International Irrigation/Design Engineer

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Organizational Setting


The FAO in Afghanistan assists the Government to develop policies, programmes and projects to address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition; to help the Government develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors and to use the environmental and natural resources in a suitable way. It participates in the development of FAO’s field projects in the country and implements it, including the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the damaged relevant sectors.


FAO works with three counterpart ministries – the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, the Ministry of Energy and Water and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. The FAO Representation is based in Kabul with regional offices in Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz and Provincial offices in Badakhshan, Bamyan, Kapisa and Parwan.


The post is located in the FAO project in Kabul Afghanistan and will have some travel in and outside Kabul as required subject to security permitting.


Project Background


The Project for Enhancing Rural Livelihoods through Improved Irrigation Facilities in Bamyan, Kabul and Kapisa Provinces. The project contributes towards improved and sustained water delivery services for agriculture production and other livelihood needs. Though it mainly canters on irrigation infrastructure, it looks water from multiple perspective, and incorporates various dimensions of the water delivery services to address multiple water needs of the communities. It also focuses on improved capacity of local institutions and farming communities in agriculture and in water management to enhance agricultural productivity.


Reporting Lines


Under the general supervision of the FAO Representative in Afghanistan, the direct supervision of the CTA/Team Leader and the technical supervision of the Lead Technical Officer at FAO RAP and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) counterparts as well as other FAO Irrigation projects and units at the FAO Representtion. The incumbent will carry out the following major tasks:


Technical Focus


The Consultant will work directly with the project CTA and LTO. He/she will have overall responsible for successful project implementation. Further to this, the consultant will also prepare the end of assignment report containing findings, conclusions and recommendations for the future.


Tasks and responsibilities

  • Supervise the preparation of detailed civil designs, including technical survey, standard drawings, and carryout cost estimates for the proposed project activities (irrigation rehabilitation) with the basic support of field staff;
  • Supervise the preparation of tender documents, evaluate the tender bids leading up to contract award and supervise and verify contractor’s work through their reports and final certification of field staff;
  • Control and resolve technical issues with contractors works and payment measurement, plus contract amendments.
  • Plan, prepare and deliver training programs, prepare training materials as required in irrigation management, design and construction of irrigation infrastructure, including reservoirs and small dams, plus construction supervision for the training of project and MEW staffs.
  • Assist the CTA/Team Leader in the preparation of operation and maintenance manuals for all the mentioned structures (plus Kareezes) in view of the general background in Afghanistan and particular achievements and lessons learned within the project and the way forward.
  • Assist the project in the follow up of the overall plan and achievement and amend work plans in upon identifying the problem areas and mitigation measures – liaise with contractors re technical, quality, and social issues.
  • Be responsible for the compilation of project document with all its technical, agronomic, social economic and environmental considerations and use it as a reference for future expansion of similar projects in the area.
  • Preparation of hydraulic calculations for basic water structures such as weirs, spillways, canals, etc.
  • Preparation of design for small dams and ponds.
  • Training for project and MEW engineers for the design of small dams/water projects.
  • Coordinate and organize in consultation with the CTA/Team Leader and the FAO area office coordinators all project activities;
  • Assist CTA/Team Leader in reporting and preparing detailed work plan and in the preparation of field documents, progress reports and terminal report;
  • Carry out other relevant duties as requested by the CTA/Team Leader - FAOR.



Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in civil or irrigation engineering, agriculture engineering and relevant subject to irrigation scheme designing and water resource engineering, or closely related field,
  • At least 12 years of relevant practical experience in performing the tasks described above in semi-arid regions and design and implementation of water resources and irrigation, water resources construction works projects, on the-job-training (OJT) and monitoring and evaluation of the irrigation and construction works.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.
  • Previous working experience in the region and familiarity with the country situation will be highly desirable;

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus 
  • Teamwork 
  • Communication 
  • Building Effective Relationships 
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement 

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions, is desirable. 
  • Proven records of organizing and managing large-scale rehabilitation and recovery measures in various fields of water resources and irrigation project implementation, preferably in the Asia and/or Middle East. 
  • Work experience in dam safety issues is desirable. 
  • Strong computer skills with extensive experience in word processing, spreadsheets, and other basic software applications, and familiarity with of AutoCAD & GIS software’s and working skills; 
  • Ability to deal with political, technical, and people management challenges, administer budgets and work effectively with all staff and with groups involved in the project; 
  • Demonstrated ability to work and perform duties under security restricted conditions. 
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of FAO projects; 
  • Extent of experience in conducting participatory trainings and participatory project cycle management. 
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and organize strategically. 
  • Extent of experience and knowledge in relevant fields in developing countries especially in Asia. 
  • Familiarity with UN agencies administrative, finance and operations system is desirable.
  • Relevance of academic qualification.
  • Demonstrated ability to work and perform duties under security restricted conditions.
  • Quality of both oral and written communication and presentation skills in English.  
  • Excellent report writing skills in English language. 
  • Working experience in Afghanistan would be an asset. 
  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential. 
  • Familiarity with the UN Communications rules and procedures, experience in developing communications strategies for the UN is necessary.