Refugee Status Determination Adviser (UNOPS IICA 3)

UNHCR , Parow, South Africa
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Job Summary

Job Description

Terms of Reference
Refugee Status Determination Adviser (UNOPS IICA 3)
UNHCR Pretoria, South Africa

Operational Context
The South African Refugees Act [No. 130 of 1998], as amended, grants asylum seekers the opportunity to lodge an appeal to the Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa (RAASA) within ten working days of receipt of the letter of rejection from a Refugee Status Determination Officer (RSDO). In recent years, due to requirements that the appeal body’s members meet as a quorum as well as increased number of asylum applicants, the RAASA has inherited a substantial backlog. This backlog has been an obstacle to the South African authorities’ efforts to ensure an asylum system that is fair, efficient, adaptable and which has integrity. At the same time, large number of individuals seeking international protection wait for long periods of time to receive a final decision on their asylum application. Recent amendments in legislation now allow individual members of the RAASA to consider an appeal case and empower the department to increase or decrease members with due consideration to the caseloads.

The UNHCR and the Government of South Africa have agreed, under a formal and dedicated four-year appeals backlog project, to put resources together and prioritise the processing of the backlog cases. The backlog is ring fenced to include all appeal applications up to and including December 2016 while normal daily processing of RAASA appeal applications from January 2017 onwards is to continue. As of September 2020, the total active “unfounded” cases pending appeal prior to December 2016 amount to 123,424. A four-year Project and Implementation Plan in three phases has been agreed and approved by the Minister for Home Affairs with implementation to commence as soon as possible.

Title: RSD Adviser Duty Station: Pretoria, South Africa Duration: One year Contract Type: (UNOPS) International-Specialist IICA 3 (equivalent to P4) Closing date: 25th December 2020(midnight Geneva time)

The position
Objectives of the Project:
• To implement the agreed Project and Implementation Plan collaboratively between the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the RAASA and the UNHCR.
• To implement the two strategic priorities of the project: o The finalization of the active appeals in the backlog prior to 2017 o Implementation of best practices to prevent future backlogs

Duties and responsibilities
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.

Under the supervision of UNHCR and in line with the guidance of the Project’s Advisory Group the incumbent will:
• Work collaboratively with counterparts at the DHA and RAASA to ensure timely implementation of the agreed Project and Implementation Plan. • Co-chair the project’s Operations Group (OG), meeting at least once a week with DHA and RAASA counterparts also in the OG and supporting them as needed. Together, the Operations Group members will report to the project’s Advisory Group (AG) – formed of representatives from the three bodies – at least once a month. • Support the implementation of actions in each of the five key thematic areas of the Plan: o Administrative processes; o Technology; o Adjudicative strategy; o Communication and information sharing;

• Act as a main point of contact at UNHCR, offering RSD-specific expertise where required and acting as main liaison between DHA, RAASA and any other UNHCR departments or colleagues who may be asked to support the project, e.g. programme, ICT, RSD, etc. o Visit and offer technical advice and support as needed to the different RRO (Refugee Reception Offices) o Perform other activities as required • The Appeals backlog is a specialized project relating to the adjudication of claims for asylum. As such, the incumbent will be required to adhere to all DHA, RAASA and UNHCR protocols as regards security and confidentiality of information.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required
The ideal candidate will be required to have:
• Basic university degree in relevant field and relevant work experience of 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree. • Experience in the field of asylum adjudication • The ability to interpret policy and legislation • Excellent drafting and report writing skills • Excellent diplomacy skills • Fluency in English

An incumbent with experience and qualifications in the following will be an added advantage:
• Experience in the field of asylum system management and design • Experience in working with Government bodies • Project management experience • Process design and development • Experience in promoting Capacity Development activities

Key Competencies:

• Core Competencies: Accountability Communication Organizational Awareness Teamwork & Collaboration Commitment to Continuous Learning Client & Result Orientation

• Managerial Competencies: Judgement and Decision Making Empowering and Building Trust Leadership Strategic Planning and Vision Managing Resources

• Cross-Functional Competencies: Analytical Thinking Political Awareness Policy Development and Research

The successful candidate will be based in Pretoria, South Africa. The incumbent will be based at RAASA offices but will additionally be required to work in/from different DHA Refugee Reception Offices in South Africa and UNHCR’s office in Pretoria.

The position starts on the 15th January 2021 and it is for 12 months.