International GIS Specialist (Land and Water Resources Management)

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Lilongwe, Malawi
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 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 Representation in Malawi is implementing its field programme based on the Country Programming Framework (CPF) that is based on Four Pillars namely: (1) Policy, (2) Sustainable Natural Resource Management, (3) Land Governance and Market Development and (4) Resilience and Disaster Risk Management.

International GIS Specialist will support all the Global, Regional, Sub-Regional and National Projects that contribute to the achievement of the four Pillars of the CPF.

Reporting Lines

The consultant will be under the overall supervision of the FAO Representative and the Deputy FAO Representative in Malawi, the direct supervision of the International Monitoring and Evaluation and will work in close collaboration with the Pillar Coordinators and the other technical and support staff of FAO Malawi.

Technical Focus

The International GIS Specialist (Land and Water Resources Management) will focus much on the technical aspects of spatial decision support systems, advanced data management, utilization and data analysis and other areas where GIS data capturing will be required.

Tasks and responsibilities

The incumbent will work more specifically:

  • Provide technical support and guidance to the project team in the use of GIS based technologies in sustainable water and land resource planning and management using spatial decision support approach/system (SDSS) to guide on site specific participatory community action planning processes
  • Lead the process of watershed delineation and conduct vulnerability and risk assessment hot spot mapping and profiling of critical selected micro catchments, building on the baseline information for formulation of site specific integrated catchment management adaptation strategies within project locations
  • Provide technical support in collaboration with the land and water management expert on locational based watershed management interventions such as water harvesting, construction of sub-surface dam and associated shallow wells, climate smart agriculture technologies and practices as per participatory hazard risk diagnosis and vulnerability assessments
  • In collaboration with the M&E Unit plan and put in place a spatial system tailored to the FAO programme in Malawi for regular spatial field data collection exercises, including mapping and profiling of strategic, adaptive and productive infrastructures, ground-truthing, conducting surveys for geo-referenced spatial socioeconomic databases, to ensure that agricultural productivity location based aspects and related GIS datasets within the project are kept up-to-date.
  • Provide technical support in collaboration with the relevant ministries and the land governance  expert  in the development of a cadastral land use planning and land ownership database within the project
  • Coordinate the integration of GIS and spatial knowledge in the development of guidelines and training modules on location based SLM/ICM approaches to be integrated in the Farmer Field Schools curriculum
  • Review the utilization of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the FAO related Programmes, including, but not limited to, proving technical oversight and proposals on system analysis and design, hardware and software current requirements, human resource, revision and standardization of map templates and operational requirements
  • Participate in the identification and training of requisite human resources to support field work and other GIS processes, particularly for data collection at district level for the different interventions currently implemented by FAO.
  • Organize training and capacity building initiatives on GIS based technologies within FAO staff and other relevant stakeholders, especially in development or management of tools applied for sustainable agriculture, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, transboundary pests surveillance and agriculture extension activities
  • Collaborate with the climate expert and the Meteorological Department in the development of climate change surveillance for early warning and production of tailor made Spatially based climate change decision support information
  • Provide GIS support and cartographic services to stakeholders, including donors, government counterparts and implementing partners, covering such areas like training, map-making, data analysis and developing of location based communication products.
  • Coordinate with other technical users of GIS based products, like food security and nutrition/IPC, early warning, DRR, water, and natural resource and environmental management experts to harness the power of GIS through joint analysis and development of information products and enriched reports.
  • Provide advocacy for increased use and institutionalization of GIS as a powerful and convenient communication and planning tool.
  • Participate actively and provide technical support to the FAO Office in Malawi in designing and implementation of spatial monitoring data bases, especially those related with location of interventions, activities conducted and resources allocated.
  • Maintain a spatial data platform ensuring that it is populated with metadata records and useful datasets, which are fully documented. Further explore use of Geo-server Web Feature Service to disseminate FAO Malawi spatial data
  • Technically support the spatial analysis and development of the web-based FAO M&E System, Fleet Management System and Stores Inventory System
  • Develop and maintain geo-referenced databases for the various projects as per the needs
  • Perform any other related task requested


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced degree in Water Resources Management, Geography, Agriculture, Natural Resource or Environmental Management Related Field, with extensive knowledge of GIS and information management based technologies.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two, or of Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese (for PSAs)
  • At least 7 years of professional experience in applied GIS in land and water resources development and management for an information management programme/project, with extensive knowledge on vulnerability and risk assessment hot spots mapping and profiling of climate change or agriculture focused programmes.

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Demonstrated knowledge on the technical aspects of spatial decision support systems, advanced data management, utilization and data analysis, ideally accompanied with professional qualification/certification in use of applied GIS in water and land resources management
  • Experience in mapping and profiling of strategic and productive infrastructures related to water and land development and management
  • Working experience with FAO and other UN agencies
  • Good communication, training, development of training materials and report-writing skills.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list

Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications

Candidates should upload language certificate/s when submitting their application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website


To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.

Vacancies will be removed from the recruitment portal at 23:59 Central European Time (CET) on the deadline for applications date. We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline

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