National Irrigation/ Engineering Officer

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WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.

Job Title:  National Irrigation/ Engineering Officer

No. Position/s:  1 (One)

VA No.:  142581

Contract Type:   Service Contract                       Grade:     SC-9

Date of Issue:     08 June 2021          Deadline:  15 June 2021

Functional Unit:  Programme and Policy

Duty Stations:    Blantyre (1)

Position/s Duration : One year with a possibility of extension.


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives,  delivering food assistance in emergencies  and  working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience . As the international community has committed to  end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030 one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat . Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty. For its efforts to  combat hunger , for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in  efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war  and conflict, WFP was awarded the  Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 .

Malawi is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa. With a population expanding rapidly at 3 percent per year and the majority of livelihoods dependent on agriculture, the population is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate-related disasters. Poverty is experienced by most rural families, with those headed by women suffering the most. Relying on small parcels of densely cultivated land for their livelihoods, rural Malawians are highly affected by climate change. Episodes of drought as well as severe flooding are increasing in frequency, intensity and unpredictability, giving the most vulnerable households inadequate time to recover.

Malawi’s challenges are also compounded by high rates of HIV infection (at 9.6 percent), low primary school completion rate (at 51 percent) and chronic under-nutrition (at 37 percent for children under 5). WFP continues to partner with the government, other UN agencies, NGOs, civil society and the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular emphasis on reaching Zero Hunger (SDG 2), addressing structural drivers of hunger wherever possible.


This job is found in WFP Malawi Blantyre Sub-office based in Blantyre, The job holder will typically report to the Head of Program and under the general supervison of the Head of Blantyre Sub- Office (BTSO)




The WFP Malawi Country Strategic Plan seeks to achieve “Strategic outcome 4: Smallholder producers and vulnerable populations in Malawi (especially women) have enhanced resilience, through diversified livelihoods increased marketable surpluses and access to well-functioning food systems and efficient supply chains by 2030.” The purpose of the assignment is to support the government’s efforts by leading WFP Malawi’s integrated Livelihoods Activity 5 as outlined in the Country Strategic Plan (2018-23) approved by WFP’s Executive Board:

Activity 5:  Provide resilience-building support, education and systems-strengthening services to smallholder farmers and value chain actors.

In realizing the Outcome and implementing Activity 5, WFP Malawi works with multiple government partners WFP and will operationalize the global shift to an integrated approach promoting resilient food systems transformation adopted to the Malawi context.

The livelihood approach seeks to graduate food- and nutrition insecure farmers from subsistence to surplus-producing livelihoods, where they can access well-functioning markets that support national food systems, all in line with the Government’s priorities and following a clear graduation resilience pathway. The Livelihoods programme uses its existing, long-standing field presence, and partnership base to implement Food Assistance For Assets (FFA)[1], an Integrated Risk Management programme[2] including Climate services and SAMS[3] in an integrated approach thereby enhancing the capacity of targeted communities to improve their production and productivity. Small holders farmers also are supported to increase their financial skills, gain access to and control over resources, and generate economic opportunities and income through business establishment of Village Savings and Loan Schemes.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The National Irrigation/engineering officer will focus on the provision of engineering technical support services for the implementing and reporting of the selected livelihood activities in partnership with other functional areas to support the achievement of the strategic outcome 4 included in the Malawi CO – CSP.

Under the general supervision of the, BTSO Head of Sub office and the direct supervision of the BTSO, Head of Program, and in collaboration with BTSO and government staff, the incumbent will perform the following duties:

  1. Follow up all irrigation schemes constructed by WFP and partners including their performance, utilization, land tenure issue, use of scheme all year round by irrigation beneficiaries and maximum use of irrigation schemes;
  2. Identification of needs through field assessments and community discussions, collection and analysis of information for Food Assistance for Asset (FFA) and other livelihood interventions;

3.Identify and prepare water-based and land resources development and rehabilitation projects (efficient and effective utilization of irrigation and water harvesting);

4. Provide technical support to government in the study, survey, design and implementation of irrigation development and rehabilitation works;

5.Create awareness on benefits of irrigation and support the establishment of Water users association (WUAs), legally establishment of cooperatives with other concerned WFP and Government staff;

6. Undertake field visits to supervise and make sure quality control in terms of irrigation schemes rehabilitation, water management and FFA interventions;

7. Mapping the natural resources of the district in particular the soils, land forms, slopes, vegetation, water and existing land use and link Government plan with FFA interventions, clearly identify where compatibility can  be achieved and           implemented for sustainability of achievements;

8. Encourage and strive to bring together government district staff and extension agents as well as field monitoring, district CP and WFP staff;

9. Identify training needs, prepare training materials and organize training to regional and national irrigation professionals, development agents and beneficiaries in irrigation water management, solar panels, pipes and pump O&M;

10. Train staff in the operation, maintenance and management of assets created under FFA including irrigation schemes. Support and follow-up training of farmers in the proper utilization, economic benefits, cost recovery, etc. of irrigation resources to maximize benefits and sustainable use of schemes;

11.Support the engineering components/initiatives related the joint approved Adaptation Fund (AF) project “Adapting to Climate Change Through Integrated Risk Management Strategies and Enhanced Market Opportunities for Resilient Food Security and Livelihoods”.

12. Provide and or mobilize technical engineering assistance to support the projects in advocating policy development and reformation and contribution into the implementation plan of the policy at the national and sub-national level.

13. Plan and design Bill of Quantities (BoQs) for new activities requiring engineering tasks/skills as per the WFPs engineering directive and Matrix and chip in to evaluate bids.

14. Collaborate with and report progress on the ongoing engineering projects and activity delivery at regular intervals to functional managers and other staff with activity management responsibilities.

15. Provide oversight to field and technical staff, contractors and consultants working on activities with an engineering component. Facilitate the recruitment and development of individuals to the activity programme teams.

16. Ensure that lessons learnt from engineering practices and standards are incorporated into WFP project design, implementation and partnerships.

17. Represent WFP in external meetings; chair technical working groups linked to engineering made up of government, academic, private sector and civil society.


  • Ensure topographical and hydrological surveys are done on a timely manner and to required standard
  • Follow up and ensure that Irrigation work plans are in place and implementation done according to the recommendations of the CBBP/CAP
  • Ensure sustainable functionality of the existing schemes
  • Ensure regular reporting on all aspects of Irrigation works within the District
  • Support user groups with maintenance and managerial skills for maximum use of the schemes for desired benefits
  • Endeavor to collect and analyze Irrigation production data as a benchmark for Cost Benefit analysis
  • Come up with innovative ideas such as drip irrigation and water harvesting technologies


Education:  University degree with experience in one. or more of the following fields: agricultural engineering, hydrology, watershed management, environmental engineering

Experience:  Over 10 years’ professional experience in development projects, integrated watershed management, natural resources and common property resources, management, bilateral or multilateral food assistance programs.

Language:  Fluency in English: understanding, writing, reading and speaking

Knowledge:  General knowledge of UN system policies, rules, regulations and procedures governing administration is an added advantage.

Experience utilizing computers including word processing, spreadsheet and other software packages;



  • Understand and communicate the Strategic Objectives: Understands WFP’s Strategic Objectives and the link to own work objectives.
  • Be a force for positive change: Flexibly adapts individual contributions to accommodate changes in direction from supervisors and internal/external changes (such as evolving needs of beneficiaries, new requirements of partners).
  •  Make the mission inspiring to our team: Recognizes and shares with team members the ways in which individual contributions relate to WFP’s mission.
  •  Make our mission visible in everyday actions: Sets own goals in alignment with WFP’s overall operations, and is able to communicate this link to others.


  • Look for ways to strengthen people’s skills: Assesses own strengths and weaknesses to increase self-awareness, and includes these in conversations on own developmental needs.
  •  Create an inclusive culture: Participates in open dialogue, and values the diverse opinion of others, regardless of background, culture, experience, or country assignment.
  •  Be a coach & provide constructive feedback: Proactively seeks feedback and coaching to build confidence, and develop and improve individual skills.
  •  Create an “I will”/”We will” spirit: Participates in accomplishing team activities and goals in the face of challenging circumstances.


  • Encourage innovation & creative solutions: Shows willingness to explore and experiment with new ideas and approaches in own work.
  •  Focus on getting results: Consistently delivers results within individual scope of work on time, on budget and without errors.
  •  Make commitments and make good on commitments: Commits to upholding individual accountabilities and responsibilities in the face of ever-changing country or functional priorities.
  •  Be Decisive: Makes rational decisions about individual activities when faced with uncertain circumstances, including in times of ambiguity regarding information or manager direction.


  • Connect and share across WFP units: Seeks to understand and adapt to internal or cross-unit teams’ priorities and preferred working styles.
  •  Build strong external partnerships: Demonstrates ability to understand and appropriately respond to and/or escalate needs of external partners.
  •  Be politically agile & adaptable: Portrays an informed and professional demeanor toward internal and external partners and stakeholders.
  •  Be clear about the value WFP brings to partnerships: Provides operational support on analyses and assessments that quantifies and demonstrates WFP’s unique value as a partner.


Capability Name Description of the behaviour expected for the proficiency level
Programme Lifecycle & Food Assistance Demonstrates ability to identify key variables and contextual factors that affect food assistance problems and programmes throughout the lifecycle to inform quality programme design or re-design.
Transfer Modalities (Food, Cash, Voucher) Demonstrates ability to analyse and consolidate quantitative and qualitative information from different sources (e.g., market studies) to inform transfer modality selection and programme development.
Broad Knowledge of Specialized areas (i.e. Environmental protection, Engineering, FFA Intergrated risk management and Climate Services. etc.) Demonstrates the ability to interpret basic data in the context of WFP specialised fields to contribute to technical programme design, implementation and monitoring.
Emergency Programming Displays capacity to provide inputs into the development, implementation and realignment of high quality emergency programmes.
Strategic Policy Engagement w/ Government Develops thorough recommendations using multiple inputs (e.g., government counsel, research, own experience) to strengthen national or subnational entities and government owned food and nutrition security programmes.


WFP is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff. Well qualified candidates, particularly females are strongly encouraged to apply.

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

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