Description of assignment title: Associate RSD Officer – Level 2
Assignment country: Somalia
Expected start date: 01/03/2023
Sustainable Development Goal: 10. Reduced inequalities
Volunteer category: International UN Volunteer Specialist
DoA reserved for persons with disabilities: No
Host entity: UNHCR
Duration: 10 months (with possibility of extension)
Number of assignments: 1
Duty stations: Hargeisa
Details: Mission and objectives
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950, by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. In addition to 2.6 million of internally displaced persons, mainly, living in south/central Somalia, as of 31 August 2021, Somalia is hosting 27,184 refugees and asylum seekers in need of a durable solution. The active refugee population in Somaliland is approx. 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers as of 31 August 2021. Most of the refugees live in urban centres in Somaliland and Puntland. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers originate from Ethiopia mainly from Oromo ethnicity while the rest are from different nationalities such as Eritrea, Yemen, Syria, and other nationalities.
The Office of the UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country (www.unhcr.org). The Associate RSD Officer is a member of the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) team. Under the direct supervision of the RSD Officer (RSD Supervisor), s/he is responsible for conducting RSD interviews to determine eligibility for refugee status, undertaking country of origin (COI) and other research related to the claim, as required, and drafting RSD assessments, including for complex cases. The Associate RSD Officer provides counselling to asylum-seekers and refugees on UNHCR’s RSD procedures and on their status, rights and obligations in the country of asylum. The Associate RSD Officer may review RSD assessments of members of the RSD team and provide legal and procedural guidance and coaching, as required. The Associate RSD Officer may assist in developing and implementing RSD training, including for Government authorities and other partners, as well as other measures to enhance the quality and efficiency of RSD decision-making, and provide technical advice to strengthen national asylum procedures. The Associate RSD Officer assists in compiling and analysing information related to the RSD activities of the operation, and participates in decisions regarding appropriate case management strategies. This UNV assignment is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with WHO approved vaccine, unless the UNHCR Medical Service approves an exemption from this requirement on medical grounds.
Strategic Direction and Coordination: •Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments which impact on the protection environment, and in particular, on protection delivery through RSD. •Assist in the development of the RSD strategy of the operation and in the annual planning exercise. •Contribute to the development and enhancement of regional and global RSD standards and policies. Response and Advice: •Review RSD decisions and provide appropriate feedback and guidance to RSD staff. •Conduct RSD interviews and draft RSD Assessments in accordance with applicable standards and guidelines. •Maintain accurate and up-to date records and data related to all work on individual cases. •Provide counselling to asylum seekers and refugees. •Assist in designing, implementing and revising, as required, operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD operation in accordance with applicable standards and policies. •Systematically apply an age, gender and diversity (AGD) perspective in the performance of assigned functions. •Assist in monitoring RSD trends and in compiling and analyzing RSD statistics related to RSD case processing to identify and respond to developments or issues impacting on the efficiency or quality of RSD decision-making, and to propose remedial measures. Advocacy, Information Management and Research: •Conduct research on country of origin information (COI) and legal issues related to RSD and assist in maintaining a local repository of relevant information, guidelines and standards accessible to RSD staff in the operation. •Ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and legal partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policy and practice. •Assist in developing and maintaining processes to ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policy and practice. •Assist in initiatives to advocate with and support Government authorities and legal partners to establish and strengthen fair and efficient RSD procedures and RSD decision-making. Promotion and Capacity Building: •Assess training needs of UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities and provide on-going training and coaching on legal and procedural RSD issues. •Support the development and implementation of RSD training initiatives for Government authorities and legal partners. Human resources: •Assist in evaluating and projecting RSD staffing needs using the RSD Staffing Bench-marks. •Support UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities and exercise effective oversight.
Age: 27 – 80
Nationality: Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.
3 years of experience in the area of refugee protection, human rights or international humanitarian law •Minimum 1 year of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to RSD. •Knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. •Strong research and analytical skills. •Excellent oral and written communication skills. •Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills. •Age, Gender, and Diversity (AGD) awareness and demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a multi-cultural environment. •The ability to work effectively under stress and in crisis situations. Desirable qualifications and competencies: •Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government RSD procedures is highly desirable. •Experience in counselling asylum seekers or refugees. •Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals. •Completion of UNHCR’s RSD Learning Programme, COI Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme. •Experience in supervising and in providing training or coaching, guidance or advice to staff.
Area(s) of expertise
English, Level: Fluent, Desirable
Required education level
Bachelor degree or equivalent in Law, political science, international relations or another related field
Competencies and values
• Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNHCR; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNHCR procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented; • Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNHCR in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority; • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues; • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment. • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities; • Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups; • Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary; • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNHCR’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.
Living conditions and remarks
Somaliland (Hargeisa is a non-family duty station and the volunteer will be subject to the overall direction and guidance of the UN Designated Official (DO) for security. This is usually the UNDP Resident Representative. The volunteer will be incorporated into all applicable security protocols and will be required to strictly adhere to the guidelines, security plans and other directives issued by the DO. While in Somalia, the volunteer will be accommodated at an accommodation that has been cleared by UNDSS. The volunteer will be living in Ambassador Hotel Villa compound. As a resident in the compound the volunteer will be allocated an ensuite villa. Access to markets is limited due to difficulties of moving around without armored vehicle and are subject to UNDSS advise of having an accompanying national staff when visiting the markets. Access to restaurants and cafes and other public spaces are not allowed due to high level of security.
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements
This UNV assignment is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with WHO approved vaccine, unless the UNHCR Medical Service approves an exemption from this requirement on medical grounds