Consultant – National Referral Mechanism At International Organization for Migration

Context: National Referral Mechanism 

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment. Internal and external candidates are eligible to apply to this vacancy.

Return migration is a priority for Iraq in the context of national recovery from the ISIS crisis. In the post-conflict period, the voluntary return of refugees, IDPs and populations displaced by war and their reintegration into productive national life is critical. Return is an important process for the many types of migration Iraqis have engaged in during times of crisis. Migratory behavior is increasingly complex and diverse, involving shorter-term movements, circular movement between two countries and movement to multiple countries.

Currently, there is no referral system to ensure a consistent standard in the level of reintegration support provided for returnees. Without this capacity, it is not possible to ensure that returnees receive support based on specific needs. The lack of established referral mechanisms and partnerships with other actors (i.e. CSOs, embassies, diaspora groups, etc.) limits the ability of federal, regional and provincial governments to consistently support the return and reintegration of Iraqis arriving through assisted or unassisted pathways. As a result, reintegration efforts are less likely to be sustainable.

The need for a referral mechanism has been identified in the National Strategy for Migration Management and its Strategic objective 3: Fully integrate return, readmission and reintegration. The Strategy advocates for the development of a national referral capacity to link Iraqi returnees to reintegration services and national social protection systems. The system should support the provision of comprehensive reintegration assistance for all returnees according to situations and ensure that the assistance is tailored to their diverse needs and potential vulnerabilities, and to ensure provision of access to basic services corresponding to rights (access to education for children, access to justice, access to health, etc), ensure reintegration support adequately addresses the needs of women and that children have access to education as soon as possible upon return. The system should allow the implementation of periodic surveys to generate qualitative information about the profiles, experiences, and perspectives of returnees.

IOM is supporting the Government of Iraq to build their capacities in providing reintegration services to returnees from abroad through an initiative in Ninewa governorate. IOM is supporting the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) to develop and pilot a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) policy and corresponding Standard Operating Procedures for returnee referrals in Sinjar, along with training. Currently IOM is looking at the expansion of the NRM from the pilot phase and area to other areas with large numbers of referrals. IOM’s support includes providing IT equipment (servers, laptops, computers) to digitise the NRM in MoMD local offices, capacity building and training for the MoMD officials on the principles of the NRM and technical use of the system; building partnerships with service providers to keep the NRM up-to-date and functioning; promoting protection and human rights compliance when assessing and developing reintegration service provision plans; and supporting the capacities for following up on referred cases, monitoring and evaluation of the quality of services provided for returnees.


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Core Functions / Responsibilities

This consultancy will be undertaken within the framework of the Dutch funded “Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships to Achieve Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS)” project, which is implemented by IOM with the overall objective of improving migration governance in Iraq. Specifically, the consultancy will contribute to achieving Output 3.3 Government officials and partners have the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary for them to implement laws and policies aimed at preventing irregular migration and protecting and assisting migrants, including vulnerable migrants, trafficked persons, smuggled migrants with protection, return and reintegration needs.

The successful candidate will function under the overall supervision of the Chief of Mission (CoM) of IOM Iraq, technical guidance of the Head of the Migration Management Unit and direct supervision of the Programme Officer (Migration Governance).

Scope of the Assignment:

Under the mentioned output, IOM will revise the pilot National Referral Mechanism and corresponding Standard Operating Procedures for the referrals of returnees for reintegration support, currently being piloted in Ninewa. The revision will address any gaps found in piloting the system and further develop the Standard Operating Procedures to address those with particular protection, medical or other unique needs. This will strengthen migrant-centered and human rights perspectives in referrals and support sustainable returns.

The National Referral Mechanism will be expanded to one or two new governorates, identified in the beginning of the project, based on return trends, reintegration needs, and synergies with the pilot phase. To support the expansion, IOM will map reintegration services provided by different actors (local government, international organisations, NGOs. A mixed methodology of desk review and direct contacting will be used, which was developed in the pilot phase. This information will be used to facilitate better direct support and assistance and prompt referral to specialised service providers in the communities of return.

IOM will also provide IT equipment needed to use the National Referral Mechanism, (servers, laptops, computers) to the Ministry of Migration and Displacement local branches in a select number of governorates with high return numbers. IOM will organise training for Government of Iraq officials on principles of the National Referral Mechanism and Standard Operating Procedures and technical use of the system; building partnerships with service providers (such as civil society organisations) to keep the National Referral Mechanism up-to-date and functioning; data protection and data sharing; protection and human rights compliance when assessing reintegration needs, and making and pursuing referrals.


IOM is looking to engage a consultant to support the implementation of the COMPASS project Output 3.3 in Iraq. The scope of the assignment would include the following:

· Advising on the scalability of the referral mechanism from the pilot phase to a national country wide system, both in terms of processes and SOPs as well as technical requirements.

· Assessing and making recommendations for building the capacity of service providers engaged by the referral network.

· Defining the appropriate parameters of the referral system and an ideal process for making referrals by MoMD local officials to different service providers in the area.

· A review of the pilot SOPs based on the results and experiences of the pilot phase, to correspond with the process; including suggestions of further developing the SOPs and developing a specific process description for protection and ensuring human rights compliant support for vulnerable migrants.

· Identifying any needs of further development in the referral software developed in the pilot phase.

· Supporting the programme team in engaging with the service providers and developing functioning exchange mechanisms between MoMD local officials and service providers, to ensure seamless exchange of information required for the functioning of the referral mechanism.

· Assessing and recommending an approach to oversight by MoMD of service providers.


The assignment is expected to be conducted before the end of 2021, with the possibility of extension on additional objectives depending on budget availability. The timeline is subject to agreement between IOM and the Consultant.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

IOM is seeking applications from individual consultants and/or consortiums of individual consultants with the following qualifications and experience:


· Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Development or a related field from an accredited academic institution with at least 7 years of relevant professional experience; or

· University degree in the above fields with at least 10 years of relevant professional experience.

Experience & Skills

· At least 7 years of experience with working on migration and related issues, particularly in the areas of referral mechanisms;

· Experience in developing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems;

· Experience working with governments and civil society in the region;

· Sound knowledge of the political, economic, social and development situation in the region;

· Strong ability to communicate technical concepts into simple language;

· Excellent critical thinking and writing skills;

· Ability to produce quality work accurately and concisely according to deadlines;

· Ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a team of colleagues of varied cultural and professional backgrounds.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Arabic or any other language is an advantage.



· Inclusion and respect for diversity: encourages the inclusion of all team members and stakeholders while demonstrating the ability to work constructively with people with different backgrounds and orientations.

· Integrity and transparency: maintain impartiality and takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behavior.

· Professionalism: demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter and willingness to improve knowledge and skills.

Core Competencies

· Teamwork: establishes strong relationships with colleagues and partners; relates well to people at all levels.

· Delivering results: produces quality results and provides quality services to clients.

· Managing and sharing knowledge: shares knowledge and learning willingly, and proactively seeks to learn from the experiences of others.

· Accountability: operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules.

· Communication: encourages others to share their views, using active listening to demonstrate openness and to build understanding of different perspectives.


Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications via this link:

In order for an application to be considered valid, IOM only accepts online profiles duly completed. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.