Irrigation Expert Engineer

Location : Harare, ZIMBABWE
Application Deadline :28-Feb-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :4d 10h 41m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :120 working days over a period of 12 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :360 working days over a period of 3 years

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Project Description

Zimbabwe received funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the project  entitled “Building climate resilience of vulnerable agricultural livelihoods in southern Zimbabwe” The objective of the  project is to strengthen resilience of agricultural livelihoods of vulnerable communities, particularly women, in southern Zimbabwe in the face of increasing climate risks and impacts. The project will contribute to the following GCF Fund-level impacts for adaptation: 1.0 “Increased resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, communities and regions” and 2.0 “Increased resilience of health and well-being, and food and water security” for vulnerable smallholder communities in southern Zimbabwe. The project outcome will strengthen the adaptive capacities of vulnerable smallholder farmers, especially women, to climate change induced impacts on their agro-ecosystems and livelihoods through revitalization of irrigation schemes, upgraded water and soil moisture management and water use efficiency, climate-resilient agriculture, improved access to climate information and markets, and partnerships with public and private sector actors. 

To achieve these outcomes the project proposes to overcome the identified barriers through implementation of the following three interlinked outputs, using GCF and co-financing resources: (i) Increased access to water for climate-resilient agriculture through climate-resilient irrigation systems and efficient water resource management; (ii) Scaled up climate-resilient agricultural production and diversification through increased access to climate-resilient inputs, practices, and markets; and (iii) Improved access to weather, climate and hydrological information for climate resilient agriculture. The project is being implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe in partnership with UNDP for 7 years from June 2020 to May 2027 with Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement (MLAWRR) as the implementing partner.

One of the project`s key components focuses on climate proofing irrigation infrastructure for enhanced water security under climate change impacts through revitalisation of 15 existing irrigation schemes and establishment of six new schemes in the project`s 15 priority districts of Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South Provinces. Some of the work includes solar installation in selected irrigation schemes. The component also has an institutional capacity strengthening element which focuses on establishing strong Irrigation Management Committees (IMCs) and putting in place viable and sustainable mechanisms for operation and maintenance. Against this background, the project seeks the support of a part time qualified and self-motivated national consultant engineer with adequate experience and working knowledge in climate proofed irrigation systems designs, set up, operations and maintenance, with experience and/or knowledge of climate adaptation options for effective water management in irrigation schemes.

The irrigation expert engineer will be responsible for the overall management of all works financed under the project including advising on  designing, procurement and installation, operation and maintenance working with selected contractors, Government irrigation and extension teams and irrigation beneficiaries throughout the  project life.

His/her tasks will be divided into the core areas defined under the objectives and scope of work.

Objectives of the Assignment

The main objective of this assignment is to provide technical backstopping and climate proofed irrigation engineering expertise to the PMU and Responsible Partner (Department of Irrigation) in the management of all climate resilient irrigation works financed under the project. Such works include; supervising the design of the rehabilitation to be done to   15 existing irrigation schemes , and  6 new irrigation schemes that are targeted by the project; development of equipment specifications and cost estimations, supporting the procurement processes, feasibility and other field related assessments and operations, approval of climate sensitive technical designs for construction, monitoring and supervising construction works contracts in close consultation with UNDP, Government irrigation and extension teams and irrigation beneficiaries. The irrigation expert engineer will take into consideration a range of cross cutting issues such as the environmental impact assessment procedures, gender considerations and observance of the social and environmental standards in procurement and implementation of works.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The scope of work covers six years whose work programme is divided into annual work programmes. The expert engineer will be expected to support 21 irrigation schemes (15 existing and 6 new) located in three catchment areas of Mzingwane, Save and Runde. The geographical area covers 15 districts across three provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South. The technical scope of work includes supervising the feasibility assessments, irrigation designs, procurement and installation /civil works and providing quality control throughout the project. The expert will also provide support in developing guidelines for operations and maintenance of the irrigation schemes through the irrigation management committees.

