International Consultant (Irrigation Development for Rural-Urban Linkages) Livelihoods and Resilience (L&R) Unit

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience 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.

UNDP Global Mission Statement:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.


UNDP in Afghanistan:

UNDP supports stabilization, State-building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP support, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIROA), the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, has contributed to institutional development efforts leading to positive impact on the lives of Afghan citizens. Over the years UNDP support has spanned such milestone efforts as the adoption of the Constitution; Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections; institutional development through capacity-building to the legislative, the judicial and executive arms of the State, Ministries, Government agencies and commissions at the national and sub-national levels. UNDP has played a role in the management of the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), which supports the Government in developing and maintaining the national police force and strengthen human rights compliance through comprehensive justice and anti-corruption efforts across the country. UNDP Programmes in Afghanistan have benefited from the very active support of donors. UNDP Afghanistan is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN system to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.


Background and Organizational context of the position:

There is now better understanding of the relationship between towns and cities and the rural areas that surround them. Urban areas demand food, other raw materials, semi-finished products and labor from surrounding rural areas.

This creates wealth in rural areas, part of which turns into demand for products from urban areas (thereby encouraging further urban growth) or in investment or better housing in rural areas. Better paid jobs in urban areas encourage the rural workforce, particularly the young and mobile, to improve their skills. Growing wealth in urban areas increases demand for higher quality and more diverse food products, so providing a further stimulus to agriculture.

This has led to the idea of enterprise cities whose economic effects reach into surrounding rural areas. This is extended as infrastructure improves, enabling commuting and the flow of goods. If the rural population can commute to work or send goods into towns through better transport links, the effects of the urban centers are felt further away from the urban center. As a result, the impact is not just on the urban periphery, but also in the surrounding countryside.

This linkage seems to depend on a city which is of a size sufficient to have strong demand signals. As a rule of thumb, a minimum population of around 100,000 people is needed. The demand signals also seem to be transmitted to areas up to about an hour’s travel time from the town or city. Within this radius, people can travel to work in the urban center and goods can readily be moved to urban markets. There are 18 cities in Afghanistan with populations of over 100,000.

This apparently perverse notion of urban-centered rural development has led to countries implementing rural development policies focusing on enterprise growth in secondary and tertiary towns (which can be quite small). Accordingly, rural, and urban development are now not seen as separate, but instead a combined action.

Agricultural growth and response to market signals is enabled by infrastructure. International evidence demonstrates the importance of infrastructure to agricultural development, particularly roads and electricity. These are public goods and hence there is justification for using public funding. Irrigation is also important since in its absence, or if there are water shortages, farmers will not be able to grow for urban markets. Vegetable production for urban markets offers high returns but depends on irrigation. As a result, the benefits of urban growth on agricultural and rural development will be muted unless irrigated production is possible.

Irrigation is already widespread in Afghanistan but suffers many limitations in terms of water supply, infrastructure, irrigation management, and the production, post-harvest handling and marketing of irrigated crops.  Much of the irrigation infrastructure was damaged in past conflicts and there is still considerable need for rehabilitation and modernization.

Climate change impacts irrigated agriculture in multiple ways, including: reducing the yield of rainfed crops; increasing crop water requirements; changing the quantity, timing, and variability of water supplies; and increasing the risk of flooding and of flood damage to irrigation structures.  Hence irrigation must play a major role in the country’s adaptation to climate change.

UNDP wishes to contract a consultant to deliver a concept note on actions in irrigation and related elements of agricultural development and marketing. It is expected that this will inform UNDP’s and Government’s support to improve rural livelihoods and extend support to farmers to respond to urban demand for vegetables and some types of fruit.



Overall Objective of the Assignment

The overall objective is to improve rural livelihoods through (a) extending and improving irrigation and the production of irrigated fruits and vegetables, and (b) strengthening rural-urban linkages to bring this fresh produce to urban markets.


Specific Objective and Scope

The specific objective of the assignment is to identify actions in irrigation and related elements of agricultural development and marketing that will allow farmers to respond to urban demand for vegetables and some types of fruit. Analysis will rely on secondary sources, with fieldwork currently impossible because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Women’s land entitlement for agriculture production will be referred to as a specific component to be developed separately, outside the scope of this assignment, preliminarily as part of the overall remit of the Governance for Peace Unit.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify towns and cities of over 100,000 people where water resources and topography are sufficient for development of irrigation within one hour’s travel time of the town or city.  In most cases, there will already be some irrigation taking place, but with various limitations.
  • Identify irrigation needs and opportunities on this land which would enable improved production of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Make preliminary estimates of the financial and economic benefits of irrigation development within these areas. Given that prospects for processing or preserving are uncertain, estimates should be based on production of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Determine other actions needed to enable the rural response to urban development, including extension services, input supply, output marketing and agricultural finance.

