Location Assessment Methodology

Since July 2016, the Integrated Location Assessment (ILA) has been carried out once per year with the aim of gathering detailed information on displaced and returnee families and the conditions in which they are living. The assessment is conducted in locations which host five or more IDP and/or returnee households, as identified through the Master List. Since 2020, camp locations have been included in the ILA, and additionally a further assessment has been conducted in all identified informal sites. For more information how informal sites are defined, please refer to the CCCM Cluster Technical Guidance Note.

The reference unit of the assessment is the location, which is defined as an area that corresponds with either a village for rural areas or a neighbourhood for urban areas (i.e. fourth official administrative division). Information is collected at an aggregate level on the majority of IDPs and returnees living in a given location, rather than on individual families. Location boundaries are determined on the basis of IOM’s Rapid Assessment and Response Teams’ (RARTs) and key informants’ knowledge and evaluation. The list of locations is harmonised and verified with authorities and the humanitarian community as much as possible. However, an official or countrywide accepted list of locations and their boundaries has not yet been endorsed.

Where access is possible, identified locations are visited and directly assessed by the RARTs, who complete a closed-ended questionnaire through multiple interviews with several key informants (including members of IDP and returnee communities) and through direct observation. After finishing key informant interviews, RARTs complete one form summarizing the information collected, and the data is then uploaded onto a server and stored as one assessment.

The ILA uses the following definitions:

  • The number of individuals for out-of-camp settings is calculated by multiplying the number of households by six, the average size of an Iraqi household. For in-camp settings, the number of households is multiplied by five, which is the average size of the household in camps.
  • The DTM considers as Internally displaced persons (IDPs) all Iraqis who were forced to flee from 1 January 2014 onwards and are still displaced within national borders at the moment of the assessment.
  • The DTM considers as returnees all those displaced since January 2014 who have returned to their location of origin, irrespective of whether they have returned to their former residence or to another shelter type. The definition of returnees is not related to the criteria of returning in safety and dignity, nor with a defined strategy for ensuring durable solutions.
  • The rate of change is the percentage decrease or increase in the numbers of IDPs settled within an area between the previous and current round.
  • The rate of return is the proportion of returnees originally from an area to the sum of returnees and IDPs originally from the same area.