The Return Index is a tool designed to measure the severity of condi- tions in locations of return. The Return Index is based on 16 indicators divided into two scales: Scale 1, on livelihoods and basic services, and Scale 2, centered around social cohesion and safety perceptions. A regression model is used to assess the impact of each of the indica- tors in facilitating or preventing returns. The index ranges from 0 (all essential conditions for return are met) to 100 (no essential condi- tions for return are met). Higher scores denote more severe living conditions for returnees. The scores of the severity index are grouped into three categories: low, medium and high (which also includes very high). Refer to the “Methodological Overview” for more details on the methodology.
The Returns in Iraq: 2021 Overview provides an analysis of returns across the country. The first section of this report presents an overview of returns in 2021. The second considers conditions for returnees across all governorates of return at the end of 2021 and examines the relationship between the rate of return and the severity of those conditions. The third section outlines the areas of no return and newly assessed locations recorded by IOM’s Rapid Assessment and Response Teams (RARTs), and the returnee population living in critical shelters. The final section presents a more granular analysis of the factors driving severity in subdistricts of return which are designated as ‘hotspots’, and how these factors changed between December 2020 and December 2021.