Chief Technical Adviser (Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI))

Cairo, , EG

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. The WSI has thus developed a project aiming at ‘Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/productivity and water sustainability in NENA countries’ (GCP/RNE/009/SWE), financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The substantive role of the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) will be to manage the Project for a successful implementation. The arrangements with respect to provision and administrative and operational support to the project, at its various stages, specifying responsibilities and reporting lines, are stipulated in the Project document. The core management and operational team of the Project will have the Delivery Manager of the WSI as the overall project supervisor, a Lead Technical Officer (LTO), looking more closely at the technical soundness of the operations, and the CTA as overall full-time project manager. Technical and operational support will be also provided by HQ as needed. Coordination between the different project Outputs, national teams and complementary projects will be required as well.

Reporting Lines

The Chief Technical Adviser reports to the Lead Technical Officer (LTO) of the project, under the direct supervision of The Water Scarcity Initiative Delivery-Manager, and the overall guidance of the Regional Representative for the Near East And North Africa. The CTA is also required to exercise a strong collaboration and coordination with the National Project Teams and the Project Partners.

Technical Focus

Water Accounting, Water Productivity, Water Sustainability.

Key Results

Leadership and technical expertise for the planning, development and implementation of Programmes of work, projects, related-products, and services in accordance with FAO Strategic Objectives.

Key Functions

  • Leads the development, implementation and evaluation on technical issues of assigned programmes/projects; directs review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
  • Coordinates programmes and reviews the assessments of issues and trends for the implementation of programmes and projects and the preparation of impact evaluation or equivalent studies;
  • Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications;
  • Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, to include proposing agenda topics,
  • identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations;
  • Manages outreach activities; designs and conducts training workshops, seminars, makes presentations on assigned topics/activities;
  • Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties;
  • Provides advice to develop policies and strategies as well as national protocols and guide lines for projects with specific domains related to FAO’s work

Specific Functions

  • Provides strategic direction and support to the partners and to national country teams for the effective implementation of the project and achievement of its objectives;
  • Coordinates and manages the technical and operational implementation of Project activities, including timely delivery of inputs by the different project partners and national country teams;
  • Adopts proper monitoring mechanisms to closely follow-up outputs, milestones and deliverables according to the project document and agreed work plan and identifies constraints and issues that requires timely solutions and corrective actions;
  • Prepares necessary field documents, work plans, regular progress reports and the Terminal Report of the project;
  • Ensures synergies with relevant on-going projects and programmes at country and regional level;
  • Ensures coherence and consistency with the overall work plan of the Water Scarcity Initiative;
  • Engages in resource mobilization as well as in stakeholders consultation, including at community level;
  • Supports the project budget holder in maintaining adequate operational and financial accounting and help to prepare financial reports;
  • Oversees the provision of all FAO inputs, including provision of technical specifications, purchase of equipment and supplies, preparation of Letters of Agreements and Terms of References for consultants;
  • Represents the Organization at international meetings and conferences;
  • Performs other related duties as required;


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in in Hydrological Science, or Agricultural Science, or Agricultural Economics, or a related field;
  • Ten years of relevant experience in in technical cooperation-related activities, water-related or agricultural-related projects management, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes, provision of policy advice;
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian.


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

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is essential;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in technical cooperation’ related activities, policy advice and analysis relating to food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes and/or providing technical support and advice on institutional capacity building processes;
  • Extent and relevance of experience in establishing and maintaining partnerships with UN agencies, NGOs as well as donors and government institutions and agencies.