Drought Management Specialist

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

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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.


FAO’s programme on proactive drought risk management cuts across the Organization’s technical and cooperation departments and involves strong partnerships with specialized organizations and research centres. Collaborating partners include the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and more. FAO’s NSL Division is implementing the project “Enabling Activities for Implementing UNCCD COP Drought Decisions” funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under the “Land Degradation” GEF focal area. The project duration is three years from 2020 to 2023. The project objective is to support the participating countries to use the information derived from the UNCCD to complete and implement national drought plans according to the principles of Integrated Drought Management. The project involves a selected number of parties participating in the UNCCD Drought Initiative (hereby referred to as “countries”). To achieve this, the project will deliver four components: Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought (IWG) on “Effective Policy and Implementation Measures for addressing drought under the UNCCD”; Drought Toolbox; Capacity-building for implementation of the national drought plans; Drought vulnerability assessment and preparedness for mitigation measures. Within the above context, FAO is seeking the support of a Consultant for the implementation of defined project activities falling under the specific project components. The purpose of this call is to provide FAO’s NSL Division with a list of qualified candidates.


Reporting Lines

The consultant reports to the Director of the Land and Water Division (NSL) and Senior Land and Water Officer of the Irrigation and Resource Management team.


Technical Focus

Preparing assessment studies and supporting the development of methodology, tools, knowledge products, capacity-building programmes and dissemination materials regarding the three pillars of drought management (monitoring/early warning, vulnerability and impact assessment, mitigation and preparedness)


Tasks and responsibilities


· Undertake analyses of institutions, regulatory and legal environments, and policies on drought management, involving the assessment of frameworks, gaps and barriers at both national and international levels;

  • Support preparation of institutional process models on drought management with strong focus on their roles, responsibilities, resources, interactions and cooperation mechanisms;
  • Support the review of global drought monitoring and early warning methodologies and tools, and assess the applicability of such methodologies and tools in certain countries;
  • Develop guidelines, tools and approaches for drought vulnerability and impact assessment, including the compilation of a global repository on vulnerability and impact assessments and vulnerability and impact indicators, and support countries in the implementation of impact and vulnerability assessment;
  • Develop global inventories regarding proactive drought mitigation responses to identify best practices, enabling factors, barriers and gaps; examine the applicability of the different mitigation responses, and conduct feasibility assessment on potential mitigation responses;
  • Prepare a stocktaking of global drought financing mechanisms, including the investments of both public and private sector, and analyze the existing innovative and best practices in drought mitigation financing;
  • Support and review the formulation of national drought plans of countries, and analyze their alignments with relevant national frameworks, with strong focus on national adaptation plans;

· Prepare dissemination and knowledge products for drought management, and design capacity-building programmes; contribute to the awareness raising activities on drought management.





Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in agriculture, natural resources management, meteorology, geography, hydrology, agricultural economics, development economics or a related appropriate field.  
  • 5 years of relevant experience in climate change, disaster risk reduction, natural resource management, including drought management.
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian

FAO Core Competencies

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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge of drought management tools and methods
  • Extent and relevance of analysing drought management related issues