Uzbekistan nationals: Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Tashkent, Uzbekistan 🇺🇿

BACKGROUND

The joint project of the UNDP, Adaptation Fund (AP) and Government of Uzbekistanis new initiative one not only by thematic aspects but also in terms of its scale of outputs and outcomes expected to be delivered. Project’s main activities are aimed at developing climate resilience of rural communities in Karakalpakstan that are the most vulnerable to climate change in Karakalpakstan. They are still a key part of the chain of agricultural infrastructure, on which the food security is built on. One of the principle obstacles on the way of developing climate resilience of rural communities is insufficient agro conservation and water saving practices use against non-effective ones that are still practiced in the region.

The ambitious activity results and output expected to be achieved as well as tough timelines set up for their implementation, imply strong and flexible thematic and managerial leadership of the main project’s components. Project comprises five project’s components, among which two (namely Components 2 and 3) with the most decisive outputs that will contribute to achieving the project goal. Project Component 2 is aimed at introduction of climate resilient farming practices in the subsistence dekhans farms of Karakalpakstan, with wide spectrum of interrelated agro conservation and water saving activities, which need to be duly coordinated and implemented under qualified and universal leadership of the Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices. Taking into account that the project experience and lessons learn are going to be used for development of future funding proposals for even large international funds specialized in climate financing, e.g. Green Climate Fund, role of the Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices can be hardly overestimated.

Working closely with local communities, relevant agro and water management local institutions/bodies and national experts, the Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices/Task Manager will undertake efficient planning of agro conservation and water saving activities. He/she will be also responsible for some operational support to ensure their timely implementation in accordance with respective annual and multi-years workplans indicated in the approved project Document, APA and AWPB related to annual targets to be achieved within the project Component 2 “Climate resilient farming practices established on subsistence dekhkan farms of Karakalpakstan”.

The Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices/Task Manager shall ensure high quality, accuracy and consistency of his/her performance and be responsible for the implementation of outputs planned under the project Component 2. He/she will work in close collaboration with all relevant national stakeholders, national experts, and project team to ensure consistent service delivery, and undertake day-to-day responsibility for thematic operational support to contribute to successful achievement of the project component 2 and overall outputs.

Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager in Nukus office/UN Joint Programme Manager, the Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices/Task Manager is fully responsible for implementation of all relevant thematic activities through providing sound technical expertise and oversight, including planning and implementation of relevant operational and programmatic capacity development activities in accordance with the project document, and UNDP corporate rules and procedures. Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices will work to ensure the technical direction of the project and his/her functions will include but are not limited to the following.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Thematic tasks

  1. Familiarization of farmers, dekhans, and households with the proven climate resilient conservation agricultural practices:
  • Organize and conduct consultation workshops targeted at farmers, pastoralists and research institutes to determine the most suitable mix of crops and practices (such as low till, mixed cropping, fodder production and crop residue application) can be applied as drought resilient options at project’ pilot sites;
  • Undertake the required arrangements, and organize farm-based demonstrations of conservation agriculture and productive grazing with technical guidance to be provided by national experts from research institutes as well as direct engagement of the targeted farmers and pastoralists in the relevant project’s pilots;
  • Contribute to development and dissemination of the conservation agriculture guidance for long term climate resilient agro-pastoral systems in the context of Karakalpakstan.
  1. Familiarization of farmers, dekhans, households and rural communities with the proven irrigation and drainage practices to improve farm-level drainage and reduce soil salinization:
  • Organize and conduct participatory surveys involved farmers, dekhans, local authorities, research institutes and water user and farmers associations to determine and agree on the most acceptable/efficient mix of irrigation and drainage technologies and approaches can be tested at the project’s pilots;
  • Conduct filed-based demonstrations of the proven best irrigation and drainage practices/technologies (e.g. land leveling, use of water efficient irrigation infrastructure, etc.) with the guidance of national experts in the relevant project’s pilots, and promote them to all relevant stakeholders;
  • Conduct field-based demonstration of the best pasture-land rehabilitation and management practices to achieve improved water supply of pastures and of livestock with ensuring the greater mobility and maintenance of vegetation in close interaction with local communities and with guidance of local experts;
  • Contribute to development, publication and dissemination of technical supporting papers focused on the best irrigation and drainage practices with codifying the lessons learned from the project activities.
  1. Minimizing impact of droughts on farm and household production through establishing greenhouses applicable to Karakalpakstans’ environment:
  • Conduct community-based consultations, and mobilize rural communities to test a range of horticultural greenhouse options applicable and affordable for the project targeted groups as a tool for increasing resilience and preparedness to droughts;
  • Work in close cooperation with local experts and develop technical designs (engineering parameters, siting, construction, operation and maintenance) and business plan to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of greenhouse use in the context of Karakalpakstan with considerations of the long-term sustainability and replication potential;
  • Contribute to development of publications on good practices of greenhouse operation and maintenance (with particular emphasis on low cost, low input, low energy and high output options; creating the micro climate for crop protection and mitigation of adverse impacts of drought) customized to the needs of dekhans and households and adjusted to the climate conditions in Karakalpakstan.

