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Manual for Sustainable Return

Part II - Operational Guidelines - Assessment and Information Gathering

This section identifies planning tools and resources available to assist parties engaged in the returns process. These tools do not necessarily need to be taken and implemented in a sequential fashion. Rather they can be drawn upon at any stage in the process, as the local circumstances dictate. They should also be understood as actions that can be taken for the MWGs to be prepared to respond as efficiently as possible to requests arising from of IDPs/Refugees interested in returning to their places of origin and requesting assistance to do so. Possible actions are as follows:

Identification of IDP
Locations of Displacement
- To gather information on the current locations of displaced persons from the municipality, the MWG Chair may request UNHCR and other relevant MWG members to gather and/or share basic obtainable information relating to IDPs and refugees' displacement locations together with their pre-conflict village/neighbourhood of origin. UNHCR prepares and presents this Displacement Mapping data to the MWG.

Assessment of Pre-conflict
Minority Inhabited Locations Assessment of locations where minorities used to live prior to the conflict will provide a relatively objective basis to be used when planning a transparent and de-politicised return process, once interest on the side of IDPs/Refugees to return to a specific location is identified. Initially, the Chair of the MWG forms a team to carry out a Rapid Location Profile (RLP - see Annex 1A and B for Format) and designates an UNMIK team leader who compiles the information. This team should consist of the main international actors involved in the MWG. Then the team should use the RLP Format to survey each village or neighbourhood where minorities have departed during or after the conflict to which an interest to return is identified. In order to assist in the compilation of the RLPs, each member of the MWG should collect and share existing information on specific locations with the team. When finalised, the team leader then presents the compiled RLP to the MWG.

Security Assessment of Potential Returns Locations
Village Security Assessments of potential returns locations provide guidance later in the process for decisions related to site prioritisation. At the request of the MWG Chair, KFOR and KPS carry out these assessments (see Annex 7 for Format) of each pre-conflict minority inhabited village and neighbourhood to which an interest to return is identified. KFOR and KPS then present their conclusions by location to the MWG. This process is undertaken with the knowledge that the relevance of a security assessment remains temporary and should be used as broad guidance only (for example a security assessment can give clearance to a GSV in a specific location, but also recommend that more work be done with the receiving community before returns can take place). The onclusions of an assessment are only one factor in the decision-making process when assessing the conditions for return to a certain area.


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