University of Twente Student Theses


People Displacement in a Conflict Zone – A Case Study of Mosul Battle, Iraq

Fekih, Sarra (2020) People Displacement in a Conflict Zone – A Case Study of Mosul Battle, Iraq.

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Abstract:The battle of Mosul was a major military liberation intervention that lasted nine months. Military operations by airstrike caused the loss of thousands of lives and generated, between 2016 and 2017, 83 % of the total worldwide population displacement. This thesis uses the intervention as a case study to develop an ABM simulation that predicts the flow of IDPs and Returnees. Analysis driven from empirical data identified patterns of displacement. Import factors in displacement are risk perception of the household, and coping appraisal as defined in Protection Motivation Theory. Households need to decide that they are at risk before they leave their homes. Coping appraisal has to do with the location the household will move to. A literature review based on Protection Motivation Theory identified the number of deaths as a factor for perceived risk. It was observed that the number of deaths in Mosul was not the only factor that influences risk perception. Also, deaths in the households social network influence risk perception. On the other hand, the income level of a household and their social network (place to relocate to) were identified as having an impact on their coping strategy. A conceptual model was then designed using the ODD protocol. After the implementation of the model, a sensitivity analysis was performed to identify the parameters that impacts the model output. The finding identified the number of deaths in social network of the households as a parameter that has significant impact on the perceived risk. Model validation was performed using Pattern Oriented Modelling. The model output has predicted a lower percentage of IDPs than observed in the empirical data, this can be explained by using only the number of death troll as indicateur for risk perception. When comparing the origin of the IDPs, a high number of IDPs are generated in the west of Mosul. This may be due to the fact that more deaths occur in the west, and agents perceive risk based on the number of deaths in their sub-area. When evaluating the location IDPs move to, the model evacuates a lower percentage of displaced households to the Provinces, compared to moving them to camps in the direct vicinity of Mosul. This can be explained by the fact that Netlogo takes into account the visualized features. The returnee sub-model has generated returnees that came back to Mosul in a later phase compared to reality. This indicates that deaths in the Mosul area are not the only factor influencing IDP behavior. By explicitly modeling the settlements around Modul, and giving them their own death rates, households from these areas can already return while the fighting in the city center of Mosul still continues.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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