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Grants and Subcontracts Manager (5207)

Position Title:
Grants & Subcontracts Manager

Contract Name:
Feed the Future Market Systems & Partnerships (MSP)

Contract No:

Period of Performance:
June 2020 – June 2025 (includes two option years)

Place of Performance:
Washington, DC

Maximum Level of Effort (LOE):
Full Time (Long-term Technical Assistance - LTTA)

Project Description: The purpose of the Feed the Future (FTF) Market Systems & Partnerships (MSP) Activity is to provide USAID/Washington, USAID Missions, and other U.S Government (USG) operating units and their implementing partners, international and local, with the evidence, capacity, tools, technical assistance, and/or services required to design, implement, monitor, and/or evaluate market systems and private sector engagement activities that lead to inclusive and resilient agricultural- led economic growth, improved food security and nutrition, and/or increased incomes for the poor. The MSP project is a DC-based contract designed to support USAID in its efforts to bring about a major cultural transformation by integrating private sector engagement (PSE) across all activities, while at the same time deepening market systems development (MSD) and facilitative approaches across the FTF program cycle. MSP will advance learning and good practice in PSE and MSD, ultimately resulting in more sustainable and strengthened agriculture-led economic growth, improved food security and nutrition and strengthened resilience. MSP’s technical innovation will be supported by operational innovation, enabling the agility required to effectively and efficiently manage this buy-in contract.
While the specific MSP activities will be demand-driven, they could include: (1) facilitating private sector partnerships such as helping USAID to establish new blended finance mechanisms or create partnerships that create shared value from the alignment of core business objectives and development goals; (2) supporting USAID in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of market systems and private sector engagement activities; (3) advancing learning on private sector engagement and market systems development through both developing theoretical frameworks and practical implementation tools; and, (4) building capacity of USAID and implementers to design, implement, monitor, evaluate, and learn from market systems and private sector engagement activities.

Context of the Position and General Technical Requirements:  The Grants and Subcontracts Manager will play two key functions: 1) serve as the primary lead for managing the MSP grants fund and all subcontracting, and 2) support sub-partner[1] management, tracking, and capacity development efforts. The selected candidate will form part of a dynamic, high energy, and multi-disciplinary team. S/he will be expected to actively participate in team discussions, contribute ideas to design processes, remain flexible with assigned tasks, and think creatively about how to structure and develop grants and procurement mechanisms that facilitate technical excellence while meeting high standards of regulatory compliance. Because the MSP mechanism will be demand driven, the Grants and Subcontracts Manager will be expected to meet tight deadlines, deliver products that are clearly written and accurate, and be able to manage multiple competing priorities under pressure. The Grants and Subcontracts Manager will lead the grants award lifecycle and work with the relevant technical managers to ensure that buy-in client needs are accurately captured in program descriptions. S/he will organize technical evaluation committees and be responsible for ensuring the grant life cycle meets DAI internal audit best practices. 
The grants program will include a focus on identifying non-traditional, local, and niche technical partners. This will require the Grants and Subcontracts Manager to build the capacity of partners on how USAID award administration functions, while ensuring that agile programming, accountability for performance, and grant compliance remain in place. Evidence-based approaches will be important to ensure MSP’s learning agenda is successfully captured. 
[1] Sub-partner refers to consultants, subcontractors, and grantees, US-based, international, and local to the buy-in mechanism. 

Job Description Requirements: Under the supervision of the DCOP, the Grants & Subcontracts Manager will be responsible for managing a portfolio of grants totaling $30 million in compliance with USAID and DAI rules and directives. The grants fund will be used to drive technical innovation and learning under the MSP project. To accomplish this, the Grants and Subcontracts Manager will evolve project systems and grants design in parallel with the continuum of innovation, learning, and culture change MSP seeks to deliver to USAID.  

Grants Management Responsibilities
  • Oversee and manage the full award cycle for grants and subcontracts, including conducting market research, ensuring technical requirements are accurately captured in the solicitation, responding to questions, organizing and leading technical evaluation committee and cost reasonableness reviews, preparing approval documents, assisting technical leads with implementation management, ensuring monitoring and evaluation and learning agenda requirements are captured in grant awards, providing capacity building support to non-traditional partners in grant administration, and ensuring proper grant closeout. 
  • Ensure full compliance with DAI and US government policies, best practices, and procedures relating to subcontracts and grant development, awards, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, data and funding capture for knowledge management and reporting, and grant and contract close-out.
  • Direct the development of procurement documents such as RFQ/RFAs, grant agreements, and subcontracts, as well as the evaluation and selection process, which include ensuring proper negotiation of the terms and conditions for sub-grants and subcontract awards. 
  • Ensure all grant budget estimates meet the standards of allowability, allocability, cost reasonableness, and consistency. 
  • Oversee and ensure proper maintenance of documentation and reporting in accordance with USAID and DAI guidelines, including preparing regular reports on grantee and subcontractor performance, and raising issues and risks related to activity fund implementation to the DCOP. 
  • Conduct pre-award audits of possible grantee organizations, in addition to periodic audits during implementation and at close-out.
  • Establish clear grants policies, update the grants manual as needed, and ensure effective communication for systematizing grant award administration procedures that blend technical and operational innovation. 
  • Provide support to program staff as well as sub-grantees to ensure adherence to grant management policies and the delivery of on-time technical excellence, evidence, and learning under the grants fund. 
  • Ensure that all grantee/activity monitoring reports and data are correctly entered into the project’s Activity Database (i.e. TAMIS) on a regular basis, and that databases are capable of monitoring, tracking, and reporting different funding sources from USAID and buy-in clients. 
  • Contribute data required on a recurrent basis to assist in the preparation of reports, analysis, and presentations on grantee/activity performance
  • Supervise staff in accordance with the approved project organizational chart
Sub-Partner Management Responsibilities
  • In conjunction with COP, DCOP, or client technical representatives, identify and develop relationships with new potential sub partners, curating a robust sub-partner database to manage the program’s extended network of both traditional and non-traditional USAID subcontractors, consultants, and grantees.
  • Continuously refine program scopes of work and knowledge of sub-partners through regular and diligent market research efforts, such as sub-partner orientation meetings and Requests for Information to integrate sub-partner feedback on upcoming solicitations - also sub partner profiles and other useful data points.
  • Create and implement on-boarding and ongoing communications program to orient and build understanding of sub partners, and client staff on USAID and MSP procurement and contracts requirements and processes.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, international relations, international finance, or relevant university degree that demonstrates complementarity to the scope of requirements; 
  • At least three years of proven experience in grants design and administration on USAID-funded projects, preferably in the area of market systems and/or private sector engagement;
  • Working knowledge of USAID Automated Directive Systems and Federal Acquisition Regulations pertaining to grants under contract, subcontracts, and procurement;
  • Demonstrated experience in grants manual development, design of project workflows, systems development for grants and procurement, and leading or co-facilitating staff training on the same;
  • Excellent writing and communications skills for delivering robust, cogent and data-driven justifications for award selection, establishment of clear policies and procedures to project staff and local partners, and accurate presentation of facts and information that are based on integrity and meet the diverse needs of myriad clients; and, 
  • Experience building capacity of local organizations in grant proposal development.

Desired Qualifications
  • Master’s degree in business administration, market systems development, private sector development, or relevant Master’s degree that demonstrates complementarity to the scope of requirements. 
  • One to two years of USAID-field experience in grants or operations management.

Reporting: The Grants Manager will report to the Deputy of Chief of Party (DCOP).  

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.