Associate RSD Officer at UNHCR February 2023
Standard Job Description
Associate RSD Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Associate RSD Officer provides legal, operational and strategic support on mandate or national RSD at global, regional or country operations level. The position may be located at Headquarters (within the Division of International Protection), in a Regional Bureau or in a Country Office and reports to the RSD Officer or Protection Officer or other staff with delegated authority, as appropriate.
The incumbent provides advice and guidance on legal and procedural matters related to RSD whether in the context of mandate RSD and/or national asylum/RSD systems (as applicable), is responsible for conducting RSD (where required), reviewing and providing advice on individual cases in line with requirements under the RSD Procedural Standards. The incumbent is also responsible for contributing to the development of an RSD strategy and, where required, methodologies to promote the effectiveness of RSD as a protection tool and implementing broader organizational objectives and priorities, in compliance with relevant UNHCR standards and policies. Whether in the context of national or mandate RSD, the incumbent provides advice and support to staff engaged in RSD and related activities, monitors trends of RSD decision-making, and conducts training and other capacity-development/strengthening activities to promote consistency in RSD procedures and decision-making. S/he contributes to developing and enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as necessary.
If based in a country operation, the Associate RSD Officer advocates with and supports Government authorities and legal partners in further developing their capacities in line with the GCR and other key UNHCR planning considerations.
The Associate RSD Officer works closely with RSD staff as well as staff responsible for registration, resettlement and training activities. S/he also liaises with relevant focal points in DIP, in particular within the RSD and PNS Sections and other HQ Divisions as required.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
- Provide legal/procedural advice and support on RSD adjudication issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
- Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments relevant to mandate RSD, the protection environment, including developments in relation to national asylum/RSD systems, as applicable.
- Support engagemnt with relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.
- Support the quality review of RSD Assessments in line with UNHCR policies/guidelines related to mandate RSD and endorse RSD decisions as required.
- Conduct interviews and draft RSD Assessments including for complex/sensitive cases per relevant standards and guidelines.
- Provide ongoing coaching as well as training on the inclusion criteria; principles/procedures related to exclusion; cancellation/revocation; international humanitarian law; human rights law; interviewing techniques and credibility assessment/establishing the facts; and legal drafting.
- Provide training to other UNHCR units on the refugee criteria and related issues as needed.
- Assist with the development of a RSD strategy and support senior management to ensure its full and effective integration into the protection and solution strategy of the Country Operations Plan.
- Assist with developing/enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as required.
- Assist with the design and implementation of operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of RSD operations in line with relevant standards/policies, including UNHCR’s AGD policy and Forward Plan, ensuring the prioritisation of persons with specific needs, or, if based in a Regional Bureau, provide support to operations on the above.
- Monitor trends and systematically compile statistics related to RSD case processing.
- Analyze key indicators of the quality and efficiency of decision-making in RSD processing to assess capacity and resource requirements of operations in the region or the operation to which the RSD Officer is assigned.
- Evaluate and contribute to projecting RSD staffing and financial needs using the RSD Staffing Benchmarks, and support allocation of appropriate human, material and financial resources.
- Contribute to identifying and preventing fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR personnel, partners and persons of concern.
If based in DIP or a Regional Bureau:
- Conduct support missions, as required.
- Assess training needs in UNHCR RSD operations and assist RSD Supervisors to provide coaching/capacity building for UNHCR personnel and deployees under their supervision, in coordination with the GLC as appropriate.
- Maintain and manage a consultative process with operations and other stakeholders in the region.
If based in a country operation, together with competent host authorities and partners, contribute to developing processes aiming at developing national institutional capacities and the timely identification of international protection needs in line with the GCR and other key planning considerations.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P2/NOB – 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
International Refugee Law International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law;
International Criminal Law; Social Sciences; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
RSD Learning Programme Management Learning Programme Protection Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
3 years of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to adjudicating individual asylum claims in RSD procedures. In-depth knowledge of International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law and ability to apply relevant legal principles in the RSD context, including exclusion decision-making. Thorough knowledge of the “Procedural Standards for RSD under UNHCR’s Mandate” and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR’s mandate RSD activities. Experience in counselling asylum-seekers and individual case management. Experience and demonstrated skills in refugee law training.
Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government SD procedures is highly desirable. Experience in providing legal representation to asylum seekers in UNHCR or Government SD procedures. Experience in supervising a team. Completion of the RSD Learning Programme and other UNHCR Learning Programmes relevant to RSD. Training and coaching experience. Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.
