Land and Water Officer

Site FAO

Organizational Setting

The Subregional Office for West Africa (SFW) closely collaborates with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other key subregional institutions in supporting the 15 ECOWAS member countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo) to promote and improve, on a sustainable basis, the rate of growth of agricultural productivity and accelerate the competitiveness of their agricultural sectors in a broad-based and gender-sensitive enhancement of food and nutrition security and poverty reduction, while protecting and preserving the natural resources and the environment.

SFW provides cutting-edge expertise in response to specific requests from governments. Support can take the form of policy advice, capacity building and assistance in formulating and supporting the implementation of subregional and countries priorities guided by the Africa priorities of the FAO Africa Regional Conference (ARC) that are aligned with and contribute to the delivery of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 and the 4 betters. The programmatic areas of work that SFW implements contribute to the achievement of the 20 corporate Programme Priority Areas (PPAs) through the 15 regional programmatic priority areas of work. SFW is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing subregional food security, nutrition, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, land, soil, water and rural development priorities.

The post is located in the Subregional Office for West Africa in Dakar, Senegal.

Reporting Lines

The Land and Water Officer reports to the Subregional Coordinator/FAO Representative in Senegal.

Technical Focus

  • Sustainable land and soil management, including the Land Tenure dimension, in the context of agriculture development.
  • Integrated land use planning for climate-smart agriculture and food security.
  • Integrated water resource management in the context of the agri-food systems transformation and enhancement of agriculture production.
  • Irrigation, drought and flood management for climate resilient agriculture and livelihoods development.
  • Innovative approaches for addressing water scarcity in agriculture.
  • Sustainable soil health and fertility management for improved agriculture productivity.
  • Climate smart agriculture and resilience.
  • Innovative technologies in land, soil and water management, including the use of solar powered energy in water access, control and management.

Key Results

Comprehensive technical and policy expertise to support the planning, development and implementation of regional programmes, projects, products and services in accordance with regional objectives and the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions

  • Plans and leads components of multidisciplinary teams; leads and/or participates in internal committees, project teams and working groups, and/or provides specialized expertise on technical networks and/or international technical policy and standard setting bodies.
  • Develops technical, analytical, monitoring and reporting frameworks and related methodologies, tools, systems and databases, etc. to support the planning, implementation/delivery and monitoring of programmes of work, projects, products and/or services.
  • Designs and conducts research, data collection, validation, analysis and/or reporting activities to support the development of technical standards, international instruments, innovative approaches and strategies, new tools, technologies, technical reports/publications and/or policy proposals as well as the provision of technical/policy/specialist/advice and expertise.
  • Responds to country requests for technical and policy assistance, provides technical advice, assistance and solutions to Decentralized Offices as well as technical backstopping to field projects.
  • Collaborates in, provides technical backstopping to, and ensures the quality/effectiveness of capacity development and knowledge sharing activities within Member countries such as policy support, organizational development and individual learning events including preparation of related information, learning materials and on-line tools.
  • Promotes international cooperation/advocates best practices, increased policy dialogue and provides technical expertise at international/intergovernmental meetings.
  • Participates in resource mobilization activities in accordance with the FAO Corporate Strategy.

Specific Functions

  • Participates and contributes to the development and implementation of land use and water management policies in West Africa at country and subregional levels.
  • Collaborates in the establishment, implementation and follow-up of collaborative partnerships with other agencies and relevant institutions in West Africa with responsibilities in the area of irrigation technologies, land, soil and water resource control and management.
  • Organizes and delivers capacity building activities in the areas of land, soil and water resource management.
  • Represents the Organization at events at national, regional and international levels; provides technical support in integrated water resources management, including irrigation and participatory approaches, focused on nature-based solutions and sustainable agriculture.

Candidates will be assessed against the following

Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in Rural Engineering, Natural Resources Management, Rural development, Soil Science, Hydrology, Hydrogeology or related field.
  • Seven years of relevant experience in land, soil and water resources.
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and French.


  • 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, is desirable.
  • Field experience at both national and regional levels in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly West Africa, would be an asset.
  • Extent and relevance of international experience and expertise in land, soil and water resource management, irrigation, drought and flood assessment and mitigation, including assessment/management tools and methods, particularly in West Africa.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in project/programme formulation, implementation and monitoring in the field of land and water resource management, particularly in West Africa.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the use of participated and integrated (cross-sectorial) land and water-use planning and territorial development tools and methods, ecosystem assessment/management and geo-statistical/spatial analysis for sustainable land and water resource development.
  • Ability to lead collaborative work within organizations and in partnership with external actors, and supervise work of others.
  • Ability to organize and conduct technical meetings, conferences and workshops.
  • Ability to mobilize resources.

Closing date: 19 April 2024.

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