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RSD Officer


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Job Description


RSD Officer

  • Country: Jordan
  • Organization: UNHCR
  • Deadline: November 20, 2023
  • No of Vacancies: N/A

Terms of Reference

This is a posting for two (2) RSD Officers, IICA2

The desired candidate would have education in international refugee law, international humanitarian law and/or international criminal law or similar. They would have extensive RSD experience, including demonstrated experience processing and reviewing complex and sensitive cases, including cases that engage Article 1F of the Refugee Convention. The desired candidate would have experience working as an RSD reviewer in a mandate RSD context, as well as experience working in RSD in the MENA region. Experience working in or closely with resettlement is an asset, as the position liaises closely with the resettlement team. They will have comprehensive knowledge of COI relating to Syria, and will keep themselves abreast of changes and updates on relevant COI in the region. Strong communication skills are essential as the position provides feedback on individual cases to staff working on mandate RSD in 18 countries. Excellent judgement and decision-making skills are essential to the position, as well as excellent drafting skills and a capacity to work with minimal supervision.

Experience in developing and delivering training and capacity development on topics relating to RSD is highly desirable. Completion of the Interviewing for Protection Learning Programme (IPLP, ILP and/or Advanced IPLP) is highly desirable.

Operational context:

UNHCR conducts mandate RSD in 17 of the 18 countries of the MENA region. It remains a critical protection tool, and ensures access to rights, services and solutions. UNHCR and States continue to rely on the use of resettlement and humanitarian admissions as durable solutions to meet the serious and prevailing protection needs of Syrian refugees in the five neighbouring host countries – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Türkiye. In order to support the solutions strategy, MENA Protection Service promotes resettlement within the region and supports resettlement activities in conjunction with operations. MENA Protection Service provides oversight of the quality and integrity of RSD and resettlement processes, case referrals and submissions and provides close coordination and advocacy with resettlement countries on issues relating to resettlement.

The RSD Officer is located in the MENA Regional Bureau in Amman and reports to the Senior RSD Officer. The position will focus on the review of individual cases, both at the RSD and resettlement stage, that present heightened sensitivities and/or complexities. They will focus particularly on the review of cases that fall within the Framework SOPs for Syrian cases. They provide advice and support to RSD and resettlement staff throughout the region on individual cases. They conduct research into legal issues and country of origin information as it relates to individual case processing in the region. They consult as needed within MENA Protection Service and with DIP in relation to complex and/or sensitive cases and ensure guidance is consistent with regional policies and global standards.

The RSD Officer will also undertake training and capacity development activities for country operations in the region on interviewing skills, RSD legal and procedural standards, and other related topics.

Standard Job Description
RSD Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The 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 Senior RSD Officer or Senior Protection Officer or Head of Protection Service, 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 review, endorsement and clearance of recommendations on individual cases in line with requirements under the RSD Procedural Standards or as directed by Senior Management. The incumbent is also responsible for contributing to the development of or, depending on the context, develop 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-building/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 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 RSD Officer works closely with senior managers, 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 PNSS Sections and other HQ Divisions as required. The incumbent normally supervises National Officers or support staff at lower grade levels.

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.
– Engage relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.
– Undertake 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 in complex/sensitive cases per relevant standards and guidelines.
– Provide ongoing coaching as well as specialized 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 specialized training to other UNHCR units on the refugee criteria and related issues as needed. Contribute to the development of the RSD strategy and support senior management to ensure its full and effective integration into the protection and solution strategy of the Country Operations Plan.
– Contribute to developing/enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as required.
– Support 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 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.
– Contribute to the evaluation and projection of 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, develop 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.

– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years 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.

Certificates and/or Licenses
RSD Learning Programme
Management Learning Programme
Protection Learning Programme

Relevant Job Experience
3 years of experience working directly with procedues 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 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 procedurest. Experience in supervising a team. Completion of other UNHCR Learning Programmes relevant to RSD.Training and coaching experience. Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals. Knowledge of additional UN languages.

Functional Skills
CO-Cross-cultural communication
PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-Individual Case Management
LE-International Criminal Law
LE-International Refugee Law
PR-RSD – Principles and Procedures, operational arrangements/assistance
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
PR-Government Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures
PR-Interviewing and counselling refugees/asylum seekers
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
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.


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