Associate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer

    Apply by: January 27, 2015
    Organization: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

    Applications must be emailed to [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. Eastern StandardTime on the date indicated in order to be considered. Thank you.

    How to Apply:

    Please note that PRM-sponsored JPO positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.

    Applicants must submit a completed United Nations Personal History form (UN P-11) via email to [email protected] by the deadline noted above. The UN P-11 form is available for download from the UNHCR website at PRM will accept the UN P-11 form without a signature. If desired, you may also submit a resume or curriculum vitae and letter of interest. Please specify the position for which you are applying in the Subject line of the email (i.e. Associate Protection Officer – Kabul, AFGHANISTAN). You must send a separate email and application for each position for which you are qualified and wish to be considered. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on the PRM website.

    PRM Notes:

    • For more information about UNHCR’s operations at this post, please visit the UNHCR website at
    • University Degree in Law, political science, international relations or another related field. Advanced degree strongly preferred for participation in the JPO program.
    • Minimum 4 years (2 years with advanced University degree) of relevant professional job experience, preferably in the area of refugee protection, human rights or international humanitarian law, including at least 1 year of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to RSD.
    • Strong working knowledge of a second UN language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, or Russian) in addition to English is highly desirable for participation in the JPO program.
    • The JPO job description and related information attached are provided by UNHCR.
    • JPO contracts are initially issued for one (1) year and then renewed. American JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.



    Title: Associate RSD Officer (JPO)

    Sector: Protection Unit

    Location: Bangkok, Thailand

    Duration of the assignment: 1 Year renewable (total of 2 years)


    Supervisor: Ms. Mari Sveen, RSD Officer

    Content and methodology of the supervision:

    The Associate RSD Officer will work under the overall supervision of the Senior Protection Officer, and under the direct supervision of the RSD Officer. The RSD Officer will supervise and provide technical support/guidance to the incumbent for planning purposes, daily activities and ensure timely review, feedback and evaluation of the work, as set out in the “duties and responsibilities” below.


    • Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments which impact on the protection environment, and in particular, on protection delivery through RSD.
    • Assist in the development of the RSD strategy of the operation and in the annual planning exercise.
    • Contribute to the development and enhancement of regional and global RSD standards and policies.
    • Assist in the supervision and oversight of RSD and RSD-related activities to promote full compliance with written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
    • Review and endorse RSD decisions and provide appropriate feedback and guidance to RSD staff.
    • Conduct RSD interviews and draft RSD Assessments in accordance with applicable standards and guidelines.
    • Maintain accurate and up-to date records and data related to all work on individual cases.
    • Provide counselling to asylum seekers and refugees.
    • Assist in designing, implementing and revising operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD operation in accordance with applicable standards and policies.
    • Assist in preventing and identifying fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR staff, partners and persons of concern.
    • Assist in monitoring RSD trends and in compiling and analysing RSD statistics related to RSD case processing to identify and respond to developments or issues impacting on the efficiency or quality of RSD decision-making, and to propose remedial measures.
    • Conduct research on country of origin information (COI) and legal issues related to RSD and assist in maintaining a local repository of relevant information, guidelines and standards accessible to RSD staff in the operation.
    • Assist in developing and maintaining processes to ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policy and practice.
    • Assist in initiatives to advocate with and support Government authorities and legal partners to establish and strengthen fair and efficient RSD procedures and RSD decision-making.
    • Regularly assess training needs of UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities and provide on-going training and coaching on legal and procedural RSD issues.
    • Support the development and implementation of RSD training initiatives for Government authorities and legal partners.


    • UNHCR’s RSD procedures are implemented in accordance with relevant UNHCR standards and policies, including policies related to age, gender, and diversity mainstreaming (AGDM).
    • Persons of concern have fair and transparent access to the RSD procedures.
    • Fraud in the RSD process is identified and appropriately addressed.


    • Approve decisions to accelerate RSD processing for cases meeting established criteria.
    • Enforce compliance by UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities with UNHCR standards, policies and operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD operation.
    • Decide and endorse RSD decisions.


    Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required:

    • University Degree in Law, political science, international relations or another related field.
    • Minimum 4 years (2 years with advanced University degree) of relevant professional job experience, preferably in the area of refugee protection, human rights or international humanitarian law.
    • Minimum 1 year of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to RSD.
    • Knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.
    • Strong research and analytical skills.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UN language.
    • Desirable qualifications and competencies:
    • Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government RSD procedures is highly desirable.
    • Experience in counselling asylum seekers or refugees.
    • Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.
    • Completion of UNHCR’s RSD Learning Programme, COI Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme.
    • Experience in supervising and in providing training or coaching, guidance or advice to staff.
    • Knowledge of another UN language.

    REQUIRED COMPETENCIES, which illustrate behaviors that are essential to achieving deliverables described above, and that are critical to successful performance. All jobs require the staff to abide to the Values and Core competencies of UNHCR.

    • Empowering and Building Trust (M001)
    • Managing Performance (M002)
    • Judgement and Decision Making (M003)
    • Analytical Thinking (X001)
    • Planning and Organizing (X005)
    • Stakeholder Management (X008)


    Training components:

    The incumbent will have occasion to participate in internal training/ capacity building activities organized by the UNHCR Bangkok. S/he will have access to apply to learning programs organized by the UNHCR Global Learning Centre.

    Learning elements:

    The incumbent will gain a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of international refugee law and related legal instruments, including a thorough understanding of the UNHCR RSD Procedures and Standards. S/he will strengthen her legal- and analytical skills, as well as writing skills, and will strengthen his/her research skills, including on legal matters and country of origin information.

    The incumbent will gain a solid understanding and experiences in interviewing techniques and working with interpreters through conducting RSD interviews.

    S/he will further gain experiences in organizing and facilitating trainings on RSD related matters.

    Finally, the incumbent will gain supervisory responsibility and management skills.

    It is expected that the incumbent will acquire these sets of skills and competencies during the assignment (2 years).