Rethinking Return: Lessons from Colombia, Liberia and Nigeria
In 2018-2019, Mercy Corps partnered with a graduate student group at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, to undertake research on emerging lessons and best practices in promoting the return of forcibly displaced persons. With over 25 million refugees and 40 million internally displaced persons worldwide, there is a growing need for durable solutions to challenges of displacement. Since the end of the Cold War, the return of refugees and IDPs to their places of origin have become one of the preferred policy solutions to displacement triggered by violent conflict. Yet, there remains questions about what facilitates effective return and long-term reintegration. This report examines the challenges of implementing programs and policies in post-conflict settings and the factors that contribute to whether and how FDPs return, drawing on interviews conducted in Colombia, Liberia and Nigeria.