Thursday, July 27, 2017

Public diplomacy

image from entry

Public diplomacy or people's diplomacy, broadly speaking, is the communication with civil society and the general public to establish a dialogue designed to inform, engage and influence.

One way of doing this is by organising the annual Flanders Day, a reception to celebrate the 11th of July, the day of the Flemish Community. Flanders House also participatess in the Open House Day and we work on the theme of ‘historical migration’, showing the historic ties between Flemings and the Britons throughout the centuries.

In this rapidly changing world public diplomacy is becoming increasingly more important. But the General Representation of the Government of Flanders does not do this alone - in fact, all Flemish people living abroad are 'Ambassadors' for our region. Therefore, we maintain close relations with the various Flemish and Belgian clubs and organisations in the UK.

USC Center on Public Diplomacy - CPD Daily (July 26)

PD News Logo
July 26, 2017 via email
In the case of shared history, there is no way to suggest an appropriate narrative of any historical event that would be satisfactory for all counterparts. Digital rewriting, reevaluation, or reassertion of history is inevitability problematic. The only way to eliminate such conflicts and disconnect raised on social media is to emphasize “shared understanding and mutual openness.” Read More...
SOS Alerts have been developed with the aim of delivering important updates to users during major disasters. [...] The company says “major natural, manmade, or humanitarian disasters” will activate the alerts, but it “can’t guarantee that you’ll see an SOS Alert for every major crisis”. Read More...
Nestle is to open its first factory in Japan in more than 25 years because of demand for exotic flavors of Kit Kat. [...] Flavors like wasabi and green tea have helped Kit Kat sales in Japan grow by 50% since 2010, Nestle said. Read More...
Campaigns to get people cycling are focusing on girls and women, making it easier for them to get to school, helping with business and reducing sex attacks. [...] World Bicycle Relief, which has distributed and sold hundreds of thousands of bikes, is working with schools to change the dynamic. Read More...
Lee Dong-hak, former renovation committee member of the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), has been a maverick in the ruling party, never hesitating to make cutting remarks against the party's senior lawmakers to make room for young politicians. The 36-year-old is now preparing a round-the-world trip posing as a "chief of the global village." Read More...
Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries launched national livestock identification and traceability system with the financial and technical support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Livestock Market Development activity. Fully implemented, the system will help to gather information regarding source/origin of the animal, type of husbandry, and management system in place resulting in quality products for consumers and increased incomes of farmers. Read More...
A batch of 21 undergraduates from an Australian university participated in a unique 21-day corporate internship programme with top companies based in Mumbai, an official said here on Wednesday. [...] The corporate internship programme was implemented under the ‘Colombo Plan’, first proposed in 1949 by Indian diplomat K.M. Panikkar, through which developing countries could avail academic and training opportunities abroad. Read More...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Israel’s public diplomacy challenge

Paradoxically, Israel’s willingness to look for compromise, to soothe and appease, does nothing to help shatter the lies. Sometimes the opposite is true.

We have conceded too much and we have shown that we are too willing to compromise. Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.


The Jewish state is facing a growing public diplomacy problem following the events of the past few days. The anti-Israel front is trying to alter global perception of the reality in the Middle East. They attack Israel on every front — canceling history in one fell swoop (with the stroke of a pen in the case of the U.N.’s anti-Israel resolutions). They distort actual events and whitewash Islamist terror.

Under the cover of extreme anti-Israel propaganda, incitement in the Muslim world is on the rise. All those who claim the crown among the believers of the religion of Muhammad are going out of their way to portray themselves as “defenders of the mosques” from the Zionists. As usual, facts are of no importance. There is no threat to the freedom of religion, including the religion of Islam, in areas under Israeli control. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows this, but he has mastered the art of propaganda and knows how to use it deviously and efficiently. What is the best way to distract public opinion at home from violations of human rights, from the purging of a country of all those with different opinions, from newspapers being shut down and Turkey’s transformation into a dictatorship? That’s right: Making false accusations against Israel to blind the believers and distract them from their real troubles.

Paradoxically, Israel’s willingness to look for compromise, to soothe and appease, does nothing to help shatter the lies. Sometimes the opposite is true. The world can accept one country or another’s insistence on a particular position, even if they don’t agree with it, but will find it difficult to accept a lack of clarity and changing positions. Hesitation is the greatest enemy of any public diplomacy campaign. We should therefore ask ourselves why Israel’s enemies — those who do not shy away from violence and murder; those who never concede and perceive every one of our concessions as a sign of weakness — are so good at convincing so many of their righteousness. The answer, or at least one of the answers, can be found in the question. We have conceded too much and we have shown that we are too willing to compromise. Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.

We must refine our message and focus our efforts on emphasizing our rights and not the rights of others. Our right to the land of Israel, to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount is indisputable, and the time has come to realize this right with the uncompromising implementation of Israeli sovereignty throughout the country. A hundred years ago, the Jews realized there could be no Zionism without Zion. Now we must realize there can be no Zionist public diplomacy without explaining Zion to the world.

There are situations when it is wise (or unavoidable) to make tactical concessions on the ground. But we must never backtrack on policies that we have clearly communicated to the world. We pay dearly for these types of concessions, losing entire populations that switch over to our enemies’ side. We must present the world with a firm position that actualizes our sovereignty throughout the country by what the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin called “the virtue of our right.” Our path to a public diplomacy victory is long, but determination and an insistence on our rights will take us there.

Ariel Bolstein is the founder of the Israel advocacy organization Faces of Israel.

U.S. Embassy in Lithuania: Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program

Ritu Saini,

Deadline: 25 August 2017
The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania is seeking applications for its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program to provide funding to organizations and, in some cases, individuals that implement projects which support U.S. Embassy priorities.
As part of the Annual Program Statement, the Embassy encourages proposals that support the following Embassy goals:
  • Increasing cultural, educational, and economic ties between Americans and Lithuanians;
  • Safeguarding people’s right to accurate information;
  • Promoting democratic values, human rights, and an inclusive society; and
  • Addressing issues of good governance, such as transparency and anti-corruption.
Preference will be given to proposals that: focus on long-term initiatives, reach audiences of strategic importance, and/or can demonstrate a sustained positive impact in the community.  All programs must have an American element.
Eligibility Criteria
  • In deciding which proposals to support, the Embassy will give consideration to the full range and diversity of Lithuanian non-profit organizations – cultural, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and educational – and will seek to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences in Lithuania.
  • Lithuanian and U.S. citizens may apply as individuals, but preference is generally given to projects proposed by organizations.
How to Apply
Organizations or individuals wishing to submit proposals should complete the forms and submit complete application packages online via e-mail at the address given on the website.
Eligible Countries: Lithuanian and United States
For more information, please visit U.S. Embassy in Lithuania.

PD News: USC Center on Public Diplomacy (July 25)

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July 25, 2017 via email
Fez, Morocco’s cultural and spiritual capital, may have lagged behind Marrakech when it comes to stylish riads and sophisticated restaurants, but a subtle transformation is under way along its medieval alleyways. Ancient buildings are being restored, designers are breathing new life into age-old crafts and chefs are opening exciting restaurants. Read More...
Speaking at the opening session of the international conference on threats facing freedom of expression, Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri said that it was unacceptable to impose mass sanctions against civilians or journalists for any political differences. Officials from over 200 international rights groups, press syndicates, think-tanks and universities are taking part in the two-day conference at Ritz Carlton Doha. Read More...
Expo 2017, held this summer in Astana, opens up a lot of opportunities for Kazakhstan: from modernization of the energy sector to a breakthrough in tourism and from the optimization of transport infrastructure to the strengthening of international cooperation. One of the expo’s most important achievements, undoubtedly, will be the promotion of Kazakhstan’s national brand. Read More...
Taiwanese eats are a key part of the country's soft power in Asia, and this is never any truer than it is for South Koreans. Tourists from the country are easy to spot in every Carrefour, filling their baskets with local snacks. Chief among them are pineapple cakes, the buttery pastry filled with sweet pineapple-flavored jam that may or may not contain actual pineapple. Read More...
Welcome to the 2017 Hong Kong Book Fair, the biggest annual event of the industry, at the Convention Centre in Wan Chai. [...] In its 28th year, the event has attracted 670 exhibitors from 37 countries, with dozens of presentations and seminars involving speakers. Read More...
Tulsa Global Alliance (TGA) is working to enhance Tulsa’s reputation as an international hub, says Bob Lieser, vice president of programs for TGA. One way the group is doing that is through its many exchange programs, which enable Tulsans “to make powerful friends in vital countries,” he says. Read More...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ethiopia: The Dragon’s Quest in Africa


