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The local population is the center of gravity in counterinsurgency, and the first step toward winning the population is to understand it. Security forces must know the people's concerns, hopes, grievances — how families and individuals think and live. To gain a better understanding of the lives of the people in Iraq's Anbar Province (once one of the most violent areas in the country), RAND carried out a survey of living conditions in the province, conducting face-to-face interviews with a random sample of 1,200 heads of Anbari households.

Building on a 2004 United Nations Development Programme survey, the 2008 survey asked questions about demographics, employment, income and standards of living, education, health, housing and public infrastructure, the effects of war, and agriculture. The survey findings reveal that many improvements have occurred since 2004. However, the data also expose the extent to which Anbari households have suffered from the effects of war, including the death, disappearance, detainment, arrest, and displacement of family members. The survey findings should foster greater understanding of current conditions in al-Anbar and help identify areas on which to focus future assistance.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction and Methodology

  • Chapter Two

    Demographics

  • Chapter Three

    Employment

  • Chapter Four

    Income and Standards of Living

  • Chapter Five

    Education

  • Chapter Six

    Health

  • Chapter Seven

    Housing and Public Infrastructure

  • Chapter Eight

    The Effects of War

  • Chapter Nine

    Agriculture

The research described in this report was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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