Irrigation Engineer

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Rome, Italy
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-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

FAO works to promote coherent approaches to sustainable land and water management and the Organization’s engagement in land and water is relevant to several dimensions of sustainable development, such as the governance and management of food production systems; the provision of essential ecosystem services; food security; human health; biodiversity conservation; and the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

In line with such efforts, the Land and Water Division CBL) aims at enhancing the agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through their improved tenure, management, development and conservation. It addresses the challenges member countries face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land and water quantity and quality.

The purpose of this call is to provide FAO’s CBL Division and the Water Resources Governance/Management Team with a list of qualified candidates for a specific profile to support the division’s projects portfolio in:

  • Irrigation management and development
  • Irrigation technologies and modernization
  • Scheme water design, monitoring and evaluation
  • Transfer of knowledge on irrigation technologies and adaptation to local conditions

Contracts will be based in FAO HQs with required travel for field missions, where relevant.

Reporting Lines

The Consultant reports to the Senior Land and Water Officer-Water Governance/ Management Team Leader, Land and Water Division (CBL).

Technical Focus

Supporting the development, quality control, management and effective implementation of the projects portfolio of the Water Resources Governance/Management Team through the provision of expertise in relevant technical areas.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Assess the performance of small scale irrigation; apply dedicated methodologies to evaluate processes; and develop modernization/rehabilitation plans to improve performance
  • Assist in the appraisal and formulation of irrigation development programmes and project proposals, and in the monitoring and evaluation of ongoing projects, including small scale irrigation systems
  • Review irrigation and rural infrastructure development reports and related investment proposals prepared by governments, consultants, or other agencies, and advise on modifications which may be required
  • Advise on the most appropriate technologies for measuring irrigation water and carry out comparative analyses amongst different techniques
  • Assist in the adaptation and transfer of irrigation technologies and provide technical training aimed at tutoring in the use of tools to enhance irrigation water efficiency, capitalizing in-country previous and current work
  • Apply and monitor practical tools to enhance crop water productivity under small-scale farming conditions for rain fed and irrigated agriculture and identify changes in crop water management practices needed to improve crop water productivity
  • Assess irrigation project designs and their BoQs
  • Formulate technical proposals for the implementation of tools to enhance irrigation water efficiency and water productivity developed by FAO
  • Contribute to the dissemination of information on irrigation development and management to key stakeholders through the preparation of divisional publications, meetings, workshops, seminars and training courses and by engaging with existing regional and national relevant networks
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in (for consultants) / university degree (only for PSA) in irrigation engineering, agricultural engineering, water resources management or equivalent
  • Minimum five years of relevant experience in irrigation engineering, agricultural engineering, water resources management.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for Consultants)/ Working knowledge of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for PSAs)

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Extent and relevance of experience in irrigation water management/modernization/irrigation scheme management
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results within deadlines
  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the production of content for external audiences (UN agencies, stakeholders and other public and private partners), especially in areas relevant to FAO’s mandate
  • Understanding of FAO policies and programmes and familiarity with UN policy agendas
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the formulation and implementation of projects related to sustainable water resource management
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the preparation of technical and policy reports and capacity development materials.


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.

We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline

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