Payment Modality: 

Payments under the contract shall be delivery-based and the payment will be upon receipt, acceptance, and approval of deliverables. This shall be as indicated above, and shall be deemed delivered upon the approval of the Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, Livelihoods and Resilience Unit.


Institutional Arrangements:

Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Livelihoods and Resilience Unit Head and the oversight of the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, the specialist will produce a concept note on identify actions in irrigation and related elements of agricultural development and marketing that will allow farmers to respond to urban demand for vegetables and some types of fruit. the assignment is home based with fieldwork currently impossible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consultant will have access to relevant  media (skype, zoom, MS Teams, electronic mail) to communicate regularly with the Country Office.


Duration of the Work:

The duration of the assignment is 2 months (tentatively from 1 October until 30 November for a maximum of  7 working days).


Duty Station:

This consultancy is home based. 



Core competencies:

  • Promotes ethics and integrity and creates organizational precedents;
  • Builds support and political acumen;
  • Builds staff competence and creates an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Builds and promotes effective teams;
  • Creates and promotes environment for open communications;
  • Leverages conflict in the interest of UNDP and sets standards;
  • Shares knowledge across the organization and builds a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.


Functional Competencies:

  • Building Strategic Partnerships.
  • Ability to identify needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners.

Results Orientation:

  • Ability to take responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved.

Teamwork and Communication skills:

  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 

Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms.
  • Knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency written and oral and English required.
  • Superior English drafting skills.



Academic Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in in Agriculture/Agricultural Economics., or a degree related to policy or capacity development or other relevant discipline. A PhD degree is an asset. 


Required experience:   

  • At least 7 years of working experience in agriculture in a related field, analytical and statistical skills, and economic modelling. Experience of survey design, implementation, and analysis, with experience in providing advice to senior decision makers both in government and UN system.
  • Experience in fragile or conflict contexts is necessary and in Afghanistan preferred.
  • 3 years of in-country developing country experience at technical advisory level, working with national governments, UN partners and global environmental and climate change vertical funds essential.



  • Excellent written and oral English skills a necessary requirement.



Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.  The consultant shall then submit a price proposal when requested by UNDP, in accordance with the below:

  • Daily Fee – The contractor shall propose a daily fee, which should be inclusive of his/her professional fee, local communication cost and insurance (inclusive of medical health insurance and evacuation). The number of working days for which the daily fee shall be payable under the contract is 7 (seven).
  • The total professional fee shall be converted into a lump-sum contract and payments under the contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the schedule of payment linked with deliverables.




Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis

  • The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable.
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.


* Technical Criteria weight 70%

* Financial Criteria weight 30%


Technical Criteria for Evaluation (70 points)

  • Criteria 1: Technical Approach and Methodology (Max 20 points). This explain the understanding of the objectives of the assignment, approach to the services, methodology for carrying out the activities and obtaining the expected output, and the degree of detail of such output. The Applicant should also explain the methodologies proposed to adopt and highlight the compatibility of those methodologies with the proposed approach.
  • Criteria 2: Work plan (Max 10 Points). The incumbent should propose the main activities of the assignment, their content and duration, phasing and interrelations, milestones (including interim approvals by the Client), and delivery dates. The proposed work plan should be consistent with the technical approach and methodology, showing understanding of the TOR and ability to translate them into a feasible working plan.
  • Criteria 3: Relevant experiences in area of specialization (climate change and project monitoring) (Max 10 points).
  • Criteria 4: Relevant experiences with GEF projects (Max 20 points).
  • Criteria 5: Interview (Max 10 Points).


Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.


Financial Evaluation (30%):

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

p = y (µ/z), where

p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated

y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal

µ = price of the lowest priced proposal

z = price of the proposal being evaluated



Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document

  1. Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  2. Technical Proposal (can be attached with CV or response can be provided to mandatory question on jobs site):
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment;
  • A methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment and work plan as indicated above.

Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Note: Incomplete application will result in automatic disqualification of candidate.