Iraq

Home Again? Categorising Obstacles to Returnee Reintegration in Iraq

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INTRODUCTION: EXAMINING SUSTAINABLE REINTEGRATION

As of December 2020, Iraq has witnessed the return of 4.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their places of origin in the aftermath of the ISIL conflict.

This is a significant returnee population and, while the movement home is a first step toward reintegration, it is not necessarily an indication of longer-term sustainability per se.

The analysis in this report, by IOM Iraq, the Returns Working Group (RWG), and Social Inquiry, builds upon on and complements previous assessments on durable solutions, mainly with regards to obstacles to return as well as progress toward local integration for IDPs. The focus here is specifically on returnees and obstacles to their sustainable reintegration upon return.

The criteria used to examine returnee advancement towards reintegration is based on the International Recommendations for IDP Statistics indicators framework developed by the Expert Group on Refugee and IDP Statistics (EGRIS) in 2020. Reintegration is conceptually measured by the progress returnees make (and the provisions authorities put in place) in overcoming key return-related obstacles faced in their places of origin, as defined by the IASC Framework for Durable Solutions for IDPs and complementary components from the durable solutions indicator library and analysis guide Sustainable Development Goals, and International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics.2

In practical terms, this analysis gathers existing indicators from secondary datasets recently produced in Iraq to compile a composite view of 24 key obstacles for reintegration based on a context-relevant version of priority criteria as proposed by EGRIS (Figure 1), with the aim of identifying which obstacles affect returnees more severely and where.

This introduction is followed by a review of data sources used for analysis, an evaluation of how to measure sustainable reintegration as an outcome through proxy measures, and finally, a compilation of indicators, presenting both household- and district-level analysis. A conclusion highlights potential ways forward to build a more comprehensive monitoring of advancement towards sustainable reintegration for returnees. Before starting the analysis, a summary table provides an overview of all criteria, sub-criteria, and indicators designed and extracted from existing data, and overall prevalence percentages for each.

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