Development Outreach and Communications Specialist (USAID/MERP) – Frankfurt-2019-267-R

For Public Dissemination



Vacancy Number: Frankfurt-2019-267-R

Date: December 3, 2019


POSITION / SALARY:        Development Outreach and Communications Specialist; Salary Range: € 61,304 – 79,695

                                            FSN-10:   (Full Performance)                                                     

OPEN TO:                           German citizens and residents with valid work permit at the   time of application to work in Germany.

LOCATION:                         USAID Frankfurt Support Center (FSC), Frankfurt, Germany

OPENING:                           December 3, 2019

CLOSING:                            January 10, 2020

WORK HOURS:                   Full-Time; 40 hours/week

USAID/Frankfurt Support Center, an equal opportunity employer, seeks applicants for the following Development Outreach and Communications Specialist position:

For more information please see attached USAID solicitation. 72028020R10001



ISSUANCE DATE: December 3, 2019

CLOSING DATE/TIME: January 10, 2020


SUBJECT:      Solicitation for a Cooperating Country National (CCN)

                        (Local Compensation Plan)

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 as described in this solicitation.

Offers must be in accordance with Attachment 1, Sections I through V 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 personal services contract (PSC), nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offers.

Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.


Susan Cheung

Regional Executive Officer



  1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72028020R10001


  1. ISSUANCE DATE: December 2, 2019




  1. POSITION TITLE: Development Outreach and Communications Specialist


  1. MARKET VALUE: Salary range € 61,304 – € 79,695 equivalent to FSN-10

In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of US Mission/Germany.

Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.


  1. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Five-Year Period of Performance with possibility to extend in accordance with ADS 309: – Personal services contracts are subject to the five-year limitation in accordance with FAR Part 17. In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J, CCNPSCs are of a continuing nature and expected to be part of a series of sequential contracts, each not to exceed the five-year limitation in the FAR.


  1. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: USAID/Frankfurt (Germany).


  1. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Facility access (CCN/FSN Clearance)




  1. General Statement of Purpose of the Contract

The Development Outreach Communication Specialist (DOC) reports to the MERP Program Officer and/or his/her designee, and collaborates closely with USAID Middle East Bureau Outreach team, MERP staff, technical and program office teams in MERP-supported operating units, implementing partners (IPs) as well as MERP and supported operating unit (OU) senior leadership to develop and implement overall communications strategy.


The Specialist collaborates with the USAID Middle East Bureau Outreach team and US Embassy Public Affairs Offices (PAO) in supported OUs to ensure that MERP and Embassy personnel are properly apprised of USAID public activities and projects. S/he serves as principal liaison with the USAID/ME Bureau communications team leader. The DOC helps MERP-supported OUs achieve their objectives by producing and disseminating public information about OU initiatives, and promoting a better understanding of USAID programs to a variety of local and international audiences. The DOC Specialist is responsible for collecting, managing, and distributing communication materials with the USAID foreign assistance programs in MERP-supported OUs that lack dedicated, in-country DOC support, and serves as the primary point of contact and liaison for public information requests.


  1. Statement of Duties to be Performed


  1. Communications Management and Strategic Planning

The DOC Specialist is responsible for contributing to policies and procedures for communications and outreach that clarify roles and responsibilities within MERP, supported OUs, and implementing partners (IPs), including templates for various communication tools, standards for creating and finalizing DOC materials, and guidelines for planning and managing events. The DOC Specialist designs, implements and provides annual updates to the communications strategy for supported OUs, identifying objectives, messages, audiences, products, and budgets, and developing plans in coordination with USAID project managers and technical teams consistent with the OU and ME bureau strategy and the overall Embassy communications strategy in each OU. The DOC Specialist leads the design of public information products, ensuring that communication products contain appropriate and consistent messages that support the approved communications strategy; and, provides quality control on all print and electronic public information materials such as external websites, organizational brochures and information packets, and briefing books produced internally and externally by implementing partners and contracted communications service providers, if any.


