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2.1 Resettlement management and coordination

Implementing resettlement through UNHCR’s decentralized structure

Resettlement is coordinated and managed in line with the Roles, Accountabilities, and Authorities for Country Offices, Regional Bureaux and Headquarters Divisions in UNHCR’s decentralized structure. The main roles and responsibilities relating to resettlement at the headquarters, regional and country levels are set out below.


The Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Service (RCPS), within the Division of International Protection (DIP), plays an essential role in ensuring UNHCR’s institutional coherence and clarity of approaches at the global level. Its roles and responsibilities include to:

  • Ensure a fair distribution of resettlement quota allocated by States among regions and country offices, including unallocated places for dossier, urgent and emergency processing.
  • Maintain global oversight, management, monitoring and support of UNHCR’s resettlement activities to ensure timely and efficient programme delivery.
  • Conduct regular follow up and monitoring of cases post-submission and ensure their timely processing through communication and advocacy with resettlement States, both for cases processed directly through the RCPS and cases processed through the regional bureaux, if applicable.
  • Provide operational guidance to regional bureaux and country offices to strengthen the quality and integrity of UNHCR’s global resettlement programme.
  • Develop policy and strategy, if applicable in coordination with the regional bureaux, issue guidelines and set standards for global resettlement activities.
  • Coordinate annual assessment of the global projected resettlement needs.
  • Conduct bilateral and multilateral advocacy with resettlement States to grow resettlement at the global level through regular bilateral meetings, preparation of resettlement proposals and operational coordination with States on implementation of their resettlement programmes.
  • Coordinate resettlement statistical reporting (including the internal dashboard) to monitor global performance and produce robust statistical information for evidence-based advocacy.
  • Support country offices and regional bureaux to obtain resources required for effective implementation of UNHCR’s resettlement programme, through coordination and compilation of targeted funding proposals.
  • Manage the global Resettlement Deployment Scheme, in coordination with the three deployment partners (ICMC, DRC, RefugePoint).
  • Assess training needs and coordinate training in resettlement policies and procedures for UNHCR colleagues in close coordination with the Global Learning Development Centre (GLDC) and the relevant regional bureau.
  • Ensure continuous engagement and partnership with non-State key stakeholders, including IOM, NGOs, Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) and follow up of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR)/ Global Refugee Forum (GRF) activities and pledges.
  • Lead, coordinate and support the implementation of the 3-Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways objectives, including its Roadmap to 2030.
  • Coordinate with the Chief Data Protection Officer and Legal Affairs Service for global data sharing agreements.
  • Support the development and delivery of tailored capacity building activities for States and civil society actors on resettlement; provide programme design and policy development support to expand programmes.
  • Serve as the Secretariat for the Consultations on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (CRCP), Working Group on Resettlement (WGR) and Priority Situations Core Group (PSCG).

The Consultations on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (CRCP) is a key multilateral forum for UNHCR, resettlement States, IOM, European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), national and international NGOs, private sector, academia and refugee representatives to discuss and advance resettlement and complementary pathways. Through these consultations, partners develop resettlement policy and procedures, advocate for the establishment and expansion of resettlement opportunities, build capacity and share best practices, enhance global resettlement delivery, share data and evidence on the availability and impact of resettlement and shape joint strategies on resettlement. Projected Global Resettlement Needs are presented and discussed during these consultations. See 2.2 Resettlement planning.

The Working Group on Resettlement (WGR) supports the work of the CRCP through smaller and more targeted consultative forums where more specific policy and operational aspects of resettlement are discussed.

The Priority Situations Core Group for Enhanced Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (PSCG) is a State-led multilateral forum to coordinate international comprehensive and sustained efforts to find solutions and protection for refugees in specifically affected and prioritized sub-regions through resettlement and complementary pathways of admission. It plays a key role in mobilizing protection-focused solutions through three overarching objectives:

  • Increasing additional opportunities for resettlement and complementary pathways of admission out of the priority sub-regions, including through identifying and supporting collaborative advocacy efforts with UNHCR.
  • Acting as a community of practice for States whereby common processing modalities can be agreed and experience-sharing and capacity building initiatives can be fostered, and
  • Advancing the strategic use of resettlement and complementary pathways of admission from the priority sub-regions with a view to supporting host countries in enhancing the protection environment and opening up other local solutions.

See 5.1 Multilateral forums in resettlement partnership and advocacy.

Regional bureaux

  • The Regional Bureau for the Middle East & North Africa in Amman covers resettlement activities in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. MENA also maintains functional oversight of Türkiye for the Iraq and Syria regional responses.
  • The Regional Bureau for the Americas in Panama covers resettlement activities in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao, Cuba, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago.
  • The Regional Bureau for Asia & the Pacific in Bangkok covers regular resettlement activities in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, China/ Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Pakistan, PNG/ Nauru.
  • The Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa in Dakar covers resettlement activities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal.
  • The Regional Bureau for East and the Horn of Africa & the Great Lakes in Nairobi covers resettlement activities in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia and Ethiopia.
  • The Regional Bureau for Southern Africa in Pretoria covers regular resettlement programmes in Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar and Southern Africa.
  • The Regional Bureau for Europe in Geneva covers resettlement activities in Türkiye. 

