Technical Adviser (Irrigation Extension)

Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


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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
The Programme Management Unit (PMU) of the FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme (2019-2025) facilitates, coordinates and manages all technical and advisory services to be provided by FAO to the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MoEWA) and its sister agencies. Within the framework of the Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) Technical Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering the period 2019-2025 signed on 13 February 2019 between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by MoEWA and FAO, the UTF project ‘UTF/SAU/053/SAU: Promoting efficient irrigation and water productivity amongst farmers’ was approved by FAO and the Saudi Irrigation Organization (SIO). The Project, developed jointly by SIO and FAO, focuses directly on supporting implementation of the Saudi Irrigation Organization Corporate Strategy, which was developed within the context of the Saudi Vision 2030 and aims at strengthening the capacity of SIO to improve irrigation efficiency among small-scale farmers. The Project is expected to achieve the Outcome ‘Increased adoption of innovative and efficient irrigation technologies and practices in target Saudi regions’, and in turn contributing towards achieving the national development goal of improving irrigation efficiency and ensuring sustainable use of water resources in the Kingdom.
The position is located in the Saudi Irrigation Organization in Al-Hofuf, Eastern Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Reporting Lines
The Technical Adviser (Irrigation Extension) reports to the Programme Coordinator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the overall guidance of the Assistant Director-General/Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa.

Technical Focus
Capacity development and knowledge management for irrigation development.

Key Results
Comprehensive technical and policy expertise to support technical cooperation-related programmes, projects, products and services in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions

  • Leads the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned technical cooperation-related programmes/projects; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, liaises with relevant parties; identifies follow-up actions.
  • Coordinates technical cooperation activities and programme-related activities and reviews the assessments of issues and trends for their implementation and leads the preparation of impact evaluation or equivalent studies.
  • Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analyses, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications.
  • Contributes to consultative and other meetings, conferences, including proposals for agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations.
  • Participates in activities such as structuring of training workshops, seminars; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
  • Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties.
  • Provides advice regarding the development of policies and strategies related to technical cooperation, as well as regional, subregional and national protocols and guidelines for projects with specific domains related to FAO’s work.

Specific Functions

  • Leads a comprehensive review of situation of irrigation extension system and services for promotion and adoption of irrigation technologies and practices by the farmers in different cropping systems in KSA.
  • Contributes in conducting baseline and diagnostic assessment of the current status of irrigation technologies, practices, irrigation systems and management and corresponding characterization and classification adopting internationally recognized methods and standards.
  • Undertakes identification, pilot testing and adoption of innovative technologies and practices to sustainably increase efficiency of irrigation, water productivity by farmers and management of irrigation systems.
  • Develops, designs and implements comprehensive needs-based irrigation extension field programme for the establishment including extension campaigns, social media, model/irrigation demonstration farms for the main cropping systems and others.
  • Contributes in enhancement of the capacity of national cadre and farmers for adopting efficient irrigation technologies and its management.
  • Contributes to establishing and/or enhancing linkages between extension, research institutions and farmers.
  • Documents experiences of technology transfers in extension programme and assesses its impact.
  • Supports development of demand-driven and responsive partnerships to benefit Saudi Arabia from proven innovation and good practices in the south and north for efficient irrigation extension development.
  • Contributes to the development and dissemination of information and knowledge products for evidence-based irrigation efficiency and management.
  • Contributes to the development, implementation and monitoring of the Project overall and annual work and expenditure plans.
  • Contributes to the preparation of project progress reports and the terminal report identifying lessons learned, issues that require timely resolution as well as corrective actions and presents recommendations for improving performance.
  • Performs other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in agriculture extension, irrigation management, irrigation engineering, irrigation technologies or related subjects.
  • Seven years of relevant experience in technical cooperation-related activities, policy analysis and advice related to water resources/irrigation management, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of Arabic.


  • 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.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in working with inter-governmental bodies and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in using innovative technologies, approaches and tools in managing teams, business processes, and in managing for results.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in risk management.

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