MG-Political Decision Making
PR-Individual Case Management
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
PR-Government Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures
PR-RSD – Principles and Procedures, operational arrangements/assistance
PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
LE-Draft legal settlement agreements
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
The Associate RSD Officer will oversee the overall processing of RSD in the Tanzania operation and at the same time be the expert responsible for training government officials and UNHCR staff on RSD. In addition, the desired candidate will be required to conduct appeal of complex RSD cases and coordinate with the Bureau and Headquarters on complex RSD cases. The candidate will also assist on general and legal protection issues both in the capital and in the field and will be responsible to supervise a few national protection staff in the general service category. This will entail coordinating day to day reception and response to refugee and asylum seeker issues. The ideal candidate should be able to discuss issues with government counterparts in a tactful and diplomatic manner in order to have refugee concerns addressed. The candidate should have cogent interpersonal and managerial skills.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level): Desired languages Operational context
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
Even if you are a frequent traveler, it is important to visit your UNHCR’ s medical service or contact them to make sure that you have all the necessary inoculations for your potential new duty station, Dar es Salaam. Some vaccinations (especially against certain hepatitis strains) require boosters which can only be administered after a fixed period of time has elapsed. Yellow Fever is not endemic in Tanzania. Even so, the Ministry of Health requires all travelers to show a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Dengue Fever and Malaria are present in much of Tanzania, particularly in Dar es Salaam, but less so in Zanzibar. Malaria is especially prevalent during the rainy seasons as the mosquitoes that carry it are most active then. However, it does remain a year- round problem. Discuss preventive options with a medical professional as there are a variety of useful options to lower your chance of contracting the illness. One of the simplest is to become a fastidious applier of insect repellent – those containing DEET are the most effective. You are encouraged to do your research to see which option is best for you. Sleeping with mosquito nets is highly recommended.
Nature of Position:
The United Republic of Tanzania, a country in East Africa with a population of 60 million people and has been a significant refugee-hosting country in the region for decades and has experienced the most recent influx of refugees from Burundi in 2015. There are currently two refugee camps in Tanzania, Nduta, hosting Burundian PWS, and Nyarugusu refugee camp hosting both Burundians and Congolese PoCs. A small number of refugees, from different nationalities, live on exceptional permits in Dar Es Salaam and other urban areas. The total number of refugees is over 247, 000.
UNHCR currently has one Country Office in Dar Es Salaam, one sub-office in Kigoma, a Field Offices in Kibondo and Kasulu respectively, and a Field Unit in Dodoma. UNHCR’s main counterpart from the Government of Tanzania (GoT) on asylum matters is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and its Refugee Services Department (RSD). Rights and duties, treatment and status of refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania are governed by the Refugees Act of 1998 and the 2003 Refugees Policy.
The Associate RSD Officer will be based in Dar es Salaam, supervised by the Senior Protection Officer and will provide legal, operational and strategic support on mandate or national RSD at country operations level.
Living and Working Conditions:
The most popular areas for international staff are Masaki, Msasani Peninsula and Oysterbay, collectively called “the Peninsula”. All are at the coast and centrally located nearby shopping centers, schools, restaurants, hotels and UN offices. There is a wide variety of housing options: high- rise and low- rise apartments, townhouses and stand-alone houses. Rental prices start from USD 1,200 per month for an apartment and from USD 3,000 per month for a house – depending on the number of bedrooms and the requirements. Word of mouth is the best way to get an idea of current prices, so definitely seek your colleagues’ advice. Mikocheni, Kawe and Mbezi Beach have beautiful homes with direct beach access. Unfortunately, traffic congestion translates into long commuting times from these places to more central areas. Upanga is a popular area for young professionals. It is a fast- developing area, closer to the city center. Nationally recruited staff members generally choose to live across a wider swathe of the city, and so enjoy a broader range of housing options – and equally, more flexibility in rental rates. Preferred neighborhoods are Sinza, Tabata, Kimara, Tegeta, Temeke. Rates are lower than on the peninsula.The position is located in Dar es Salaam where the usual facilities for a regular family duty station are available. There are suitable international schools, hospitals and entertainment spots. There is is an international airport providing link to other destinations nationally and internationally.
Skills Education : BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)
HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR RSD Learning Program – UNHCR
Competencies: Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Policy research & development, Teamwork & collaboration
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Add.2 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance