Section 48 (2) (j) of the UK Borders Act 2007 stipulates that the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) must:

consider and make recommendations on … the content of information on conditions in countries outside the United Kingdom that the Secretary of State collects and makes available for immigration and asylum purposes, immigration officials and other officials.

A group of experts has been formed to assist the Chief Inspector in fulfilling this statutory role Independent Country Information Advisory Group (IAGCI) regularly reviews information on the country of origin (COI) issued by the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry of the Interior refers to these products in procedures that assess individuals’ claims for refugee status or other forms of international and humanitarian protection. COI is also used in policy development.

IAGCI reviews products to ensure the Chief Inspector’s assurance that the content is accurate, balanced, objective and relevant. The COI is contained in:

  • Country Policy and Information Notes (CPIN)
  • responses to information requests

CPINs are generated on an ongoing basis, mainly focusing on the countries from which asylum applications are most often accepted. These reports can provide general background information, consider aspects of the situation in the country relevant to common types of asylum applications, and / or describe the current humanitarian or security situation in the country. CPINs consist of materials created from a number of recognized external sources of information (news reports, scientific literature, independent research reports, fact-finding reports from the UK government or other governments, etc.). These documents also contain the policy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding the recommended position on various types of claims, based on available and accepted information about the country.

Responses to Information Requests (IR) are prepared to meet specific requests from Officers or other Ministry of the Interior officials. They concern information that is not included in the CPIN.

Details of the tender

IAGCI commissions country experts or experienced researchers to evaluate and report on COIs contained in the Ministry of the Interior’s information products. The IAGCI requires the country expert to review the country information contained in the following CPIs for Rwanda, published in May 2022:

Job description

The country’s policies and information notes aim to provide an accurate, balanced and up-to-date summary of the main available sources regarding conditions in the country covered. The purpose and scope of the reports are clearly set out in the introductory section of the document. Reviewers should evaluate reports in this context and seek to identify areas where they can be improved. In particular, the review should include:

  • an assessment of the extent to which the information from the source documents was properly and accurately reflected in the CPIN reports
  • identifying additional sources detailing current aspects of the current situation in the country
  • note and correct any specific errors or omissions in the facts
  • making recommendations for general improvement, such as the structure of the report, its coverage or general approach
  • ensuring the absence of references to individual sources that may put them at risk

Reviewers should follow these guidelines:

  • the review should focus solely on the country of origin information contained in the document, rather than making an opinion on the policy recommendations provided.
  • The CPIN should be revised in the context of its purpose, as outlined above. It should take into account the situation in the country before the stated “deadline” for the inclusion of information
  • when proposing amendments rather than “tracking changes” in the original CPIN, a list of proposed changes should be presented as part of a separate review document, and each report should be considered separately. The reporting template will be provided by the reviewer (for reference, please refer to the latest reviews on the IAGCI website for template examples)
  • any suggestions for additional information (or corrections to the information in the document) should refer to the source document so that the Ministry of the Interior can use it (preferably open source). The Ministry of the Interior may use source documents in a foreign language, but only if the information is considered important and not available in English.

Preliminary reviews of COI products can be found at ICIBI website.

The selected reviewer will be invited to attend an IAGCI meeting, probably a virtual one, otherwise at the Office of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in London, where their review will be considered. This meeting is scheduled for July 2022. If attendance is not possible, alternative measures may be taken.

Representatives of the Ministry of Interior will also take part in the meeting to respond to the comments and recommendations made in the review.

Reviews commissioned by the IAGCI will be published and may be used as source documents for future CPIN reports or other Ministry of the Interior information products.

How to apply

Researchers interested in conducting this review should submit:

  • a one-page letter demonstrating their experience in human rights and / or asylum issues related to Rwanda
  • their summary

The payment for this work will be £ 2,000. Expressions of interest should be submitted at by the end of Monday, May 30, 2022

Unfortunately, we can only accept expressions of interest from individuals and not from agencies or advisory groups. Successful applications will be announced by Wednesday, June 8th. Final reviews will be scheduled by the end of Friday, July 8, and will be discussed at the IAGCI meeting in late July 2022.

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