Resettlement Deployment Scheme

As of 2016, the Deployment Scheme is implemented through the Deployment Partnership Agreement (DPA) and further guided by Standard Operating Procedures, which ensure harmonized and agreed upon day-to-day coordination among all the relevant actors and successful implementation of the program. Under the Deployment Scheme, each deployment partner is responsible for hiring caseworkers (referred to as “Deployees”) and managing the administrative aspects of the Deployee employment contracts, which have a duration of three to12 months (within one calendar year). Deployees are sent to UNHCR operations around the globe, having a legal status of “experts on mission” for the United Nations.

Deployees support UNHCR operations in submitting refugees for resettlement and, in 2015, were deployed to more than 60 UNHCR field offices in more than 35 countries, referring nearly half of UNHCR's resettlement submissions. In addition, some are child protection Deployees and assist UNHCR operations in making best interest assessments and determinations (BID) for unaccompanied and separated refugee children, which are critical to support the submission of an RRF in many cases. The Resettlement Deployment Scheme has also deployed registration, refugee status determination, integrity experts to ensure that important protection tasks are being carried out before resettlement submissions could grow. To adjust to large numbers of protracted and prima facie refugee populations, Deployees are required to be increasingly versatile.

In response to the increasing resettlement needs of refugees every year, as published in the Projected Global Resettlement Needs document (PGRN), the number of Deployees has rapidly grown over the past years from eight persons in 1999 to more than 200 Deployees (or a total of 2,400 deployment months) in 2016.  

The Deployment Scheme offers professionals the chance to work in a UNHCR field setting, fully integrated within a UNHCR team, and to help boost UNHCR's capacity to respond to the resettlement needs of refugees. Deployees gain a broad perspective on various refugee contexts and the role of resettlement as a durable solution. All Deployees must have excellent English writing skills. An additional language, in particular French, Spanish and Arabic, are increasingly required for some UNHCR duty stations. Experience with individual case work, specifically the gathering of facts, including through interviewing in the national or international context is highly desirable.

For more information about the UNHCR Resettlement Deployment Scheme and how to apply to become a Deployee, please visit the websites of UNHCR’s resettlement deployment partners:

Updated by Resettlement Service, UNHCR Geneva, 4 April 2016.


The European Resettlement Network

The Network provides a platform to exchange information on resettlement priorities, processes and practices, and offers practice-based solutions to actors considering to start, expand or improve a resettlement programme.