Operational tasks

  • Assist to the Project Manager in Nukus office/UN Joint Programme Manager in annual planning and in identifying partnership strategies with project stakeholders, advise on and contribute to efficient implementation and adjustment, in case of need, of the relevant project activities;
  • Ensure smooth and timely delivery of thematic activities and render required operational support in accordance with work plans; analyze potential problems and respond appropriately to ensure timely delivery of agreed outputs;
  • Keep fully cognizant of ongoing and planned activities to be implemented within the project Component 2 to facilitate realistic and efficient planning of thematic activities and required operational support; work closely with project team, consult with government officials to ensure timely and efficient providing of required assistance/contributions;
  • Be responsible for successful achieving expected outcomes and related to introducing and application of climate resilient farming practices by dekhkans and households in of Karakalpakstan;
  • Work closely with local communities, relevant agro and water management local institutions/bodies and national experts to ensure implementation of activities of national experts/organizations to be involved in the required data and information acquisition to support evidence based results and outputs;
  • Contribute to designing program of trainings and workshops on agro conservation and water saving science-based practices applicable for specific conditions of the Northern Karakalpakstan tailored for the project’s targeted groups;
  • Contribute to conducting various PR events, including roundtable discussions, workshops, exhibitions and trainings;
  • Contribute to elaboration the project ‘exit’ strategy to ensure sustainability of project outcomes and their scaling-up in the long-run.

COMPETENCIES

Corporate competencies

  • Demonstrating commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Exerts strict adherence to corporate rules, regulations and procedures;
  • Displaying cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional competencies

  • Fundamental knowledge of processes, methods and procedures;
  • Understanding the main processes and methods of work regarding to the position;
  • Possess basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks;
  • Demonstrating good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Presenting information on best practices in organizational change;
  • Demonstrating ability to identify problems and proposes solutions

Core competencies

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrating corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Self-development, initiative-taking;
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Creating synergies through self-control;
  • Managing conflict;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member;
  • Informed and transparent decision-making.

REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

Education

University degree (Bachelor) or equal  in Agro and Water Resources Management, Environmental and Climate Sciences areas

Experience

  • At least 2 years of practical experience in agro and water resources management.
  • Practical experience and technical skills in agro conservation and water saving practices design, planning and implementation;
  • Solid knowledge and skills of applied approaches for cost-benefit analysis to establish well-justified baselines and ensuring the evidence-based achievements;
  • Good comprehension of agro and water management issues and relevant legal and regulatory procedures, and proven experience with well-tested farm-based adaptation measures applicable for replication and up-scale;
  • Proven working experience with international development organization is an advantage.

Languages

Excellent command of spoken and written Russian, Uzbek and Karakalpak are essential.

Others

  • Practical experience in coordination of agro conservation and water management activities, preferably in Karakalpakstan;
  • Proven experience related to drought management systems is an advantage;
  • Knowledge and experience in gender mainstreaming is an asset;
  • Proven experience in working and collaborating with regional/local governments and private business;
  • Initiative and strong leadership skills;
  • Result and client-orientations;
  • Strong analytical, communication, writing, presentation and communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, ability to work in a team and to work under pressure and with tight deadlines, ethics and honesty;
  • Ability to use IT and communication technologies as a tool and resource.

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED