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Senior Water Engineer (Irrigation and Design Specialist)

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Environment
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Water Resource Management
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-30

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Background Information - Myanmar

Myanmar is one of UNOPS’ leading offices in Asia, acting as fund manager for three of the largest development programmes in the country, namely the Access to Health Fund, the Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) and the Joint Peace Fund (JPF). In addition, UNOPS is Principal Recipient for the Global Fund in Myanmar and for the Global Fund’s Regional Artemisinin Initiative targeting drug resistant malaria in the greater Mekong sub-region. UNOPS provides procurement, infrastructure and project management services to a wide range of organizations in the country, including the Government of Myanmar, international development partners, other UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs. UNOPS plays a critical role in ensuring that the quality of services provided to its partners meets stringent requirements of speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS Myanmar has been selected by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) to provide “Project Management and Technical Assistance” for the implementation of Eastern States Agri-business Project (ESAP) which is financed by IFAD and implemented by IWUMD. The project’s goal is to improve the economic status of poor rural women and men in selected areas of Ka Yin and Shan states. Its objective is to increase the incomes of smallholder and agroforestry households in these areas in an environmentally sustainable manner. It will promote commercial smallholder agriculture linked to agribusiness, improve living standards of the rural communities, and reverse the environmental degradation. Economic benefits will be generated for 62,400 households consisting of 315,000 people of Karen, Shan, Paoh, Inn and Mon ethnic groups.

The Project components are (1) Strategic Investment (2) Enabling Investment and (3) Project Management. Under the Strategic Investment Component, there are two sub components namely Land Development and Agro-forestry. Under the Enabling Investment Component, there are two sub components namely Investment in Knowledge and Micro Finance Services. The lead project implementing agency is the Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department (IWUMD) of the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) Myanmar. The Project Implementation cooperating agencies are the Department of Agriculture (DOA), Department of Rural Development (DRD), Department of Agriculture Land Management and Statistic (DALMS), Department of Agricultural Mechanization (DAM), Department of the Agriculture Research (DAR) under the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Irrigation. ESAP Project Coordination Unit (PCU) is located in Nay Pyi Taw while the Project Implementation Offices (PIOs) are located in Taunggyi (Shan State) and Pha-An (Kayin State).

The total project cost is USD 65.2 million over a six-year implementation period.

The Irrigation and Design Engineer will be assigned to the Sub-Component 1.1 Land Development and Irrigation scheme Rehabilitation. Under this sub-component, project is aiming to rehabilitate the 18 irrigation schemes (6 in Shan state and 12 in Kayin State) covering 35,000 acres (25,000 acres in Shan State and 10,000 Acres in Kayin State). Land leveling and the land consolidation will be done along with the rehabilitation of the irrigation system for better agriculture mechanization. 

Functional Responsibilities

The Irrigation and Design Engineer under the leadership of the Project Director and the Project Management Advisor is responsible to provide necessary technical advises and guidance to the National Irrigation Specialist and the technicians of IWUMD who are implementing the day to day activities of Project Component 1 Strategic Investment, Land Development Sub-component which covers the Irrigation schemes renovation/improvement and land development.

The Irrigation and Design Engineer is accountable of the performance and value of the ESAP project, its implementing agency IWUMD and MOALI as a whole which will contribute directly to the core value of the donor IFAD.

The Irrigation and Design Engineer’s accountability/key results are the completion of the project irrigation supports and the land development which are the main intervention of the project which is major project investment to achieve the project objectives, goals and impacts such as reduction of the poverty, improvement of the nutrition, improve market access of the local products, improvement of the climate smart agriculture, good agriculture practices, increase the farmers’ incomes.

The investment in the irrigation renovation and the land development is the major investment of the project as approximately 50% of the project budget is allocated for it. The effectiveness of the investment is vested not only with the irrigation sector development, but coordination with the other related sectors such as Local Authorities, Agriculture, For Forestry, Community Development, Department of Agricultural Mechanization (DAM), Department of Agricultural Land Management and Statistic (DALMs), Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM),Environment conservation entities, etc.

S/he must be able to apply, with directions, the below duties and responsibilities.

