FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY
The Iraq Operation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) invites qualified candidates to apply for the following vacancy:
Functional Title & Grade:Associate RSD Officer,IICA1
Contractual Status:UNOPS Assignment
Duration:01/08/2020 – 31/12/2020 (with possibility of extension)
Duty Station:Erbil, Iraq
Date of Issue:06 May 2020
Deadline for applications:19 May 2020
As of March 2020, some 288,000 refugees, mostly of Syrian nationality were residing in Iraq. Over 90 percent of the Syrian refugee population resides in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), with the vast majority of Kurdish ethnicity. Out of the protracted Syrian population, some 40 percent is living in one of the ten refugee camps across KR-I and 60 percent reside in the host community. Return intention surveys indicate that many Syrian refugees are likely to remain in Iraq for the medium term. Despite the challenging political climate in Iraq, the elections and new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet, the economic climate and increase in new arrivals, the protection environment in KR-I remains conducive. The KRG and host community remained welcoming and accommodating towards the refugee population, and Syrian refugees with UNHCR certificates can usually freely move back and forth to Syria through the official Peshkhabour border crossing point. Key UNHCR protection activities include refugee registration, border monitoring, protection monitoring, legal assistance, child protection and SGBV interventions, community mobilization, capacity building activities, resettlement and other complementary pathways, refugee status determination (RSD) and working with government and partners to identify solutions for POCs. In the context of UNHCR Iraq, RSD is conducted strategically for Syrian and other nationalities.
Purpose and Scope of Assignment
The Associate RSD Officer provides legal, operational and strategic support on mandate RSD at the country operations level. 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, especially concerning particularly sensitive or complex cases, or raising exclusion concerns. As RSD is linked to MENA’s resettlement processing modality, the incumbent may support reviews of resettlement cases, particularly on sensitive or complex cases, or raising exclusion concerns. Travel may be required across KR-I and occasionally across the other field offices to support RSD activities.
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. 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 MENA Protection Services and the Division of International Protection, in particular within the RSD and Protection and National Security Sections and other regional and headquarters divisions as required.
The incumbent will undertake the following responsibilities under the direct supervision of Senior Protection Officer in Erbil Office.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Conduct support missions, as required.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Monitoring and progress Controls:
Measurable outputs and key performance indicators include (but are not limited to):
- The incumbent processes five (5) or more first or second instance RSD cases per week (for regular cases where RSD interviews and RSD assessments are completed and drafted in one day), depending on the complexity of the cases.
- Conduct ten (10) or more reviews of RSD assessment or Resettlement Registration Forms a week, depending on the complexity of the cases.
- Conduct RSD training and ongoing coaching for staff conducting RSD in field offices.
- Drafting and updating RSD Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).**
- Thorough knowledge of the Procedural Standards for RSD under UNHCR’s Mandate and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR’s mandate RSD activities.
- Ability to work under pressure and with tight deadlines.
- Excellent self-organizational and time management skills.
- Accountability, Communication, Organizational Awareness, Teamwork & Collaboration, Commitment to Continuous Learning, Client & Result Orientation.
- Analytical Thinking, Planning and Organizing, Policy Development and Research. Proficient English language skills.
ESSENTIAL MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
- Two (2) years of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to adjudicating individual asylum claims in UNHCR 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.
- Experience in counselling asylum-seekers and individual RSD case management (interviewing and assessment drafting). Experience interviewing and adjudicating complex and sensitive cases, particularly cases raising exclusion and credibility concerns.
- Undergraduate university degree, preferably in law, political science, international relations, social sciences or other related fields.
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES:
- Masters-level university degree in law, political science, international relations or other related fields, particularing in International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, or International Humanitarian Law
- Experience in other UNHCR case processing activities including Registration and Resettlement, especially in the context of merged procedures in the MENA context. Experience in a UNHCR operation with high case processing targets. Experience reviewing and coaching, particularly in the context of a National or Regional Office context.
- Proficient Arabic language skills.
How to apply
Interested eligible applicants should apply through the provided linkhttps://www.unhcr.org/iraq-jobs,attaching the New Personal History Form with a covering letter in English explaining their interest in the position.
Kindly note that only electronic applications submitted through the website will be considered.
Please note that long-listed candidates may be requested to sit for a written test.
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted, and engagement is needed immediately.