The irrigation expert engineer will be contracted by UNDP and will work  under the overall guidance of the UNDP Head of Poverty Reduction, Environment and Climate Change with direct day to day support from the GCF Project Manager in liaison with the Responsible Party. He or she will also input into the work of the   technical working group of the project Board through providing advisory services and regular technical reports.

The broad functions to be performed by the incumbent include:

  • Rapid assessment, analysis and    status reporting on each of the 21 irrigation schemes;
  • Developing a works procurement strategy & implementation plan during and after the life of the project;
  • Developing the works specifications and TORs for procuring the contractors to develop irrigation designs accompanied by a feasibility study, equipment procurement specifications, BOQs & cost estimates, Environmental Impact Assessments, IMC capacity development/support report for each scheme;
  • Identification of irrigation contractors;
  • Irrigation designs certification; 
  • Support the procurement process of irrigation equipment as per BOQ supplied by the contractors.

More specifically:

Rapid assessment and analysis: The irrigation expert will be expected to do a rapid assessment to establish the current status of each of the 15 existing irrigation schemes and the proposed sites for the 6 new irrigation schemes. The outcome of the exercise will be a status report on each of the irrigation scheme, a generic description of what needs to be done, works procurement strategy & implementation plan. The work is estimated to be done within the first month of contract signing.

Procurement of irrigation civil works contractors: The irrigation expert will be expected to technically support the PMU, working closely with the responsible partner to identify  competent contractors who will be responsible for  developing detailed designs and the civil works in line with  standard requirements that are complimented   by a feasibility study, BOQs,  EIAs , IMC capacity development/support The irrigation expert will participate in the selection of the civil work construction companies in line with the UNDP procurement procedures. The outcome of this process is contracting the winning bidders.  The work is estimated to be done within three months of contract signing.

Certification of irrigation designs: The irrigation expert will provide support to the PMU in the briefing and supervision of contractors during the course of their contracting period. The expert will review the submitted designs to the satisfaction of the project intended objective of climate proofed irrigation schemes as outlined in output 1 of the project document.  Key resource documents will be the GCF project proposal and budget, the detailed feasibility study documents produced during the proposal development stage. The expert will recommend to PMU and the responsible party signing off the final designs before contracting for construction of the irrigation schemes.  The validation of the irrigation designs is expected to be done within 6 months of contract signing.

Procurement of irrigation equipment: The irrigation expert will support the procurement process of irrigation equipment and other services as per BOQ supplied by the contractors. The irrigation expert will verify the material against the BOQ and expected quality and cost to ensure budget realisation. The procurement of the irrigation equipment will be initiated within nine months of contract signing.

Civil works supervision: This is expected to commence in year 2 and to continue throughout the subsequent years of the project tenure.  Whilst the scope of work will be defined specifically in the subsequent phases, it is generally anticipated that the consultant will support the PMU and the responsible partner to supervise all the civil works by the contractor.  The irrigation expert work programme will focus on each of the 21 irrigation schemes to supervise the quality of work and services provided, monitor progress and support certification and payment during the various stages and the signing off. The irrigation expert will also be expected to continue to work with IMC with support of the responsible partner in the operation and maintenance of the irrigation schemes during the subsistence and exit phases of the project.   The expert engineer will also support the capacity gaps and needs assessment of the institutions involved for sustainable maintenance and operation of the irrigation schemes.

Cross cutting issues: In line with all the above, the irrigation expert is expected to mainstream cross cutting issues making specific gender, environmental & social considerations during the design and implementation of the civil works.

The expert will prepare, present, and maintain status reports for projects under implementation and for completed projects.

He or she will develop a systematic database to store and process information related to the irrigation civil works. 

Expected Deliverables

The expected deliverables for this assignment are defined for different phases as follows:

Year 1 within the first 120 consultant days

  • Inception report;
  • Rapid assessment and irrigation status report;
  • TORs for procuring the contractors and bid preparation, civil works contractors identified, and contracts signed;
  • Climate proofed Irrigation designs certified and accepted;
  • Irrigation equipment procured as per BOQ.

Year 2 up to year 6

  • Deliverables for year 2 to 6 will be negotiated according to the agreed work programme of civil works. A total of 120 days will be allocated each year. 

