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Land And Water Officer (Spatial Analysis and Crop Suitability)


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Junior level - P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Human Settlements (Shelter, Housing, Land, Property)
  • Closing Date: 2024-07-31

IMPORTANT NOTICE\: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device
The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments


• FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture
• Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply
• Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
• FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
• All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
• All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
• FAO staff are subject to the authority of the Director-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the Organization.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting
FAO's Land and Water Division (NSL) foresees a future whereby governments, development partners, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector and farmers, all work together to ensure that land, soil, and water resources are wisely used, conserved and restored for sustainable and resilient agri-food systems that support food security, nutrition and human wellbeing.
NSL provides policy guidance, technical and financial assistance to Members in developing policies, programmes, best practices and management tools for ensuring productive and efficient use of land, soil and water resources to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of these resources. It promotes equitable access to and sustainable management of these natural resources with a view to enhancing productivity, livelihoods, equity, health and ecosystem services.
Under the FAO Conceptual Framework for Integrated Land and Water Resources Management, NSL will work towards a core set of five integrated and strategic Objectives and Action Areas that have been elaborated to cut across the thematic land, water, soils, and geospatial areas of work of the Division\: (1) Good Governance; (2) Wise use and restoration; (3) Mitigation and resilience; (4) Integrated solutions; (5) Data, digitalization, technology and innovation.

The post is located in the Geospatial Unit of Land and Water Division (NSL) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting Lines
The Land and Water Officer (Spatial Analysis and Crop Suitability) reports to the Senior Land and Water Officer, Head of Geospatial Unit, NSL.

Technical Focus
The incumbent will support the development of crop suitability and yield information based on Global Agro-Ecological Zoning methodological framework and, at sub-national and local scale, based on crop models enhanced with remote sensing and spatial data. She or he will also support the integrity, security and accessibility of crop suitability data, coordinating with project teams to integrate data into the Global Agro-Ecological Zoning (GAEZ) framework and decision support systems developed in related projects, ensuring effective collection, management and dissemination of data while fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among diverse project stakeholders.

Key Results
Collection and analysis of information, data, statistics and project/meeting services to support programme projects, products and services.

Key Functions
• Collects and analyses relevant technical, social, economic, environmental, institutional and technology related information, data and/or statistics to support the delivery of programme projects, products and services.
• Undertakes analysis, provides technical input for plans and reports and edits/revises technical/scientific documents.
• Participates in the development of improved work methods, tools and systems.
• Updates databases and web pages.
• Participates in multidisciplinary project/work teams.
• Collaborates in the development of training tools and materials and the organization of workshops/seminars, etc.
• Participates in the organization, conduct and follow-up of meetings, consultations and conferences, the development/production of required materials and the provision of information and assistance to partners.

Specific Functions
• Supports the implementation of the Crop Suitability Assessment Framework in support of relevant FAO projects and initiatives.
• Collaborates with international, regional and national organizations for updating the GAEZ framework, GAEZ input datasets, updating the GAEZ platform.
• Collaborates with national and international partners to gather relevant information and insights for crop suitability mapping.
• Conducts comprehensive analyses of crop suitability data, considering factors, such as climate, soil and land characteristics.
• Supports the development and implementation of strategies to improve crop suitability in various regions, considering sustainable and resilient agricultural practices.
• Contributes to the enhancement of FAO's decision-making frameworks, integrating the latest advancements in crop suitability assessment methodologies.
• Provides technical assistance and guidance to FAO projects and initiatives related to crop suitability and Global Agro-Ecological Zoning.
• Contributes to the formulation and implementation of multi-level decision making platform for crop suitability.
• Collaborates with teams and external partners in creating robust methodologies for gathering, processing, and visualizing crop suitability data.
• Collaborates in designing data management strategies to guarantee data integrity, security and accessibility.
• Utilizes geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing and other geospatial technologies to improve the efficiency of data collection on climate, soil, terrain and land cover as inputs to agro-ecological zoning and crop suitability.
• Supports strengthening national capacities, contributing to the design and delivery of training programmes and participating in capacity-building activities like workshops and seminars to improve national capabilities in data management and interpretation of results related to crop suitability and agro-ecological zoning.
• Assists in tracking project progress and assessing the quality of data collection, management and distribution initiatives.
• Supports the establishment of relationships with project stakeholders, including government agencies and relevant organizations.
• Supports collaboration and information sharing among project partners.


Minimum Requirements
• Advanced university degree in geoscience, agriculture, environmental sciences and natural resources management, or a related field.
• Three years of relevant experience in spatial analysis for agro-ecological zoning and crop suitability analysis.
• Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate - level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• 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.
• Demonstrated expertise in utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) tools and agricultural modelling for assessing crop suitability.
• Strong understanding of Global Agro-Ecological Zoning, sustainable agriculture practices and their integration into decision-making processes.
• Proven ability to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research institutions.
• Knowledge and skills in geospatial data management practices for organizing, retrieving and handling large datasets.
• Extent and relevance of experience in the use of FAO approaches for agro-ecological zoning and crop suitability assessments.
• Extent and relevance of experience in project management methods to track progress, manage tasks and ensure efficient workflows.
• Extent and relevance of experience in capacity building programmes.
• Limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of French is desirable to ensure proper level of communication with project countries.
• Extent and relevance of experience in preparing data for publication, including data cleaning, validation and documentation.
• Understanding of the principles of open data and experience with publishing data in accessible formats.
• Ability to effectively use digital tools for communication and collaboration within and across teams.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.
• FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment
• Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
• Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.
A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link\: https\://
Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include\:
• Dependency allowances
• Rental subsidy
• Education grant for children
• Home leave travel
• 30 working days of annual leave per year
• Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
• International health insurance; optional life insurance
• Disability protection
FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes\:
• elements of family-friendly policies
• flexible working arrangements
• standards of conduct
• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications and language skills;
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile;
• Once your profile is completed, please apply and submit your application;
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided on your online profile;
Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http\://

• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications;
• Incomplete applications will not be considered;
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered;
Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
• We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance\: https\://

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.