Senior Land and Water Officer (Geospatial Systems)

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Rome, Italy 🇮🇹

Job Posting: 29/Mar/2023
Closure Date: 20/Apr/2023, 12:59:00 AM
Organizational Unit: NSL
Job Type: Staff position
Type of Requisition: Professional
Grade Level: N/A
Primary Location: Italy-Rome
Duration: Fixed-term: 2 years with possibility of extension
Post Number: 0726427
CCOG Code: 1R

• 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 persons 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
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better productionbetter nutritionbetter environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
The Land and Water Division (NSL) aims at enhancing the agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land, soil and water resources through their improved tenure, management, development and conservation. It provides technical and financial assistance to Member countries in developing policies, programmes, best practices and management tools to address the challenges they face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while enduring the long-term sustainability of the land, soil and water quantity and quality. It promotes equitable access to and sustainable management of these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods, social equality and ecosystem health services.

The position is located in NSL at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, with required travel for field missions, where relevant.
Reporting Lines
The Senior Land and Water Officer (Geospatial Systems) reports to the Director, NSL.

Technical Focus
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), Earth Observation system and Geospatial Analysis.

Key Results
Leadership and technical policy expertise for the planning, development and implementation of Divisional Programmes of work, projects, products and services in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions
•    Plans, manages or leads highly specialized or multidisciplinary teams; leads, coordinates and/or participates in Organization-wide committees, project teams and working groups, and/or provides technical leadership/secretariat services on technical networks and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies.
•    Analyses global and country specific requirements and relevant technical issues to provide critical input into the FAO Strategic Framework, Programme of Work, work plans and the supporting budgets and/or resourcing strategies.
•    Implements and monitors programmes of work involving the development of the approach, evidence based strategies and related tools, methodologies and the supporting system/database, monitoring and reporting frameworks.
•    Conducts, designs and oversees research and analysis activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovation, technical reports, publications and/or on-going programme development as well as the provision of technical and/or policy advisory services.
•    Provides technical and policy advice to Member countries and technical support to Decentralized Offices in the development and implementation of their programmes.
•    Leads and/or collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to, and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within Member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events, including preparation of related information, learning and on-line tools.
•    Represents the Organization at international meetings and conferences, identifies and implements strategic partnerships, advocates best practices and increased policy dialogue and, develops and negotiates effective working relationships/consensus and agreements with international and national stakeholders.
•    Leads and/or participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions
•    Manages the NSL Geospatial Unit, including the overall coordination, human and financial resources management, planning and budgeting, implementation and reporting of related projects and activities.
•    Engages with FAO Divisions and Decentralized Offices and coordinates with external partners in the development of Geographic Information System (GIS)/ Remote Sensing (RS) technologies, innovations, methodologies and solutions, addressing emerging priorities of countries and supporting the development of agrifood responses to food, land, water, climate change, biodiversity, disasters and emergencies, and other relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
•    Develops standards, procedures, methodologies and provides technical guidance and support to related teams of FAO with regards to RS and GIS; supports the coordination of geospatial activities, systems and methodologies across FAO.
• Promotes international cooperation/advocates best practices and increased policy dialogue; provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings and participates in meeting and conferences.
•    Leads resource mobilization and partnership development for the Geospatial Unit in accordance with the FAO corporate strategies; supports the preparation of project proposals with strong geospatial components and participates in resource mobilization activities; supports the implementation of projects related to geospatial technologies.
•    Supports the definition, implementation, use and outreach of standards related to geospatial information.
•    Leads FAO engagement in the International Standard Organization (ISO) Land Cover Meta Language process; oversees the development of a revised Land Cover ISO standard and a new ISO Standard for Land Use classification.
•    Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to, and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within Member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials and online tools.
•    Performs other relevant duties as required.

Minimum Requirements
•    Advanced university degree in GIS, geoscience, environmental science or a related field.
•    Ten years of relevant experience in Spatial data handling and analysis, satellite data processing and management, GIS and RS applications for land use/cover, agriculture and other natural resources, development of methodology in the field of agricultural/environmental monitoring.
•    Working knowledge of English (proficient – level C), and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

•    Results Focus
•    Leading, Engaging and Empowering
•    Communication
•    Partnering and Advocating
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
•    Strategic Thinking

Technical/Functional Skills
•    Knowledge of land cover of FAO methodology will be an asset.
•    Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
•    Extent and relevance of experience in multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary work and in facilitating collaboration and managing partnerships.
•    Extent and relevance of experience in planning and implementing programmes in development organizations.
•    Demonstrated results-based management capabilities with an ability to manage programmes, budgets and human resources efficiently under shifting priorities.
•    Demonstrated ability to mobilize resources.
•    Extent and relevance of experience in organizing international meetings, seminars and training courses.


FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.



  • Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
  • FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. 


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link:
  Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of  annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protectionFAO encourages  a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes: 
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct.
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• 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
• 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 
• 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:  






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