The study was a collaboration between the World Bank, UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and IOM (International Organization for Migration) to produce evidence on the experiences of Afghan refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran. The mixed methods study used surveys and interviews to examine the characteristics of returnees and the effectiveness of reintegration programs.
The qualitative study tracked 10 Afghan returnee households through four rounds of phone interviews over a six-month period. In the first round of interviews, respondents were asked to identify their top three concerns. The questions were open-ended to elicit respondent-generated detail and nuance on the issues. The longitudinal nature of the study was to track whether the issues persisted, got exacerbated, were mitigated or were resolved and how respondents coped.
The study plays an integral part of the forced displacement portfolio in two ways. First, it supports the World Bank’s initiatives to improve project design and monitoring based on evidence derived from the study. Second, the findings will provide UNHCR, IOM, and the international community and the government with crucial information on the reintegration of Afghan returnees, and their challenges during this vital moment of heightened insecurity and reduced welfare.