Refugee Communications Specialist – South Africa National Hire

Church World Service

Job Description

Job Title: Refugee Communications Specialist

Reports to: Correspondence Supervisor

Division: Programmes

Department: Programs, Refugee Communications

Job Location: Pretoria, South Africa

Grade Level: Grade 6, Specialist, National


Church World Service (CWS) is a not-for-profit, faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable solutions to hunger, poverty, displacement, and disaster. CWS does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, genetic information, age, disability, or veteran status in employment or in the provision of services.

Primary Purpose:

The position is responsible for case management review of USRAP cases, as required for refugee and partner case inquiries. They will be tasked with refugee and partner inquiry responses, updating START, submitting data, liaising with partner offices on deferrals and handling walk in/gate inquiries in South Africa. This position works closely with the Senior Case Processing Assistant and Case Processing Assistant II role on workload and work-plan management. The position reports to a Correspondence Supervisor based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Essential Duties:

  1. Completes all tasks related to USRAP processing as assigned by the Supervisor in accordance with set policies and procedures.
  2. Demonstrates proficiency in START including completing accurate records and updates in START and the physical file.
  3. Conduct case management through a review of USRAP cases, ensuring their readiness for the next stage in processing. This includes following up with the relevant RSC Africa processing teams to effect the needed changes in processing.
  4. Handle START assigned Correspondence action items including, but not limited to contact update follow-up and case composition changes.
  5. Responds to case status inquiries from Refugees and Partners, Attorneys, Resettlement Agencies, and Congress, either electronically (email) or via physical letter, with strict adherence to the PRM/RPC issued Integrity and Compliance Guide (ICG).
  6. Write deferrals and info memos, and correctly update responses in START and physical file if needed.
  7. Prepare, QC and share partner monthly reports (Case Status & Holds reports) on a timely manner.
  8. Attend partner meetings to discuss the Hold’s report and other matters as requested.
  9. Takes a lead role on Refugee Communications projects including being the point of contact, planning workflow, implementing work processes, identifying reporting parameters, and performing quality checks on assigned tasks.
  10. Recommend work plans, pipeline reviews, and clean-up projects through a review of daily unit reports, QC reports and overall workload.
  11. Recommends, prepares, and facilitates trainings based on the case management approaches and pipeline review in collaboration with the Supervisor. Provides feedback on process reviews and scheduled dry runs as needed.
  12. Assists in the development of Refugee Communication onboarding plans, training modules and their implementation as required.
  13. Manage the Refugee Communications group mailboxes as assigned – refugee mailbox; deferral mailbox; and partner mailbox.
  14. Handles unscheduled visits by refugee applicants in South Africa by strict compliance and adherence to the Integrity and Compliance Guidelines when working with refugee cases.
  15. Provide case status updates to refugees through approved open hours in the South Africa offices as part of Public Information Outreach or other travel location as needed.
  16. Takes the lead role in hiring and payment of interpreters as requested on circuit rides, for translation of documents received from refugee inquiries or other approved case counselling sessions.
  17. Occasional travel to different processing locations to distribute decision letters, conduct applicant counselling, scan documents on CIS circuit rides and collaborate with IOM during concurrent medical missions. Additionally, solicit refugee information for the purpose of case processing and updating.
  18. Assist Correspondence Supervisor in the preparation of CWS Internal Correspondence Monthly reports.
  19. Work with Public Information Unit in capturing updates from South Africa operations in the CWS RSC Africa monthly internal newsletter.
  20. Completes other duties as assigned by CWS/RSC Africa Management.



  • Five (5) years of paid work experience is required.
  • One (1) year prior experience in communications is required.
  • Prior paid work experience with CWS Africa is preferred.


  • Strong written and verbal English skills
  • Demonstrated computer skills, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Maintain a high-performance standard with attention to detail
  • Take initiative in the development and completion of projects

Education & Certifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, or four years of paid work experience in lieu of a Bachelor’s degree required.


  • Manage large and diverse workload under pressure with competing priorities.
  • Maintain the integrity of official records.
  • Analyze and solve complex problems and make sound decisions.
  • accurately type 35 wpm with a 93% accuracy rating.
  • follow instructions from the Supervisor with a positive and receptive attitude.
  • deal effectively and courteously with a large number of associates, outside agencies, refugees, and members of the general public.
  • conduct oneself in a professional and courteous manner to represent the best interests of RSC Africa and CWS/IRP.
  • pass the job knowledge assessments with score of 80% or higher; pass a job knowledge assessment in order to be confirmed at the end of probation.
  • take initiative in the development and completion of projects.
  • lead others and address issues as they arise.
  • maintain strict confidentiality with RSC Africa administrative and operational information.
  • effectively manage RSC Africa’s resources.
  • Work with minimal supervision
  • Maintain a high-performance standard with attention to detail.
  • Work independently and contribute to overall operations of RSC Africa.
  • Actively participate in the implementation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

Important Requirements:

  • Strong English communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment is required.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and willingness to support CWS’ Platform on Racial Justice as a CWS employee.

Special Requirements:

  • COVID Vaccination is strongly recommended for all successful candidates
  • The candidate should be of good health, willing and able to travel extensively in often difficult conditions and have a high degree of flexibility.
  • Must have proof of Yellow Fever vaccination before traveling for RSC Africa
  • This position is based in Pretoria, South Africa
  • This position requires use of laptops at all times, competence in Microsoft office packages is required.
  • This position may require travel in sub-Saharan Africa on short notice and under sometimes difficult conditions to meet demands of a dynamic operational program
  • Background check which includes references, and an educational and criminal check is required before the start of employment for international applicants.
  • A valid passport and the ability to maintain a valid passport throughout the entire appointment is required, which includes having enough passport pages for travel.
  • Physical: This position requires bending, squatting, crawling, climbing, kneeling, sitting, standing, walking, pushing/pulling, handling objects (manual dexterity), reaching above shoulder level, using fine finger movements, and lifting/carrying heavy loads.
  • Environmental: Incumbents in this position will be exposed to excessive noise, marked changes in temperature and/or humidity, dust and infectious diseases, harsh weather climates, long work hours, bumpy roads, extended travel, excessive sun exposure, and non-ventilated spaces.
  • Full time
  • All employees should be prepared to work from the CWS office within their location of hire. Remote work arrangements may vary depending on location and the governing rulings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to apply