Institutional arrangements for management of this consultancy

The principal responsibility for managing this assignment lies with the UNDP Country Office, Zimbabwe. UNDP will contract the consultant and ensure the timely provision of reimbursable costs and remuneration. UNDP will mobilise internal technical expertise, including from Government, Regional teams needed, to support the consultant’s work. UNDP will support the consultant’s engagement with stakeholders, arrange for meetings, field visits and coordinate with stakeholders and Government officials. The irrigation expert engineer will be a member of the project technical working group.

Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Head of PRECC and day to day supervision from the Project Manager, in close liaison with  the responsible partner, the consultant will  be in charge of providing engineering expert support and technical backstopping to the PMU in the management of all irrigation civil works financed under the project.


This consultancy work is a six-year assignment with a maximum of 120 consultant days per year. The year 1 expected deliverables and timeframes have been specified in detail in section 5 and 7 of this TORs. Renewal of the contract for subsequent years is performance based.  The assignment is expected to commence immediately after the signing of the contract to the successful bidder.

Impact of the results

This assignment will contribute to the effective delivery of  output 1 of this project which is increasing access to water for agriculture through climate-resilient irrigation systems and water resource management which will ultimately contribute to strengthened resilience of agricultural livelihoods of vulnerable communities, particularly women, in southern Zimbabwe in the face of increasing climate risks and impacts.

Payment of Milestones and Authority

Payment will be based on deliverables for year 1. The Consultant shall receive his/her lump sum fees upon certification of the completed tasks satisfactorily, as per the following payment schedule:

  • 10% Upon Submission and approval of Inception report: Within 12days from date of contact signing;
  • 15% Upon completion of rapid assessment and submission of irrigation status report: Within 18 days from approval of Inception Report;
  • 10% Upon finalization of TORS for procuring the contractors and bid: Within three months of signing the contract;
  • 50% upon certification and acceptance of Climate proofed irrigation designs: within the first six months of signing the contract;
  • 15% Upon Finalization of BOQ and Procurement of Irrigation equipment; Within nine months of signing the contract.   


Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent drafting, documentation and communication skills in English;
  • Knowledge of Climate Change and project management skills;
  • Proven record on similar documentation work at the National level.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Promote the highest standards of ethics and integrity;
  • Support creativity and innovation;
  • Help create an enabling environment for open communication;
  • Share knowledge and support a culture of learning;
  • Demonstrate fairness and transparency.

Required Skills and Experience


  • A Master’s degree in Irrigation engineering, Civil or Mechanical Engineering, or related field is acceptable with knowledge and/or experience of climate vulnerability and adaptation in water management and irrigation desirable.


  • At least 5 years of progressive irrigation engineering work such as designing, installation and management of climate proofed irrigation infrastructure; 
  • Experience in conducting and supervising technical assessments and providing quality assurance for irrigation infrastructure projects;
  • Experience in climate change related programs or interventions is an advantage;
  • Strong appreciation/experience in solar driven irrigation;
  • 5 years of project management experience in related fields;
  • Membership with the Institute of Engineers in Zimbabwe and or other professional organizations;
  • Experience in working with multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Good understanding of national and state government priorities, policies and planning process in climate change in Zimbabwe and cross cutting issues including gender mainstreaming, social and environmental safeguard issues.


  • An excellent command of the English and local language is required.

How to Apply

Submission must be online following the instructions given on the website. Please submit the following to demonstrate your interest and qualifications. Please note that all the documents below must be submitted as one PDF file:

  • CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Technical Proposal demonstrating full understanding of the TORs, approach and methodology to the task and workplan;
  • Financial proposal based on an all-inclusive daily professional fee;
  • Travel: All envisaged international travel costs to and from the duty station must be included in the financial proposal in a separate line. The cost of in-land travel will be handled directly by the UNDP Country Office.

Application Evaluation Process:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the Cumulative Analysis methodology [weighted scoring method], where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight; [70%].

Financial Criteria weight; [30%].

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 70% of the obtainable 100 points in technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

General Conditions of Contract for the ICs:

Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme