Photocredit: Mammuth

Our goal is to develop an understanding of Reintegration Governance that can inform academia, policy makers and practitions.

Conceptual Approach

Reintegration governance can be defined as “the norms and organizational structures that regulate and facilitate states’ and other actors’ responses to reintegration”.  This definition will be taken as a starting point to be built on and developed over the course of the Reintegrate project.

We consider the following different types of Reintegration Governance:

  • National government-led reintegration governance– Meaning that the country has developed and led their own policy regarding reintegration.
  • Supranational led reintegration governance – Supranational reintegration governance can take several forms. This includes:
    1. IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programmes – these programmes are contracted by the destination country and operationalized for the needs of the destination country. Therefore, an origin country often implements multiple different AVR programmes depending on the migration destinations of the returnees.
    2. EU Readmission Agreements – Pieces of international law that require origin countries to accept back their nationals and act to facilitate forced returnees.
    3. GIZ Migration Advice Centres that focus on reintegration support – These centres are open to both voluntary and forced returnees from any country. They rely on returnees self-referrals, meaning returnees must make an active choice to go to a Migration Advice Centre. The Centres provide multiple forms of training and referral programmes to other services to assist in reintegration.
    4. Other programmes led by international organizations or development agencies that implement reintegration activities in the origin country.
  • High Reintegration Governance- This refers to having both a national reintegration policy and a high level of supranational led reintegration governance within the country. In cases of high reintegration governance there is often a complex reintegration industry of multiple actors involved in different reintegration activities.
  • Limited Reintegration Governance – This refers to countries with no national reintegration plan and limited supranational reintegration governance.
  • Reintegration Governance from Below-  We also consider through all case studies the role of reintegration governance from below, meaning the collective organization of returnees to advocate for themselves and their reintegration.

In each of our case studies we aim to examine the different types of reintegration governance, how reintegration policies were developed and implemented, and how reintegration policies and programmes impact returnees reintegration experiences. We will examine multi-level reintegration governance by considering policies at the local, regional, national, and supra-national level.

Ultimately, the central question guiding our research is: How do different forms of reintegration governance interact with returnees’ trajectories and shape returnees reintegration outcomes?

We consider both the role of reintegration governance in shaping returnees reintegration trajectories and in impacting their reintegration outcomes.


Our methodological approach includes the development of a policy database on reintegration governance, a more in-depth policy analysis of reintegration governance in our 4 case study countries (Nepal, Nigeria, Serbia, and the Philippines), interviews with key stakeholders, and interviews with return migrants and their families in each case study country. We aim to conduct approximately 120 key stakeholder interviews and 240 interviews with returnees within the project.