DECA Specialist I/II

DAI Global


Digital Frontiers is a $90 million buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2024. DAI implements the Digital Frontiers project, which works closely with USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub (ITR), USAID Missions, the private sector, and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally.

Digital Frontiers has played a key role in supporting the development and launch of the USAID Digital Strategy in April 2020 and continues to play an integral role in the implementation of the Digital Strategy. This strategy will further USAID’s objectives to (1) improve development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the responsible use of digital technology; and (2) strengthen the openness, inclusiveness, and security of country digital ecosystems.

The Digital Strategy’s flagship initiative is the Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA). Digital Frontiers provides support to the USAID ITR team in the iteration and scale-up of DECAs and to USAID Missions around the globe interested in carrying out a DECA

DAI and Digital Frontiers are committed to infusing anti-racism throughout DAI by attracting and retaining the best employees from all races and backgrounds and grow as a result of expanded perspectives. Through these efforts, DAI will become a better development partner, evolving into a strong community advocate and building dynamic partnerships to facilitate positive change.


Digital Frontiers is recruiting a DECA Specialist I/II to help manage DECAs and to contribute to DECA technical research. The DECA is a six-month assessment that informs the development, design, and implementation of USAID Mission’s strategies, projects, and activities. It is organized around three research pillars: digital infrastructure and adoption; digital society, rights, and governance; and digital economy. Read more on USAID’s DECA webpage.

The DECA Specialist I/II must have U.S. work authorization and an ability to keep EST hours, DAI is unable to sponsor visas.


The DECA Specialist I/II will be dedicated to managing Digital Frontiers DECAs Specific tasks are detailed below:

Project Management (40%)

  • Manage the implementation of multiple and simultaneous DECAs with guidance from the Senior DECA Manager ensuring adherence to the approved work plan, troubleshooting deviations, and overseeing independent consultants and subcontractors.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact with USAID Missions that are conducting DECAs through Digital Frontiers. From start to finish this includes preparing work plans, organizing project folders and documents, initiating project kickoff, and monitoring consultant and subcontractor engagement with the Mission, demonstrating the appropriate level of flexibility and professionalism throughout. This requires scheduling and leading client meetings and taking notes.
  • Oversee the recruitment, onboarding, and management of consultants, or in some cases subawardees. This includes developing scopes of work, sourcing candidates/firms, coordinating and carrying out candidate interviews, reviewing writing tests, and communicating with Digital Frontiers Finance and Operations team to ensure timely onboarding.
  • Monitor and update DECA budget(s) regularly to ensure all consultant or subcontractor work is tracked against the planned budget. Provide updates to Senior DECA Manager and to the Digital Frontiers Operations team.
  • Manage in-country logistics and in-person key informant interviews as needed. This may include traveling internationally, coordinating travel arrangements, procuring drivers and translators, planning in-country daily schedules and logistics, among other related tasks in adherence with DAI and Digital Frontiers travel and procurement policies.
  • Manage finalization of DECA reports including reviewing consultants’ writing, incorporating client feedback, coordinating with the USAID Missions on clearances, and working with the Digital Frontiers Communications Advisor for copy-editing and design.
  • Contribute to DECA process and content iteration by sharing learnings and feedback with the Senior DECA Manager.
  • Report DECA progress and upcoming issues/needs to the Senior DECA Manager, Digital Strategy Project Director, Digital Frontiers core staff, and USAID as relevant.

Technical Research (40%)

  • Manage the review of all technical deliverables (desk research, report outlines, draft reports, final reports) with specific attention to ensuring written materials are high quality and research is technically sound and remains within the scope of the DECA.
  • Provide short-notice technical support to the DECAs including conducting research and analysis, writing substantial sections of the report, participating in key informant interviews, taking detailed (transcript level) notes during meetings and key informant interviews, editing, and other tasks.
  • Share technical learnings and thought leadership with the DECA team for adaptation and iteration purposes.

Operations and Reporting (20%)

  • Manage operational matters related to DECAs, including but not limited to contractual, operational, MEL, reporting, and financial matters.
  • Liaise with communications, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), and operations and finance support teams within Digital Frontiers.
  • Ensure activities are managed in accordance with USAID regulations and DAI Procurement policies.


  • Must be located in and eligible to work in the United States; DAI is unable to sponsor visas.
  • Ability to keep US Eastern Time working hours


  • At least 5 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree or 3 years of experience with a master’s degree in international development or comparable work in another industry
  • Knowledge of digital development topics
  • Experience conducting qualitative research studies including conducting desk research and key informant interviews
  • Experience coordinating multiple activities effectively and simultaneously
  • Experience working in a client-centric role with excellent customer service and client relationship management skills
  • Experience developing, managing, and tracking budgets
  • Proven experience in managing sub-awards, contractors, or independent consultants
  • Experience working respectfully in diverse teams and communities around the globe
  • Ability to interpret and communicate quantitative data
  • Strong critical thinking capabilities with an ability to rapidly assess situational needs, develop problem-solving strategies, and implement sustainable solutions
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Willingness to travel internationally if necessary


  • At least 6 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree or 4 years of experience with a master’s degree in international development or related field, or comparable work in another industry
  • Experience implementing government or donor-funded programs in developing countries
  • Experience working on USAID projects
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in digital development topics either across the DECA pillars, or deep expertise in one or more of the DECA pillars
  • Knowledge of U.S. government regulations, policies, and procedures
  • French and/or Spanish language skills are a plus


  • October 2022 – August 2023, with likelihood to extend through July 2024
  • Reports to Susannah Horton, Digital Strategy Senior DECA Manager

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS Submit a resume and cover letter with your application at the link below.

How to apply

Applicants must apply at this link.

Closing date: 9/2/2022