Job Title: Consultant – Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI) Vacancy Notice: VN-62-19-MEX Position Number 62-19
Location: Tapachula Position Grade: Level A Closing Date: 2019-05-23
Organizational Context

The RSD system in Mexico has faced several challenges in recent years. The number of applications for asylum has dramatically increased, from 3,400 new asylum applications in 2015, to 8,900 in 2016, 14,500 in 2017 and 29,600 in 2018, in 2019 this upward trend continues. This has caused the wait times for RSD to grow, which has had negative protection impacts on asylum-seekers. Additionally, the capacity of COMAR in certain locations was negatively impacted after severe damage to the physical infrastructure of COMAR in the 2017 earthquake. Mexico also recently went through elections and has a new government, including a new director of COMAR. Mexico’s new government has approved a new Migration Policy with a renewed human rights approach, and the new COMAR director brings expertise and experience in refugee protection. Nonetheless, despite urgent and increasing needs, COMAR’s overall budget for 2019 has been reduced by 20%. COMAR depends almost entirely on UNHCR financial support. 

Against the background of the political situation in Mexico, UNHCR will support the Mexican government to increase the fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity of the national asylum system, mostly through the Quality Assurance Initiative.


Under the functional supervision of the QAI Consultant based in Mexico City, the consultant is expected to:

  • Work closely with COMAR Chiapas on the implementation of the 2013 QAI recommendations updated in 2018, based on the work plan prepared with COMAR. 
  • Work closely with COMAR Chiapas asylum adjudicators, promoting the use of a consistent framework of analysis to assess claims and the observation of UNHCR guidelines.
  • Ensure due and continuous follow-up of the implementation of the 2013 QAI  recommendations updated on 2018;
  • Prepare an initial diagnosis of the situation in COMAR, Tapachula.
  • Promote and implement efficiency measures to respond to the large increase in the asylum applications, in line with a work plan to reduce backlog in first and second instance administrative asylum decisions;
  • Promote and facilitate the effective analysis and consideration by COMAR of the refugee definition included in article 13 (II) of the Mexican Refugee Law on the bases of the summary conclusions on the interpretation of the extended refugee definition of the 1984 Cartagena Declaration, elaborated at the expert roundtable held in Montevideo in October 2013.; 
  • Conduct regular assessments of COMAR individual asylum decisions taken in Mexico City and field delegations, producing periodical reports on progresses as well as on persisting and new gaps;
  • Support UNHCR Mexico in its direct engagement with the Federal Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Administrativa), the Supreme Court of Justice and other judicial instances, particularly in the context of asylum adjudication analysis and the organization of training and other activities provided to legal/judicial professionals in Mexico. 
  • Support the elaboration, organization and delivery of training activities on refugee status determination to COMAR staff in Tapachula, including through on the job training approach, promoting at the same time the effective observation of UNHCR Manuals and Guidelines among asylum decision makers.
  • Work closely with COMAR in Chiapas on the implementation of registration recommendations regarding the reorganization of the reception and registration unit 
  • Other duties as required


  • Deliverable 1: Inception report detailing the consultant understanding of the task and the methodology to be employed to complete the tasks. Due after the first month of the contract.
  • Deliverable 2: Detailed monthly reports describing the proposed work plan, including the organizational structures of COMAR field offices, and progress.
  • Deliverable 3: Final consultancy report. Due at the end of the contract. 






Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

a. Education

  • University Degree in law, political science, international relations or another related field. 

b. Work Experience 

  • This corresponds to a function providing specialized services or expertise in refugee protection, overall process and case management. Relevant work experience of 4 years with undergraduate degree. 

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

  • Experience working with government entities in a position of high responsibility is preferable. 
  • Field experience with UNHCR or with other humanitarian organizations is desirable.
  • General knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. 
  • Fluency in Spanish and working knowledge of English.


  • Excellent liaison and interpersonal skills and strong team player. 
  • Ability to work well under pressure on multiple tasks simultaneously, establish priorities and deliver quality output in a most time-efficient manner. 
  • Excellent planning and organizing skills.
  • Excellent computer skills, particularly on Microsoft Office. 
  • Excellent drafting and report writing skills. 

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