Deal of the day

Associate Resettlement Officer, Nairobi – open to candidates with US nationality

Procedures and Eligibility

This vacancy is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of the USA and is addressed exclusively to candidates WITH THE US NATIONALITY.

Duties and Qualifications


Kenya hosts the third largest refugee population in Africa. As of 31 December 2018, the total number of registered refugees and asylum seekers with UNHCR in Kenya stood at 471,724. The vast majority, 257,318 persons, are from Somalia followed by refugees from South Sudan (115,286), the Democratic Republic of Congo (41,305), Ethiopia (27,701) and other nationalities. Out of the 471,724 refugees and asylum seekers present in Kenya, 75,742 lives in Nairobi and the rest live in the camp.
The Republic of Kenya has acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol as well as the 1969 OAU Convention, and has ratified various other international instruments protecting human rights. In December 2006, Kenya enacted its first refugee legislation, the Refugees Act of 2006. Although the 1951 Convention holds a contracting State responsible for according to refugees, lawfully staying on its territory, the right to choose their place of residence and to move freely within its territory, Kenya has since the early 1990s practiced a policy of encampment which obliges the majority of refugees to remain within the confines of refugee camps. Although the Act does not indicate specifically whether refugees shall be required to reside in these designated areas, it provides for legal sanctions against those who contravene the Act by residing, without authority, outside camps in urban areas. Between 2012 and 2015 the Kenya authorities have implemented the encampment policy very strictly through implementation of two Relocation Directives¿ as well as part of the Usalama Security Operation.
Refugees residing in urban centres, as a rule, do not receive material assistance with the exception of extremely vulnerable cases and those with protection concerns. Refugees in Kenya mainly receive UNHCR protection and assistance at the Sub-Office level in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps. The limited access refugees have to local and national economic activities, combined with a very poor resource base constitute serious constraints for refugees to attain any level of self-sufficiency, let alone local integration. The psychological effects of surviving trauma, have contributed to a protracted refugee population that is highly vulnerable. Furthermore, refugees living in urban areas are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention as their refugee certificates are not always recognized by the Kenyan authorities. On 19 December 2014 the President of Kenya signed a new Security Law, including limiting the number of refugees and asylum-seekers to 150,000, while those applying for refugee status would not be allowed to leave the camps. However, on 2 January 2015 the High Court suspended 8 key sections of the new Law, including the one related to refugees.
The working environment in Nairobi is particularly challenging, and requires a dynamic attitude combining both sound knowledge and hands-on approach. Working hours tend to be long, and the issues dealt with are often challenging. The working environment has been further exacerbated by the government directives in December 2012 and March 2014 requiring urban refugees and asylum seekers to relocate to one of the refugee camps.
The candidate of choice will need to be a professional with the ability to function under pressure and to work within an international and highly dynamic team in harmony and good spirit.



  • Resettlement delivery in the country is needs-based, non-discriminatory and prioritized for refugees most in need of this solution.
  • UNHCR¿s resettlement policies and standards are correctly and coherently applied.
  • Persons of concern are made aware of UNHCR¿s resettlement procedures and have fair and transparent access to and participation in the resettlement process.
  • Fraud in the resettlement process is promptly identified and addressed.
  • Resettlement targets are met.


  • Interview vulnerable refugees identified by internal and external partners, undertake necessary action to finalise the resettlement assessment.
  • Review resettlement referrals by internal and external actors and resettlement assessments by Resettlement Assistants;
  • Complete Resettlement Referral Forms (RRFs) to meet agreed targets in Nairobi; review RRFs from other caseworkers as required;
  • Conduct resettlement related counselling for refugees and participate in outreach activities in coordination with colleagues from other protection units;
  • Liaise with other functional units within UNHCR and partner agencies to ensure necessary action is taken / assessments made to finalise documentation on resettlement submissions;
  • Draft BIAs for resettlement processing:
  • Conduct support missions to the camps in Dadaab and Kakuma, in order to assist the colleagues in the field to meet their respective targets. Conduct resettlement interviews, counselling, prepare RRFs and perform any other task as requested by the Heads of Units.
  • Stay abreast of political, legal, social and economic developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
  • Assist in implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for promoting the resettlement of persons of concern as protection tool and durable solution in the context of comprehensive solution strategies.
  • Assist in the development of country resettlement strategy and annual resettlement planning exercise.
  • Assist in promoting and monitoring the implementation of UNHCR¿s global resettlement policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Maintain regular contact and close cooperation with resettlement countries and partners to ensure effective resettlement delivery and adherence to adequate protection and resettlement standards.
  • Participate, where appropriate, in country-level discussions with resettlement countries and partners.
  • Assist in managing a process to ensure that persons of concern and partners receive up-to-date and accurate information on UNHCR¿s resettlement policies and procedures.
  • Assist in the submission of up-to-date and accurate statistics, resettlement reports and needs assessments are submitted to management as required.
  • Identify and recommend relevant training activities of UNHCR staff and implementing partners.
  • Contribute to a communications strategy that generates support for UNHCR¿s operations from external partners.


  • Decide and prioritize resettlement interviews of persons of concern.
  • Represent UNHCR¿s resettlement positions.
  • Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, resettlement standard operating procedures.


Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master¿s) in Law, International Law, International Relations, Political Sciences or related field. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) may also be accepted. The degree must have been obtained in an accredited institution listed under

With a Master’s degree, minimum 2 years of professionnal work experience relevant to the function (3 with a BA and 1 with a PhD).

Coaching and stake-holders management; very good drafting skills.

Experience with immigration laws and representation of asylum-seekers. Knowledge of UNHCR protection standards and RSD,

Position Competencies

REQUIRED COMPETENCIES, which illustrate behaviours 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. Where applicable, select a maximum of six Managerial and three Cross-Functional Competencies.
Code Managerial Competencies
M001: Empowering and Building Trust
M003: Judgement and Decision Making
Code Cross-Functional Competencies
X001: Analytical Thinking
X008: Stakeholder Management
X009: Change Capability and Adaptability

Language Requirements


  • Essential: English,
  • Desirable: Working knowledge of another UN language

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit their application online on the UNHCR Careers Page at by clicking on “Vacancies”.

Closing date for applications: 8 December 2019 (midnight Geneva time).

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and
opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities
as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are
encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex,
national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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