Remote Sensing and GIS Specialist

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Rome, Italy 🇮🇹

Job Posting: 26/Jan/2023
Closure Date: 17/Feb/2023, 12:59:00 AM
Organizational Unit: NSL
Job Type: Non-staff opportunities
Type of Requisition: Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Grade Level: N/A
Primary Location: Italy-Rome
Duration: Variable (Up to 11 months)
Post Number: N/A
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting

The Land and Water Division (NSL) 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. It promotes equitable access to these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods and ecosystem services. It provides assistance to member nations in developing policies, programmes, best practices and tools in the fields of irrigation and drainage, soil conservation, drought mitigation, water rights, access to natural resources, and improvement of land markets.
Contracts will be based in FAO HQ (or other location) with required travel for field missions, where relevant. 

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the Director NSL, Land and Water Division, Technical supervision of the Head of the Geospatial Unit, collaboration with IT Service Division (CSI). When activities are carried out in countries, the consultant will be required to work in close collaboration with the FAO Representation in the relevant country of assignment, as well as the relevant FAO regional office.

Technical Focus 

Geographic Information Systems/Remote Sensing.

Tasks and responsibilities

List of the tasks that the consultant will undertake include: 

•    Provide technical assistance in the use of GIS/RS in support of project teams and national and regional offices;
•    Conduct technical assessment and identification of the most suitable satellite imagery, geospatial datasets and methodological approaches to support specific project’s needs;
•    Provide technical assistance in developing solutions using geospatial and digital technologies for land and water monitoring in agriculture;
•    Provide technical assistance in satellite image pre-processing, including mosaicking, stacking, atmospheric corrections, object-based-image-analysis (OBIA) for segmentation and classification;
•    Provide technical assistance in monitoring land cover following international standards for legend preparation (LCML/ISO 19144-2), including classification, validation and accuracy assessments;
•    Provide technical assistance in the development of innovative tools such as using cloud-computing platforms (e.g. GEE, SEPAL) and modules based on AI/ML/RS/GIS and big data;
•    Contribute to national capacity development by preparing guidance on using geospatial information and remote sensing;
•    Assist in the development and publication of geospatial datasets on land and water resources, agro-climatic resources, vegetation, crop production, emergency impact assessment, at various geographic levels;
•    Contribute to the development of innovative technical digital agricultural solution to generate timely and efficiently geospatial data in support to agricultural monitoring;
•    Support innovation in data collection through integrated approaches combining field and remote sensing, list and area frame sampling, for agricultural, land and water monitoring systems, including stratification, selection of sites for field data collection/validation; 
•    Support the collation, standardization, analysis and reporting of geospatial data and metadata from multiple sources in support to the FAO Hand-in-Hand initiative;
•    Support the capacity development plans on geospatial technologies, including preparation of training and workshop material, preparation of information for meeting and conferences; 
•    Disseminate the geospatial data and metadata produced, in the various media formats (e.g. digital and paper atlas, map layouts, posters);
•    Prepare technical and scientific reports, papers and guidelines describing the activities, results, conclusions and recommendations on the process and results;
•    Perform any other tasks required.


Minimum Requirements

•    University degree in GIS, Geography, Environmental Sciences or related field; 
•    At least three years of experience for base level consultant or at least five years for middle level consultants in spatial data handling and analysis, satellite data processing and management, GIS and remote sensing applications; 
•    Working knowledge (level C) of English, French or Spanish, and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese or Russian (for Consultants). Working knowledge of English (for PSA.SBS). 

FAO Core Competencies

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

Selection Criteria

•    Work experience in programming languages such as R and Python for GIS/RS;
•    Work experience in international organizations and in projects supporting developing countries
•    Work experience on satellite image analysis, geospatial data and metadata management and processing
•    Work experience on cloud-computing platforms (e.g. SEPAL, Google Earth Engine)
•    Work experience on batch-scripting for data processing, geo-statistical packages for automatic classifications
•    Work experience on capacity development and knowledge transfer on GIS/RS
•    Familiarity with the tools of FAO’s Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) standard
•    Capacity to report results to different audiences.

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
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • For more information, visit the FAO employment website
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
•  We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact:






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development