Afghanistan + 2 more

Research Terms of Reference - Baseline of Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration 2021, AFG2101a Afghanistan (10/03/2021 Version 1.0)

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2. Rationale

2.1 Background

Since 2017, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with the Ministry of Returns and Reintegration of the Government of Afghanistan, has been supporting durable solutions aimed at returns and reintegration through its Community Based Protection (CBP) programme in 20 priority areas of return and reintegration. 3 The PARR programme is a key component of UNHCR’s work to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOIRA) by improving key services and infrastructure in areas where Afghan refugees are returning, through an area-based, multi-sectoral, and multi-stakeholder nexus approach that supports durable solutions and creates the conditions for long-term sustainable reintegration of returnees.4 UNHCR’s current efforts target 1,346,907 persons of concern, including 698,797 Host Community, 508,388 Returnees, and 140,022 Internally Displaced Persons, across nine different sectors of intervention: livelihoods, education, health, WASH, Shelter, Energy, Infrastructure, Special assistance, and Community development.5 UNHCR has also implemented a series of CBP Projects, in order to support the dignity, safety, and reintegration of the target populations.

In December 2020, The GoIRA Ministry of Repatriation and Refugees (MoRR) and UNHCR agreed to expand the CBP programme to 20 additional new locations in 19 different provinces.6 As these are new locations where the CBP programme has not yet been implemented, UNHCR and its partners are unclear on the current conditions in each site, including and understanding of the baseline vulnerabilities and humanitarian needs in these locations, and in order to understand the CBP programme’s impact the PARRs, a baseline assessment is required. after programme implementation begins. Critically, this will allow UNHCR to track the full impact of the programme by site, providing much needed data on the conditions of households living in each PARR site before the CBP programme begins, should later midline and endline evaluations occur.In addition, stakeholder analysis and infrastructure mapping assessments will provide much-needed programmatic information on how best to engage with the communities and the local capacities of different services. REACH is currently conducting an evaluation of the CBP Programme in the 20 original PARR locations, and has conducted similar baseline studies in other countries.8 This makes REACH uniquely placed to conduct a baseline of the 20 new PARR locations.

2.2 Intended impact

This research will provide UNHCR with up-to-date evidence-based information, in order to inform the strategy for sustainable reintegration and durable solutions for returns and long-term displaced populations in Afghanistan through a baseline assessment to understand the current context of the 20 locations UNHCR would like to expand its CBP programming to. Leveraging on experience in assessing the prospects for durable solutions and returns and reintegration in countries including Iraq9 , Syria,10 Somalia11, Niger12 and Nigeria,13 as well as its current experience in evaluating the CBP programme in the initial 20 PARRs,14 REACH will conduct an assessment aimed at assessing the baseline vulnerability, stakeholders, and infrastructure conditions of the 20 new PARR project locations. The following project will provide this information by developing an understanding of each PARR location and its population, through both understanding the current conditions of households living there, identifying the key stakeholders that need to be engaged with, and providing an understanding of infrastructure present in order to inform longer term programming. This will both make for more effective programming for CBP interventions, and also provide a baseline understanding of the population in each PARR that can be compared in impact evaluations of the programme’s performance later on.