Creative Associates International

Consultant (Private Sector Co-investment Grants)

Creative Associates International

Job Description

Position Location: Remote/ Washington D.C.

Estimated Period of Performance: June 1, 2021 – August 30, 2021 Estimated Level of Effort: 90 days with option to extend Background: Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing Global Development firm that specializes in education, Economic Growth, governance and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

Project Overview: The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub Project (the Trade Hub) is a five-year, $140 million trade and investment facilitation Activity that seeks to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa through market-based approaches. The Trade Hub is an integral part of the Prosper Africa initiative and partners with the U.S. and West African private sector firms to generate new private-sector investment in key sectors to create jobs and increase trade between the U.S. and West Africa, including through increased utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This Activity has three main components: (i) Design and Administration of a grant-making facility for private sector partnerships, (ii) technical assistance (TA) that directly supports, coordinates, and engages with qualifying recipients (i.e., partners and grantees) to achieve USAID’s trade and food security objectives, and (iii) respond to the secondary economic impacts of Covid-19, notably to 1) increase access of working capital with financial actors, 2) prevent and mitigate job losses, and 3) help respond to local and regional supply chain disruptions and shortages of critical medical supplies and services and agricultural inputs and food staples.. The Trade Hub also focuses on co-investment partnerships that increase Agricultural Productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Nigeria under a Research and Development (R&D) Fund for innovating and modernizing practices across five targeted value chains.

Objective:

The objective of this short-term consulting assignment is supporting the rapid mobilization of the Trade Hub’s grants for private companies that will be implemented throughout the West Africa region. The consultant will be responsible for developing and writing grant agreements from information contained in full applications, activity workplans, indicator tables, and project budgets; quickly troubleshooting any discrepancies with technical staff; reviewing and finalizing agreements drafted by others; and delivering timely high-quality submission-ready agreements and supporting documents for client approval.

He/she will be providing surge support to the project’s West Africa based grants team by preparing and reviewing grants packages for USAID approvals in close Coordination with field Public private partnership (PPP) team members, with the HQ Grants and Contracts teams, including validating paperwork, ensuring compliance, and preparing and submitting complete grants packages.

Tasks to be performed

• Lead the packaging and production of assigned grant packages (grant agreement, negotiation memo, Activity Work Plan, memorandum of understanding, environmental review form, and budget), including validating compliance of package and coordinating the review process among various departments as per the standard processes at Creative.

• Liaise with technical staff to prepare final grant agreements based on grant applications post co-creation phase, troubleshoot any discrepancies with targets, dates, phasing of activities, etc., negotiate and finalize agreements between the Trade Hub and project potential grantees, and write project description, objectives, activities, and deliverables/milestones from information provided in the full applications.

• Develop and maintain strong working relationships with project’s grants staff as needed to obtain and/or clarify supporting documentation and HQ based Grants and Contracts teams for final grant package reviews and approvals.

• For fixed amount awards, prepare and finalize the milestone schedule for the grant agreement based on the finalized workplan and budget.

• Liaise with monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) staff to incorporate the final MEL indicators as an annex to the agreement, confirming that they sync with the Program Description.

• Review, format, and formula check the final grant budget and budget narrative, ensuring all line items are sufficiently justified (allowable, allocable, and reasonable) and that the final grant amounts match the amounts in the agreement. Liaise with technical and grants staff to resolve any errors.

• Ensure all grant amounts in the grant agreement match the final negotiated grant budget, liaising with technical and grants staff to resolve any errors.

• Liaise with grants and technical staff to prepare and format the grant negotiation memo, which captures and explains each step in the pre-award process that led to the final selection of the applicant for award.

• Support with final review and formatting of Memorandums of Understanding developed by grants staff prior to final signature and inclusion in the grant approval package, ensuring that the dates, amounts, and descriptions align with the final negotiated grant agreement.

• Coordinate with the field Grants team to ensure all grant packages are uploaded in SharePoint and submitted for internal reviews and approvals via Grants Management system, SMART. This includes updating all fields in SMART with the final language, dates, indicators, and amounts including in the final negotiated grant agreement.

Deliverables:

Deliverables will be defined on an on-going basis as work is authorized. Consultant will be given a package of information/documents for review with a specified result. An estimated LOE will be provided as well. Consultant will agree to the work and LOE as presented or negotiate changes to either or both. Upon agreement on the scope, a due date will also be mutually agreed.

OTHER MATTERS

Reporting: The Consultant will report to the Chief of Party and the Project Director and will work closely with the Trade Hub’s Grants and PPP teams and Creative’s HQ Grants Director.

Required Skills & Qualifications:

o Demonstrated 10+ years of experience in management and oversight of grants management function and packaging grant agreements and supporting documentation (grants under Contract) for a USAID project is a must; o Strong knowledge of ADS 303, 2 CFR 200, and other rules and regulations governing USAID’s Demonstrated experience in private sector engagement and grants structuring and packaging through co-creation and negotiation processes with private companies, financial institutions and partners; o Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively coordinate and communicate virtually (e.g., through Zoom or Microsoft Teams) with colleagues across multiple countries and time zones o Strong writing and editing skills; excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills.

o Ability to work well in a consensus-building team environment, and work and make decisions independently when required; o Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project, etc.) and experience with grants management system preferred o High attention to detail and strong formatting skills o Fluency in written English required, added French written fluency strongly preferred.

o Experience developing milestone schedules for fixed amount awards
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