Associate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    3 months ago
  • Category:
    Project Management
  • Deadline:



Open recruitment (advertised)

Advertisement end date:09/02/2024


Description of assignment title

Associate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer

Assignment country


Expected start date


Sustainable Development Goal

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Volunteer category

International UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity




Expected end date


Number of assignments


Duty stations



Mission and objectives

The Office of the UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country (


The UNHCR Multi-Country Office (MCO) in Dakar, Senegal, covers Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Sierra-Leone and serves, as of the end of October 2023, a population of 19,235 forcibly displaced persons, including refugees, asylum-seekers and others of concern, 94% of whom are in protracted situations. On legal reform, the MCO successfully picked up and moved forward with the various legislative review processes. New asylum and statelessness laws were adopted for Senegal in April 2022 (and Benin in November 2022 which was under MCO Senegal coverage until December 2023). The MCO will continue working with the Government in developing respective adequate implementing regulations & finalizing the legislative reviews which are underway. Prospects of legal changes on refugee and statelessness matters are positive for The Gambia and Guinea as well. Legislation and status determination procedures are incipient, some level of progress is already achieved, and more is expected. Those achievements will require development of implementing regulations and strong investments in capacity building and systems development. This includes mainstreaming statelessness variables in birth registration monitoring systems through national birth registration monitoring plans including through joint UN advocacy/activities, as well as strengthening partnerships with key counterparts such as Ministries of Justice. Most of the Governments under MCO’s area of responsibility have made relevant pledges to favour local integration under the Global Compact for Refugees framework or to eradicate statelessness through the 2019 High Level Segment. These positive commitments and advances will continue to be operationalized and advocated for inclusion into the National Development Plans. The solutions environment in most of the MCO countries can be defined as positive, with de facto social and economic integration but missing the legal component for certain individuals. Through this positive environment, integration of refugees has been taking place for years in most of the contexts, with solutions strategies and roadmaps discussed, agreed, and partially implemented. However, not only do most of the refugees live in protracted situations, but significant numbers of them live in poverty along with their hosting communities and encounter administrative hurdles, discrimination and stigma which humper their possibilities to locally integrate. This has been structurally hindering their solutions prospects even in contexts with positive legal and political protection environment. Similarly, the environment for the mainstreaming of refugee and stateless issues into the national development plans and UN joint action plans is generally positive. However, UNHCR’s perceived small footprint in certain countries and its limited direct funding injections into these plans is a structural obstacle to identify and measure clear outputs. On the other hand, the asylum systems in the MCO countries are all in need of support from UNHCR’s funding, and more Governments’ funding is needed to sustain their asylum systems.

Task description

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of Senior Protection Officer or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UN Volunteer will: Strategic Direction and Coordination: • 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. Response and Advice: • Conduct RSD interviews and draft RSD Assessments in accordance with applicable standards and guidelines. • Review RSD decisions and provide appropriate feedback and guidance to RSD staff. • Maintain accurate and up-to date records and data related to all work on individual cases. • Provide counselling to asylum seekers and refugees. • Systematically apply an age, gender and diversity (AGD) perspective in the performance of assigned functions. • Assist in monitoring RSD trends and in compiling and analyzing 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. Advocacy, Information Management and Research: • 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. • Ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and legal 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. Perform other related duties as required. Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities: • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day). • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country. • Provide annual and end of assignment self-reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities. • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc. • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly arrived UN Volunteers. • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

Eligibility criteria


27 – 80


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience

3 years of experience in conducting refugee status determination Experience with asylum seekers and refugees desirable. Experience in the legal field desirable. Knowledge of interviewing techniques with vulnerable persons desirable. Being able to take initiatives when necessary.

Area(s) of expertise

Social work, Legal affairs, Administration

Driving license


French, Level: Fluent, Required English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Law, International Relations, Political Science or related fields.

Competencies and values

Good computer skills. Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work in a team. Flexible and able to work effectively in a multicultural environment.

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

The initial contract is issued upon arrival for the period indicated above. The contract can be extended depending on continuation of mandate, availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectancy of renewal of the assignment. A UN Volunteer receives a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA), which is composed of a Monthly Living Allowance (MLA) and a Family Allowance (FA) for those with dependents (maximum three). The Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) is paid at the end of each month to cover housing, utilities, transportation, communications and other basic needs. The VLA can be calculated using by applying the Post-Adjustment Multiplier (PAM) to the VLA base rate US$ 1,631. The VLA base rate is a global rate across the world, while the PAM is duty station/country-specific and fluctuates on a monthly basis according to cost of living. This method ensures that international UN Volunteers have comparable purchasing power at all duty stations irrespective of varying costs of living. The PAM is established by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and is published at the beginning of every month on the ICSC website – Furthermore, UN Volunteers are provided a settling-in-grant (SIG) at the start of the assignment (if the volunteer did not reside in the duty station for at least 6 months prior to taking up the assignment) and in the event of a permanent reassignment to another duty station. UNV provides life, health, permanent disability insurances as well as assignment travel, annual leave, full integration in the UN security framework (including residential security reimbursements). UN Volunteers are paid Daily Subsistence Allowance at the UN rate for official travels, flight tickets for periodic home visit and for the final repatriation travel (if applicable). Resettlement allowance is paid for satisfactory service at the end of the assignment. UNV will provide, together with the offer of assignment, a copy of the Conditions of Service, including Code of conduct, to the successful candidate.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

This UNV assignment is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with WHO approved vaccine, unless the UNHCR Medical Service approves an exemption from this requirement on medical grounds

This job has expired.