International Irrigation Engineer

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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As problems of water management, energy consumption, land degradation (salinization), and agricultural productivity are all closely intertwined in Turkmenistan, so too are potential solutions. The project will address these problems through integrated activities, with a goal toward achieving multiple benefits in different areas. Thus improved water management will lead not only to greater water availability, but also to significant energy savings, avoided GHG emissions, and reduced salinization.  Application of new renewable-energy solutions in water management will lead not only to avoided GHG emissions, but also to greater water availability in remote populated areas. This integrated approach will be practically applied and technically proven first at specific sites in the Akhal velayat, then replicated across the country through region-specific planning and outreach, as well as supporting policies and investment at the national level.

The project’s activities are organized into four components:

  • Component 1 will introduce new technologies in irrigated agriculture and pumping for energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable land management (SLM);
  • Component 2 will scale-up investment in new and expanded efficient water-management infrastructure;
  • Component 3 will deliver local and region-specific planning and educational outreach for IWRM and SLM among farmers and water-sector designers and managers;
  • Component 4 develops and supports implementation of policy reform for IWRM.

The first two components will constitute the technical foundation of the project. For agriculture and infrastructure, respectively, these components will identify, verify, and document the most promising ways to save water, increase energy efficiency, and reduce water-related root causes of land degradation in Turkmenistan. The components will generate technical and financial performance data and practical experience to be used to plan and provide necessary justification to scale-up public investment and technology deployment nationwide. 

While the first two components define the technical opportunity and priorities for replication, the second two components will seek to carry actual replication out on a national scale. The third component supports replication from the bottom up via development of action plans at the regional and district levels across the country, as well as educational outreach and capacity-building among farmers and local water-management personnel.  The fourth component will work from the top down, defining and implementing policies, programmes, and investment plans for integrated water management and SLM at the national level.

The project envisages the following activities within the Component 1 to improve the use of irrigation techniques:

Green Polygon pilot project – Technology proving research site and educational platform for water saving irrigation and SLM in agricultural croplands.

This pilot project, conceived by Ministry of Agriculture and Water Economy (MAWE) and the Water design Institute “Turkmensuvylymtaslama” (WDI), will be carried out in the Gokdepe county of Akhal province.  WDI will be the lead partner, in conjunction with local farm associations.  The work will be carried out on a 145-hectare plot owned by WDI, and already confirmed as available for this purpose.  Here, WDI and the project will deploy and evaluate various types of water saving irrigation types, including drip, rotating sprinkler, portable sprinkler, and other irrigation. A portion of the site will also be devoted to simple improvements to furrow irrigation, using pipes to deliver water to sections of furrows, thereby reducing water losses and increasing uniformity of yields at very little cost.

The project also plans to cooperate with the Agricultrural University and Agricultural Research Insitutue in conducting research activities at the Research site. Cooperation with these institutions would allow the project to join the efforts in conducting research works, to attract local expertise and to disseminate the results of the research to a wider audience. The joint research activities with these institutions would also enable the UNDP to create a basis for closer cooperation and a research platform for further pioneering of an environment related masters courses at the univerity in the coming few years.

The UNDP plans to recruit an international engineer to perform the actions outlined below for the Research site (145 ha) in Gokdepe.

Duties and Responsibilities

In accordance with the above-mentioned objective of the assignment and under the supervision of the Project Manager and Portfolio Manager, the International Consultant (IC) will be tasked to perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Action one: Read the relevant sections of the project document related to the work to be done at the Research site, including reports by International Research scientist and other background information provided by the project team in relation to construction of silt-settling reservoir. Ensure you fully understand the soils types at the site;
  • Action two: Prepare a detailed list of key technical issues that the national designers should consider when designing a silt settling reservoir and provide a minimum of 2 possible design (sketches) for proposed silt-settling reservoir (detailed drawing are not expected);
  • Action three: Review the data collected (both primary and secondary) by the project team, including the reports and results of the topographic and hydrogeological assessments of the site. Read the  report of  the research  that will be conducted at the site;
  • Action four: Review and discuss the designs of the silt-settling reservoir and water distribution system prepared by the Water Design Institute, as well as designs of types of water saving irrigation systems prepared by local company and provide a detailed technical report on the evaluation of designs of each activities, taking into account the soil type and planned research activities with clear recommendations for improvements;
  • Action five: Provide technical inputs into the specifications for the tender documents for silt-settling reservoir, water distribution system and types of water saving irrigation systems to be constructed/installed at the research site;
  • Action six: Mission to Turkmenistan to guide the project team to manage and supervise the installation of irrigation types, construction of silt-settling reservoir and water distribution system at the research site;
  • Action seven: Develop daily/weekly site inspection templates for the project team to ensure the reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation types are constructed/installed  according to plan and agreed designs;
  • Action eight: Prepare a detailed final report on the assignment (quality assurance of the designs of silt settling reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation types), including challenges, lessons learned, successes, results and recommendation for the operation of the systems at the site.

