Options for future form of Government and Decentralization in Yemen

18 Dec 2013

Policy Options in times of Change

The implementation of the political transition in Yemen, initiated by the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council Implementation Mechanism on 23 November 2011, established a complex set of milestones for the new Government and its partners. Reshaping the governance structure of Yemen appears as one of the most important outcomes of the transitional process. To address this historic challenge, a profound analysis of governance options is required, as well as an all-inclusive consultative process to engage, from the beginning, all relevant Yemeni stakeholders.

In this context, it is with great please that we publish the First Comprehensive Policy Options Paper on the Future Form of Local Governance and Decentralisation. The objectives of the policy paper are to:

 •  Improve the understanding of national and local stakeholders about the main forms of political regimes and decentralisation systems, their advantages and disadvantages, and the practical experiences of their application in various country contexts;

 •  Analyse the main forms of government in the Yemeni context, including the division of legislative, executive and judicial responsibilities between the various layers of government; issues of political representation at the national level; fiscal decentralisation; and the advantages and disadvantages of these options (including maintaining the status quo) in terms of political, economic and social implications;

 •  Identify the actions required to implement each option, together with an approximate timeline consistent with the framework for the transition period, and an estimate of the budget requirements for each option. 

This paperi was drafted between 2012 and 2013 under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ‘Local Governance Support Programme’ (LGSP), at the request of the Ministry of Local Administration. It was facilitated by a team of experts from the Ministry of Local Administration, the Ministry of Finance and UNDP over a period of seven months. The paper was developed through a wide variety of primary and secondary research tools including desk review, assessment surveys, field visits to three Governorates, over 150 key informant and stakeholder interviews, focused group discussions, problem tree and stakeholder analysis, and stress testing. 

We hope that this document will contribute to fruitful discussions and will help in guiding the National Dialogue members to ascertain and agree what local governance system will be best for Yemen’s future. Finally, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our partners who were involved in the preparation of this paper – the Ministry of Local Administration, all participants in the surveys, interviews, workshops and discussions, academic scholars, the Governance Team of UNDP, and the three external consultants (Farrukh Moriani, Mohammed Al-Hammadi and Adel Al-Zawm).

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