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Reintegration Programs and the Willingness of Displaced Persons to Return Home: Analyzing the Role of Social Infrastructure in North-East Nigeria

Adekola, Paul Oluwatomipe and Cirella, G.T. and Brownell, Gracie (2024) Reintegration Programs and the Willingness of Displaced Persons to Return Home: Analyzing the Role of Social Infrastructure in North-East Nigeria. Journal of International Migration and Integration. ISSN 1488-3473

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This study explores the impact of Boko Haram’s violence on northern Nigeria, particularly focusing on the willingness of conflict-induced internally displaced persons (CIIDPs) to return home and the role of restoring social infrastructure in this process. We employed a mixedmethods approach, collecting data from 866 randomly selected internally displaced persons (IDPs) across eight camps in North-East Nigeria and conducting focus group discussions in two of these camps. Our findings, as revealed by correlation analysis, suggest a positive albeit weak link between the restoration of social infrastructure and the willingness of IDPs to return to their homes. Specifically, the selected social infrastructure improvements accounted for a modest 3% change in the willingness to accept a voluntary return. This implies that while restoring social infrastructure plays a role, it alone is insufficient to significantly boost the willingness of IDPs in North-East Nigeria to return voluntarily. However, our regression analysis offers more nuanced insights. It indicates that restoring access to water and rebuilding access roads in affected communities can have a substantial impact on motivating CIIDPs to return home. Therefore, we conclude that while restoring social infrastructure is a factor, it should not be viewed as the sole solution for promoting willingness to return in a post-conflict context. To address the broader issue, we recommend that governments and policymakers in conflict-affected communities prioritize the restoration of water sources and access roads, as these appear to be critical factors in encouraging the return of IDPs. Additionally, further research is necessary to identify other essential needs and interventions to facilitate the return of CIIDPs to their home communities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Boko Haram insurgency Camps  Conflict-induced displacement  Internally displaced persons  Post-conflict context
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: nwokealisi
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 15:29
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 15:29

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