This report presents an overview of the key findings of the fifth round of UNHCR’s Return Perceptions and Intention Surveys (RPIS) conducted between November 2018 and February 2019. For this round, surveys were conducted by UNHCR in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Due to the operational context, Turkey did not take part in this RPIS exercise. The findings of this report represent an aggregation of country survey findings. Individual countries may have specific variations, and these can be examined through the individual country intention survey reports.
Since 2017, surveys have been conducted biannually to ensure the centrality of refugee voices, intentions, and concerns, better understand past, current and future dynamics related to return and provide an evidence base to support planning and programming. So far, over 13,000 Syrian refugees have been reached through a structured dialogue on their intentions. While such surveys can provide valuable insights and are a useful tool to collect important data and conclude on some findings, they have limitations, including the fact that the reflection of refugees’ intentions represents a given point in time only and may subsequently change depending on a wide range of factors.
Refugees’ feedback on their future intentions is crucial for operational planning. Surveys, such as this one, are one of many feedback mechanisms, implemented by UNHCR to gage intentions and aspirations of refugees, with others including focus group discussions, individual assessments, interviews and counselling at registration and reception centers, project sites, border and protection monitoring missions and other protection and assistance activities.
The report contains three sections. Section one provides an overview of the key findings. Section two explores return intentions and dynamics from the perspective of refugees’ current intentions regarding return to Syria.
Section three presents the main conclusions.