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Evaluating the impact of reintegration assistance provided under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in the Horn of Africa region

Migration is a growing reality for millions of people across the globe. In 2017, IOM (International Organization for Migration) estimated 258 million international migrants worldwide, representing 3.4% of the world’s population. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa region was launched in 2017, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The programme enables migrants who decide to voluntarily return to their countries of origin to do so in a safe and dignified way, in full respect of international human rights and in accordance with the principle of non-refoulment.


The EU-IOM Joint Initiative (HoA) uses an integrated approach to the provision of assistance, including economic, social and psycho-social support that is tailored to the needs of an individual migrant returnee. It also implements community-based projects to improve the conditions of return and reintegration.

Our role

Itad and Stats4SD (Statistics for Sustainable Development) are conducting an impact evaluation of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative (HoA) in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. The evaluation aims to provide a thorough assessment of the impact of IOM’s reintegration assistance, providing an accountability mechanism to beneficiaries of the programme, the donor and the wider sector. As a flagship evaluation for IOM, this work is intended to generate substantial learning on evaluating the impact of IOM’s reintegration programmes in the Horn of Africa, as well as informing future methodological standards.

Our approach

The complexity of reintegration programming and a lack of a universally recognised measure of reintegration provide a significant challenge for evaluation design. To meet the purpose and objectives of the impact evaluation, we have proposed a hybrid, semi-experimental evaluation design incorporating:

  1. Quantitative modelling of impact to assess the success of returnees’ reintegration;
  2. Natural experiments that use unplanned changes (internal to the programme or external extreme events) to understand the programme’s impact on migrant returnees’ reintegration;
  3. A complementary qualitative research framework, which informs modelling approaches and provides an in-depth understanding of sustainable reintegration from the perspective of returnees.

To ensure that we capitalise on learning arising from the impact evaluation in real-time, our learning approach will incorporate a focus on both internal and external learning.


Contact Leonora Evans-Gutierrez ( if you would like to discuss this project.


Feature image: Maurice Kopp/Flickr. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Team members