UNHCR regional bureau support country offices with oversight, guidance, coordination, monitoring and support for resettlement and other solutions activities in the respective country offices. The main resettlement responsibilities of regional bureaux include to:

  • Ensure regional oversight, management, monitoring and support to resettlement activities undertaken by country offices in their area of responsibility.
  • Assist country offices with planning of resettlement activities and required resources.
  • Coordinate and ensure consistent and harmonized implementation of resettlement policies and criteria for similar refugee populations in the region.
  • Development and provision of regional operational guidance, including but not limited to processing modalities, standard operating procedures and the resettlement criteria of different States.
  • Where applicable and in line with the respective bureau’s priorities and capacity, ensure quality control of resettlement submissions through regular review and guidance.
  • Monitor performance and progress against targets by country offices under their coverage; ensure timely and complete submissions of resettlement cases.
  • Provide training and capacity development for staff and partners on resettlement.
  • Provide technical support and guidance, including but not limited to submissions modalities with resettlement States.
  • Support country offices with anti-fraud activities, including strengthening of fraud awareness, mitigation and prevention measures.
  • Assist with liaison and coordination with resettlement countries at the regional level if required and in consultation with relevant country offices, including but not limited to submission timelines, resettlement criteria, selection missions.
  • Communicate to country offices in the region the key resettlement messages and information provided by RCPS, including on allocation of quotas, missions and timelines.
  • Support and coordinate with country offices to develop strategic regional advocacy activities, appeals or programmes, in relation to specific refugee populations or profiles, when required.
  • Support operations with data, statistics and analysis where needed, including but not limited to guidance on regular reporting, support on resettlement-related data issues, and analysis of regional resettlement data.

Country offices

Country offices, including multi-country offices, are the operational actors who own and manage risks on a day-to-day basis, reaching out to bureaux and divisions for support as necessary. Country offices are also responsible for implementing corrective actions to address process and control deficiencies.

The main resettlement responsibilities of country offices include to:

  • Establish efficient and transparent procedures to identify cases in need of resettlement based on UNHCR’s protection and vulnerability criteria and ensure equitable access for eligible refugees to resettlement as a durable solution.
  • Ensure transparent and efficient processing of refugees for resettlement through solid scheduling and interviewing systems and procedures.
  • Ensure timely finalization and submission of refugees to resettlement States, in line with the requirements of the respective countries.
  • Regular follow up and monitoring of cases post-submission, including necessary case updates through the deferral processes of States and ensure their timely processing with the assistance of the respective regional bureau and RCPS if needed.
  • Provide timely information and feedback to the regional bureau regarding operational challenges impacting timely delivery of submissions, including but not limited to lack of capacity, lack of access to refugees, poor internet connectivity and precarious security situations.
  • Support and facilitate the logistics of selection missions planned by respective resettlement States.
  • Put in place secure, ethical, reliable and sustainable hard and/or digital file management systems in accordance with data protection protocols.
  • Implement harmonized pre-departure and departure procedures in coordination with key partners involved.
  • Ensure the use of harmonized and standardized statistical tools and timely submission of resettlement related statistics.
  • Develop, implement and reinforce systems and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to identify, assess, mitigate, respond and prevent any risk or incidence of fraud in individual case processing.

Resettlement management and accountability within country offices

The Representative is ultimately accountable for the proper functioning and integrity of all activities in a country operation, including resettlement. To this end, he or she ensures that a clear management and accountability framework is in place. Depending on the size of the office and resettlement activities, the Representative may delegate day-to-day accountability and oversight for resettlement activities, including resettlement identification, case preparation and submission, to the most senior officer working in resettlement, e.g. a Senior Protection Officer, the Head of Field Office or a Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Officer.

Depending on the size of the office and resettlement activities, the accountable officer for resettlement in an office may be delegated the following duties:

  • Oversight of appropriate mechanisms and procedures for resettlement activities, in particular establishing the resettlement staffing structure and clearly defining and delineating the responsibilities and terms of reference of colleagues involved in resettlement processing, including back-up of colleagues in case of absence.
  • Oversee implementation of resettlement policies, strategies and SOPs in coordination with the bureaux and RCPS/DIP.
  • Oversee, support and authorize the assessment of the projected resettlement needs.
  • Oversight, promotion and implementation of mechanisms for fraud prevention/mitigation, including oversight over scheduling and conducting routine checks on resettlement-related work of the office.
  • Ensure resettlement audits are conducted using the dedicated PRIMES Audit Portal and/or the Audit History entity in proGres for specific queries.
  • Oversee and ensure well-being of colleagues involved in individual case processing, including training and coaching, in coordination and with the support of respective colleagues in the relevant regional bureau and headquarters.

All other colleagues in the resettlement unit should have clearly defined accountabilities, responsibilities and authorizations. Each individual should be provided with clear work objectives, performance expectations, or written Terms of Reference describing their functional duties and, where appropriate, processing objectives, as well as the reporting and supervision structure in the office.