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Irrigation and Rural Infrastructure Engineer


  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Water Resource Management
  • Closing Date: Closed


• 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 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

The FAO Investment Centre (CFI) aims to be the go-to place for investment and finance solutions that lead to more efficient, sustainable, inclusive and resilient agrifood systems. Working in over 120 countries, CFI provides a full suite of investment and finance support to FAO Members. It partners with governments, international financial institutions, national and international organizations, the private sector, research institutions, academia and producer organizations to improve the quality and quantity of agrifood investment. The Centre’s four main areas of work include support to strategic investment planning and policy, public investment, private investment, and innovative finance. These are complemented by the knowledge of investment and capacity development for investment programmes that serve to share knowledge more widely and position the Centre as a trusted voice on investment and finance.

CFI is a multidisciplinary Centre comprising the Director’s office, which leads on strategy and business development, knowledge management, communication and administration, and five regional services: Asia and the Pacific; Near East and North Africa, and Europe and Central Asia; West and Central Africa; East and Southern Africa; and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The post is located in the Near East and North Africa, and Europe and Central Asia Service (CFIC) of the FAO Investment Centre (CFI) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Reporting lines
The Irrigation and Rural Infrastructure Engineer reports to the Chief, Near East and North Africa, and Europe and Central Asia Service of the FAO Investment Centre.

Technical Focus
Provide analytical and technical support on water resources management, irrigation, drainage and rural infrastructure aspects for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of investment policies, strategies, programmes and projects in food and agriculture, rural development, natural resources management and agro-processing.

Key Results
Delivering investment and finance support solutions through the provisions of technical expertise/assistance and support to capacity development, in collaboration with country stakeholders and cooperating partners, to achieve impact at scale in the transformation of agrifood systems within the scope of the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions
• Participates in, and eventually leads, multidisciplinary teams to assist governments in the identification and preparation of investment and finance support initiatives in the fields of food security, agriculture, rural development, natural resources management and agro-processing, and participates in pre-appraisal and appraisal missions.
• Participates in, and eventually leads, multidisciplinary teams for the implementation support and the preparation of final evaluation of investment and finance support solutions.
• Provides technical expertise for the preparation of food and agriculture, rural development, natural resources management and agro-processing studies and strategies, in the formulation of national sector and/or sub-sector investment plans and programmes.
• Supports the development of inclusive and sustainable food systems involving producers, their organizations, other private sector actors, civil society organizations and governments.
• Formulates and delivers capacity development initiatives in the areas of food and agriculture, rural development, natural resources management and agro-processing investment support to government staff, non-state actors and private sector organizations.
• Prepares documents in accordance with the requirements of FAO, governments and financial partners.
• Provides support in task organization, selection of consultants, preparation of terms of reference and in ensuring the quality of outputs.
• Promotes international cooperation and collaboration leading to new investment opportunities and cooperative agreements, advocates best practices and effective policy dialogue, and provides technical expertise at international meetings.
• Establishes, promotes and maintains relationships with relevant Strategic Programmes, FAO Technical Units and Decentralized Offices in order to ensure best synergies between investment, policy and innovation work in support to Member countries.
• Participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.
• Provides guidance and advice to junior staff.

Specific functions
• Participates in project/programme formulation of irrigation and drainage, agriculture water resources management, including on-farm, as well as rural infrastructure investment strategies and operations, using where possible, geospatial information and models for optimising planning, decision making and water use efficiency.
• Provides technical expertise to government agencies, international financial institutions and development partners, producers, water users’ organizations and other stakeholders on best practices, and interacts to facilitate exchange of critical information, validation of findings and recommendations regarding investment constraints and opportunities in the agriculture water sector.
• Provides contributions or reviews for technical soundness, consistency and compliance with national strategies and policies, as well as financial partners’ requirements, as applicable, investment project documentation, sector and policy reports and recommendations, technical documents including engineering design, institutional aspects of irrigation and drainage system operation and maintenance, and other relevant material.
- Combines knowledge of agriculture and water-requirements of crops, modern agricultural practices with applied irrigation techniques and appropriate institutional set-ups.


Minimum Requirements
• Advanced University degree in irrigation engineering, agriculture water resources management, or a closely related field.
• Seven years of relevant experience in irrigation, drainage and rural infrastructure and agriculture water management, including experience in engineering design, construction, supervision, institutional set-ups in systems operation and maintenance for investments.
• 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.
• Extent and relevance of experience in major technical fields related to engineering design, construction and work supervision.
• Extent and relevance of experience in leading, or participating, in multidisciplinary teams for the preparation of strategies and sector studies as well as formulation, implementation support or evaluation of irrigation, drainage and rural infrastructure, agriculture water resources management, food security, agriculture, rural development, natural resources management and agro-processing, investment and finance support solutions.
• Extent and relevance of experience in investment formulation, implementation support and evaluation procedures of FAO’s main development partners, in particular the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other partner International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
• Knowledge of the context, as well as partners and institutions, of the specific subregion would be an asset.
• Extent of experience in capacity development for the formulation and implementation of support programmes for water users’ organizations and promotion of participatory irrigation management, as well as, the training of irrigation engineers and managers.
• Demonstrated experience in dealing with government officials, development partners and other country stakeholders.
• Demonstrated capacity to write technical reports in English.
• Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of French and/or Russian would be an asset.

This vacancy is now closed.
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