International Consultant (Hydrological Engineer / Expert in Irrigation Canals)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

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 need to reduce water losses and associated land salinization from canal infiltration extends across the entire country, at all levels of the water management system, from long-distance distribution to farms.  The greatest potential for the project to generate rapid, cost-effective, large-scale results with canal linings lies on the domestic production side, where there are urgent untapped opportunities to update materials, increase output, and raise efficiency. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Economy of Turkmenistan (MAWE) currently operates three factories – one each in the Akhal, Mary, and Dashoguz velayats.  These facilities produce mostly reinforced concrete pipes and plates for canals. 

This component will include some investment in needed equipment and facility upgrades.  Its main focus, however, will be on technical assistance in formulating the products, preparing production lines, conducting field research and testing, and then planning and implementation of expanded production and installation.  The UNDP/GEF project and MAWE will work jointly on field testing and demonstration of all new products.

New canal lining products will be documented with regard to production processes, technical performance, environmental benefits, and cost.  Results and analysis will be compiled into a report, including recommendations and cost estimation by national and international experts for the most promising prospects for further investment at all three factories and installation in canals nationwide.  This report will be presented to MAWE for consideration as a basis for budget proposals to the Cabinet of Ministers.  Approval and implementation of such proposals is a major focus of Component 4.

The UNDP plans to recruit an International Consultant – Hydrological Engineer / Expert in Irrigation Canals to perform the actions outlined below for the EERE Project.


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, reports of international and national consultants, project targets and indicators related to lining of irrigation canals as well as other relevant information provided by the project team. Develop a detailed work plan of the assignment to achieve the project targets for the canal lining.
  • Action Two: Taking into account the international experience (with examples from some countries with similar climatic conditions like in Turkmenistan), provide an overview of different lining materials applied in water turbidity conditions varying from 0.5 g/l to 5 g/l.
  • Action Three: Using own and/or international experience in the development and use of anti-filtration coatings of irrigation canals, carry out market research to determine the economic efficiency of the application of various types of anti-filtration materials of irrigation canals applicable to the conditions of Turkmenistan. Prepare a detailed list of technical data to be collected and obtained by the local experts on feasibility studies of canal lining options;
  • Action Four: Based on data provided by project specialists and national experts including technical parameters of irrigation canals, conditions of their operation and Turkmenistan's capabilities to produce construction or other materials used or that can be used for lining of irrigation canals, prepare recommendations on the selection of the canal linings considering economic, ecological and technically feasible types and configurations of lining materials resistant to extreme climatic conditions in Turkmenistan as well as preliminary / approximate budget estimates for several options (at least 3 options);
  • Action Five: Based on the technical, financial and constructability aspects of the proposed options, prepare recommendations on the purchase of the necessary equipment for the production of selected types of lining materials (polymer, concrete and/or others), with the maximum use of locally produced raw materials.
  • Action Six: Provide recommendations for the preparation of tender documents, particularly on the technical part of the tender requirements, for the purchase of lining or raw materials and appropriate equipment / machinery to produce / apply lining materials at the pilot sites.
  • Action Seven: Visit the project pilot sites, collect, review and analyze the existing data on the pilot region. Take measurements and get / request new data if needed.
  • Action Eight: Provide recommendations to the National experts on methods of measuring the rates of canal’s infiltration losses and quantify the improvement of canals via pre-and post-rehabilitation testing. Conduct training for national water engineers and project team to test the infiltration losses using practical exercises on selected segments of the canal at pilot sites.
  • Action Nine: Provide technical support during the implementation of the pilot construction projects, including instructions on construction technology, necessary equipment and machinery, procedures for changing the shape and installation of each material, depending on the features of particular sections of the project, total length, area, channel shape, cost, standards, by which these types of works should be done according to government standards, timetable or deadline, as well as the whole range of other parameters and conditions that all need to be determined before commencement of the construction. Advise on alternative solutions to reduce the volume of earth works. Prepare a detailed list of technical data to be collected by the local experts over the implementation of the pilot projects;
  • Action Ten: Provide National experts with recommendations on the operation of lined canals in different periods of the year and on the methods for cleaning lined canals from deposits or weeds. Provide regular consultations, recommendations and methodological support to project’s National experts on the relevant project activities.
  • Action Eleven: Prepare a detailed final report on the assignment, including challenges, lessons learned and recommendations for implementation of projects activities.

Deliverables and timeframe:

Deliverable 1 prepared through actions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 above:

  • Detailed work plan of the assignment including clear actions, methodology and timeframe to achieve the project targets for the canal lining prepared;
  • Overview on lining materials applied in countries with similar climatic conditions like in Turkmenistan prepared;
  • Detailed list of technical data to be collected and obtained by the local experts on feasibility studies of canal lining options prepared;
  • Report with results of market research to determine the economic efficiency of the application of various types of anti-filtration materials of irrigation canals applicable to the conditions of Turkmenistan prepared;
  • Data collected by the project team analyzed and recommendations on canal lining options (at least 3 options) prepared including estimated budget of works and materials/equipment;
  • Recommendations on the procurement of the required equipment for the production/application of selected types of lining materials with the maximum use of local raw materials prepared;
  • Recommendations on the selection of project pilot sites prepared and pilot regions visited;
  • Technical recommendations for the tender documents prepared;
  • Recommendations on methods of seepage loss metering and measuring the improvement of canals provided. Hands-on training for national water engineers on testing the infiltration losses conducted;
  • Consultancy report on implementation of activities under Deliverable 2 prepared.

Location: Home based and 10 days mission to Turkmenistan. Number of days: 25 days.

Deliverable 2 prepared though actions 9, 10 and 11 above:

  • Guidance and technical support during the implementation of the pilot construction projects provided;
  • Detailed list of technical data to be collected by the local experts over the implementation of the pilot projects prepared;
  • Recommendations on the operation and maintenance of lined canals provided;
  • Regular email/skype communication with the project team maintained;
  • Final consultancy report on overall assignment, including challenges, lessons learned and recommendations for implementation of project activities prepared.

Location: Home based. Number of days: 10 days.

Payment conditions:

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy and other costs 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 three installments: 1st installment: 60% (for deliverable 1), 2nd installment: 40% (for deliverables 2) – 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 work experience in the energy efficiency related water and agriculture projects, including those funded by the GEF;
  • Excellent training, facilitation and communication skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and experience in the field of water use efficiency.
Required Skills and Experience


  • University Bachelors’ degree in one of the related fields including hydraulic engineering, construction, water management and other related fields. A Masters’ degree in these fields is an advantage.


  • At least 10 years of experience in one of the related fields including design, construction, construction supervision, operation, maintenance, and assessment of the efficiency of irrigation canals;
  • Good knowledge of international standards, experience and methodologies in the field of canal lining;
  • Previous relevant work experience with the UN or other international organizations is an asset;
  • Knowledge and experience of work in the CIS, Central Asia and other countries with similar climatic conditions is an advantage.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Russian is desirable and will be considered as an advantage.

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 methodology for implementation of the assignment including tentative timeframes. Information on previous projects realized with involvement of the candidate including post-rehabilitation test results of the projects;
  • 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%.

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

  • Education in engineering and/or construction – 25 pts;
  • The experience (10 years) in one of the related fields including design, construction, construction supervision, operation, maintenance, and assessment of the efficiency of irrigation canals – 25 pts;
  • Methodology – 10 pt;
  • Knowledge and experience of work in the CIS, Central Asia and other countries with similar climatic conditions – 20 pts;
  • Fluency in English – 10 pts;
  • Fluency in Russian – 10 pts.

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 65 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.