General Information

Name of host institution: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL)

Background Information about Host Institution

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) is one of the sectorial ministries of the Afghan government. MAIL’s mandate is to restore Afghanistan’s licit agricultural economy by assisting farmers to increase production and productivity; to manage and protect Afghanistan’s natural resource base for sustainable growth; to improve rural agricultural infrastructure and irrigation systems; and to expand agricultural markets and develop human resource capacity. The goal is to reduce poverty throughout Afghanistan and assure food security for all. Thus, the new direction for agriculture growth is anchored in increased productivity focusing on agricultural products that have a comparative advantage through various value chain approaches.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) with a focus on enhanced capacity and expertise through provision of technical support and placement of technical personnel and experts under the Directorate of Irrigation is determined to recruit an irrigation and water management expert.


Organizational Unit/Department: Directorate of Irrigation
Duration of assignment: From: September 2020 Till: November 2020

Objectives of Assignment

• Increase the capacity within the irrigation department based on the gaps identified
• To strengthen the on-farm water management sector of Afghanistan.


  • A number of staff trained with an increase in their capacity
  • Number of concepts/models, policies and strategic documents and implantation guidelines developed.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  • Phase one:
    • Review the current documents (Policy, manual, regulation and concept) and based on the identified gaps, develop new irrigation best practices.
    • Research in the development of water management in conventional and spate irrigation management concept note.
    • Develop a concept note, policy paper and contribute to project proposal as instructed by the Deputy Minister’s office.
    • Data collection and database system development in irrigation sector
    • Review strategic plans, feasibility studies and prepare scope of studies, expression of interest for national and sub-national level irrigation projects
    • Draft an irrigation strategy for identifying synergies with other line ministries and departments engaged in irrigation activities and formulating a coordination mechanism for optimizing joint operations on the ground
  • Phase two:
    • Capacity building of irrigation department in climate change and water security
    • Capacity building of irrigation department in irrigation agronomy
    • Development of national on farm water management field guidelines (irrigation agronomy, land development, water management, irrigation design …) for efficient and effective use of water
    • Assist Deputy Minister of irrigation and natural resources on strategic planning and starting new initiative in the irrigated agriculture and rain fed area.
    • Assist Deputy Minister of irrigation and natural resources in the implementation of on farm water management sector
  • Phase three:
    • Provide technical assistance for the field projects of water sector systems design and operations
    • Development of supplementary irrigation concept notes
    • Assist in assuring that work is done on schedule and to quality standards
    • Review and assess current irrigation directorates in the managing of large-scale irrigation projects
    • Provide strategic frameworks to generate insight and identify opportunities in resources to uncover strategic direction for irrigation sector of Afghanistan for all stakeholders including the private sector.
    • Undertake any other duties required by DM for irrigation and natural resources or Director of irrigation.



  • Core Competencies:
    • Result-oriented
    • Teamwork
    • Strong organizational communication
    • Rapport building
    • Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement.


  • Ability to use personal computers and related software
  • Expert speaking, writing and consulting skills
  • Considerable interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others
  • Ability to work independently to meet critical and competing deadlines to produce high-quality work in short timeframes
  • Demonstrated competency in research and policy analysis, including the ability to identify and explain complex policy issues
  • Ability to work productively with others as part of a team
  • Ability to interpret legislation and prepare drafting instructions for Legislative Council
  • Ability to speak read and write in Dari or Pashto
  • Engaging personality
  • Inspire confidence and effective communication
  • Being discreet and diplomatic, upholding values and ethics that are required of such a post
  • Familiarity with governmental functioning especially at the sub-national level and with field conditions would be an advantage.

Education and Experience

  • University degree (BSc, MSc, PhD) in water resources irrigation, civil engineering, a combination of education, training and a minimum of 5 years directly relevant experience.
  • Up to 5 years of experience in the design and construction of dam and/or water resource projects.
  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience on various water resources structure that include Dams.
  • Experience meeting, consulting and corresponding with government officials, including regulatory and program partners, and stakeholder groups on policy proposals and existing government policies, including explanation of technical details on complex issues.
  • Experience managing and designing projects, writing proposals and implementing policy decisions.
  • Experience managing and designing irrigation structures, Small dams, Reservoirs, check dams. The candidate should demonstrate high level of project management, leadership, planning, problem solving, analytical and team building skills; technique or water resources management, or related discipline; or an equivalent.

Language Requirements

  • Writing skills and demonstrated ability to develop written reports and action plans in both English and Pashto/Dari.
  • Ability to express ideas concisely and clearly preferably in both English and Dari/Pashtu.

Please check the General Requirements before applying and note in particular that the assignments are only open to Dutch nationals, or those with residence in the Netherlands, and in some cases nationals or residents of other EU countries.

The duration of assignments is open to negotiation with to respect to any prior obligations of potential participants (i.e. current employment). In some cases, there is a possibility to split into several shorter assignments.

Due to COVID19, expert assignments might be postponed to a later date than the ones mentioned in the vacancies, or virtual assignments can be facilitated.


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