Image from article, with caption: Chinese conductor Ding Jihua (L) trains the Ethiopian attendants at a railway station in suburban Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oct. 1, 2016

No discussion of the resurgence of China and its relationship with African countries would be complete without a review of the China-Africa policy which began decades ago, and which appeared in at least three phases. This article provides an executive review of the development of the China-Africa policy, and attempts to shed some light on the ongoing controversy that China is simply a twenty-first-century colonizer. The applicability or utility of a totalitarian capitalist system to the African experience is not part of this piece. That requires another article. As a consequence, the aim here is not to provide a slew of policy alternatives—that should be left to policy experts of each country. Rather, the aim is to provide a synopsis of the genesis of the Sino-African development policy along with the conditions and outcomes that ensued. Thus, what follows is a review based upon pre-eminent previous work by others. ...
China’s “state-centric” engagement with Africa is based on the principle of sovereignty and non-interference, and is driven by and to:
  • Acquire the needed natural resources: energy supply, and export market for a growing economy
  • Ascertain its belief that its development model is instructive to Africa
  • Strengthen diplomatic alliances essential to support its global ambitions which are becoming more aggressive. “As China’s economy has skyrocketed in recent decades, it has shored up its efforts in Africa. China has expanded trade and infrastructure projects, increased its commitment to peacekeeping missions and strengthened its military presence on the continent.” (Gaby Galvin, 2017). (The Silk Road initiative, and China’s acquisition of a military base in Djibouti are just two examples).
To facilitate these objectives, China continues to employ a mix of strategies, including:
  • The use of public diplomacy (FOCAC) ...

Jobs at USAID for Project Management Specialists – USAID West Africa Read more: Follow us: @JoblandaAfrica on Twitter | JoblandaAfrica on Facebook

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking offers from qualified persons to provide personal services in the vacant position below:

