International Technical Specialist (Water Management and Food Safety), Home Based

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

Country: Home-based

Closing date: Wednesday, 14 July 2021


International Technical Specialist (Water Management and Food Safety)

Job Posting: 30/Jun/2021

Closure Date: 14/Jul/2021, 9:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : NSL

Job Type: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition : Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)

Grade Level : N/A

Primary Location: Home-Based

Duration : Up to 11 months

Post Number : N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

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 Land and Water Division (NSL) aims at enhancing the agricultural productivity and nutrition by advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through their improved governance, management, development and conservation. It addresses the challenges member countries face in ensuring productive and efficient use of land and water resources in order to meet present and future demands for agricultural products, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the land and water quantity and quality.

The Project will address strengthening food safety through developing comprehensive food safety systems through prevention of risks at source (pre-harvest factors) through integrated water management and promoting on-farm best management practices to ensure crop safety and human health. Water plays a central and connecting role in food production, public health and the environment and the linkages between agricultural water quality and use and the incidence and spread of foodborne pathogens must be further understood to provide evidence-based policy guidance for the prevention, detection and response to foodborne pathogens.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director of the Land and Water Division (NSL) and the direct supervision of the Lead Technical Officer (LTO) of the water quality, irrigation and on-farm controls for achieving global food safety and nutritional security project, the consultant will perform the following tasks: Tasks and responsibilities

In coordination with FAO staff and national consultants, review the background and justification information collated by both staff and the national consultant to support project delivery; i.e., analyze and validate the parameters and criteria to be used for the selection of the project areas for data collection for project scope.

Provide technical/expert insights in meetings of the project task force with participating countries and the technical support group in headquarters;
Identify non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private companies, which could be considered for subcontracting the implementation of certain project components or activities;
Appraise the scope of the project on the basis of the requirements and overall background available;
Appraise different options for irrigation based on appropriate water quality and the local experiences and technologies available and adoptable as identified by national consultant;
Provide technical/expert guidance on consultations with experts, scientific and farmer community, extensionists, and private sector towards the development a holistic agricultural land and water management guidelines for governments in the practical mitigation of contamination and spread of foodborne illnesses from agriculture with water as the focus and understanding vehicles of transmission;
In coordination with FAO staff and national consultants, conduct a global desk review and compilation of on-farm land and water management approaches, low-tech/cost agricultural interventions, and irrigation and drainage controls available to prevent foodborne contamination during agricultural production (e.g. irrigation timing and management; reapplication of manure as organic fertilizer; low-tech water treatment; vector reduction, farm fencing, manure treatment, etc.);
In coordination with the Environmental AMR and Water Management Expert in development, review and quality assurance of recommendations of on-farm land and water management approaches, low-tech/cost agricultural interventions, and irrigation and drainage controls available to prevent foodborne contamination during agricultural production for farmers based on completed desk review;
In coordination with the Environmental AMR and Water Management Expert in development, review and quality assurance of guidelines for governments of risk reduction of pathogen pathways from pre-harvest to post-harvest (farm-to-fork) recommendations with national Ministries;
Tags agricultural land agricultural production agricultural productivity agricultural products capacity development continuous improvement data collection food production food safety food supply integrated water management knowledge sharing natural resources poverty reduction supply chain sustainable development transparency vehicles water management water quality water resources water treatment

Examine the need for training and capacity building of the project partner institutions and beneficiaries in order to ensure the sustainability, and the proper filed measurements and harmonized data collection on water samples used for WGS, etc;
Assist in data validation submitted by national counterparts/labs related to WGS and propose risk reduction approaches throughout the food supply chain;
Perform any other duties when required.


Minimum Requirements

University degree in water/food safety science, microbiology and health disciplines, natural resources management, agriculture, irrigation, nutrition or other related fields - those with a PhD will have an added Advantage;
At least 7 years of relevant working experience in integrated land and water assessment and management, preparation of training material and organization and implementation of capacity development activities at the national and field levels;
Working knowledge of English, and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO official languages (French or Spanish preferred).

FAO Core Competencies

Results Focus



Building Effective Relationships

Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

Work experience in more than one area of work including proven ability to implement studies in a multidisciplinary team

Extent and relevance of experience in organizing national consultation meetings, conferences, workshops and training courses

Very good capacity and relevant experience and knowledge in collecting, managing and analyzing technical information and data, as well as in sustainable development in the agricultural sector;
Excellent writing skills

Good knowledge of the major challenges relating to water quality and reuse, food safety and food systems.

Good knowledge of national and international institutions working in the field of water management, food safety, poverty reduction, agricultural and food systems.

Demonstrated ability to rapidly integrate technical information.

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


FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)

Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list If you are in possession of language certificate/s from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT), please attach the certificate/s when submitting the application.

For more information, visit the FAO employment website


To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.

We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline

If you need help please contact:

Link to the organization’s job offer: