Further information is required to better understand the underlying causes of protracted displacement and the actions needed to enable durable solutions – whether to return to areas of origin (AoO), integrate into areas of displacement (AoD), or move to a third location. IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the Returns Working Group (RWG) and Social Inquiry (SI) have been working toward this objective, producing in November 2018 the first report “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq,” which established a categorization framework for protracted displacement to enable future study. This report was followed by a number of publications on this topic, aiming among other things to identify the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) that fall into each category, where they can be found, and most importantly, where they are from.2 Nonetheless, information gaps remain in terms of understanding displacement in urban contexts where a large proportion of IDP families are concentrated throughout the country.
To address this gap, DTM now aims to establish a breakdown of the remaining out-of-camp IDP caseload in the main urban centres of displacement to better understand the potential for durable solutions.3 Ten urban locations across eight of the main governorates of displacement have been selected for the assessment: Erbil city, Mosul city, Kirkuk city, Sulaymaniyah metropolitan, Baghdad city + Abu Graib, Zakho town, Dahuk city, Tooz Khormatu town, Tikrit city and Baquba city.
The assessment will take into consideration geographic linkages to areas of origin; obstacles to return including demographic changes; the presence of armed actors and ethno-religious tensions; and the potential for durable solutions to displacement, including local integration. The findings generated from this project will assist both the government and the international community to better identify and target IDPs for appropriate assistance, as well as to better advocate for recognizing IDPs’ preferred durable solutions to long-term displacement.