Returns Working Group (RWG) Annual Progress Report: January - December 2018
SUMMARY OF ACHIEVEMENTS
Return assessments: Conducted a total of 8 Rapid Overviews of Areas of Return (ROARs) in conjunction with REACH, focusing on Ninewa, Anbar, Diyala and Salah al Din, as well as a comparative report for Ninewa. In addition, RWG together with REACH conducted a mass communication assessment across Northern Iraq (Erbil, Dahuk, Sulaymaniyah, Ninewa) to better understand how IDP households inform their decision to move and how they are informed about the situation in their areas of origin.
Support to Government: RWG- Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MOMD) partnership: Established relationship with MOMD in March 2018 as the main government counterpart to RWG, which included: the appointment of a focal point from MOMD to RWG and secondment of a staff member from RWG to MOMD. RWG also established a long- term partnership agreement with MOMD in August 2018 and conducted a workshop in September 2018 in Baghdad, that included IOM, RWG and MOMD officers and officials.
Support to Governorate Return Committees (GRCs): RWG’s contribution to the GRC process included: 1) Participation in GRC preparatory meetings, 2) Providing input prior to GRC meetings on conditions in areas of return/ origin, 3) Conducted a session on durable solutions at the national GRC workshop held in Baghdad in May 2018, which was organized by OCHA and attended by humanitarian organizations and clusters.
Research: IOM DTM Iraq, RWG, and Social Inquiry commissioned a joint study, “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq.” The study aimed to better understand the reasons that may lead to protracted displacement.
Communicating with Communities (CwC): Developed together with the CwC taskforce of the protection cluster, the “Know Before you go (KBYG) “campaign, to inform IDPs on the various factors they should consider before returning.
Advocacy: RWG, IOM and OCHA commissioned a study focusing on areas of no return to find out the reasons for non- return in specific locations. Two field missions were conducted to Babylon (Jurf al Sakhr) and Diyala (Muqdadiyah) to get in- depth information for reasons of non- return. In addition, Key Return Issues were developed as part of advocacy to donors and key partners in the international community, focusing on major return issues being faced across the country- that have a direct or indirect impact on the return process.
Return index: IOM DTM, the Returns Working Group (RWG) and Social Inquiry developed the Return Index, which is a tool designed to measure the quality of conditions in the more than 1,400 return areas across Iraq. The first return index report was released in October 2018. In addition, DTM, RWG and Social Inquiry conducted a workshop in August 2018 for key partners working in return areas- to further elaborate on the methodology of the return index.; and presented governorate level presentations of the return index at various governorates at the request of OCHA.
Return trends: RWG developed a comparative return trends analysis in March 2018 – covering the period April 2015 to February 2018, which provided an overview of the main analysis and trends since returns were first recorded at national and governorate level (main governorates of returns)- covering the period April 2015 to February 2018.
Returns dashboard: RWG together with DTM developed a returns dashboard in August 2018, which is an interactive dashboard that provides up to date information on the return numbers and return rate, from governorate, district, sub- district and location level.
Monthly Coordination Meetings: Conducted 12 monthly coordination meetings in 2018 which were widely attended by humanitarian, development, Government and Donor representatives.
Development of Secondary Displacement Definition: At the request of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), RWG together with OCHA/ Inter- Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG), IOM DTM, CCCM and Protection Cluster, were tasked to develop the definition of secondary displacement in the Iraqi context, and came up with 4 different scenarios that can be considered as secondary displacement- which was shared with the wider international community for data collection and recording purposes.
Donor liaison and meetings: A number of meetings were held with donors (DFID, PRM, OFDA, etc.) to brief them on various return issues and current return status.
Partnerships and coordination with UN, NGOs and Clusters: Established relationships with UNAMI Joint Analysis Unit (JAU), Advocacy Working Group, Anbar Access Working Group, OCHA, DTM, REACH, Assessment Working Group (AWG), NGO Early Recovery Forum (NERF), clusters etc., to discuss modalities of information sharing and further advocacy measures at national and field level.
Field missions: RWG further participated and provided input to the Inter- Action Protection mission to Iraq in July 2018., whose main purpose was to research the underlying causes and main protection risks facing the Iraqi population.