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Identity management, including refugee registration, is the responsibility of UNHCR country offices. Each office has dedicated staff for business and technology. Sometimes, and in particular during mass influx situations or large-scale verification exercises, that local capacity is insufficient and needs to be beefed-up. Here is where special training kicks in.

By Amalina Majit

Participants of the Training on Emergency Registration gather to the training site in Nairobi. UNHCR Amalina Majit

This September, UNHCR ran the fifth iteration of the Training on Emergency Registration (TER), in Nairobi, Kenya. The training was designed in 2015 to enhance UNHCR’s emergency response capacity and to expand the skill sets of staff who perform registration-related functions in field operations.

26 participants from locations worldwide came together for an intensive 8-day training course. The content of the TER focused on the assessment, planning and practical implementation of registration activities in an emergency context.

Numerous hands-on sessions, scenario-based tasks, and a live simulation of an emergency registration situation helped the trainees to put into practice the theoretical knowledge gained during classroom sessions.


Participants undertaking a live simulation of an emergency registration situation. UNHCR Axel Haberkorn

“This training is important to prepare for emergency registration in refugee situations. It ensures that UNHCR can support country offices and Governments with qualified and knowledgeable colleagues who can be deployed rapidly and globally to provide urgent and competent registration support.” Karl Steinacker, Deputy Director, DPSM

For the second time since the launch of this training, participants were trained on PRIMES, UNHCR Population Registration and Identity Management EcoSystem that contributes to the modernization of registration and Identity Management tools and processes.

Graduates of the Training on Emergency Registration will now be integrated into UNHCR’s Emergency Response Team registration roster for a stand by period of nine months.


Trainers and graduates of the 5th Training on Emergency Registration. UNHCR 2018

Since its inception, a total of 113 staff members have been trained and capacitated to provide emergency registration response. Of these, 32 staff members have been deployed to registration emergencies in Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, DRC, Ethiopia, Greece, Niger, Peru and Uganda.

With an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans living abroad and more than 1.6 million having left the country since 2015, UNHCR is stepping up its response and support to governments in the region to ensure timely and effective registration activities. Since March 2018, UNHCR has deployed one staff member to Peru, one to Costa Rica and one to Brazil and two more will proceed to support registration activities in Brazil in the coming weeks.