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Return Index Thematic Series briefing #1: The Physical and Social Dimensions of Housing in Conflict-affected Areas (January 2019)

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The Return Index Thematic Series provides singular analysis and deep insights on specific indicators, their distribution across conflict-affected areas of Iraq, their links with other indicators in the Index, and how they fit within the context in which they are collected.


As of 30 October 2018, nearly one year after the official end of the conflict with The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), more than 4.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their places of origin across eight governorates in Iraq. The Return Index provides a means of measuring the severity of living conditions in the locations to which they are returning. Developed by IOM DTM, the Returns Working Group, and Social Inquiry, this tool provides singular analysis and deep insights information that will bridge humanitarian, recovery and stabilization needs. This will allow partners working in Iraq to better strategize for interventions and resource allocation in vulnerable areas.


The Return Index correlates data available on returnee population figures with 18 different indicators, grouped into two scales: (i) livelihoods and basic services, and (ii) social cohesion and safety perceptions. The aggregation of these indicators provides an index score for every location with population returns. Higher scores denote more severe living conditions for returnees. This thematic paper uses data collected in October 2018 (Round 2) through key informant interviews at location level in 1,504 locations of return.

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