By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

National Sociologist/anthropologist

Colombo (Sri Lanka)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-24

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.

  • 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 member nations, and person 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 our values. FAO has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and FAO, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
  • All selected candidates, therefore, will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization

Organizational Setting

The project “Knowing Water Better: Towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources for greater food security (Knowat)” aims to strengthen water governance processes in three countries – Senegal, Sri Lanka and Rwanda – so that they are better prepared to ensure food security and adapt to climate change, and for managing increased competition for water resources in a more equitable and sustainable manner The practical importance of law in connection with water tenure, whether formal or customary, will tend to increase with water scarcity and increased competition for water. For this, the project promotes an integrated approach to arrive at a comprehensive Methodology for the assessment of water tenure that takes into account not only the biophysical aspects, but also the policy, legal, economic and socio-cultural aspects link to water use.

The sociological/anthropological component of this project, whose implementation is overseen by the Land And Water Division (NSLD), requires to conduct in depth research (literature review and field research) to contribute to the water use and water users’ assessment and the assessment of the governance of water tenure. The sociological/anthropological component of the preliminary and scoping phases of the implementation of the guide “Methodology for the assessment of water tenure” will result in a description of the main water uses in the assessment area, the identification of water governance arrangements and rules related to water tenure in the assessment area and conduct a field research to identify water users, the source of the water they use and the relations with the authorities (customary or governmental) that have a say regarding those uses.

Reporting Lines

She or he will be working under the overall guidance of the FAO Representative in Sri Lanka and direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative/ Programme and with overall supervision of Knowat project Lead Technical Officer (LTO), technical supervision by the KnoWat National Project Coordinator and with technical backstopping from the International Water Tenure and Governance Expert and NSLD.

Technical Focus

The assessment of water tenure arrangements under this project will be undertaken as part of overall water resources assessments in Sri Lanka, which will include a bio physical water assessment and a water accounting and auditing exercise, which together look at the status and trends of water supply, demand, use, as well as the broader context of governance, institutional mandates and powers, public and private expenditure, laws and the wider political economy. There will be an effort to integrate the methodology developed for water tenure assessments into the overall water accounting and auditing methodology to be developed by the project, as well as an effort to identify the commonalities and differences between land tenure and water tenure, with reference to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the Sourcebook on Water Accounting and Auditing. NSLD will be responsible for the development of the methodology concerning the overall water resources assessments by developing necessary guidelines and templates in this context.

Tasks and responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Knowat project Lead Technical Officer (LTO) and the National KnoWat Project Coordinator, under the overall technical supervision of the project team and in consultation with national authorities and local actors, and in close collaboration with the national legal specialist, the National Sociologist/anthropologist will :
1. In collaboration with the project coordinator and the project team, provide technical backstopping to finalize the selection of the assessment area and the research area for the field research.

2. Provide technical backstopping for the elaboration of communication and awareness raising material.

3. In collaboration with the national legal specialist, he/she will contribute to the preliminary water use and water users’ assessment in the assessment area (activity 2.2 of the preparatory research). More specifically he/she will identify the uses and users of water recognized by custom, religion, family status, etc. by conducting a desk review to identify the uses of water in the research area (even if not recognized/protected by the formal legal framework) and if possible identify the users rights and responsibilities related to each use. (See implementation plan for the recommended steps).

4. In collaboration with the national legal specialist and water accounting expert he/she will contribute to the preliminary field research of water tenure in the research area (activity 2.3 of the preparatory research). More specifically he/she will identify and describe policy framework in the country that related to water, identify the agencies in charge of water tenure legislation, and their respective roles and responsibilities and identify what hydrological information exists, for both surface and groundwater. (See implementation plan for the recommended steps).

5. In collaboration with the national legal specialist conduct field research in the identify research area he/she will identify water users at local level, identification of local authorities (traditional, in the family, public ), identify the uses and user of water and if they are or not recognized by the legal framework, identify water uses and water resources that are dependent of the land, and finally identify challenges regarding water tenure arrangements in the assessment area, including actual or potential conflicts. (See implementation plan for the recommended steps).

6. Prepare regular activity reports and executive summary of the main findings under items 1-3 for the international governance consultant and the project team;

7. Prepare short reports of meetings and workshops organize under items 1-3 with main points discussed, conclusions and action points for review by the international governance consultant and the project team;

8. Ensuring synergies and links with the overall of the components of the Water tenure assessment guide;

9. Participate to team meetings, validation workshops and other related activities;

10. Participate to the definition and planning of next activities for the Methodology for the assessment of water tenure

11. Perform related duties, as required.


Minimum Requirements

• A university degree in sociology or anthropology, with focus on environmental, natural resources management, development or agriculture in Sri Lanka and a minimum of three to five years of experience in related fields.
• Experience in conducting field research using qualitative research methods with a socio-cultural perspective.
• Familiarity with water management and water uses, governance of natural resources, applicable to food security and nutrition are considered an asset.
• Excellent analytical and report drafting skills in English.
• Problem solving and analytical thinking skills.
• Sri Lankan National or resident in the country with a regular work permit.

FAO Core Competencies

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Selection Criteria

• Flexibility and tact to work with multidisciplinary teams.
• Ability to conduct analytical work under pressure and meet agreed dates.
• Knowledge of the operation and procedures in social surveys.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.

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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.