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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.

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Digital Strategy Workforce Expert

Location: United States
Location: United States of America
City/Cities Location Details: Washington, D.C., Remote
Job Code: 7033


Scope of Work

Digital Strategy Workforce Expert





Digital Strategy Workforce Expert


70 days LOE with possibility to extend


Digital Frontiers


Digital Strategy 




     July- 1, 2022- January 1, 2023


Erica Bustinza, Digital Strategy Project Director


Digital Frontiers is a $75 million buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2022. DAI implements the Digital Frontiers project, which works closely with USAID’s Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI); the Technology division within the Innovations Technology, and Research Hub (ITR/T); USAID missions; the private sector; civil society organizations; and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally. USAID Missions and other operating units can “buy-in” to Digital Frontiers and fund the Digital Frontiers team to design and implement digital development projects. Digital Frontiers currently implements 43 of these buy-in projects; each with a unique scope and client within USAID.    


In April 2020, USAID released its first-ever Digital Strategy. The Strategy charts an Agency-wide vision for development and humanitarian assistance in the world’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. The Strategy’s goal is to achieve and sustain open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems that contribute to broad-based, measurable development, and humanitarian assistance outcomes. USAID’s Digital Strategy has two core, mutually-reinforcing objectives: 1) improve measurable development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the responsible use of digital technology in USAID’s programming; and 2) strengthen the openness, inclusiveness, and security of country-level digital ecosystems. By adopting a systems approach to understanding the digital landscape, grounded in USAID’s Digital Ecosystem Framework, USAID and its partners are able to responsibly harness the opportunities and mitigate the risks associated with digital technology.

Digital Frontiers played a key role in supporting the development and launch of the Digital Strategy and continues to play an integral role in its implementation. With ITR/T leading the process, Digital Frontiers works closely with the ITR/T team to ensure a thorough, thoughtful, and consensusā€led process for the implementation of the various Digital Strategy initiatives. 

Years 1 and 2 of Digital Strategy implementation focused on foundation-building while Years 3-5 will focus on scale. One priority area has been building the USAID of tomorrow through a number of human resources efforts that elevate the integral role of digital technology within USAID and the development community more broadly. These include:

  • Establishing a Chief Digital Development Officer position in USAID. This first of its kind position for a bilateral donor guides the digital adaptation of the Agency’s programs and its delivery of development and humanitarian assistance.
  • Establishing a Cybersecurity Team in 2021. The team is responsible for growing and defining cybersecurity as a development sector, and leading USAID’s strategic work in this rapidly changing field. The first of many products from the Cyber Team is the Cybersecurity Primer.
  • In Missions, we are growing the digital workforce through helping Missions hire Digital Development Advisors, and by working with technical sectors to support Digital Technical Specialists.
  • Building trainings and resources to enhance staff uptake of digital development concepts to improve their ability to design, manage and support implementation of digital activities. This ranges from a comprehensive digital development training that includes ten modules each focused on a different technical area or digital concept, to specialized trainings for multiple technical areas that are currently under development.


The next phase of creating the “USAID of Tomorrow” is to build digital competencies into Agency’s Cross-Functional Competencies and Proficiency Maps, and individual backstops. As described in the Civil Service, Foreign Service, and Foreign Service National Competency and Proficiency Catalog, a competency is an observable and measurable knowledge, skill, ability and behavior essential to an individual’s or organization’s occupational job function. They describe the work and requirements for successful completion of work and are meant to focus on the larger results of the work rather than the process used to obtain those results.


USAID engages in a competencies management approach to ensure its workforce is able to meet the requirements of their roles and to identify and exercise the right types of growth opportunities. However, digital competencies have not been fully considered and included in this approach as of yet which is an acknowledged gap in this approach.


Digital Frontiers seeks a Digital Strategy Workforce Expert to lead a consultative process with Agency stakeholders to develop and integrate appropriate digital competencies for (1) Cross-Functional Competencies and Proficiency Maps, and (2) Individual backstops.

The Digital Strategy Workforce Expert must have strong knowledge of USAID’s internal processes, competencies structure, backstops, and HCTM. The candidate is not required to be familiar with digital development or digital technology; extensive experience with USAID’s foreign service is required.



The Digital Strategy Workforce Expert will work closely with USAID’s Technology Division and HCTM in the development and integration of Digital Competencies as part of the DAI Digital Frontiers team. Tasks will include the following:

  • Become familiar with foundational documents:
    • Review Digital Strategy key documents including the Digital Strategy, Digital Ecosystem Framework, DECA Tooklit, Digital Literacy Primer, Cybersecurity Primer, Digital Health Vision, RFS Digital Action Plan, Draft ADS Digital Development Chapter
    • Review current Competencies Catalog
  • Conduct stakeholder engagement sessions to understand priorities, opportunities, risks, gaps
    • HCTM’s competencies coordinator and Foreign Service Center
    • All backstop coordinators
    • Technology Division staff
  • Manage process for creating and incorporating digital competencies into  (1) Cross-Functional Competencies and Proficiency Maps, and (2) Individual backstops:
    • With Technology Division and Backstop input, draft general digital competencies and sector-specific digital competencies
    • Lead engagement and consultation with USAID’s HCTM Office and backstop coordinators within Bureaus, Offices and Hubs throughout the process
    • Hold validation session to present recommended digital competencies and gain feedback
    • Adjust as needed based on feedback and present final set of competencies
  • Develop a strategic plan on incorporating digital into the workforce
    • Lead validation sessions to present the strategic plan and gain feedback
    • Pilot digital competencies with one backstop
    • Roll out new competencies
    • Work with OUs to integrate digital language into position descriptions for FSO positions on the bid list
  • Provide technical support to other Digital Strategy initiatives as needed. This may include and is not limited to:
    • Providing a Mission perspective to Digital Strategy training development and rollout
    • Collaborating on messaging strategies for Mission-based staff
    • Engaging with Regional and Technical Bureaus developing Digital Strategy Action Plans
    • Provide guidance to development or review of Digital ADS Chapter



  • Minimum ten years of experience working for USAID as a career Foreign Service Officer or Civil Servant, or minimum fifteen years working with USAID as a contractor or implementing partner on issues related to human resources or workforce development
  • Excellent English language writing skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Strong organizational and knowledge management skills
  • Ability to be flexible in a fast-paced and rapidly changing space


The consultant will report to Digital Frontiers’ Digital Strategy Project Director, Erica Bustinza.


This scope of work will not exceed 70 days during the period of July 1, 2022 – January 1, 2023 with possibility to extend.

Location: Flexible. The Digital Strategy Workforce Expert must be available to work Eastern Standard Time (EST) hours (at least partially.)


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