  1. Media Relations (25%):

The Specialist is responsible for media activities within supported OUs; coordinating outreach activities with relevant US Embassy PAO Press Offices and working closely with relevant PAO staff to generate press coverage of USAID activities. Duties include arranging and preparing for press interviews, press conferences, briefings, tours of activities, and interaction with host-country, American and international journalists, following up with media regularly to encourage continued coverage of USAID event and activities. The Specialist also represents supported OUs as appropriate in matters pertaining to Development Outreach and Communication activities with the host government. The Specialist tracks USAID activity milestones in and events coordination with the Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting Advisor to ensure that appropriate press coverage is provided; advises the MERP and supported-OU Front Offices 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 the technical achievement of USAID activities in an easy to understand manner; coordinates with technical offices and Embassy PAOs to produce and release timely, accurate, and useful written material for the host-country and American media; and, advises and works with PAOs to expand opportunities for coverage of USAID efforts. The Specialist helps technical offices to define activities for coverage, participates as feasible in field visits to assess newsworthiness, and when possible accompanies press to interviews and site locations.


  1. Public Events and Visitors (10%):

The Specialist supports planning and execution of activities to present USAID programs in supported OUs to the public and to VIP visitors, including a range of communications tools and distribution to a variety of audiences. The Specialist supports planning for visits of high-level officials to highlight key USAID initiatives; and, provides or supervises advance work for planning, including scheduling, coordination with technical teams (and other OU and/or Embassy sections as appropriate), and overseeing the production of briefing materials. The Specialist ensures that all event information (e.g., scene setters, talking points, speeches) have been prepared, and meet quality standards and time requirements. The Specialist coordinates and consults with technical offices on activity signing ceremonies or other milestone events, including finalizing press releases and contributing to completion of logistical details.


  1. Website and Social Media Maintenance (20%):

The Specialist will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate material is published on online publications associated with the USAID. Venues include the global USAID website as well as LPA-approved social media outlets (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram) managed by USAID, the Middle East bureau, and supported OUs. In cases where supported OUs do not have a social media presence, s/he will work the ME Outreach team and OU leadership to develop a social media strategy and establish a social media presence as warranted. Social media accounts shall be updated regularly with content developed by the Specialist in coordination with the technical teams and implementing partners.


  1. Publicity Materials – 45%

The Specialist is responsible for the production of high-quality print and electronic communications products that translate complex activities and technical information into understandable, meaningful messages that resonate with a variety of audiences, both host-country and American. The Specialist serves as editorial director of all published and website materials, including information brochures, special publications, and external USAID OU websites. The Specialist oversees and develops regular and specialized information materials for Washington opinion leaders and audiences, in coordination with the Middle East Bureau and LPA colleagues; travels as feasible to USAID program/project/activity sites in the host country and the region to interview beneficiaries and photograph activities for the USAID website and for news releases; serves as MERP and supported-OU advisor for Agency Branding Graphic Standards, both internally and among partners; prepares and keeps current a packet of informational materials communicating strategic priorities for supported OUs 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 readers.


  1. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: External/Internal announcement for Cooperating Country National (CCN). CCN is an individual who is a German citizen, or a non-German country citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in Germany.




Under current law, non-German and American citizens must possess a valid Germany residence and/or work permit in compliance with host government laws and regulations prior to application.  Copies of the permit/s must be sent with the application.  The Embassy cannot sponsor applicants for either permit.  Laws regarding residency are subject to change.



The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.


  1. POINT OF CONTACT: For additional information please contact USAID/MERP HR Office, e-mail

To Apply:  Interested applicants for this position must submit their application and pertinent supporting documentation by the closing date using the U.S. Mission’s electronic application process:




  1. Education:  Applicants for this position are required to hold at least a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) in journalism, international affairs, the social sciences or a related field (for example, Political Science, International Relations, Economics).
  2. Prior Work Experience: ATLEAST FIVE YEARS progressively responsible experience in international development, communications or related field with a focus on communications.
  3. Language Proficiency: Level IV (fluent) in both spoken & written English. The ability to communicate orally and in writing in English is extremely important to the position. An excellent knowledge of English grammar and American word usage and spelling is also critical.    
  4. Job Knowledge:  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 initiatives. The Specialist should also have knowledge of the development field and experience in research and analysis.

The work requires good knowledge of graphic design, printing, and publishing processes, and the ability to oversee contracts with printers and/or publishers as well as public relations firms; a general understanding of procurement processes; and, a broad understanding of issues related to international development.

  1. Skills and Abilities:
    (a) 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; making oral presentations designed to seek cooperation of specialized groups and media in providing expanded coverage to USAID activities, and to encourage open communication between USAID and its audiences;(b) analyzing the effectiveness of communication plans once implemented, and developing recommendations to change the nature of the USAID strategic communications program. The work requires excellent oral and written communications skills, including news and technical writing, editing, and research skills;(c) project management that may be applied within a multi-cultural work environment; and, the ability to work independently, taking initiative once guidance is provided, and managing several activities simultaneously and under pressure to meet deadlines;(d) establishing and maintaining collegial relations with technical, Program Office and senior management teams within USAID, as well as with press and media contacts, relevant Embassy and IP counterparts, and exercising sound judgment in representing the USG, along with the ability to manage interactions with high-level dignitaries and officials with maturity and confidence.

