Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

FAO Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


National Professional Officer (Senior Land Desertification Monitoring Expert)

Job Posting: 04/Jul/2022

Closure Date: 15/Aug/2022, 9:59:00 PM

Organizational Unit : RNE

Job Type: Staff position

Type of Requisition : NPO (National Professional Officer)

Grade Level : N-4

Primary Location: Saudi Arabia-Riyadh

Duration : Fixed-term: one year with possibility of extension

Post Number : 2007874

CCOG Code : 1R

Important Notice – Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments

  • 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 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.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

Organizational Setting

The Programme Management Unit (PMU) of the FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme (2019-2025) facilitates, coordinates and manages all technical and advisory services to be provided by FAO to the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MoEWA). The project ‘UTF/SAU/051/SAU Strengthening MoEWA’s Capacity to Implement the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme’ is the first project that has been approved within the framework of FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme (2019-2025). The project will provide technical and advisory assistance to the MoEWA in implementing its flagship sustainable rural agricultural development programme that has recently been approved within the context of the National Transformation Programme of the Saudi Vision 2030. The project’s expected results will be achieved through implementation of nine project components: 1) Development of coffee Arabica production, processing and marketing; 2) Development of beekeeping and honey production; 3) Development of rose production and trade; 4) Development of sub-tropical fruits production, processing and marketing; 5) Strengthening capacity of small-scale fishermen and fish farmers; 6) Strengthening capacity of small-scale livestock herders; 7) Development of rain-fed cereals production; 8) Enhancing value addition from smallholdings and rural activities; and 9) Strengthening MoEWA’s capacity in sustainable management of rangelands, forests and natural resources to support rural livelihoods. The incumbent will be part of the Programme Management Unit of the FAO-Saudi Technical Cooperation Programme that is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Reporting Lines

The National Professional Officer (Senior Land Desertification Monitoring Expert) reports directly to the FAO Programme Coordinator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in consultation with the Chief Technical Adviser of the project and in collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Rural Agricultural Development Programme.

Technical Focus

Programme development and management, coordination and operational support based on the knowledge of the local conditions, culture, language, and institutions of Saudi Arabia.

Key Results

Effective and efficient management and coordination of the technical and operational support of the programme and project.

Key Functions

  • Participates in policy dialogue and advises government authorities, local, national and international institutions in the areas of FAO’s activities and liaises with other UN agencies; represents FAO at interagency meetings.
  • Promotes the image of FAO through advocacy of the Organization’s mandate, programmes, national priorities and activities including the coordination of development and maintenance of communication tools such as website, press releases and publications, and supports the implementation of FAO’s regulatory frameworks (Codex Alimentarius, Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, Safe Use of Pesticides, etc.) in the country.
  • Coordinates and manages the maintenance of country data on food, crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries, including information on external aid in FAO’s corporate systems, and monitors and communicates changes in national policies affecting the agricultural sector.
  • Takes the lead in producing technical, economic and policy studies as well as developing country level development frameworks such as the Country Programming Framework (CPF) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
  • Identifies, formulates and coordinates the preparation of programme and project proposals, monitors FAO field programme implementation, ensuring that all operational activities are carried out in line with the work plan and the project document, and makes recommendations on how to improve results and increase efficiency.
  • Briefs, trains and supervises lower grade level programme staff regarding all aspects of the job; ensures adherence to procedures and work requirements and accuracy and diligence of the work provided.

Specific Functions

  • Co-leads the compressive situation analysis, baseline assessment and diagnostic studies on the current status of land desertification in KSA to give directions on its monitoring and control.
  • Reviews and assesses current strategies, plans and initiatives for combating desertification and reducing sand encroachment in KSA.
  • Undertakes diagnoses and analyses of the current institutional framework for dealing with vegetation cover and combating desertification.
  • Engages stakeholders and establishes multistakeholder platform for engagement on land degradation, combating desertification and reducing sand encroachment.
  • Co-leads the development, testing and implementing of techniques and tools for monitoring, assessing and analysing land desertification and land restoration in KSA.
  • Co-leads the development and implementation of a capacity development programme for Government and stakeholders on developing and implementing strategies and plans for combating desertification and reducing sand encroachment.
  • Supports the preparation of strategy and action plan for combat desertification, reduces sand encroachment and assists in its implementation.
  • Provides technical support for the establishment of the National Centre for Development of Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification including preparation of job description and specifications and preparation and implementation of recruitment plans for hiring its personnel.
  • Provides technical support to the development and operation of a system for monitoring desertification and land restoration in KSA including relevant indicators.
  • Leads the development of demand driven and responsive partnerships to benefit Saudi Arabia from proven innovation and good practices in the south and north for land degradation and desertification control.
  • Co-leads the development and dissemination of information and knowledge products for land desertification control.


Minimum Requirements

  • National of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Advanced University degree in environmental science, soil science, natural resources management, conservation biology, agriculture or any other related field.
  • Seven years of relevant experience in land desertification, land restoration or natural resources management and/or project management in the field of sustainable rural agricultural development in Saudi Arabia.

  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of Arabic and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of English.


  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • 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.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in land degradation and/or natural resources management.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the purpose and functions of the technical programme, operational guidelines and project/programme management procedures, preferably those adopted by the United Nations or FAO.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the field of policy analysis relating to land resources management food and nutrition security, agriculture and rural development.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the collection of country data on food, crops, livestock, forestry, desertification and fisheries.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in the identification, formulation and preparation of programme and project proposals as well as programme/project implementation, monitoring and reviewed.
  • Extent and relevance of experience in Saudi Arabia is considered a strong asset.

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

  • Staff members in this category are recruited locally and paid according to a local salary scale. Salary scales are reviewed periodically on the basis of comprehensive surveys of the best prevailing conditions of employment in the locality.
  • FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description.
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. Subject to certain exemptions, vaccination against COVID-19 will in principle be required. Vaccination status will be verified as part of the medical clearance process

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link: (link) FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes:

  • elements of family-friendly policies
  • flexible working arrangements
  • standards of conduct


  • To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
  • Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
  • Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at (link)
  • Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered
  • Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
  • Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
  • Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
  • We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact: [email protected]


Tags: advisory services, agricultural development, beekeeping, capacity development, coffee, continuous improvement, covid, development assistance, fisheries, food and nutrition, food crops, good practices, knowledge products, knowledge sharing, land degradation, livestock, natural resources, nutrition security, operational activities, press releases, programme implementation, programme management, project management, rural development, rural livelihoods, soil science, standards of conduct, support services, technical cooperation, transparency