The definition of the returnee adopted by CRIS is the following:
Any person returning to his/her country of origin, in the course of the last ten years, after having been an international migrant (whether short-term or long-term) in another country. Return may be permanent or temporary. It may be independently decided by the migrant or forced by unexpected/adverse circumstances.
Our definition partially draws on the one recommended by the United Nations. It refers specifically to migrants who returned to their country of origin in the course of the last ten years, for this time limit allows the impact of the experience of migration on the interviewee’s pattern of reintegration to be assessed. It also allows the respondents to recount their migratory experiences more precisely. Returnees are persons (men and women, both adults and children) who lived for at least one year abroad before returning to their country of origin and who, at the time of the interview, have returned for more than three months.
2. Preparation of the CRIS survey
A pilot survey is organized and carried out in each country. The questionnaire is administered directly with the respondents. The pilot survey is a prerequisite to optimizing the administration of the questionnaire and to maximizing the response rate. Around ten pilot interviews are carried out.
The preliminary tested field data are entered in an online form using LimeSurvey hosting platform. Data are then processed on a common template using STATA. The pilot survey is necessary to enhancing the wording of the questionnaire and in correcting its shortcomings.
Each partner institution in Armenia, Mali and Tunisia has a proven knowledge of the field and several contacts with migrant-aid associations and local which are essential to meet respondents. Interviews are carried out in public and private places, sometimes at home.
Each partner was in charge of recruiting 10 to 15 interviewers in each selected country of return.
Training sessions addressed to interviewers were planned in February 2012 in each country with a view to ensuring that:
- The objectives of the survey were clearly understood and that interviewers would administer the questionnaire properly without influencing their respondents;
- The rules of confidentiality and anonymity were respected;
- The duration of each interview did not exceed 45 minutes, as far as possible;
- The administration of the filter questions was optimal;
- The regional distribution of the teams of interviewers was properly done;
- The procedures for collecting and the field data as well as the data entry were respected and monitored, if need be, by the partner in charge of supervising the implementation of the survey operations in collaboration with the coordinating unit of the RDP.
The geographical stratification as well as the distribution by sex of the sample were verified and compared with the official statistical data with a view to possibly weighing the collected data.
3. Data processing
In order to avoid any delay, the processing of the field data started as these were collected, validated and checked. The simultaneous collection and processing of the data allowed the geographical stratification and sex distribution of the sample to be controlled on a regular basis.
We introduced a technological innovation in the data entry process to monitor the field survey dynamically.
We planned a system for collecting and transmitting data with dual control: the questionnaire on paper and the questionnaire online.
The interviews are made face-to-face using the paper version of the questionnaire. As the interviews are gradually collected, the field data are transmitted to the RDP coordinating unit in a secured way via the Internet. For this purpose we use the LimeSurvey hosting platform. LimeSurvey is an open source PHP web application to develop, publish and collect responses to online and offline surveys.
LimeSurvey has been hosted on the EUI server to create an on-line version of the CRIS questionnaire. This method ensures a better administration of the data entry. More precisely, it is possible to:
a) reduce the risk of inaccuracies during data entry;
b) monitor the implementation and progress of the survey in live;
c) check and adapt the sampling strategy, if needed.
4. Data utilization and analysis
A common set of cross-tabulations are used with a view to processing the field data while referring to a number of dependent and independent variables. These cross-tabulations allow the following topics to be analyzed comparatively:
- Reasons and factors motivating or determining the departure for abroad, and the post-return conditions;
- The type and length of the experience of migration;
- The impact of the experience of migration on the patterns of professional reintegration of the returnees in their country of origin and on the welfare of their households;
- The returnees’ projects before and after return;
- The skills acquired abroad and in the country of origin;
- The human, social and financial resources of the returnees and their patterns of reintegration at home;
- The returnees’ links with their former country(ies) of immigration;
- The facilitation from which the interviewees may have benefited when returning to their country of origin;
- The types of investments made by the interviewees in their former country(ies) of immigration and their country of origin;
- The returnees’ perception of their social and institutional environment.
The utilization of the database will be based on various types of analytical approaches. These will be:
- Descriptive. The analyses will be based on a series of cross-tabulations highlighting the evolution of some variables compared with others, while referring to the abovementioned three-stage structure of the questionnaire. Various profiles of returnees will be identified differing from one another in terms of patterns of reintegration;
- Exploratory, by using factor analyses in order to explain the variability of observed and unobserved variables (simple correspondence analyses, multiple correspondence analyses) thanks to a software allowing various socio-demographic and economic variables to be crossed;
- Interpretative. Regression models will allow the functional dependence of some elements to be analyzed with reference to a series of explanatory variables or predictors. Various models will be tested with a view to leading to a model highlighting the most significant independent variables.
The abovementioned approaches will be used to develop and test synthetic indicators as applied to the social cultural and economic reintegration of return migrants.