Complementary Pathways Policy Officer

  • Anywhere
Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 14 Nov 2021

Terms of Reference

Complementary Pathways Policy Expert

UNHCR, Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Service – Division of International Protection (DIP)

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering this Individual Contract within the Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Service (RCPS) in the Division of International Protection in our Geneva Headquarters in Switzerland.

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title : Complementary Pathways Policy Officer

Duty Station : Home-Based

Duration : 12 Months

Contract Type : Individual Contractor

Closing date : 14 November 2021

Start date : ASAP

Organisational context

UNHCR has started working in the space of complementary pathways for admission following the launch of the Global Compact on Refugees and its subsequent Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (hereafter 3YS). The 3YS set out ambitious goals for complementary pathways targets, also raising the need to ensure internal structures and working standards for UNHCR’s engagement in the area of complementary pathways. This contract is needed for the purposes of setting up both internal and external guidance on the types and modalities of engagement in complementary pathways, as well as applicable standards, tools, and forms to facilitate expansion of complementary pathways and consistency of approach within UNHCR and externally.

The position

The incumbent will be responsible for drafting of the Complementary Pathways Handbook, which will comprise of various chapters focusing on general standards of engagement applicable to all pathways, as well as specific components particular for each of the pathways. The work will be done in close collaboration with Complementary Pathways Unit of RCPS in Geneva as well as close collaboration with the operations and Regional Bureaux with particularly experience in this field, along with relevant external partners. The work will build upon the recent research undertaken by UNHCR and other partners, and relevant mappings, including the one commissioned by Asia Bureau, as well as the one done externally by Refugee Hub and MPI under the auspices of CRISP initiative, but not limited to it.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Head of the Complementary Pathways Unit, the incumbent will be responsible for:

· Collect and review available pieces of relevant guidance, research and tools related to Complementary Pathways.

· Devise and propose a structure, including chapters and annexes required for internal and external audiences accordingly.

· Propose a workplan and schedule to undertake the drafting, review and validation process of the Handbook on Complementary Pathways.

· Organize and facilitate workshops with relevant UNHCR staff at HQ, Bureaux and field level to inform on the structure and content, as well required series of internal and external consultations during the development/drafting process of the handbook.

· Produce a handbook on Complementary Pathways, including relevant tools and annexes.

· Facilitate workshops and trainings as needed for the process.

· Undertake other duties as required

Monitoring and Progress Controls

· Performance will be monitored through weekly updates and scheduled performance reviews. Below some of the deliverables to consider progress:

o Deliverable: Draft workplan and schedule for handbook development

o Successful validation of proposed content, structure and workplan

o Deliverable: Organize consultations with the field workshop and draft report of outcomes

o Workshops with the colleagues internally

o Workshops for external partners

· Final product: Draft Complementary Pathways Handbook for internal and external use in word, excel and PDF version.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

Education: **

University degree in higher education, law, social sciences and in particular refugee studies, migration, asylum, political science, international relations or similar.


Ø At least 6 years of relevant work experience.

Ø Demonstrated experience with complementary pathways (education, labor, humanitarian admission, family reunification), ideally with UNHCR or its close partners in this area;

Ø Demonstrated experience in the context of UNHCR policy and standards drafting and development as they relate to refugee protection and solutions;

Ø Demonstrated experience with partnerships including working with government and/or civil society organizations involved with complementary pathways, higher education, resettlement, asylum, or integration;

Ø Experience in working with governments and international agencies/organizations on policy, programme and operational issues in both field and HQ or capital contexts;

Key Competencies:

Ø Excellent analytical and drafting skills: capacity to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from various sources to draft a handbook.

Ø Sound knowledge of issues related to refugee protection, complementary pathways in education, labor, sponsorship, family reunification, humanitarian admissions, etc; and the different actors and stakeholders involved in complementary pathways programming and policy development;

Ø Ability to grasp and harmonize abstract concepts and their application.

Ø Demonstrated organizational skills: the ability to work independently and productively in a fast-paced environment.

Ø Flexible work attitude: the ability to work productively, independently, and to handle requests or issues as they arise.

Ø Excellent communication skills and the ability to maintain effective working relationships with government authorities, national and international organizations, and other project partners.


Ø Excellent drafting and editing skills in English; and

Ø Good working knowledge of French, Spanish or another UN language desirable.


The successful candidate will be home-based. The consultant might be expected to undertake at least two travel to Geneva. All proposed travel will be regulated by Institutional Guidance on Travel Restriction in the context of Covid-19.


This contract will be for 12 months. UNHCR is looking for someone who can start as soon as possible. It concerns a full-time contract (40 hours per week) and will receive a monthly payment.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation, Personal History Form (PHF) and CV to indicating VN 20/FPS/DIP/2021 – Complementary Pathways Policy Officer in the subject of the email.

Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form / Supplementary Sheet.

· Letter of motivation, addressing each of the personal requirements in the vacancy notice.

· Completed UN Personal History Form (P11) signed, including testimonials/degrees/certificates.

· The UN personal History Form is mandatory.

Ø P11 forms are available on;


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, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Geneva 04 November 2021