Where returnees live during the first six months

Where do professionals choose to live after they have completed their service?

The CVs of many professionals are characterised by higher-than-average geographical mobility, not only within their home country but also internationally. So, when professionals return from development service, they do not always return to a particular place. And in many cases their return to a particular location is only temporary.

Most professionals return to the country where they used to live before undertaking development service. Even professionals who have opted for a new assignment often return to their home country before taking on a new role.

The reasons for returning to one’s country of origin often include family considerations, social networks, and employment prospects. And professionals know their way around the bureaucracy of their home country, which can be very helpful.

Forty percent of professionals perceive the administrative requirements they face on return as burdensome.

Administrative tasks are likely to include registering with the local authority, taking out insurance, applying for residence permits for family members who have accompanied them, and getting qualifications recognised.

A small proportion of professionals – about 12 percent – stay on in the country where they were deployed. As such,, strictly speaking, they cannot be described as “returnees”. Some were already living in the country of deployment before undertaking development service. Others decide to stay for personal or professional reasons.

In-depth interviews about the study

As part of the AGdD study 2022 "Before and after development service: A quantitative study among returnees (2011-2020) in-depth interviews were conducted with some study participants. They talked about their experiences, motivations for a development service and its influence until today - e.g. in the form of social engagement after their return.

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