    Work requires very good computer skills, including the use of MS Office, MS PowerPoint, and Word. In addition, a solid understanding of Web design, web site maintenance, Publisher, and other graphic design software is desired.

    The ability to travel to supported OUs in order to organize and implement outreach events and visit project sites, is a requirement of the position. Additional travel outside of supported OUs may be necessary.




  1. Education (10)
  2. English Language Skills (25)
  3. Prior Work Experience (10)
  4. Knowledge (25 points)
  5. Skills and Abilities (30 points)
  6. Reference Verification: (Pass/Fail)


Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (

USAID reserves the right to interview only the highest ranked applicants in person or by phone OR not to interview any candidate.


USAID/Frankfurt Human Resources Section will perform the preliminary review (Step 1 above) to eliminate those applications that do not meet the minimum educational and written English language requirements before forwarding the rest Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) for further review and assessment. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.


The Technical Evaluation Committee will review each of the forwarded applications against the established evaluation criteria to develop a shortlist of applicants to be tested and possibly interviewed.  Applicants will be contacted for testing (Step 2) and interviews.  USAID/Frankfurt HR will conduct the English test.  Based on the results of the tests, however, an applicant otherwise identified for interview could be dropped from the interview list.


Following the interview (Step 3) during which the applicant will be evaluated against the established criteria, the TEC will make a preliminary determination of candidates to be considered for employment and forward that list to HR. References may be solicited from current as well as former supervisors in addition to the references you provide in your application package.  References will only be solicited for the top-rated candidate or candidates.


Based on this final input, the TEC will make its final decision on which candidates to rank order and make a final selection.


The final selected candidates must receive a Security Clearance and Medical Clearance (Health Certificate). USAID will provide details regarding these requirements to the selected candidate.  An inability to obtain either the medical clearance or background check will make the applicant ineligible for selection.




  1. Eligible Offerors are required to complete and submit all the required documents listed down below enclosed with a cover letter addressing all the vacancy announcement requirements/selection criteria respectively. Otherwise, the application will be considered incomplete and shall not be taken into consideration.


  1. Cover letter;
  2. Application for Federal Employment DS-174;
  3. A detailed current resume or curriculum vitae providing a mailing address and a daytime telephone number; plus
  4. Copies of any other documentation (e.g., essays, certificates, awards, and copies of degrees earned which do not have to be translated) that addresses the minimum requirements of the position as listed above;
  5. Provide the USAID HR Office with at least three references quoting their telephone numbers and email address; and
  6. Copies of valid Germany residence and work permits for Non-Germany and American citizens, which are in compliance with host government laws and regulations (if applicable).


  1. 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, item 12.


  1. To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number in the offer submission. Please indicate, how did you come to know about this position? A) US Embassy website B) Stepstone job portal C) Newsletter D) LinkedIn E) Other




Once the CO informs the successful Offeror about being selected for a contract award, the CO will provide the successful Offeror instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms:


  1. Health Certificate
  2. Documents required for Security Clearance Procedure




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




  1. Vacation Bonus – 5 percent of the annual basic salary rate of the employee
  2. Christmas Bonus – 7 percent of the annual basic salary rate of the employee
  3. Annual Leave – Up to age 29 – 29 working days Annual Leave; Age 30 and older – 30 working days Annual Leave
  4. Sick Leave – Employees who are incapacitated for duty because of an illness for which they are not personally responsible are entitled to payment of their regular salary for the period of their illness but not to exceed six weeks for any one illness. Another six weeks of paid absence is granted for recurrence of the same illness during a twelve-month period if an employee has not been absent because of the same illness for at least six (6) consecutive months.
  5. Social Security Contribution – up to 22 percent of the annual basic salary rate of the employee
  6. Other benefits as applicable under the Local Compensation Plan.


  1. ALLOWANCES (as applicable):
    1. Meals Allowance
    2. Workers Compensation


  1. TAXES


The U.S. Mission does not withhold or make local income tax payments.




USAID regulations and policies governing CCN/TCN PSC awards are available at these sources:


  1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix J, “Direct USAID Contracts With a Cooperating Country National and with a Third Country National for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at


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


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


  1. 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