The project supports mediation, local consultation, and stabilisation efforts in three Yemeni governorates and seeks to include local governance issues in the peace process.
Timeframe: 2017 - 2023
The project supports mediation, local consultation, and stabilisation efforts in three Yemeni governorates and seeks to ensure that local concerns and questions of local governance are sufficiently taken into account in Yemeni and international policymaking and in peace negotiations.
The overall objective of the project is to support stabilisation in three selected governorates in Yemen: Hadhramawt, Dhamar (Project Phase I), and Al Mahra (Project Phase II). In each of these governorates, the project supports an inclusive consultative committee that complements the existing administrative set up and advises the governors on development and peacebuilding needs and priorities. In cooperation with GIZ, these committees also act as the steering committees for small project grants, implemented by district authorities with support from GIZ.
In addition, the project supports local peace initiatives in the three project governorates and facilitates discussions and the uptake of evidence at international and national levels to generate political support for a more effective and inclusive local governance in Yemen.
Phase I: May 2017 to December 2019
Phase II: January 2020 to September 2023
The war in Yemen has been dragging on since the internationally supported transition process in Yemen broke down at the end of 2014. Since 2022, a de-facto truce is holding, freezing a situation of fragmentation and humanitarian crisis, weak state institutions, and fragmented local governance and service provision.
Questions of local governance and local service provision therefore loom large: if the war continues, dialogue, services, and a functioning policy process at the local level can help insulate Yemen’s citizens from the worst of its effects and safeguard increasingly fragile institutions. If a breakthrough in the peace process is achieved, functioning and inclusive local governance will be essential to make peace stick, by delivering a tangible peace dividend to citizens and by safeguarding local progress while a new government hashes out difficult compromises at the centre.
Local governance structures provide an entry point for both the stabilisation of the country, to help secure the necessary conditions for a peace process, and to help make a peace agreement function in practice—and in any scenario the local authorities will play a key role in providing basic services to the local population.
The project activities fall under three main clusters.
- Initiating and sustaining policy discussions: the project aims to mobilise political support at the central level in Yemen for a strengthened role of local governance structures in (post-conflict) stabilisation and to inform international policymakers of the importance of considering different Yemeni perspectives on local governance in their programming.
- Supporting inclusive consultations and dialogues in three Yemeni governorates: the project supports an inclusive consultative committee in each governorate that complements the existing administrative set up and advises the governors on development and peacebuilding needs and priorities to effectively address local needs at governorate level. In cooperation with GIZ, these committees also act as the steering committees for small project grants, implemented by district local authorities with support from GIZ.
- Support to local mediation and peace initiatives: the project supports local initiatives by civil society actors and local authorities to respond to urgent mediation and stabilisation needs in the project governorates. We build on strong Yemeni mediation traditions to provide mediators with additional tools and skills, support selected initiatives, and help mediators and communities raise funds from local businesspeople, international organisations, and community members themselves to restore services once conflicts are successfully mediated.
Partners and Funding
As with all of Berghof’s Yemen projects, this project is implemented jointly with our long-standing Yemeni partner, the Political Development Forum (PDF).
Funded under the stabilisation mechanism of the German Federal Foreign Office, the project strives for stabilisation through local governance by combining peacebuilding and development approaches: The project ‘Strengthening inclusive local governance and peacebuilding in Yemen’ forms part of an overarching programme which is implemented jointly with GIZ, and which interlinks peacebuilding initiatives and support to local governance approaches at governorate level (Berghof/PDF) with infrastructure support and development approaches at district level (GIZ).
Jointly with UNDP, Berghof holds regular coordination meetings for Local Governance implementers in Yemen to support information exchange and increase chances for collaboration amongst organisations working on local governance support in Yemen.
Two initiatives in the governorate of Dhamar have been supported by the Peace Support Facility, an instrument aimed at building public support for the peace process through achieving concrete and rapid improvement in peoples’ lives in priority areas identified by the UN Special Envoy to Yemen. All of Berghof’s Yemen projects are closely coordinated with the Special Envoy’s Office.
Updates from this work:
- Konflikte lokal transformieren 26 Jul 2023
- Locally rooted conflict transformation 25 Jul 2023
- How to respond to local needs during war: 21 Dec 2022
- Video: Where next for peacebuilding in Yemen 28 Sep 2022
- أين القادم لبناء السلام في اليمن 28 Sep 2022
- Governors take centre stage in new presidential council 17 May 2022
- Protest Movements 22 Feb 2022
- Yemen and the COP26: It is time for adequate climate reparations 13 Jan 2022
- Yemen – A multi-track approach 19 Jul 2021
- Seven lessons for inclusive local governance and peacebuilding in Yemen 29 Jun 2021
- Yemen: New talks will need to factor in new realities 1 Apr 2021
- Local governance in Yemen: The devil is in the detail 7 Jun 2019
Publications from this project:
- Changing Local Governance in Yemen. The areas under control of the internationally recognised government
Katharina Jautz, Monder Basalma, Joshua Rogers. 2022
- Climate Change and Conflict in Hadhramawt and Al Mahra
Helen Lackner. 2021
- تغير المناخ والصراع في حضرموت والمهرة
Helen Lackner. 2021
- Berghof Foundation: 50 years of conflict transformation
- Changing local governance in Yemen. District and governorate institutions in the areas under Ansar Allah's control
Joshua Rogers. 2020
- Mapping of Local Governance in Yemeni Governorates
- Local Governance in Yemen. Theory, Practice, and Future Options
Joshua Rogers. 2019
- Legal Assessment of the Local Authority System in Yemen and Proposals for Development
Ahmed Mohamed Al-Mawari. 2018
- Local Governance: Engine for Stability in Yemen
Badr Basalmah. 2018
- Local Revenue and Resource Allocation in Yemen
- The Importance of Local Governance in Strengthening and Supporting the Political Process in Yemen
Abdul-Raqib Fatih. 2018
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