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National Individual Consultancy - Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI) Assistance and Integration

Mexico (Mexico)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Mexico (Mexico)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Supply Chain
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-01

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IMPORTANT NOTE: This position is advertised to internal and external applicants. Candidates must be legally present in Mexico at the time of application, recruitment and hire. Only candidates holding a valid work permit in Mexico will be considered eligible. General Background of Project or Assignment:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. UNHCR teams are in the field in 130 countries, using their expertise to protect and care for millions of people.

The asylum system in Mexico has faced several challenges in recent years. The number of applications for asylum has dramatically increased, from 3,400 new asylum applications in 2015 to 70,609 in 2019. This has overstretched the capacity of the national commission for refugee aid (COMAR) to register and process the applications of persons of concern and caused the processing time for refugee status determination to grow, which has had negative protection and integration impacts. Mexico has a relatively new government including the coordination of COMAR. COMARs coordinator showed renewed leadership in the comprehensive regional response framework to forced displacement in Central America and Mexico (through the Presidency pro tempore of -MIRPS- in 2019). Nonetheless, despite urgent and increasing needs, COMARs budget for 2020 remains limited and the institution has to partly rely on UNHCR for additional financial support.

Against the background of the situation in Mexico, UNHCR supports the Mexican government to increase the fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity of the national asylum system, mostly through the Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI). Building upon the results of QAI consultancies in 2019 in the field of registration and RSD, UNHCR is broadening the scope of the efforts within QAI to institutional assistance and local integration.

This consultancy aims at supporting UNHCR Mexico in building and strengthening the capacity of COMAR and other authorities involved in providing institutional assistance to asylum seekers and refugees (with a particular accent on specific needs) and the promotion of local integration (access to documentation, employment, housing, education, health and other rights).


Overall purpose and Scope of Assignment:

A Mexican lawyer or political scientist with experience and knowledge of the inclusion of migrants and refugees (and/or other groups in vulnerable situations) in public policies is required for this position.

This consultant will form part of a QAI team based in Mexico City. Under the functional supervision of the Durable Solutions Unit (50%) and the Community Based Protection Unit (50%) in Mexico City, the consultant is expected to:

-Work closely with COMARs General Coordinator, the Directorate for Institutional Assistance (DAVI) and his/her team to ensure the QAI strategy is implemented and adjusted according to jointly determined priorities.

-Work closely with COMAR officers that provide assistance and refer persons of concern, particularly those with specific needs, to public services that guarantee rights for integration and relevant protection response, by promoting the use of a consistent framework of analysis to assess needs and the observation of UNHCR guidelines, for DAVI Mexico City while also coordinating with DAVI officers in field delegations.

-Promote efficiency measures to respond to the increase in the asylum applications, in line with a work plan developed in 2020 to improve COMARs response to specific needs and opportunities for integration, including assistance interviews, referral mechanisms and interinstitutional public policy implementation.

-Conduct regular assessments of COMARs capacity to qualitatively absorb the increase in asylum claims, including through the monitoring of assistance and integration support and through the revision of decisions, with a focus on persons with specific needs, being taken in Mexico City and field delegations, producing regular reports on progresses as well as on persisting and new gaps;

-Strengthen the capacity of DAVI to identify and refer cases of persons with specific needs, alongside a particular emphasis on prioritizing the resolution of asylum claims for cases belonging to such group.

-Review and elaborate internal agreements, referral pathways, guidelines, interview and assessment forms for DAVI procedures, in accordance with Mexican legislation and requirements, with an accent on persons with specific needs.

-Work closely with staff of institutions that form part of the assistance and integration support procedures conducted by COMAR, such as the Migration Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, child protection authorities and other authorities responsible for gender/womens rights, persons with disabilities, the elderly etc., to strengthen their ability to include asylum seekers and refugees in their programs and services.

-Strengthen the capacity of COMAR to coordinate interinstitutional dialogue to implement whole-of-government protection, inclusion and integration policies, elaborating recommendations on coordination mechanism under MIRPS and in relation to the commitments made at the Global Refugee Forum of December 2019.

-Elaborate, organize and deliver training activities on protection of persons with specific needs, integration and durable solutions to COMAR staff, promoting the effective observation of UNHCR guidelines and best practices.

-Perform other duties as required.


The ideal candidate should have:

-University degree in Law, Political Science or related fields.
-Relevant work experience of 6 years, including within governmental entities.
-Proven knowledge on human rights law (especially social and economic rights), Mexican administrative law, as well as knowledge of refugee law or the working context with refugees.
-Experience working with government entities, with UNHCR or any other humanitarian organization is an asset.
-Fluency in Spanish and working knowledge of English.
-Excellent liaison and interpersonal skills.
-Ability to work well under pressure on multiple tasks simultaneously, establish priorities and deliver quality output in a most time-efficient manner.
-Excellent Planning and Organizational skills
-Excellent computer skills, in particular Microsoft Office.
-Excellent drafting skills as well as ability to facilitate trainings and conduct on the job training.


Monitoring and Progress Controls:

-Deliverable 1: Inception report detailing the consultants understanding of the task and methodology, Workplan with activities and timeframe. Due after the first month of the contract.
-Deliverable 2: Detailed monthly reports describing the progress within the work plan.
-Deliverable 3: Final consultancy report. Due at the end of the contract, with concrete recommendations and timeline.


a. The final product: Final consultancy report including concrete recommendations and timeline
b. Delivery Periodicity, as applicable:  Inception report, monthly progress reports and final consultancy report
c. Work on the basis of time employed: Yes
d. If it is to result in a written product specify:
e. Number of pages: TBD
f. Language(s): Spanish Proficiency in English and Spanish is essential. The closing date for submission of applications is 13 September 2020 (midnight Geneva time).
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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