Chief Technical Advisor

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

   During the last years, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) initiated an ambitious program for the investigations of its major surface and groundwater resources, for the monitoring of these resources, for the study of hydrological resources (research side), and for the management of the resources (management side). While most of these tasks have been completed or are about to come to an end, the implementation of most of the necessary measures is in its very early stages and hampered by the increasing workload in the ministry. The still rapidly increasing population mainly counteracts the successes the Saudi government and MEWA have achieved in sustainable resources water management through its reforms.

    To make a transition from the current patterns of water administration to sound water management mode, two things must happen. First, there is strong need to strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of the MEWA to deal with the triple challenge of water exploitation and distribution (operational side), research for additional resources and cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the increasing demand (research side), and rigid control and administration of all water-related aspects (control side). Second, a sound information base covering data on groundwater availability, quality, withdrawal, and usage is about to be put in place.

   The transformation of this information into an all-encompassing water resources management requires sustained long-term efforts, especially since the MEWA has limited capacity and experience in this field. An UNDP program has been designed to initiate a systematic process of capacity development to help in sustainable development of water resources and management of water-related affairs the Kingdom to ensure permanent and sufficient supply.  The program has Seven pillars: Groundwater Resources Management; Secondary Water Resources; Water Supply Management; Public Relations, capacity development and research, National Center for water Research and Studies, Water management Control Center each represented by a working group

Duties and Responsibilities

The Expert will provide substantive technical advice on integrated water resources management(IWRM), he will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Provide guidance in all technical activities amongst technical UNDP experts in MEWA, Enforce project timetable in terms of deliverables , Shortlist suitable candidates for expert positions within the Project and provide advice to the Project Coordinator on this matter. Coordinate the work within the technical groups and mediate in cases of conflicts of competence or interest.
  • Exert quality control on the individual experts’ outputs within the teams and of the entire technical project staff, and improve business work model for the UNDP experts in the ministry following updates on project requirements
  • Develop quarterly and annual progress reports for the entire project following the UNDP experts business work model documenting achievements and challenges and recommendations to be submitted to the National UNDP Project Coordinator.  Said reports to be forwarded to UNDP by the project manager. Present the main topics of these status reports to the Project Coordination Group and inform the Project Board immediately in case of unforeseen risks that arise and endanger the successful execution of components of the project
  • Provide scientific and technical support and guidance to project Lead Specialists, national focal points and thematic networks for enhanced project effectiveness. Lead a strategic plan for capacity development in all water areas and identify and evaluate issues, prepare work programs, technical terms of references, proposals for sector policies, and other papers as deemed necessary in working towards the overall project objectives.
  • Guide various written outputs, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, etc.
  • Provide advisory services to the National Project Coordinator on technical project documents (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports,  etc.) and ensures preparation of related documents/reports. Lead the on-the-job training to the technical national staff of the Water Sector. Stay in permanent contact with UNDP to discuss and handle all technical issues arising from the project
  • Help in the selection of suitable candidates for the water expert positions within all working groups


  • Articulates strategic and tactical ideas that resonate with partners and colleagues
  • Influence critics to change strategic positions
  • Models best corporate practices and highest ethical standards
  • Experience in evaluating and conducting result based management
  • Strong teamwork skills and ability to work effectively independently as a consultant and gap analyzer
  • Strong quantitative and statistical skills
  • Demonstrated ability to proficiently and effectively guide and manage interdisciplinary teams comprised of staff with diverse backgrounds and varied skill sets
  • Comprehensive record of successfully completed projects
  • Excellent leadership and influence skills

 Institutional Arrangement

The incumbent will report directly to the National Project Coordinator – Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and to the DRR

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

Masters degree or higher in geosciences or civil engineering with specialization in water-related topics; a relevant multi-disciplinary background is considered useful.
Ph.D. (preferable)

Min. years of relevant Work experience

  • 15 years’ experience in management of major projects, preferably in water-related business’
  • Previous five years’ or more experience in water or other natural resources issues.


  1. UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.
  2. Any official travel expected to be associated with performing the functions will be paied by UNDP subject to prior authorization by the supervisor. The airfairs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) will be determined by the UNDP’s travel policies and guidelines.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders) 

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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