Job Title: Project Management Specialist – USAID West Africa
Solicitation Number: SOL-624-17-000017
Location: Abuja
Period of Performance: Two (2) years, with the option to renew annually up to a total of 5 years.
Area of Consideration: Open to U.S. Citizens currently residing in Nigeria. Proof of residency and work permit MUST be provided with application. Citizenship, if dual, must be clearly stated.
  • USAID West Africa (USAID/WA) is a regional mission that is located in Accra, Ghana and implements development assistance activities in 21 countries. The United States has an abiding interest in helping West Africa achieve broad-based good governance, democracy, justice and a respect for human rights. Since 1991, USAID has provided over $300 million in technical assistance and training to effect positive, lasting change within the region’s institutions and the lives of its people.
Basic Function of the Position
  • While operating under COM authority within USAID/Nigeria, the PMS/EW receives programmatic guidance, technical direction, oversight and substantive input from USAID/WA’s RPGO in the implementation and monitoring of USAID’s contributions to EWARP.
  • On a day-to-day basis the incumbent will report to and coordinate closely with the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement.
  • On programmatic contractual matters, the incumbent will report to the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for the EWARP activity based in the USAID/WA Mission in Accra, Ghana.
  • As such and due to the assignment’s location in Nigeria, the PMS/EW will also collaborate with leadership from Embassy Abuja and USAID/Nigeria and potentially with US government leadership in other ECOWAS member states, when and as EWARP activities begin to take place in ECOWAS member countries.
  • The position includes a broad range of complex coordination, analytical and communication responsibilities, including providing overall monitoring and oversight of EWARP activities, as well as documentation, reporting, responding to queries from various sources, coordination, advice, and management of USAID’s activities in support of EWARP.
  • USAID-funded activities for EWARP have a current estimated value of approximately $17.5 million over a five-year period. In addition to direct monitoring of USAID efforts, the PMS/EW will work closely with EWARP project managers within the USG to ensure the cohesiveness of the overall Partnership strategy and the complementarity of the activities funded by each agency.
  • The PMS/EW will regularly represent USAID and/or the USG at meetings and conferences dealing with conflict early warning and response in West Africa and may represent USAID at meetings and conferences covering other topics that are of particular priority to USAID West Africa including, but not limited to, peace and security and democracy and governance areas.
  • The PMS/EW will work with ECOWAS’s CPAPS to ensure integrated information sharing as well as to promote better communication among ECOWAS, USAID, implementing partners, the U. S. Embassy and donor partners on conflict early warning and response systems.
  • S/he will be responsible for coordination within the U.S. Mission/Abuja, ECOWAS and with other donors to ensure the appropriateness and complementarity of programming.
  • This position requires exercise of broad individual judgment in recommending EWARP programming priorities and coordinating relations with representatives inside and outside the USG.
  • The political and governance issues with which the PMS/EW will be dealing are among the top priorities of USG foreign policy in West Africa.
  • The ECOWAS operating environment is highly complex and frequently unpredictable and the donor space is relatively crowded.
  • Thus, the PMS/EW must be flexible and able to provide advice on approaches and activities for sometimes rapidly changing circumstances.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties will include but are not limited to the following:
Project Management, Monitoring and Oversight – 55%:
  • Monitor EWARP activities through regular meetings with USAID implementing partners, project stakeholders and beneficiaries.  Review implementing partners’ reports for timeliness, content, accuracy and adherence to their contractual scope of work.
  • Report regularly to USAID on projects’ accomplishments, and identify any shortcomings and other issues to be raised with the RPGO. Alert USAID when unforeseen matters with program implementation arise requiring urgent attention.
  • Make recommendations for adjustments in the implementation schedule or content.
  • Identify all related and complementary programs supported by other donors and/or ECOWAS funds, including identification of existing and planned funding resources, gaps, constraints, and opportunities.
Program Evaluation and Reporting – 10%:
  • The PMS/EW will monitor project performance of the USAID implementing partners against planned achievements and indicators, ensuring compliance.
  • The PMS/EW will be responsible for monitoring the achievement of results by periodically reviewing the development context, indicator data, and other indications of portfolio progress, identifying problem areas and recommending corrective measures.
  • The PMS/EW will prepare information for Mission reports to meet USAID and broader USG reporting requirements such as those associated with Operational Plans, Performance Reports, Congressional Budget Justifications, Mission Strategic Resources Plans, human rights reports, trafficking reports, reports on gender and people with disabilities, etc., as needed.
Program Coordination and Technical Support – 35%:
  • The PMS/EW is responsible for:
    • Collaborating with a broad range of partners on strategic approaches to conflict early warning and response;
    • Obtaining and maintaining support and communication from partners and stakeholders; and
    • Providing technical support to RPGO on an as-needed basis on early warning systems and overall ECOWAS and CPAPS policies and strategies.
  • Partners include ECOWAS, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and in other ECOWAS member state capitals, bilateral and multilateral donors, USAID/Nigeria and other USAID bilateral missions in the region.
  • The PMS/EW ensures that open and timely communication is maintained with all relevant stakeholders on planned or current EWARP activities in West Africa.
  • Such communication will include, but not be limited to, the following recurring tasks:  submit weekly reports outlining key meetings/points/actions from the previous week and anticipated activities/tasks for the following week; organize regular briefings with Embassy Abuja and USAID; participate in regularly scheduled calls with USAID/WA; and participate in interagency conference calls; attend donor coordination meetings related to ECOWAS Peace and Security work; and report on any issues relevant to the Regional Peace and Governance Office early warning and countering violent extremism portfolios.
