Protracted Displacement in Iraq: District of Origin Profiles, August 2021



In April 2019, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Unit in Iraq published a report, “An In-Depth Analysis of the Main Districts of Origin.” The aim of this report was to complement the information in a separate in-depth analysis of return barriers faced by IDPs, presented in the report “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq,” which was published in November 2018.

In January 2021, IOM produced an updated in-depth report on return barriers, “Protracted Displacement in Iraq: Revisiting Categories of Return Barriers.” This report drew on data that had been collected since November 2018 in locations of displacement and return, and is centered on a categorization framework highlighting the different reasons why the remaining 1.2 million IDPs remained in displacement at that time. This report highlighted the key return barriers faced by IDPs in the eight governorates of displacement, and identified key challenges faced by returnees that would likely represent return barriers in the 8 governorates of return/origin. However, the data included in this report was reported on based on the locations where IDPs are displaced. As such, a gap in updated information has remained related to how conditions of IDPs vary according to the districts from which they originate – including factors affecting their prospects of returning home – as well as the conditions faced by returnees who have arrived back to these districts.

As at 30 April 2021, a total of 1,198,940 IDP individuals remain displaced across 18 governorates and 105 districts. However, 95 per cent of this group originate from just 25 districts within 8 governorates. To address a gap of up-to-date information at district level and provide an update of the report published in April 2019, DTM developed this report, which is based on an analysis of 17 of the main districts from which IDPs originate across a range of quantitative indicators. The indicators have been adopted from several of DTM’s recently published data sources, including the Master List 121 (March-April 2021), the Return Index 12 (March-April 2021), and the Urban Displacement in the Federal Iraq and Urban Displacement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq studies (August 2020).
This report is structured as follows:

  • First, overview of the methodology employed in collecting analysing the data presented in the report is presented. This includes a list of all indicators, including data aggregations, that are presented at district of origin level throughout the report. An overview of the challenges and limitations related to this report is also presented.

  • Second, a summary of key findings is presented. The key findings are broken into categories, including the main districts of origin of IDPs, differences between in-camp and out-of-camp IDPs, rates of return and population change, and key challenges in locations of return such as housing, livelihoods, basic services, and social cohesion.

  • Third, four data tables are presented detailing findings across key indicators, allowing for the quick comparison of information across the 24 districts. The data tables cover IDP population and characteristics of the main districts of origin; out-of-camp IDP population’s intentions and key challenges; in-camp IDP population’s key challenges; and conditions in upon return to locations of origin.

  • Fourth, 17 three-page-long District of Origin Profiles are included. Each of these profiles are included in the form of factsheets, and expand on data that is presented in the data tables in the third section of the report, from DTM’s assessments. They also highlight key differences between IDPs residing in in-camp and out-of-camp settings, and detail the rates of return and population change over time. Additionally, an overall situation of return across key severity scales within DTM’s Return Index dataset is presented, including maps showing the varying severity levels of living conditions in each district.