Consultants: Water, Rural Infrastructure and Energy (WRI/E)

International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD)

Rome, Italy 🇮🇹

ID: 8831

Location: Italy

Date of issue: 21/11/2022

Close Date: 19/01/2023

Organizational Unit: Sust. Prd. Mkts. & Instit.

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Temporary

Assignment Duration:


Organizational Setting

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger. It does so by investing in rural people. IFAD finances programmes and projects that increase agricultural productivity and raise rural incomes, and advocates at the local, national and international level for policies that contribute to rural transformation. 
The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) provides expert guidance on IFAD’s strategic direction, thematic priorities and technical quality of IFAD’s operations. It plays a critical role in providing technical expertise to operational teams to enhance development effectiveness, by generating  and  disseminating IFAD’s development knowledge and evidence on strategic themes, and encouraging innovative application of cutting-edge global knowledge and evidence in IFAD investments to support countries tackle their most complex development challenges in fostering inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. SKD is composed of the (i) Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG); the (ii) Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI); and the (iii) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA).
PMI provides technical support to IFAD Country Programs to ensure the proper application of corporate quality standards required for achieving development results and impact in key thematic areas, including food production systems (i.e. fisheries, livestock, and agronomy), land, natural resources management, water and rural infrastructure, financial services, rural markets and enterprises and rural institutions. It contributes to the generation of evidence and knowledge on these themes, and facilitates their use in IFAD projects and activities.

Organizational accountability
IFAD is looking for qualified, experienced and motivated Water, Rural Infrastructure and Energy experts to work as individual consultants and provide first-rate services to IFAD and the projects it supports.IFAD’s Water, Rural Infrastructure and Energy Consultant Roster serves as an intermediate between qualified Water, Rural Infrastructure and Energy experts interested in working on IFAD consultancy assignments, and regional operational divisions seeking consultation. Please note your application does not imply placement on the roster. The roster assists regional operational divisions in their search for qualified consultants, based on their needs. Upon identification of consultants with the required profile, regional operational divisions and PMI will liaise with the consultants to initiate the contracting process.

Key results expected / Major functional activities
Areas of expertise/experience that may be required of Water, Rural Infrastructure and Energy consultants may include:

A.    General Areas of experience: 

  • Progressively responsible experience in the field of water, rural infrastructure and energy development. Demonstration of technical skills in the design and coordination of agriculture and rural development projects and interventions and identification of innovative solutions to emerging issues related to rural infrastructure, water management, irrigation and renewable energy. 
  • Proven experience in formulating technical guidance to agricultural and rural development programs with a proven record in the field of water and rural infrastructure particularly: (i) involvement of water users and community based organizations in the design and construction of water/irrigation systems, (ii) design and construction of water harvesting, storage, water conveyance systems, irrigation saving techniques, and (iii) design and construction of post-harvest and storage facilities, farm tracks, rural roads, market places, etc., taking into account climate-smart and climate resilient nature based design criteria and (iv) using renewable energy where appropriate, including off-grid and decentralized technologies such as biogas. 
  • Familiarity with application of IFIs safeguards to manage the social and environmental effects of water and rural infrastructure projects is a must.

B.    Specialised areas of expertise 

Water Resources Management

  • Improve climate and hydrological data acquiring and analysis related to water
  • Watershed management
  • Water harvesting
  • Groundwater/hydraulic modelling 
  • Revitalize agricultural water use
  • Manage urban and industrial demand
  • Reform water governance
  • Empower the poor, women and youth in water resource management
  • SECAP safeguards relating to water

Irrigation and Drainage 

  • Design of various types of irrigation systems including surface irrigation, sub-surface irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation, pump stations powered by renewable energy
  • Design of various types of drainage systems including surface, subsurface drainage and agricultural drainage reuse
  • Participatory irrigation development and management with effective involvement of water users
  • Operation and maintenance of irrigation and drainage systems at different management levels
  • Mechanisms for recovery of construction, operation and maintenance costs

Water Supply and Sanitation 

  • Design of various elements of domestic water supply, including water treatment planets of different treatment facilities (primary to tertiary) and domestic water distribution systems
  • Design of various elements of sanitation system, including flush to collection structures, such as sewage system, septic pit latrines, ventilated improved pit latrines, and wastewater treatment and recycling facilities 

Rural Roads

  • Design of various climate smart and resilient rural roads specifically farm tracks and access roads.

Buildings and Construction

  • Design of cold storage warehouses, market places, schools, administrative buildings, etc. 


  • Design and optimization of renewable energy systems for productive use including; irrigation, storage heating, cooling and processing, specifically solar, wind, thermal and bio energy. 

C.    Other Work Experience

  • Experience working for international institutions target smallholder farmers and producers 
  • IFAD’s specific experience is an asset including:
  • COSOP/Project design  
  • Supervision missions/MTR/PCR 
  • IFAD mainstreaming themes relating to water, rural infrastructure and energy, in particular climate, gender, youth and nutrition, as well as addressing the needs of indigenous peoples and people with disability
  • SECAP requirements relating to water, rural infrastructure and energy

Minimum recruitment qualifications/requirements 
Applicants must meet the following requirements:

Level – Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited institution  

The advanced university degree may be substituted by a first university degree and at least four (4) additional years of relevant professional experience over and above the minimum number of years of experience as stipulated below.

Areas of study: Water Resources Management, Irrigation and Drainage Infrastructure, Hydrology and Hydraulic Modelling, Civil Engineering (Construction, Public Works, Etc.), Energy (mainly Renewable Energy). Degree must be from an accredited institution listed on

Senior level expert – 9 years plus experience, or
Mid level expert- 5 to 8 years’ experience, or
Entry level expert – 3 to 5 years’ experience.

Language Skills 
Fluency in the English language (speaking, reading and writing), and 
Ability to fluently communicate in one of the following languages: French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian

Other information 
As per provision on maximum contract duration under the Handbook on consultants and other persons hired by IFAD under a non-staff contract, the number of days in which services can be rendered in a calendar year is limited to 240, and the number of days in which services can be rendered in five consecutive calendar years is limited to 960.

Consultants are not considered IFAD staff. Consultancy assignments do not carry any expectation of employment or conversion to another type of contract with the Fund. Remuneration will be in line with the standards set for UN consultants.

In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.