Supervision/Oversight over Others:
  •  The PMS/EW will not directly supervise any staff members.
Supervisory Controls:
  • The PMS/EW will perform assignments independently under the guidance of USAID/WA/RPGO and the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement.
  • While the PMS/EW will receive day-to-day guidance from USAID/WA/RPGO and the US Embassy Nigeria, the position’s location in Nigeria and role in working on EWARPrelated issues, will require a high degree of independence and self-reliance. Periodic travel to Accra is anticipated to allow for coordination and joint planning while regular communication is expected via phone, email, and written reporting.
  • The annual performance of the PMS/EW will be reviewed in terms of achievement of established work objectives.  Formal supervisory responsibilities will rest with the USAID/WA Regional Peace and Governance Office Director.
  • The PMS/EW is expected to exercise considerable independent judgment and initiative.
  • Such initiative is critical to the success of the assignment and includes meetings with senior officials within the U.S. Government (USG), ECOWAS and donor partners.
  • The actions and decisions of the PMS/EW will be as technical manager and adviser to RPGO staff and the U.S. Embassy/Nigeria.
Minimum Qualifications, Evaluation and Selection Criteria
Education (20 points):
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, International Relations, International Development, Conflict Studies, Public Administration/Public Affairs, Economics or other Social Science discipline, is required.
  • A Master’s degree is desirable.
Technical Knowledge (25 points):
  • Demonstrated knowledge of program principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques of development assistance in general is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as a program manager and conduct the full range of responsibilities effectively and in a timely manner is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and effectively plan work in advance, with limited supervision to ensure that programs and tasks do not falter due to lack of effective management and support is required.
  • The ability to obtain, evaluate and interpret data and prepare accurate, timely reports is necessary.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of democracy, human rights, and governance principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques is desirable.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of conflict mitigation and management principles, concepts, practices, methods, and techniques, including conflict early warning, is highly desirable.
  • The ability to evaluate contractor’s recommendations, identify problems affecting program activities, propose well-thought out strategies to resolve these problems, consult with senior management and field staff, and then implement final decisions and strategies and approaches is necessary.
Work Experience (25 points):
  • A minimum of five years of professional-level experience in project management or development related activities or one of the areas listed above under Education.
  • Experience working in, for or with international organizations is required.
  • Experience working on conflict early-warning or conflict mitigation and management programming is highly desired.
Communication/Language Skills (15 points):
  • Level IV English (fluent) is required, with strong writing skills in English, demonstrated ability to prepare succinct narrative reports, sometimes with short deadlines and with minimal supervision, are also required.
  • Operational, managerial and strong analytical and writing skills are necessary, specifically experience in the independent analysis, interpretation and presentation of complex data in both oral and written form and in precise, accurate, clear and complete formats.
Collaborative Skills (15 points):
  • Evidence of strong collaborative skills, including the ability to work effectively with superiors, subordinates, colleagues and partners, both inside and outside USAID, is required, as well as maturity, stability, objectivity, resourcefulness, adaptability, and sound professional judgment.
  • Effective teamwork is an essential factor in successful day-to-day management and operations.
Other Significant Factors
Available Guidelines:  
  • The incumbent is expected to become familiar with and follow USAID processes, procedures and rules as documented in the Automated Directive System (ADS).
  • In situations where the PMS/EW’s judgment points to a need for additional clarity or guidance, his/her supervisor will provide such guidance with the assistance of the USAID support offices as appropriate.
  • The PMS will be required to be proactive in keeping abreast of evolving guidelines and policies, including but not limited to the ADS, USG procurement regulations, and USAID program strategy, design and policy documents.
  • The management environment in which the incumbent will operate is complex, with many donors, country interests and USG interests, and requires a professional with advisory, teambuilding and public diplomacy skills.
  • S/he must have the ability to understand and operate in USAID’s regulations regarding procurement, earmarking and other aspects of project implementation.
  • USG guidance includes laws, legislative initiatives, complex funding streams, specific legislative guidance, and other factors that often must be considered in planning and implementing support activities.
  • Excellent, balanced judgment must be exercised in setting priorities.
  • The position requires planning, follow-up/implementation and teamwork abilities.  The incumbent will be expected to be highly productive and meet short deadlines.
Scope and Effect:
  • The incumbent provides management, oversight and technical direction for development activities designed by USAID for EWARP under the guidance of the RPGO Director.
  • The management of EWARP activities requires high-level technical and organizational skills as they represent a complex array of projects and initiatives that require constant monitoring and highlevel consultations with Embassy and ECOWAS officials.
  • S/he will be tasked to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and State Department on those elements of program oversight that relate to EWARP.
Personal Contacts:  
  • The incumbent maintains close contact with USAID/WA/RPGO and U.S. Embassy and State Department personnel working on EWARP and other related activities.
