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Chief of RSD Section

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Legal - International Law
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-20

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Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Chief of RSD Section

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Chief of RSD Section is responsible for the development and implementation of UNHCR RSD and RSD-related strategies and activities. These responsibilities relate to the implementation of mandate RSD, as well as the building and/or strengthening of Government RSD procedures and decision-making, as an integral part of UNHCR's broader protection and solutions strategies and approaches. The monitoring, evaluation and progressive enhancement of the fairness, quality and efficiency, integrity and credibility of UNHCR and Government RSD and RSD-related procedures and decision-making are key objectives; as well as the development and implementation of RSD and RSD-related standards and policies, in cooperation with other relevant sections within the Division of International Protection DIP). The Chief of RSD Section furthermore has responsibility for the development, publication and dissemination of high quality country-specific protection information, including through related technological support tools, such as Refworld and the Protection Manual, to inform RSD and RSD-related procedures and decision-making and plays a key role in ensuring the coherence and consistency of organizational messaging on country-specific protection needs.
The Chief of RSD Section works within DIP's Pillar I (Policy & Law), reports to the Deputy Director and is part of the DIP Senior Management Team. The incumbent has extensive work relationships and contacts with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, often at a senior level, in coordinating and leading UNHCR's global RSD activities.   The Chief of RSD Section works closely with Field Offices, Regional Bureaux, relevant sections within DIP, and other Divisions in Headquarters. (S)he manages and supervises a team of (regular and affiliate) staff with specialized skills (both in relation to RSD and COI/country-related guidance). In addition to providing direct supervision to staff in the RSD Section, the incumbent provides functional supervision to (Senior) Regional RSD officers.

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.

- Develop, contribute to and enhance global, regional and country level RSD and RSD-related standards, policies, tools and practices, in close coordination with Field Offices, Regional Bureaux, relevant sections within DIP, and other Divisions in Headquarters.
- Deliver planned and agreed RSD and RSD-related outcomes, consistently and effectively, in a results-based framework, ensuring full and effective integration into regional protection strategies and country operations plans.
- Stay abreast of and analyse legal, political, security and other developments which impact on the protection environment, and in particular, on protection delivery through RSD, with a view to advising and assisting senior management in developing and operationalizing UNHCR's RSD and RSD-related strategies, initiatives and objectives (including, where appropriate, engagement on alternatives to RSD).
- Design, supervise and direct the implementation of mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of UNHCR and Government RSD and RSD-related procedures and decision-making, including through the analysis of trends.
- Ensure that UNHCR's RSD and RSD-related strategies and tools address the specific protection needs of women and men, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, and groups such as persons with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity, and persons living with HIV/AIDS.
- Design, supervise and direct the implementation of mechanisms to safeguard the integrity and credibility of UNHCR RSD procedures and decision-making, through the prevention, identification, and appropriate addressing of fraud.
- Supervise the development, provision and dissemination of procedural, legal and country-specific advice, guidance and operational support to UNHCR staff and external stakeholders, as appropriate.
- Design, supervise, and advise on the implementation of RSD and RSD-related responses (including, where appropriate, engagement on alternatives to RSD), in regular as well as in emergency and other special operations; ensure compliance with UNHCR standards, policies and positions.
- Plan, prioritize and ensure the implementation of monitoring and support missions to UNHCR offices engaged in implementing mandate RSD and/or building/strengthening Government RSD and RSD-related procedures and decision-making.
- Ensure the provision of timely advice on complex and sensitive individual RSD cases, referred to DIP in accordance with relevant standards and in consultation, as appropriate, with other relevant sections within DIP.
- Ensure provision of operational support through the management and oversight of the UNHCR RSD Deployment scheme and Roster, as well as Government Memoranda of Understanding.
- In coordination and cooperation with the GLC, oversee the development and facilitation of regular and customized RSD- and COI-related learning, based on a continuous identification and evaluation of training needs, to UNHCR staff and external stakeholders.
- Coordinate dialogue and ensure appropriate consultation on RSD, RSD-related, and country-specific issues to bring about global coherence and consistency in (RSD, RSD-related and country-specific) positioning and responses.
- Assist senior management in ensuring UNHCR's RSD-related (including country-specific) perspectives are fully represented in external fora (including but not limited to government counterparts, IGC, EASO, NGOs, IAGCI).
- Ensure the production and dissemination to key stakeholders of up-to-date and accurate information and analysis on UNHCR's RSD, RSD-related and country-specific policies, positions, practices and trends.
- Ensure the production of relevant contributions to UNHCR and external standard reports and publications (Global Report, Global Appeal, Global Trends, Statistical Yearbook, etc.).
- Oversee further development, maintenance of and support to technological support tools (Refworld, Protection Manual, CoP, etc) for internal and external stakeholders; ensure that improvements of technological support tools are informed by technological developments and user needs.
- Provide functional supervision to regional RSD and Research & Information staff.
- Ensure functional clearance is conducted for key regional and country-level RSD and Research & Information staff.
- Ensure continued strengthening of regular and affiliate RSD staffing levels, structures and mechanisms.
- Represent DIP/Pillar I in meetings within UNHCR and represent UNHCR with external counterparts, including in the media, on issues related to RSD, COI and country-specific positioning.
- Clear documents, policies and reports related to RSD, COI and country-specific positioning.
- Negotiate and take initiatives with external partners on issues related to RSD, COI and country-specific positioning.
- Enforce compliance by UNHCR staff with UNHCR standards, policies and guidance related to RSD, COI and country-specific positioning.
- Decide/endorse sensitive RSD decisions.
- Take decisions on prioritization of affiliate workforce deployments.
- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P5 - 12 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 11 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 10 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Law, Political Science, International Relations    or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
UNHCR's RSD Learning Programme
COI Learning Programme
Management Learning Programme
(Field(s) of Certificates marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
12 years of relevant professional job experience, preferably in the area of refugee protection, human rights or international humanitarian law, including a minimum of five years relevant field experience.
Minimum 5 years of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to the adjudication of individual asylum claims in RSD procedures, as well as having worked extensively with country-of-origin information and country-specific guidance products.
Proven communication, managerial, coordination and consultation, and team-building skills.
Experience in managing and supervising teams responsible for RSD procedures and decision-making.
In-depth knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles, and of UNHCR protection strategies and policies.
In-depth knowledge of UNHCR's standards, policies and positions related to RSD and COI and relevant UNHCR authorities and guidance.
Thorough knowledge of the "Procedural Standards for Refugee Status Determination under UNHCR's Mandate" and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR's mandate RSD activities.
Experience working in diverse asylum and protection environments, including in industrialized states.
Understanding of and experience with relevant regional legal frameworks (EU, OAU, Cartagena, etc).

Training and coaching experience.
Working knowledge of French or Spanish.

Functional Skills
CO-Drafting and Documentation
PR-Human Rights
LE-Human Rights Law
LE-International Refugee Law
CO-Reporting skills
PR-International protection concepts and principles
PR-International Humanitarian Law
MG-Team building (development/facilitation)
EX-Field experience
PR-Policy and Protection/Legal related issues
PR-Experience with procedures/principles re: adjudication of indiv. asylum claims in RSD
(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. C001L4 - Accountability Level 4
C002L4 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
C003L4 - Communication Level 4
C004L4 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
C005L4 - Client & Result Orientation Level 4
C006L4 - Organizational Awareness Level 4
M001L4 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M003L4 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X006L4 - Policy Development & Research Level 4
X005L4 - Planning and Organizing Level 4
X007L4 - Political Awareness Level 4

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that the closing date for positions advertised in the September 2021 Compendium is Wednesday 20 October 2021 (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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