Fallujah city, capital of the district of the same name, is located in Anbar governorate, 69 kilometres west of Baghdad. It was the first city to fall under the control of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014 and sustained significant damage during the presence of ISIL and military operations by the Government of Iraq (GoI) to retake the city in 2016. During that period many residents of the city were displaced.1 Consequently, almost all residents of the city in 2019 are returnees; as of February 2019, circa 530,000 individuals (106,000 families) had returned to Fallujah district.2,3 A recent report from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) showed that 8,088 out-of-camp and 2,270 in-camp internally displaced person (IDP) households (HH) from Fallujah district were still displaced, representing 3% of the total caseload of IDPs nationwide.4,5 As the context in Fallujah city has transitioned from an emergency to one of recovery and stabilization, the priority for the government and humanitarian community has shifted to the resumption of key public services to address the needs of a predominantly returnee population.
The Fallujah city Area-Based Assessment (ABA) sought to provide a tailored and actionable profile of the city, with a focus on household-level needs and access to public services to identify service gaps. It was implemented under the framework of the Community Resource Centre (CRC) initiative, which supports the GoI to facilitate safe, voluntary, non-discriminatory, and sustainable returns and socio-economic reintegration in conflict-affected communities throughout Iraq. The CRC facilitates this through establishing and reinforcing coordination and service delivery mechanisms. In line with this objective, the Fallujah ABA informs the city’s CRC, established by the IOM in the north of Fallujah city and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in the south of the city, with the overall objective of informing localised response planning and prioritisation of activities.
The ABA employs a mixed methods approach, composed of both qualitative and quantitative components. The qualitative component included: secondary data review (SDR), semistructured key informant interviews (KIIs) with community leaders, and with individuals with specialized knowledge of service provision in the area, community group discussions (CGDs), and participatory mapping sessions in neighbourhoods that make up the urban area. Qualitative findings are indicative only. The quantitative component included a household-level needs assessment in all neighbourhoods of Fallujah city with a confidence level of 95% and a 5% margin of error at the city level.6 All data was collected between 18 November 2018 and 28 January 2019. Data collection was conducted by REACH Initiative (REACH), with support from DRC.