Deputy Chief of Party (Partnerships and Operations)


Project Description:

The Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity is advancing learning and good practice in market systems development (MSD) and private sector engagement (PSE) within USAID (Washington and Missions), USAID implementing partners, and market actors. A flexible, demand-driven mechanism, MSP supports USAID in bringing about a major cultural transformation by integrating PSE across all activities, while at the same time deepening MSD and facilitative approaches across the program cycle to lead to inclusive and resilient economic growth, improved food security and nutrition, and increased incomes for the poor.

MSP will achieve this goal by facilitating transformational private sector partnerships; providing analytical and other on-demand services for design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) of MSD and PSE activities; building capacity of USAID and implementers in these areas; and generating knowledge and learning on PSE and MSD. A Learning Agenda informs MSP’s work across objectives, with a focus on five core priority areas: Transformational PSE; Practical Application of MSD; Market Systems Resilience (MSR); Social Inclusion; and Monitoring, Evaluation and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (M&E and CLA). These are critical priorities that form discrete but complementary streams across PSE and MSD.

Context of the Position and General Technical Requirements: MSP is designed to advance learning and drive technical innovation, which will need to be supported by operational innovation driving the agility required to effectively and efficiently manage this buy-in contract. Adaptive management is central to MSP, integrated through Collaborating, Learning and Adaptation, which is equally important on the technical and management and operations sides of the project. The DCOP position will need to drive the required flexibility and agility in MSP operations, building on learning through experience as the project grows and priorities shift.

Overview of Job Description: Reporting to the COP, the DCOP will lead and manage the MSP Operations and Finance Team, provide guidance and direction to staff members, coordinate process and policy implementation, develop and execute operational strategy, and work with the COP in collaboration with other team leads to ensure smooth operations-level support across the entire project. The DCOP will need demonstrated ability to work in complex environments and manage diverse and substantial teams to deliver operational excellence.


Systems and Process Management:

  • Map, develop, and refine a series of operational project processes (e.g., buy-in lifecycle, reporting, administrative, recruitment, etc.) and the necessary systems (e.g., Zoho, TAMIS, Sharepoint, others) to efficiently guide project implementation;
  • Define and develop new project processes, as needed, to guide customized solutioning and ensure project compliance; periodically revisit processes and systems through quantitative (data/reporting) and qualitative (interviews/discussion) measures to identify areas for improvement or adaptation;
  • Ensure processes are scalable, or work to address sufficient scalability, as project needs evolve over time;
  • Lead and coordinate logistics of project processes, collaborating across workstreams to ensure effective implementation and management; and
  • Work with project staff to communicate changes, receive and implement feedback, and ensure necessary change management principles for smooth process adoption.
  • Financial and Budget Management
  • Under the direction of the COP, oversee core project finances, including project accounting, budget management and cost controls;
  • Oversee portfolio of buy-in and sub-activity budgets and conduct analysis of client buy-in budgets for allowability, allocability, cost reasonableness, and accuracy;
  • Oversee grants portfolio of up to $30 million;
  • Develop and report on monthly and special scenario forecasting, as requested by COP and/or COR; and
  • Provide direct support to the COR regarding USAID invoice breakdown and appropriate cost allocations, as needed.

Buy-In Generation

  • Working with COP, COR, and buy-in clients, as necessary, lead the development, draft, and finalization of buy-in SOWs using project templates and oversee buy-in portfolio financial and grants management and tracking;
  • Support buy-in outreach and generation efforts to USAID, including marketing trips and meetings, as needed; and
  • In collaboration with COP, coordinate logistics surrounding technical buy-in procurement processes, including working with the buy-in client to translate client needs into effective scopes of work and selecting the appropriate procurement process and contracting mechanism.
  • Compliance
  • Prepare USAID client approval requests and responses to CO and COR;
  • Coordinate the maintenance of administrative records, including project procurement, recruitment, and finance documentation;
  • Ensure project internal controls are established and implemented in accordance with the DAI USG Operations Manual, USAID rules/regulations and the terms of the contract. Establish additional project guidance or policy deviations for operations, as needed and in collaboration with the HO;
  • Coordinate process for review of partner requests for payments and invoicing and project expense reports in coordination with home office support team to ensure compliance with DAI and project finance and accounting policies and procedures; and
  • Assist with external or internal audits as necessary.

Place of Performance:

The MSP Team is currently working remotely. Once it is deemed appropriate and safe, the MSP Team will work at least part-time from an office location based in Washington, DC. At that time, the DCOP will be required to work from the Washington, DC office.


  • Master’s degree and 8+ years of prior work experience working on large-scale USAID-funded development programming or Bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of prior work experience working on large-scale USAID-funded development programming;
  • Exhibited experience leading operational management of USAID project(s), budget management, financial scenario planning, and process management, with direct project experience.
  • Demonstrated experience managing large portfolios of Grants Under Contract (GUCs).
  • Experience managing and engaging with clients and key stakeholders at multiple levels.
  • Demonstrated experience in financial modeling in Excel.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of DAI controls and audit processes (e.g. procurement, local subcontract agreements, etc.).
  • Experience executing communications and stakeholder engagement strategies using a range of techniques.
  • Experience mentoring and supervising staff.
  • Outstanding communications, writing, negotiation, and management skills including client relationship management.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with members of a diverse and complex team and balance competing priorities in a complex environment.
  • Sound problem solving and decision-making skills.

Reporting:** The DCOP reports to the project Chief of Party.

DAI Organization and Values: DAI is a global development company with corporate offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, EU, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Palestine and project operations worldwide. We tackle fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. DAI works on the frontlines of global development. Transforming ideas into action—action into impact. We are committed to shaping a more livable world.

DAI and its employees are committed to confronting racism and holding ourselves accountable for positive change within the company and in the communities, cultures, and countries in which we live and work. DAI is committed to attracting and retaining the best employees from all races and backgrounds in our continued effort to become a better development partner. DAI upholds the highest ethical standards. We are committed to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment as well as other ethical breaches. All of our positions are therefore subject to stringent vetting and reference checks.

DAI is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

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