effectiveness of mitigation measures, and evaluate the overall environmental impact of the implementation of programs/projects/activities. The Specialist acts as an advisor, providing feedback to IPs to identify problems, and to offer technical recommendations and potential solutions for full compliance. 

d. Capacity Building 

The Specialist leads assessments of capacity building shortfalls and identifies effective and efficient training delivery approaches to build the capacity of USAID and IP staff, and of host-country counterparts; assists staff to identify and obtain additional environmental expertise and resources to meet environmental and social compliance needs; and, serves as activity manager for obtaining additional environmental expertise and resources to provide needed capacity building. The Specialist develops training methodologies and/or serves as a lead trainer for formal courses and workshops; and, provides mentoring and on-the-job training to staff, particularly to AOR/CORs and IPs, to ensure environmental compliance and climate integration requirements, policies, and procedures are known and followed. The Specialist develops networks and shares best practices with other Mission and Regional MEOs and Environmental Officers; and provides MEO and climate risk technical support to other Missions as needed. The Specialist works closely with the regional Bureau Environmental Officer to communicate requirements, policies, procedures, guidance, best practices, and changes and updates, and supports development of and improvement to various communications tools, such as Webinars, newsletters, websites, etc.


a. Supervision Received: The USAID Development Assistance Specialist (Mission Environmental Officer) works under the very general supervision of the Director of the Mission Program Office, Technical Office or Front Office, and/or his/her designee. Regardless of the location of the position in the organization, the MEO is formally designated by, and accountable to, the Mission Director, consistent with ADS 204. The supervisor makes assignments in terms of overall objectives and      resources available. Completed work is reviewed in terms of achievement of Mission and USG Environmental and Environmental Integration goals, effectiveness in meeting host-country and USAID objectives, and integration with other initiatives in the Office and Mission portfolio. Some technical direction may come from other professionals in the Office; in general, however, the Specialist will be expected to exercise considerable autonomy, with support from other MEOs, the REA and BEO and best judgment in discharging the duties of the assignment. 

b. Supervision Exercised: Supervision of other Mission staff is not contemplated.

c. Available Guidelines: Available guidelines include USAID and USG policy and procedures and statutory mandates, including Executive Order 13677 of 2014; 22 CFR 216; USG program/project/activity guidance, rules, and requirements; USAID Mission Orders, Mission strategy, and other relevant reports; the Automated Directives System (ADS), in particular ADS 201 and 204; USAID Mandatory and Standard Provisions, and the FAR and AIDAR; and, the Mission and Host Government Five-Year Strategic Plans, and other published and unpublished Guidelines are often general in nature and not specific to the situation at hand, requiring considerable interpretation.

d. Exercise of Judgment: Substantial judgment (discretion) is used daily in providing technical opinion and guidance to USG, USAID, and host-government colleagues, to IPs, and in representing USAID in stakeholder forums. Management decisions over certain IPs are at the discretion of the Independent judgment is required for developing, implementing, and managing assigned programs/projects/activities, for reporting, and for other assignments. Substantial judgment is        required in analyzing and determining whether to recommend approval of proposed programs/projects/activities for environmental consequences, in choosing among alternative proposals, and in evaluating data for reliability.

e. Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist exercises the authority given to all FSN/CCN Advisors, AORs/CORs, and Activity Managers, and may make administrative arrangements consistent with ADS guidance and Mission and Office policy. The Specialist takes action and   establishes priorities based on available guidelines and professional judgment. Guidance is sought when needed, and superiors informed of activity status. Within the scope of the authority delegated, the Specialist may indicate to ranking counterpart and IP officials that they will make a recommendation to USAID on a specific activity, issue, or problem. The Specialist has no independent authority to commit the USG to the expenditure of funds, but may negotiate ad referendum for the supervisor.

f. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: The Specialist has a full range of contacts within the Mission, at all levels, and maintains contact with IPs implementing USAID-funded programs/projects/activities. Within the Embassy, contacts are with counterpart staffs, and with senior staff as needed. Host-government, local, and other contacts vary widely with the type of activity being implemented, and may be at any level – including Ministerial, Deputy Minister, etc. Frequent and substantive personal contacts with senior-level officials of the host government, and with the private sector, are for the purpose of explaining and defending USAID and USG environment policies, objectives, and procedures, and to transmit and interpret host-government and private-sector attitudes and concerns to senior USAID officials. In addition, the Specialist       provides technical assistance and guidance on Environment and Environmental Integration best practices to USG staff, and host government and NGO partners. 

g. Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year (12 Months).