  1. Review the Agriculture Infrastructure works (Land consolidation, Irrigation canal improvement, Irrigation system maintenance, Drainage, etc.) provisioned in the Project Design and Project Implementation manual in comparison with the actual capacity of the implementing agencies and the needs of the grass root beneficiaries.
  2. Review and assess the quality of available soil maps, hydraulics, topographic and cadastral data for designing, identify additional data and information required for designs and drawings.
  3. Produce terms of reference for service providers and contractors for implementation of the specific irrigation infrastructure works.
  4. Identify the entities for the survey design works, develop the service agreements/contracts for survey and design works.
  5. To advise in selection of irrigation technologies such as field-water management systems including drip, center pivot, sprinkler, etc. 
  6. To ensure that the monitoring of the performance of the service providers for compliance with the contracts/agreements are sound and in order. Review them and advise for improvement as necessary.
  7. Review contracts for the Irrigation construction/improvement/renovation works, land development and land consolidation works and improve them as necessary.
  8. To ensure that Quality Assurance, Quality Control are planned and followed for the Irrigation infrastructure works, work schedule, compliance with the social and environmental safeguards.
  9. Review the work completion reports of the contractors, organize the formal field inspection of the construction committee for the works completed, processing of the payments, and liability mitigation works of the contractors and provide necessary advice.

10. Assist in producing capacity building plan for technical staffs under IWUMD, DALMS, AMD, to produce training plan including study tours.

11. To provide necessary guidance for handing over of the irrigation schemes/lands to the beneficiaries along with the responsibility for operation and maintenance.

12. To provide advises for the operation maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure (Post construction).

13. To make sure that the social safeguard and environmental safeguards issues are embedded to the designs/drawings/BOQs and fully complied with.

14. Other duties assigned by the Project Director as required.


Study the project Design Report, Irrigation rehabilitation and the Land development activities provisioned, their budget allocation, implementation arrangement.

Study the on-going irrigation infrastructure activities including the topographic survey and designing works.

Meeting with the responsible technicians of IWUMD and its technical branches such as Investigation branch (Topographic Survey), Design branch, Water Resource Branch.

Field visits to the project sites Shan state and Ka Yin State.

To meet the similar projects in the region such as ADB, World Bank, JICA projects under IWUMD, Projects under DRD.

Knowledge Management:
  • Actively interact with other Project management personals and groups to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on the Knowledge System.
  • Provide feedback to Practice Leads on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies
  • Complete lessons learned as per reporting format
  • Incorporate lessons learned from others as per planning format
Core Values and Principles:
  • Understand and respect UNOPS sustainability principles
    • Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles.
    • Seek opportunities to champion gender equality at work place.
  • Understand and Respect National ownership and capacity
    • Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans
    • Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts
  • Partnerships and Coordination
    • Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project’s place in the UN system
    • Strive to build strong partnerships and effective coordination among relevant project actors (e.g. United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations or other relevant partners)
    • Accountability for results and the use of resources
      • Service agreements, contracting, procurement of the works are in line with the role and regulation of the donor and transparent. To report to the project management in case of any doubt arisen.
      • Excellence
        • Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality.
        • Completion of the designs and drawings for  the rehabilitation of 12 Irrigation schemes in Ka Yin State, 5 irrigation schemes in Ho Pong Valley and One Irrigation scheme in Taunggyi district.
        • Guidelines for Survey and designing of the Irrigation Infrastructure, Service Agreements, Contracting, Contract monitoring, Handing over, Operation and maintenance.
        • Capacity building plan for IWUMD.
Expected Results
  • Completion of the designs and drawings for  the rehabilitation of 12 Irrigation schemes in Ka Yin State, 5 irrigation schemes in Ho Pong Valley and One Irrigation scheme in Taunggyi district.
  • Guidelines for Survey and designing of the Irrigation Infrastructure, Service Agreements, Contracting, Contract monitoring, Handing over, Operation and maintenance.
  • Capacity building plan for IWUMD.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Master’s Degree in Hydrologic Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Irrigation, or related field.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in the same fields with additional two years relevant experience can be accepted in lieu of Master’s degree.
Work Experience
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in Irrigation survey/design, construction and maintenance.
  • Experience in Irrigated agriculture, operation of the water user groups, land consolidation, land use planning.
  • Comprehensive knowledge in computer software, particularly “AutoCAD” (latest Versions – 2009 and higher) is required.
  • Previous working experience in Southeast Asia.
Language Requirement
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type - International Individual Contractor Agreement (IICA) Contract level-  IICA 3
Contract duration - (6) Months

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS. 
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.  Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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.

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