Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
Regular > Regular Assignment
December 15, 2022
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.
- Perform other related duties as required.
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.
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)
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.
Desired Candidate Profile
- experience liaising with government officials in the field of asylum capacity building
- fluent in French
- strong drafting skills in French
- proficient in English
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:
Nature of Position:
As of September 2022, Niger hosts over 365.000 refugees (mainly from Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso) and asylum seekers (mainly applicants in mixed movements). Niger also temporarily hosts evacuees from Libye under its Emergency Transit Mechanism who are submitted for third country solutions. In addition, Niger hosts over 347.000 IDPs in the Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua, Tillaberi and Niamey regions. Niger’s legislative framework is favourable to the protection of refugees and IDPs.
The incumbent reports to a Senior Protection Officer and acts as an advisor to senior management in designing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to strengthen the asylum system in Niger. The incumbent will have direct supervisory responsibility for RSD staff whose work may include technical and logistical support as well as RSD processing. S/he provides technical advice and support to the counterparts within the relevant government institutions in implementation of the national asylum procedure. S/he builds and maintains relationships with UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on asylum and protection policy and doctrine.
S/he participates as an observer in the eligibility sessions of the government’s first instance and appeals body.
Living and Working Conditions:
Niamey is a family duty station where accommodations are available although finding reasonable quality accommodation starting to become a challenge and price arising. There are a number of supermarkets where local and foreign goods are available and expatriates frequent a number of restaurants offering Turkish, Lebanese, Chinese, French, Italian and other foods. Limited educational services are available; French and American International Schools exist. The Medical Section in Geneva after assessing the medical facilities has recommended two (2) clinics safely accessible by UNHCR staff and family members. Most of travels within the country are undertaken regularly through UNHAS flights. Non accessible localities are reached by car. Accommodations with minimum standards are available in the field offices. There are several banks and ATM available in the capital.
There are 3 seasons in Niger: rainy (June-September), cool (October-February), and very hot (March-May).
Communication by the mobile telephony and internet are acceptable. Housing conditions are becoming more difficult due to untimely power cuts, and the very high price of rent including advances of 3 to 4 months to be paid before moving in.
Security level is 4 in Niamey. Due to actual terrorist threat of kidnapping and armed attacks against convoy in south of Niamey Region, any mission should move under armed escorts between 7:00 to 18:00. Despite tension around its borders, with military operations taking place regularly, Niamey remains reasonably stable, due to criminality staff members are discouraged from walking in the streets, taking taxis, staying out late at night and visiting public places alone. Almost no red zone exists but in fact staffs should reside in a certain perimeter around the assembly or concentration point. Pertaining to civil unrest and disturbances, the situation can be volatile and unpredictable in Niamey.
Personal security arrangements are highly recommended over the security measures set up. In Niamey, there is a nightly curfew between 01.00 and 05.00 for international UN staff, weekly radio control and security advisories broadcasts.
BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)
HCR Management Learning Program - UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program - UNHCR, HCR RSD Learning Program - UNHCR
Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Policy research & development, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022
This position doesn't require a functional clearance