International Land and Water Resources Management Specialist

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Zimbabwe
Position Type: 
Full-Time
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Apply By: 
ASAP

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Organizational Setting

FAO's Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing sub-regional food, agriculture and rural development priorities. It develops and maintains relations with sub-region-wide institutions including Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs). It assists the FAO Representations (FAORs) in the sub-region with addressing sub-regional food security, agriculture and rural development issues at country level. The Sub regional Office is a subsidiary of FAO’s Regional Office for Southern Africa.

In southern Africa, agriculture is one of the most vulnerable sectors in times of climate-related disasters, with long-lasting effects to livelihoods, food and nutrition security and the economy. Over the past year, the region has experienced extreme climate-related hazards with adverse impacts on agriculture, food and nutrition security.  Large parts of central and western southern Africa experienced their lowest seasonal rainfall totals since 1981, and the region overall received less rainfall during the 2018/2019 season than during the 2015/2016 when there was an intense El Niño episode. The drought affected most countries of the region with Angola, Botswana and Namibia declaring drought disasters. Concurrently, weather systems of Cyclones Idai and/or Kenneth hit the Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe early 2019, resulting in devastating floods. As a result, some 41.5 million people are food insecure in 13 out of the 16 SADC member countries.

Because of their dependence on rain-fed agriculture, the smallholder farmers were most affected by the drought, significantly reducing their 2018/19 production. With consumption-based coping strategies not as resilient as they once were, the cumulative effects of up to three consecutively poor harvests in hotspot areas of Southern Africa have been detrimental for agricultural-based livelihoods and will continue to drive down crop and livestock production – deepening food and nutrition insecurity and crippling economic gains. The impacts of the drought have eroded the capacity of smallholder farmers to produce in the coming 2019/20 season, with potential negative food and nutrition outcomes in 2020 and beyond.  It is against this backdrop that there is need within the Sub Region to shift focus from solely a rain fed agricultural system to improving and expanding land and water resources management with view to increase agricultural productivity and protect livelihoods and coping strategies of the general populace. It is in line with this need that SFS is recruiting an International Land and Water Resources Management Specialist.

Reporting Lines

The Consultant reports to the Sub-regional Coordinator and maintains regular contact with FAO RAF and FAO headquarters in Rome for functional guidance on matters relating to policy and governance support in relation to Land and Water Resources Management.

Technical Focus

Given the early warnings of an impending drought in the sub region, the International Land and Water Resources Management Specialist will work closely with the FAO Reps within the Sub Region. The aim being to identify possible areas of improvement to water management systems, map out all the major irrigation systems, document land and water management systems in place, and propose policies backed by national governments to modernize existing irrigation and water management resources and systems.

Comprehensive technical and policy expertise to support the planning, development and implementation of Regional programmes, projects, products and services in accordance with Regional objectives and FAO Strategic Objectives.

Tasks and Responsibilities

•         Plan and lead components of multi-disciplinary teams, leads and/or participates in internal committees, project teams, and working groups and/or provides specialized expertise on technical networks and/or international technical policy and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies;

•         Develop technical, analytical, monitoring and reporting frameworks, and related methodologies, tools, systems and databases etc. to support the planning, implementation/delivery and monitoring of programmes of work, projects, products and/or services;

•         Design and conduct research, data collection, validation, analysis and/or reporting activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovative approaches and strategies, new tools, technologies, technical reports/publications, and/or policy proposals as well as the provision of technical/policy/ specialist/advice and expertise;

•         Respond to country requests for technical and policy assistance, provides technical advice, assistance and solutions to Decentralized Offices and provides technical backstopping to field projects;

•         Collaborate in, provide technical backstopping to and ensure the quality / effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials, on-line tools;

•         Promote international cooperation/advocate best practices, increased policy dialogue and provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings;

•         Participate in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate strategy.

Specific Functions

  • Modernization of irrigation systems;
  • Development of irrigation maps describing locations or routes of irrigation facilities such as water resources, irrigated areas, canals, pumping stations, and gates;
  • Assessment of the efficiency of existing irrigation subprojects and incorporate measures to improve efficiency in design;
  • Design operational systems for increasing efficiency and productivity of selected irrigation systems as subprojects.

CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING

Minimum Requirements

  •        Advanced university degree in natural resources management, environment, hydrology, Irrigation, Water Resources Management or related field.
  • Ten years of relevant experience in land and Water resources and environmental related activities, including natural resources /ecosystem assessment and management.
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish)

FAO Core Competencies

•         Results Focus

•         Team Work

•         Communication

•         Building effective relationships

•         Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

•         Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable

•         Extent and relevance of knowledge of Water resources assessment/management tools and methods

•         Extent and relevance of experience in analyzing land and water management and irrigation related issues

•         Extent and relevance of experience in the use of participated and integrated (cross-sectorial) use planning and territorial development tools and methods, ecosystem assessment/management and geo-statistical/ spatial analysis for sustainable development.

•         Ability to mobilize resources