  • Contacts will include U.S. Embassy and USAID/Nigeria personnel and Department of Defense liaison officials.
  • Contacts may also include ECOWAS member state personnel, staff of the West Africa Network for Peacekeeping (WANEP) as well as local civil society organizations and community-based organizations.
  • The incumbent will be required to develop and maintain contacts with relevant ECOWAS officials and donor partner institutions.
Level and Purpose of Contacts:
  • The purpose of contacts is to inform on or elicit information about early warning and response activities in order to perform project management activities and inform USAID policy formulation and/or implementation.
  • This may include information and communication to and with ECOWAS representatives, USG representatives, other regional institution representatives, and other donors up to the level of Ambassador.
  • Contacts with the parties mentioned above will occur in both structured and unstructured settings.
  • The incumbent will not be authorized to make commitments or decisions on policy revisions.
  • The broad use of initiative, discretion and patience is expected from the PMS/EW in dealing with USAID personnel as well as representatives from other donor organizations and U.S. Embassies to resolve problems that arise during the course of work where there is often no clear or immediate solution.
  • These contacts are necessary to influence and facilitate project implementation.   Relationships with the parties mentioned above are cordial and cooperative.
  • In addition, considerable judgment is required in working effectively and coordinating multi-sectorial efforts in support of USAID’s development objectives and in collecting, analyzing and reporting on progress of activities and recommending project actions.
Physical Demands and Work Environment:
  • Work is performed primarily in the USAID/Nigeria office in Abuja, Nigeria, but may require occasional travel to the USAID/WA/RPGO office in Accra, Ghana and occasional travel to ECOWAS member countries in West Africa (estimated 10% total travel time).
Organizational Location Position
  • The resident-hire USPSC Project Management Specialist will be located in Abuja, Nigeria, and will physically be based in the USAID/Nigeria offices.
  • The incumbent will be under Chief of Mission authority in Abuja.  On a day-to-day basis the incumbent will report to and coordinate closely with the Embassy Abuja Political Section officer designated by the Ambassador as the officer responsible for ECOWAS engagement.
  • On programmatic contractual matters, the incumbent will report to the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for the EWARP activity based in the USAID/WA Mission in Accra, Ghana.  Formal supervisory responsibilities will rest with the USAID/WA Regional Peace and Governance Office Director.
  • Periodic travel to Accra, Ghana is anticipated as is travel within the West Africa region for project monitoring and supervision.
Basis of Rating Applications
Selection Factors: Applicants must possess the minimum qualifications for the position (see criteria above:  Education, Technical Knowledge, Work Experience, Communication/Language Skills, and Collaborative Skills. Additional factors to be taken into consideration include:
  • Applicant is a U.S. Citizen currently resident in Nigeria.
  • Completed and hand-signed form AID 302-3 is submitted by application deadline.  (Note:  All applicants must submit complete dates [months/years] and hours per week for all positions listed on the AID 302-3 to allow for adequate evaluation of their related and direct experience.
  • Experience that cannot be quantified will not count towards meeting the experience requirements.).
  • All applications will be evaluated and scored based on the required qualifications and documentation submitted with the application.
  • Those applicants who are short-listed (determined to be competitively ranked) may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.
  • Failure to address the selection criteria may result in your not receiving credit for all of your pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.
  • USAID may contact the applicant’s professional references and verify academic credentials.  Applicants may also be evaluated based on the performance in an interview.
  • Cover letter and supporting documentation specifically addressing the minimum requirements for the position.  Applicants must explain in their cover letter how they meet the requirements of the position.
  • Applicants who do not meet all of the selection criteria or do not provide the required documentation are considered NOT qualified for the position.
Medical and Security Clearance Requirements:
  • The applicant selected to fill this position must be able to obtain a security clearance which involves applicant’s comprehensive background investigation performed by a U.S. Government Agency.
  • The applicant selected to fill the position must also receive medical clearance to work worldwide. Details of how to obtain such clearance will be provided after selection and acceptance of the job offer.
  • The final selected candidates must obtain security and medical clearances within a reasonable period of time (USAID will provide details regarding these clearances to the selected candidates).
  • A substantial delay in obtaining either required clearance will make the applicant ineligible for selection
Market Value Position
  • GS-13 ($74,584 – $96,958) Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value based upon the candidate’s salary history.
  • Salaries over and above the top of the GS-13 pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:
  • Employee’s FICA and Medicare Contribution (USPSCs only)
  • Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
  • Pay Comparability Adjustment
  • Annual Increase (depending on a satisfactory performance evaluation)
  • Eligibility for Worker’s Compensation
  • Annual & Sick Leave
  • Access to Embassy commissary (with associate membership) and DPO mail (USPSCs only)
  •  USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their applications which must include all required documents stated below to:
  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae or resume
  • Signed Form AID 302-3 (available at: )
  • Supplemental document addressing the evaluation factors; and
  • List of three to five professional references.
Please cite the solicitation number and position title within the subject line of your email application. Any attachments provided via email must be in a format compatible with Microsoft Word 2003/2010 or PDF and not zipped. Note that attachments to email must not exceed 3 MB.
Click here to download the Position Description (PDF)

