TERMS OF REFERENCE: ASYLUM APPEALS BACKLOG PROJECTIntroduction
- The Refugees Act of 1998 grants asylum seekers the opportunity to lodge an appeal to the Refugee Appeals Board (RAB) within thirty days of receiving the decision considered “unfounded” by the Refugee Status Determination Officer (RSDO). The RAB needs to schedule a hearing with each Appellant. However, due to quorum restrictions and large inflows over the years the RAB had inherited a substantial backlog in the finalization of appeals.
- The eradication of the backlog is further burdened by increased mixed migration flows into the country that led to a rapid increase on the number of persons approaching Refugee Centers with the intention to regularize their stay. This in turn lead to large numbers of asylum applicants waiting for too long to receive their final determination.
- Efforts have been made through amending the legislation to allow individual members of the RAB to consider an appeal case and empower the department to increase or decrease members with due consideration to the caseloads.
Background & Context
- The UNHCR and the Government of South Africa have agreed to put resources together and prioritise the eradication of these outstanding cases. The prioritised cases are ring fenced and would be processed as a once off appeals backlog project (ABP). The purpose of ring fencing these backlog applications for adjudication is to ensure that the normal daily processing of RAB appeal applications continues unhindered.
- To date the total “unfounded” cases awaiting an appeal hearing total 147,794 from 81 countries. Out of this number, 80 500 is the old backlog located around 2011, that requires special prioritization. The top twenty countries represent 99% (146,438) of the total volume. 13 countries in the top 20 are from countries not known to be refugee sending countries with the total of 96,935 applications, whilst seven countries in the top 20 are known to have some form of international protection need (49,503).
- Within the above cases there are different categories that may require particular considerations informed by the readiness of each file for adjudication by the RAB. There needs to be a process design that incorporates the process flow for circumstances where a file is incomplete and not ready for adjudication as well as a process flow when files are ready for adjudication.
- The categorisation of similar or same asylum claim will allow the department to determine responses tailor-made for each case.
- The project plan and the implementation plan must be produced collaboratively with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the incumbent Independent Consulting Service Provider.
- The primary objective of the consultant is to draft project plan and implementation plan that will set out, inter alia:
- a contextual analysis;
- project design;
- the project scope, aims, objectives and key outputs desired end-state and process for achieving objectives;
- criteria for success;
- a detailed elaboration of each phase of the project including goals and milestones to measure progress;
- budget, staffing and resource requirements;
- project roles and responsibilities;
- monitoring and reporting requirements; and
- a work plan including timelines.
- Under the supervision of UNHCR, the incumbent service provider will also consult closely with relevant counterparts at the DHA and the RAB. An Advisory Group will be formed of representatives from these bodies to whom the service provider will report at agreed intervals.
- Project activities will include:
- Conduct of a desk stop study, inter alia, current and future legislative framework, current and proposed future asylum procedure at all levels, written analyses of previous (2000-2001 and 2005-2008) backlog projects in South Africa with lessons learned, all documentation drafted to date in relation to the backlog project, other relevant publications relating to study of asylum management and backlogs in other states and regions with similar asylum regime.
- Visits to DHA and RAB main offices in Pretoria as well as regional Refugee Reception Centres to consult with government officials and fully understand current and proposed asylum procedure, operational flows, administrative mechanisms, quality assurance, challenges and successes to date, etc.
- Present drafts of project plan to Advisory Group – from initial proposed structure through to the detailed project plan and implementation – and incorporate comments.
- Contribute to presentation of final project plan and implementation at a public launch.
- Other activities as required.
Minimum qualifications and professional experience required (Service Provider)
- The Appeals backlog is a specialized project and will require a consultant or consultancy that maintains a high level of security and confidentiality of information. The incumbent service provider must at a minimum have qualifications at an expert level. An expert, more generally, is a person or entity with extensive knowledge and ability based on research, experience and occupation training in this particular area and is able to show they have the education necessary to be an expert in the field.
- The incumbent service provider must have the following experience and qualifications
- Basic university degree and relevant work experience of between 8 and 12 years [OR] postgraduate university degree and relevant work experience of between 6 and 10 years
- Project management experience (compulsory)
- Process design and development (compulsory)
- Policy and legislation (ability to interpret)
- Excellent drafting and report writing skills
- Experience in field of refugee management will be an added advantage
- Fluency in English
- The Consultant or consultancy will be based in Pretoria, South Africa. The incumbent will be based at RAB offices but will be required to occasionally work in/from the UNHCR office and different DHA Refugee Reception Centers.
How to apply:Interested candidates are invited to send a motivation letter and a completed Personal History Form (or Fact Sheet, if internal) prior to the closing date of this vacancy to the address below. Please include the position title and vacancy number in the subject line.
Personal History Forms are available at www.unhcr.org/recruit/p11new.doc
Only short-listed candidates will be notified