International Water Accounting Specialist

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Baghdad, , IQ

Organizational Setting

The Regional Office for Near East and North Africa (FAO-RNE) leads a key Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity. Established in the second half of 2013, the Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI) intends to support countries in coping with one of their most striking challenges: the pursuit of food and water securities, for a sustainable social and economic development, under an unprecedented severe escalation of water scarcity. The objectives of the WSI are: enhancing policies, investments, governance and best practices to sustainably increase water and land productivity; providing critical thinking and tools for strategic planning of optimal and sustainable allocation of scarce water resources; implementing a regional collaborative strategy for a water-reform agenda.


With the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the world countries, the WSI has focused its attention to the SDG 6.4 (‘By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity’) due to the relevant alignment of this SDG with the WSI goals. FAO-RNE supports implementation of a Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) at FAO Iraq to implement a project (TCP/IRQ/3702) water accounting and water productivity assessment in Iraq. This project aims to implement internationally standardized yet tailor-made water accounting system in Iraq and assess water productivity of key crops that provide basis to explore effective intervention to improve water productivity. 

Reporting Lines

Under overall supervision of FAO Representative for Iraq, Senior Land and Water Officer of FAO-RNE and project manager. The international water accounting specialist will work in close collaboration with project team in FAO Iraq and national consultants hired by FAO Iraq.


Technical Focus


The main task of the water accounting specialist is to lead the water accounting activities of the project and supervise and/or review the technical work of the national consultants, the post can be home-based.

Tasks and responsibilities
  • With national consultants and stakeholders, determine the temporal and geographic scale(s) and site(s) of the water accounting (WA)

  • With national consultants and stakeholders, determine key questions to be addressed through WA

  • Discuss with relevant ministries and identify Iraqi ministry staff who will conduct WA and receive on-the-job training. Form a WA team.

  • Lead and supervise the WA team consisting of the national consultants and relevant stakeholders to collect data and conduct WA. Make sure that the WA clearly describe the uncertainty and data gaps. Provide on-the-job training to the team members. The tasks of the WA team are listed in Annex.

  • Provide specialist support and hands-on capacity building to the team members and relevant national stakeholders on a needs basis

  • Review reports on WA.
  • Present in a WA workshop to share the results with national stakeholders.  Prepare and present a presentation to the key stakeholders at the national and local levels. This presentation should highlight:  1) The main findings and recommendations that have resulted from the water accounting; 2) Additional insights or added value of using water accounting; 3) Issues or challenges that were encountered.

  • If relevant, advice on water productivity assessment activities of the project.
  • Participate in missions to Iraq to complete the above tasks as needed (Applicable only if travel restriction regarding COVID-19 will be removed from FAO and country of residence of the applicant during the contract period) 


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced degree in land and water management, remote sensing, spatial and time series analysis

  • At least Ten years of relevant work experience.
  • Working knowledge of English, and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO official languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian).

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork, including leading, engaging and empowering others

  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills 

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is

  • desirable
  • Sound knowledge of hydrology, hydrogeology, climate, soils, irrigation systems (hardware and software) and watershed management

  • Experience in conducting and leading water accounting
  • Experience in on-the-job capacity building in water-related subjects

  • Experience of engaging actively with key stakeholders
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills and working in multicultural environment





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