Instructions to Applicants

Submission of a resume alone IS NOT a complete application. This position requires the completion of additional forms and/or supplemental materials as described in this section. Failure to provide the required information and/or materials will result in your not being considered for employment.
Interested individuals meeting the Minimum Qualifications above are required to submit the following:
  • Signed Form AID 302-3, Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts (available at
  • All applicants must submit complete dates (months/years) and hours per week for all positions listed on the form Form AID 302-3 to allow for adequate evaluation of your related and direct experiences.
  • Applicants should note that the salary history for the purposes of the AID 302-3 is the base salary paid, excluding benefits and allowances such as housing, travel, educational support, etc.
  • Cover letter and a current resume/curriculum vitae (CV). The CV/resume must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing particular selection criteria. Complete dates (month/year) are also required on CV.
  • Applicants must provide a minimum of three and a maximum of five references within the last five years from the applicant’s professional life namely individuals who are not family members or relatives. Three references must be from direct supervisors who can provide information regarding the applicant’s work knowledge and professional experience. Applicants must provide e-mail addresses and/or working telephone numbers for all references.
  • Applicants also must address the above “Selection Criteria”, in a summary statement to be included in the application.
  • This summary statement, limited to two pages, must describe specifically and accurately what experience, training, education, and/or awards the applicant has received that are relevant to each selection factor above.
  • The summary statement must include the name of the applicant and the announcement number at the top of each page.
List of Required Forms for PSCS
Forms outlined below can found at:
  1. Application for Federal Employment (AID 302-3);
  2. Contractor Physical Examination (AID Form 1420-62).
  3. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security) (SF-86),
  4. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85).
  5. Fingerprint Card (FD-258).
  • Forms 2 through 5 shall be completed only upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.

Application Deadline: 11th August, 2017

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Which 'Perennial Problem' Might Force Rex Tillerson to Quit

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On Monday, US media reported that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is thinking of leaving his post before the end of the year due to growing frustration with President Donald Trump's administration. Russian political analyst Dmitri Zhuravlev and former diplomat Sergei Ordzhonikidze explained to Sputnik what might have triggered this decision.

Sergei Ordzhonikidze, a veteran Russian diplomat who served as the director general of the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva (2002-2011), deputy foreign minister (1999-2002) and currently heads the Russian Public Council for international cooperation and public diplomacy [JB emphasis], explained to Sputnik that the decision of the US secretary of state might be caused by the unwillingness of the US Congress to allow him to implement his entrepreneurial ambitions in his relationship with Russia. ...

The role of EXPO 2017 in forming Kazakhstan’s national brand

Tatyana Kaukenova,; see also.

Image from, under the headline: Kazakhstan celebrates inauguration of Expo 2017 Astana

EXPO 2017 gives Kazakhstan a chance to promote its brand in the world and improve the perception of many aspects of the country’s development.

EXPO 2017, held this summer in Astana, opens up a lot of opportunities for Kazakhstan: from modernisation of the energy sector to a breakthrough in tourism and from the optimisation of transport infrastructure to the strengthening of international cooperation.

One of the expo’s most important achievements, undoubtedly, will be the promotion of Kazakhstan’s national brand. Unfortunately, today this aspect of the expo is not given much attention; some pundits discussing “expo effects” often dismiss it as “PR” or diminish it to “raising awareness.” Shaping an integral and attractive image of Kazakhstan is perceived as a kind of secondary effect, the benefit of which does not seem obvious, although now in a world where the quality and nature of goods and services are less connected with the place of their origin, it is not so much the competition of products that comes to the fore, but the competition of reputations.

Nation branding – the importance of the trend

The importance of national branding in the modern world cannot be understated, because it is not just about recognition or positive feedback. It is about building an integral and recognisable reputation of Kazakhstan, designed to become the basis for the nation’s attractiveness to potential investors and tourists, as well as its political and cultural influence.

In the modern world – with its information openness, dynamism and the importance of mutual relations – the value of properly-built national branding is growing every year. As one of the world’s leading authorities in national branding, Simon Anholt notes that nowadays the perception of a country has no less significance for its global reputation than assets or real achievements. Realising this, practically all the leading countries of the world include work on the formation and promotion of the national brand to the priorities of their foreign policy.

Today, there are several major ratings of national brands in the world. One of them is the Anholt-GfK National Brand Index, where in 2016 Kazakhstan was included among the selected six states of Central and Eastern Europe. It is the only state in Central Asia and the only post-Soviet state, except Russia, included in the ranking.

