The joint project of the UNDP, Adaptation Fund (AP) and Government of Uzbekistan is a new initiative not only by thematic aspects but also in terms of expected scale of outputs and outcomes. The project aims at developing climate resilience of rural communities that are the most vulnerable to climate change in Karakalpakstan. Those vulnerable communities with occupied territories 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 expected ambitious results and outputs to be achieved as well as tough timelines set up for their implementation, imply the importance of the presence of the strong and flexible thematic and managerial leadership for the project’s main components. Project comprises five components, among which two (namely Component 2 and 3) with the most decisive outputs that will contribute to achieving the project goal. The 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. Considering the fact that the project experience and the best practices are going to be used for the development of future funding proposals targeting bigger international Funds specialized in climate financing, e.g. Green Climate Fund, role of the Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices for the project Component 2 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 will undertake efficient planning of agro conservation and water saving activities. He/she will be also responsible for some operational support to ensure timely implementation of the activities in accordance with respective annual and multi-years workplans indicated in the approved project Document, APA and AWP 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 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 and operational support to contribute to successful achievement of the project component 2 and overall outputs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager in Nukus office/UN Joint Programme Manager, the Specialist on agro conservation and water saving practices 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.
Familiarization of farmers, dekhans, and households with the proven climate resilient conservation agricultural practices:
Organize and conduct consultation workshops targeting farmers, pastoralists and research institutes to determine the most suitable mix of crops and practices that 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 farmers and pastoralists from the project sites;
Contribute to the development and dissemination of the conservation agriculture guidance for long term climate resilient agro-pastoral systems in the context of Karakalpakstan.
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 involving 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 that can be tested at the project’s pilots;
Conduct filed-based demonstrations of the proven best practices on irrigation and drainage (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 practices in the area of pasture-land rehabilitation and management 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 the development, publication and dissemination of technical supporting papers focused on the best practices on irrigation and drainage with codifying the lessons learned from the project activities.
Minimizing impact of droughts on farm and households 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 the 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.
Responsible for annual panning of thematic activities that to be implemented within the project Component 2;
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;
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;
Provide all required thematic inputs and operational support to successful achievement of expected outcomes related to introducing and application of climate resilient farming practices by dekhkans and householdsof 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;
Design programs 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 conduct various PR events, including roundtable discussions, workshops, exhibitions and trainings by means of providing the required thematic content and information.
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.
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
Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity;
Demonstrating corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
Creating synergies through self-control;
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
Bachelor degree in economics of agriculture, rural and international development, economics and relevant areas.
Proven track of at least 2 years of experience in the area of rural development;
Practical experience in developing and implementing innovative projects in the rural areas including in the agriculture sector;
Solid knowledge and skills of applied approaches for cost-benefit analysis to establish well-justified baselines and ensuring the evidence-based achievements;
Proven working experience with international development organization is an advantage.
Excellent command of spoken and written Russian, Uzbek and Karakalpak are essential. Knowledge of English is an asset.
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.