The reintegration constituents of displaced populations are understudied, despite increased attention being paid to return and reintegration outcomes. In this paper, we explore how various factors related to the migration cycle, including returnees' displacement experiences and return conditions, are associated with reintegration outcomes. For this aim, we take a multidimensional approach to the measurement of reintegration. In addition to objective reintegration outcomes, measured by food security, we address subjective assessments such as feelings of reintegration. We focus on the unique case of returnees in Burundi and make use of a database consisting of a sample of 189 former internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 194 former refugees, which allows for a comparison of the reintegration of these two groups. The analyses highlight that objective and subjective reintegration do not necessarily align and that displacement experiences and return conditions relate to reintegration outcomes in different ways. Land and livestock ownership upon return are for example positively correlated with feelings of reintegration and subjective wealth, whereas community support is crucial to cope with food security. Moreover, we show considerable variation in reintegration outcomes between refugees and IDPs, with refugees showing more positive outcomes when individual characteristics are controlled for. This result calls for more in-depth research on the contextual and structural factors that elucidate the variation across groups going beyond individual level explanations. Overall, the findings emphasise the diversity in reintegration outcomes and identify the role of experiences during displacement and return conditions for the reintegration of refugees and IDPs.

Fransen, S., & Bilgili, Ö. (2018). Population, Space and Place, 24(6), e2140.

Who reintegrates? The constituents of reintegration of displaced populations

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