The value of EXPO 2017 for national branding

Kazakhstan has been an independent state for only 25 years. As a consequence, worldwide recognition of its culture and history is still relatively weak. If many states’ national branding efforts can rely on the images they have been promoting for centuries, Kazakhstan has to do much more extensive work. In addition to presenting the history and the key foundations of the country’s development to the world, Kazakhstan must actively shape modern events that can form the desired image. In these conditions, holding an expo is really akin to a jackpot.

World and international expos are a recognised platform for the presentation of countries. The exhibitions in Shanghai and Milan have notably enhanced the cultural and innovative attractiveness of those countries and cities.

The value of the expo is that the proposed images and perspectives of the host country are transmitted directly to viewers. Taking into account modern technologies, such demonstrations are actively appealing to the imagination and emotions of the audience. And this is very important. Any foreign policy measures, if they do not work with feelings and images, will lose to the bright impressions formed during an event such as expo.

EXPO 2017 for the Kazakhstan brand

For expo visitors, Kazakhstan offers an image of an open, friendly country aimed at innovation, the development of green technologies and the preservation of its unique nature. The situation is that for many, Kazakhstan is now the country whose brand is strongly connected to the expo.

In this regard, we can note that Kazakhstan’s temporary visual brand today is the trefoil logo of EXPO 2017. This symbol also advertised the Kazakh pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan.

The fact that it reveals Kazakhstan itself not as completely as we would like is less important, because the associations that are related to it during the expo are of greater importance. Now, we are focusing on such strengths of Kazakhstan’s brand as an orientation towards development and innovation, a wealth of traditions and uniqueness of culture, an open and peaceful foreign policy and the development of tourism.

In the above-mentioned Anholt-GfK Index, they are evaluated based on a study of the perception of six key areas: export, government, culture, human capital, tourism and attractiveness for investment and immigration. Obviously, expo has serious potential to “pull up” Kazakhstan’s positions, at least in such spheres as tourism, culture and people. If you use the potential of the exhibition in the best possible way, then interaction with entrepreneurs will provide an opportunity to disclose Kazakhstan’s investment opportunities and show its attractiveness for other foreign specialists.

Astana – a platform of world national branding

This summer, Astana has become a platform of world national branding. The fact that the current exhibition is among the record holders by the number of participants, having hosted 115 countries, means the success of the work done by the country’s diplomats and the importance of the presence at the expo for the development of many states. Quite a significant number of pavilions are aimed not so much at presenting the achievements of countries in the field of energy, but rather in demonstrating those images that the country would like to broadcast to foreign tourists. This is perfectly normal, as the exhibition of national brands is just as important at the expo as the presentation of thematic exhibits.

The advantage of Kazakhstan is that for all countries, the ability to broadcast images is limited by the place and time; in other words, the territory of the pavilion and the national day. For Kazakhstan, these three months are an opportunity for continuous work with the audience.

Moreover, it is important not to lose sight of the actively-ongoing process to promote the image of Astana: not only for foreign tourists, but also for the residents of Kazakhstan. It is no secret that for many, especially the residents of the old capital of Almaty, the image of the young capital was rich in stereotypes that people did not aspire to part with. Now, Astana shows itself from a new angle, in parallel strengthening the human capital of its inhabitants by becoming accustomed to the most relevant trends in the sphere of green technologies in the urban environment.

Strengthening ties and political capital

Promotion of the brands of countries, carried out in the framework of public diplomacy, is increasingly based in the modern world on cooperation and not on propaganda. This is not only cooperation between countries, but also interaction with international, regional, commercial and non-governmental structures. Kazakhstan, as part of the preparations for the expo, has made very serious progress in this direction.

Kazakhstan is constantly increasing its foreign policy activity, both regionally and globally. Working in the UN Security Council, being involved in peacemaking activities and strengthening contributions to the work of a number of international organisations increases the political capital of Kazakhstan, but the low awareness of Kazakhstan in many countries complicates the promotion of many projects and initiatives.

The situation today means it is not enough if the initiatives and programmes are sound and relevant. The party promoting it should have sufficient authority and an appropriate reputation to advocate and advance them. The work done by Kazakhstan to attract participants and organise the expo undoubtedly strengthened these resources.

Information in the world is becoming more accessible; therefore, fakes or empty “image materials” practically do not give a real effect. The connections and impressions of living people, easily transferred in the information space, come to the fore. It is very important to promote real projects and most importantly, projects backed by real impressions. Holding the expo is one of such projects.

The author is independent political analyst.