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2.7 Standard operating procedures

Resettlement standard operating procedures (SOPs) ensure consistency, transparency, and predictability in resettlement delivery, and are a cornerstone of fraud prevention. Resettlement SOPs are a comprehensive reference and resource for all aspects of resettlement and provide a narrative description of every step, including referral pathways in and out of the resettlement process. To work well, they need to reflect the actual process on the ground rather than what should ideally be happening. They should also be regularly updated to incorporate changes in processing.

When developing or updating SOPs, the Accountable Officer should be guided by:
– the Resettlement Module Business Process Flow and the Resettlement Module User Guide based on which the SOP can elaborate guidance and assign duties within the office, and

– the Fraud Vulnerability Checklist, which sets out specific measures to mitigate fraud risk in resettlement processing.  

Through SOPs, the Accountable Officer ensures the separation of duties in order to mitigate risks of fraud and misconduct in resettlement processing. This means that different colleagues are responsible for distinct steps in the resettlement process. Notably, a Needs Assessment and Initial Review are never completed by just one colleague. The Submission Recommendation and Submission Review must also be completed by different colleagues. 

Resettlement SOPs should:

  • Establish the accountability framework for resettlement, including the role of the Accountable Officer. Case review and other oversight measures should be set out, and the roles of other resettlement colleagues should be clear as well, ensuring sufficient separation of duties.
  • Set out actions to take throughout resettlement processing, as well as related authorizations and oversight at each stage. This includes referral pathways between registration, RSD, child protection, community-based protection, and also includes referring inconsistencies to relevant functional unit or the Anti-Fraud Focal point (AFFP) in the case of a fraud allegation (see 2.6 Fraud and misconduct).
  • Be aligned with the SOPs of relevant functional units, ensuring the referral pathways foreseen in the resettlement SOP are mirrored in the SOPs of the relevant functional unit, e.g. RSD, child protection.
  • Explain data entry steps in proGres based on PRIMES Support guidance (and steps for other tools, as relevant).
  • Include procedures enabling individuals to exercise their rights as data subjects.
  • Annex the required forms and templates to promote standardization.

Resettlement SOPs should be monitored for compliance on a regular basis by the Accountable Officer as part of oversight activities, for example, through observation, spot checks and team meetings as well as through the PRIMES Audit Portal. A full review of SOPs should be undertaken annually and changes communicated to all resettlement colleagues and other relevant functional units via email. Offices should retain older versions to be able to track how procedures have changed and what data was collected at different times and/or places.