Deliverables and timeframe:

Deliverable 1 prepared through actions 1, 2 and 3 above:

  • Report prepared on assessment of data collected for designs of silt-settling reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation systems and key design issues;
  • The list of key technical issues for designs of silt-settling reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation systems prepared;
  • 2 possible design (sketches) for proposed for silt-settling reservoir prepared (detailed drawing are not expected).

Location: Home based.

Number of days: 4 days.

Deliverable 2 prepared though action 4 above:

  • Detailed technical report prepared on the evaluation of the designs of silt-settling reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation systems prepared by national specialists;
  • List of recommendations for improvements of the designs prepared, brief statement quality assurance of the designs prepared.

Location: Home based and mission to Turkmenistan.

Number of days: 9 days.

Deliverable 3 prepared though action 5 above:

  • List of technical specifications for construction/installation of silt-settling reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation systems prepared.

Location: Home based.

Number of days: 2 days.

Deliverable 4 prepared though action 6 above:

  • Mission report with a technical quality assurance on the construction/installation of the silt settling reservoir, water distribution system and types of irrigation systems as well as critical issues to be considered in the operation of irrigation systems prepared.

Location: Home based and mission to Turkmenistan.

Number of days: 9 days.

Deliverable 5 prepared though actions 7 and 8 above:

  • Final consultancy report on overall assignment prepared (silt settling reservoir, water distribution system and irrigation types), including inspection templates, checklists, challenges, lessons learned, successes, results and recommendation in relation to proper functioning of the irrigation systems at the research site.

Location: Home based.

Number of days: 6 days.

Payment conditions:

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule of payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy. Payment will be released in two installments: 1st installment: 50% (for deliverables 1, 2 and 3) and 2nd installment 50% (for deliverables 4 and 5) – upon timely submission of respective deliverables and their acceptance by UNDP Turkmenistan.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of and extensive work experience in the irrigation related water infrastructure projects designing and implementation;
  • Excellent training, facilitation and communication skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and practice of water management, agriculture and irrigated farming practices;
  • Cultural sensitivity.
Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree in a relevant field, such as irrigation engineering, water management or hydro amelioration with a particular focus on irrigation.


  • At least 15 years of working experience in the design and implementation of water and irrigation related projects, including water saving irrigation systems;
  • Experience in the technical assessment and providing quality assurance for the irrigation infrastructure projects;
  • Knowledge and experience of work in the CIS or Central Asia is an advantage.

Language requirements:

  • Excellent and spoken English; good working knowledge of Russian is an asset.

Submission of applications:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

All experts applying for this position are required to provide:

  • Brief (1-2 pages) description of the methodology for the assignment;
  • Financial Proposal with the references to (1) the daily rate for the assignment and within the timing scale indicated in the present TOR, and (2) any other expenses (including transportation costs, accommodation costs, the possibility of vaccination and etc.). Template of the form can be found at: The UNDP will enter into an Individual Contract based on a lump sum amounts. The financial proposal shall represent a detailed, justified and “all inclusive” amount.  In order to assist UNDP in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount, including: a daily fee for the tasks and an estimated duration as specified in this announcement, travel (to and from the missions), per diems, any other possible costs (including vaccinations, dwelling, communication etc.);
  • Cover letter explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the assignment;
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (blank form can be downloaded from

Evaluation of proposals:

Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant and
  •  Having received the highest score – out of 100 points.

Out of the maximum score, the score for technical criteria equals 70% – maximum 70 points, and for financial criteria 30% – maximum 30 points.

The technical evaluation will take into account the following as per the scoring provided:

  • Education in the area of irrigation engineering, water management or hydro amelioration – 20 pts;
  • The experience (15 years) in the design and implementation of water and irrigation related projects, in particular water saving irrigation systems – 30 pts;
  • Methodology – 15 pt;
  • Relevant working experience in providing technical evaluations and quality assurance for water/irrigation related infrastructure projects – 20 pts;
  • Fluency in English – 10 pts;
  • Good working knowledge of Russian – 5 pts.

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation – max 30 pts.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 62 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.