High Efficiency Irrigation Systems Specialist

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 Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) is implementing the “On Farm Water Management (OFWM)” Project, financed through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), World Bank. The overall Project Development Objective (PDO) of the OFWM-Project is to improve agricultural productivity in the project areas by enhancing the efficiency of irrigation water used. The project started its implementation from March 2011 and received additional fund from World Bank for the extended period up to December 2019.

Reporting Lines:


Under the general supervision of the FAO Representative in Afghanistan, the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) and the technical supervision of the Lead Technical Officer at FAO RAP and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and OFWM Project authorities, counterparts as well as other FAO Irrigation projects and units at the FAO Representation. The incumbent will carry out the following major tasks as specified in the Task and Responsibilities sections.


Technical Focus:


The Consultant will work directly with the project CTA and LTO. He/she will also prepare the end of assignment report containing findings, conclusions and recommendations for the future. The International Consultant - High Efficiency Irrigation System Specialist - will provide technical support and build the capacity of the design team in OFWM Project.


Tasks and Responsibilities


• Assist OFWMP and Irrigation Directorate (ID) technical staff in determining crop water requirement and irrigation scheduling of the proposed Almond cultivation in the given condition.
• Prepare a detailed list and guidelines for High Efficiency Irrigation System (mainly drip).
• Provide technical assistance to OFWMP and ID technical staff on the design, installation, automation, operation and maintenance and preparation of drawing for the selected sites (on large scale) of drip, sprinkler and landscape irrigation systems.
• Prepare and review designs of drip and lift irrigation systems prepared by OFWMP and ID technical staff and provide necessary technical assistance in the preparation of drawings and layout develop.
• Develop training modules, train the OFWMP and ID technical staff on design, installation and O&M of high efficiency, and pressurized irrigation systems.
• Prepare technical specifications including information on the selection, operation and maintenance of emitters, sprinklers, pipes, filters, fustigation tanks and other accessories of the High Efficiency Irrigation System/pressurized irrigation systems.
• Assess the irrigation performance of the designed/selected sites of high efficiency irrigation systems and assist in developing field water management strategies, in-field soil moisture measurement, and monitoring and data interpretation.
• Contribute to MAIL and OFWM Project in a variety of operational tasks including but not limited to technical support, training of irrigation task force on carrying out feasibility study including preliminary investigation on data collection, site identification and cost benefit analysis of the selected sites.
• Carry out other relevant duties as requested by the CTA and FAOR.



Minimum Requirements


• Advanced university degree in civil or irrigation/ agriculture engineering, water resource engineering, civil 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, 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 and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and 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
• Experience in survey and design, quality control, and construction management works
• Experience in design of high efficiency irrigation system (drip and sprinkler) and water storage structure/reservoirs
• Proven track record of successful design implementation of high efficiency and lift irrigation projects in the region (preferably) or elsewhere
• 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
• 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
• Experience in developing training materials and providing trainings/capacity building programs
• 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.