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5.3 The Resettlement deployment scheme

The deployment scheme

UNHCR and ICMC started the Resettlement Deployment Scheme in 1998 to strengthen UNHCR’s capacity to submit refugees for resettlement, with other partners joining as deployment partners in subsequent years.  Since 2016, UNHCR has harmonized the various resettlement deployment schemes under one Deployment Scheme, implemented by multiple partners, notably ICMC, RefugePoint, and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

The Deployment Scheme continues to be a critical tool to support UNHCR’s global resettlement activities, with deployees often contributing to over 50% of UNHCR resettlement submissions each year. Deployees enable UNHCR to be flexible and responsive in adjusting to resettlement needs around the globe and help UNHCR ensure its operations fill the resettlement places made available by resettlement States each year.

The Deployment Scheme is an annual global programme, and planning takes place at the end of the previous calendar year based on the approved budget, estimated resettlement quotas and staffing needs for the upcoming year. Deployments are then allocated to offices to help meet resettlement quotas. Deployment needs arising during the year may also be filled, depending on the available budget and agreement between the relevant regional bureau and RCPS.

Deployment partners are responsible for vetting and hiring candidates for their respective deployment rosters based on agreed criteria with UNHCR. Once deployed to an operation, a deployee becomes part of the resettlement unit (or related unit, depending on the type of deployment or operation/duty station) and is treated the same as any other staff working within the unit. Prior to deployment, each deployee is required to complete specific training available on UNHCR’s learning platform and may also receive pre-deployment training offered by the deployment partner. In addition, the deployee should receive any training offered to new staff by the country office and be provided the same support and resources provided to other UNHCR colleagues, particularly regarding security.

To ensure effective and consistent implementation of the Deployment Scheme across operations and partners, SOPs were developed and serve as guidelines for all matters related to deployments. The Deployment Scheme SOPs clarify the obligations and responsibilities of UNHCR, the deployment partner and the individual deployee throughout the deployment process.