Organizational Setting and Work Relationships:
The Durable Solutions Associate reports to a more senior Durable Solutions or Protection colleague.
The incumbent is relied upon to contribute to the implementation of a durable solutions strategy. S/he works closely with protection, programme and field staff, contributes to fostering an environment to enhance partnerships is a critical element of the work, as are activities designed to strength the involvement of refugee communities and their hosts in the design and implementation of solutions strategies.
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.
Pakistan operation covers the full range of UNHCR's core mandate responsibilities in a complex, sensitive and multi-faceted environment. The Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) for the largest protracted refugee caseload globally (1.5 million registered Afghan refugees) serves as the main platform for the implementation of the three strategic priorities for the UNHCR operation in Pakistan (Solutions; Protection and Assistance; Partnerships and Cooperation).
In June 2016, the Pakistan operation decided to move away from individual case processing of Afghan refugees to increased urban outreach and community-based protection. As such, the operation is undergoing a transformative shift in how we manage protection work, the means in which protection issues are identified and addressed and the network of partners and service providers who can help to meet the identified needs.
As per the 2016 strategic decision to shift away from individual casework, the operation changed its policy regarding resettlement and now only uses resettlement in response to urgent or emergency protection needs. Such cases are endorsed for resettlement through a panel decision including diverse protection staff including CBP, RSD, and the Senior Protection Officer. Resettlement is cases are submitted to the Resettlement Unit in Headquarters, and UNHCR Pakistan does not maintain a direct resettlement quota with any resettlement country.
Despite the limited number of submissions over the past few years, due to the large resettlement program that existed within the operation until 2016, UNHCR maintains a post submission backlog of approximately 500 cases for resettlement to the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. UNHCR continues to liaise closely with resettlement countries to ensure the smooth departure of these pending cases.
The Durable Solutions Associate will work closely with protection colleagues to develop tools, guidance, and trainings to support UNHCR and partner colleagues to effectively provide counselling to refugees on resettlement and complementary pathways and to identify cases that may require exceptional consideration due to emergency or urgent protection needs in Pakistan. For cases approved for resettlement processing, s/he will directly interview and prepare Resettlement Referral Forms (RRF), in line with Resettlement SOPs for individuals identified as highly vulnerable. Where required, s/he will additionally support the review and submission of RRFs prepared by other protection colleagues throughout the operation and research country of origin information for support and corroboration of resettlement cases.
Furthermore, it is envisioned the Durable Solutions Associate will serve as the main focal point with a diverse group of stakeholders for resettlement and voluntary repatriation, including embassies, resettlement country governments, the International Organization for Migration, non-Governmental Organizations, and Pakistani government officials to support the facilitation of durable solutions for refugees, the provision of information and clarifications (in line with SOPs), and other requests for information.
In addition, the Durable Solutions Associate will also maintain detailed and confidential records of UNHCR’s resettlement activities, both in proGres V.4 and with other tools, in line with standard operating procedures and operational needs and regularly provide statistical information for UNHCR’s reporting needs.
UNHCR Pakistan maintains a large voluntary repatriation program for Afghan refugees, but increasingly UNHCR has been approached by non-Afghan refugees requesting facilitation for voluntary return. The protection team engaged closely with UNHCR Somalia, IOM, and the Embassy of Somalia to process these cases. UNHCR Pakistan covers the cost of return, including the costs of all documents, the return flight to Somalia (which is issued through IOM with a small processing fee.) Numerous challenges were noted, including the lengthy processing times due to the issuance of the required exit permits from the Ministry of Interior.
The Durable Solutions Associate will maintain and regularly update standard operating procedures for the voluntary repatriation of both Afghan and non-Afghan refugees, including up to date information on key contacts, visa processing costs and timelines, and exit procedures with the Government of Pakistan.
S/he will also conduct direct casework for refugees interested in returning home, including the provision of regular information on voluntary repatriation to provide realistic expectations of the process and what they can expect upon return. Following requests of individual refugees, the Durable Solutions Associate will also conduct voluntary repatriation counselling and interviews with non-Afghan refugees upon request to determine the motivation for return and provide individualized counselling on the areas of return. S/he will be the main focal point to liaise with UNHCR operations in countries of return, Embassies in Pakistan, IOM, NGO partners, and other stakeholders to ensure smooth and efficient processing of non-Afghan voluntary return and prepare statistical and ad-hoc reports to ensure accurate information is available and shared with relevant offices and partners.
The Durable Solutions Associate will also serve as the Afghan voluntary repatriation focal point and will be called on to support and organize cross-border coordination meetings and reporting activities related to voluntary repatriation. The Durable Solutions Associate reports to a more senior Durable Solutions or Protection colleague. The Durable Solutions Associate may also be requested to take on other duties within the protection team, as requested and required.
In order to successfully carry out the duties of the position, the candidate will require a strong understanding of UNHCR’s resettlement processing procedures, vulnerability categories, as well as the eligibility criteria and processing requirements of the major resettlement countries (including USA, Australia, Canada, and Nordic Countries). S/he should have excellent interviewing and counselling skills and significant experience drafting resettlement referral forms (RRFs), strong familiarity with proGres version 4 and other database software. Furthermore, s/he should have a strong awareness on the importance of preventing resettlement fraud and ways to mitigate risks in the resettlement process. In addition to direct casework and case management, the Durable Solutions Associate should also have exemplary liaison skills, and have strong experience with stakeholders related to durable solutions and be able to effectively communicate with a diverse group of stakeholders to support durable solutions for refugees. Preference is for a candidate who speaks at least one of the main refugee languages (Dari or Pashto.). Ideally, the candidate should have worked in Resettlement position for four to five years.
Provide counselling to refugees and other persons of concern (POC) to identify the most appropriate durable solution and to enable them to make a well-informed decision.
Interview candidates for voluntary repatriation and prepare documentation for their return, in line with Voluntary Repatriation SOPs.
Interview and prepare Resettlement Referral Forms (RRF), in line with Resettlement SOPs.
Interview candidates for local integration and prepare the appropriate documentation for onward submission to local authorities or partners, in line with Local Integration SOPs.
Assist in updating the electronic database for resettlement, voluntary repatriation and local integration, in line with Standard Operating Procedures.
Process documentation to ensure that POC receive the documents required for their durable solutions in a timely manner.
Prepare statistical and ad-hoc reports to ensure accurate information is available and shared with relevant offices and partners.
Interview and advise on the appropriate durable solution to be provided to POC.
Prepare documents relating to durable solutions.
Enter information into available database, in line with SOPs.
Draft and submit reports relating to durable solutions.
Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher
Certificates and/or Licenses:
HCR Protection Learning Programme
HCR Resettlement Learning Programme
HCR Protection Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Diverse field experience. Experience in interviewing.
IT-Microsoft Office Productivity Software
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Working knowledge of English language.
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to Continuous Learning
Client & Result Orientation
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