The latest newsletter issue is out, highlighting recent fieldwork we are conducting in Kurdistan and in South Iraq. You can access the “Notes from the field” at this link.
May 2019 shaped up to be quite a busy month for Social Inquiry and one of the highlights by far was a visit from Peace and Conflict Fellows from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani’s Institute of Regional and International Studies last week! We spent the morning engaging in robust conversation and discussion with students (and future researchers!) on how to conduct conflict- and context-sensitive research, the space and place for research and analysis in Iraq, a day in the life at Social Inquiry (the good, the bad, and the ugly), career trajectories and personal journeys, work-life balance, and much more!
On May 10, 2019, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva launched is annual flagship publication “Global Report on Internal Displacement” (GRID). This year’s focus is on urban displacement and we are proud to announce we were selected to produce a background paper for the report. We focused on exploring the relationship between place and urban IDPs’ perceptions of integration in cities in Iraq. It was an honor to contribute to help shaping the thinking behind and findings in such a report! Its launch drew wide attention to the fact that most of the world’s displaced are actually within their own countries in cities. More focus needs to be paid to these seemingly less visible populations and the reasons for their internal displacement, including conflict, climate, and disaster.
We are happy to share our contribution to Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights’ recently published report “Combating Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Refugee Crises: Lessons from Working with Syrian Refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.” Through focus groups with male and female Syrian refugees, both in and out of camp settings in Erbil, Dohuk, and Sulaimaniya Governorates as well as key informant interviews with local, national, and international actors working on anti-SGBV policy and programming, we wrote and developed sections of the report on displacement, gender roles, and violence and lessons learned from the wider sector, respectively.
April 2019 saw the release of a new report coming out of our partnership with IOM in Iraq: “Reasons to Return (Part 2): Determinants of IDP Integration into Host Communities in Iraq.” It is now available on our publications page. With this quantitative work, we aimed to shed some light on what “integration” may look like for IDPs in their host communities. This entailed not only exploring IDPs’ living conditions and perceptions, but that of the host community as well to support both in ensuring all are equally woven into the local fabric at large.
Our third and final round of data collection is starting soon for our large-N longitudinal study on conflict and social cohesion monitoring in Ninewa Governorate. This study is run in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace and Sanad for Peacebuilding. Rounds 1 and 2 of data collection took place in February and August 2018. We re-trained our field teams today and findings from this work will be available through May 2019. Snapshots of the previous rounds of data are available in our publications page.
In February 2019, we released two new reports in coordination with IOM in Iraq: the first provides an overview of conditions in conflict-affected areas of return based on second round data from the Return Index, and the second is a thematic report exploring the social and physical dimensions of housing in these return areas. Both reports are part of our research partnership with IOM, initiated in June 2018, examining durable solutions in Iraq. They are available on our page for the Return Index as well as on the IOM DTM portal.
Participation of our co-director, Nadia Siddiqui, in today’s IOM workshop on transitional justice and conflict-related sexual violence, organized in Erbil. Social Inquiry presented a background on the links between social cohesion and transitional justice, especially important in a context where zero-sum dynamics prevail between communities.
Our co-director Aaso Ameen participated today in the panel organized by Sanad for Peacebuilding, the Alliance of Iraqi Minorities, and USIP on "Advancing the role of minorities in the stabilization of Ninewa." This was a chance to share some findings with local authorities on recent fieldwork in these largely minority-inhabited areas as part of our program on Reconciliation and Transitional Justice.
Happy New Year 2019 from the Social Inquiry team! Our current research in Iraq will unfold over the next four months, looking at the process of population returns, the process of local integration, and the ongoing local stabilization and peacebuilding efforts. Crucial year ahead for the country, lots of focus on how to resolve remaining displacement, and lots to be expectant about in the post-ISIS governance of Iraq!
Fieldwork completed! The quantitative household survey on residents in Sulaimaniya and Baghdad will provide new insights about how internally displaced people integrate in displacement and how the host community perceives them. We look at drivers of integration in this new project in collaboration with IOM as part of our program on Social Cohesion and Fragility.
More data to feed our analysis desk. This week we have completed the qualitative fieldwork in Mosul for the joint project on “non-traditional sources of aid financing” with the Humanitarian Policy Group & Overseas Development Institute. This will add into the quantitative dataset collected earlier for a full picture.
Out now! Social Inquiry’s new report, in collaboration with IOM and the Returns Working Group, on “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq.” The report provides five stylized categories for continued displacement: obstacles around housing; livelihoods and basic services; social cohesion; security; and mental health. The report is available on our publications page.