Supporting Broader Inclusion and Participation in the Yemeni Peace Process

Supporting Broader Inclusion and Participation in the Yemeni Peace Process

The project seeks to support an inclusive negotiated solution and contribute to long-term sustainable peace in Yemen by ensuring inclusion of, and support to, key constituencies for peace. The project strives for broader inclusion and participation in decision making processes in Yemen. It supports the efforts made by the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen towards a negotiated solution to the conflict in Yemen. The project is implemented by a consortium formed by Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) and the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. It is funded by the EU.



Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)

funded by the EU


The KIP Index: A Comparison of the Status of Women in the MENA Economies – Yemen

The KIP Index: A Comparison of the Status of Women in the MENA Economies – Yemen

The Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies is joining the American University in Beirut and its Suliman S. Olayan School of Business to serve as the Yemen country partner at the regional project “The KIP Index: A Comparison of the Status of Women in the MENA Economies”. The Sanaa Center will support the project with the data collection, technical analysis, and outline recommendations to assess the status of women’s recruitment, retention, and promotion in the Yemeni formal labor market. 

This project aims to develop a comprehensive data-driven index that provides economic stakeholders with knowledge and recommendations on improving women’s recruitment, retention, and promotion in the formal economies in the Arab MENA, with a specific focus on: Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq. The Knowledge is Power (KIP) index will be a comparison of the roles and challenges to women’s economic participation. It will also aim at capturing and measuring challenges to the recruitment, promotion, and retention of women in the formal economies of the region .

The first episode was titled “Transportation as a Challenge to Women’s Economic Participation.” You can watch it here: 

Yemen Peace Forum

Yemen Peace Forum

The Yemen Peace Forum initiative is a track II youth and civil society platform facilitated by the Sana’a Center. This interactive initiative seeks to both invest in building and empowering the next generation of Yemeni youth and civil society actors and to engage them in critical national issues. Building on the Sana’a Center’s core goal of producing knowledge by local voices, this initiative seeks to develop and invest in young policy analysts and writers across Yemen.

Through this two-year initiative, the Center will build the capacity of dozens of youth and civil society representatives from across Yemen focusing on key topics and regions. Capitalizing on its strong network, the Sana’a Center will also create various platforms and hubs for national and marginalized local voices and initiatives in Yemen and the diaspora to influence policies and shape narratives at all levels.

To influence policy- and decision-making, the Center will link these groups and their peacebuilding efforts with the UN-led peace process, political processes, local, regional, and international stakeholders, and the media.



The Yemen Review

The Yemen Review

The Yemen Review – formerly known as Yemen at the UN – is a monthly publication produced by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. Launched in June 2016, it aims to identify and assess current diplomatic, economic, political, military, security, humanitarian and human rights developments related to Yemen.

In producing The Yemen Review, Sana’a Center staff throughout Yemen and around the world gather information, conduct research, and hold private meetings with local, regional, and international stakeholders in order to analyze domestic and international developments regarding Yemen.

This monthly series is designed to provide readers with contextualized insight into the country’s most important ongoing issues.

Publications at The Yemen Review

De Facto Partition of Yemen Looms with Riyadh Agreement’s Continued Failure

The Riyadh Agreement, signed one year ago, has failed in almost every aspect of its implementation. As its promise to act as a unifying force in Yemen continues to fade into the past, the de facto partition of the country is coming evermore into focus on the horizon.

The Riyadh Agreement’s Fading Promise – The Yemen Review, October 2020

Over the course of two days, October 15-16, the Yemeni government and the Houthis exchanged 1,056 prisoners in a deal facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross as part of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement. Among those released was Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar’s son, Mohsen Ali Mohsen. Majed Fadhael, deputy minister of human rights for President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government, said there would be talks on another prisoner exchange before the end of 2020, which would include several high profile figures such as the president’s brother, Nasser Mansour Hadi, Mahmoud al-Subayhi, the former minister of defense, and Mohammed Qahtan, an Islah party politician.

Six Years of Houthi Rule in Sana’a

The Sana’a Center Editorial When the armed Houthi movement, Ansar Allah, took over Sana’a on September 21, 2014, it was almost inconceivable that they would still be holding the Yemeni capital six years on. Look ahead to six years from today, however, and current trajectories seem to foreshadow the group and its leaders being only further entrenched in […]

Battle for Marib – The Yemen Review, September 2020

The battle for Marib governorate, a Yemeni government stronghold for most of the war, dominated attention in Yemen during September, with Houthi forces seizing territory in several areas, particularly in the northwest and south. Yemeni government-allied tribes, especially the Murad and Bani Abd, struggled to slow the Houthi advances, which highlighted the weakness of the Yemeni government armed forces..

FSO Safer: Why Are We Still Waiting?

The Sana’a Center Editorial The devastating explosion at the port of Beirut, Lebanon, in August should instill a sense of urgency among all stakeholders in Yemen regarding the gigantic floating bomb just offshore of Hudaydah governorate, officially known as the FSO Safer oil terminal. Like the thousands of tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate that […]

Hostage on the Red Sea – The Yemen Review Summer Edition, July-August 2020

The FSO Safer oil terminal moored offshore of Ras Issa port // Photo Credit: Safer The Sana’a Center Editorial FSO Safer: Why Are We Still Waiting?  The devastating explosion at the port of Beirut, Lebanon, in August should instill a sense of urgency among all stakeholders in Yemen regarding the gigantic floating bomb just offshore […]

Hadi Must Go

The Sana’a Center Editorial Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi is doing his best to prevent an end to the conflict in Yemen. Ensuring that last year’s Riyadh Agreement – meant to mend divisions with his rivals in southern Yemen – never gets implemented is only his latest venture in this regard. Hadi’s tenure has […]

Struggle for the South – The Yemen Review, June 2020

Following the Southern Transitional Council’s takeover of Socotra in June, the flag of the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) was hoisted at the governorate building in the island’s capital, Hedebo, seen here on July 1, 2020 // Sana’a Center photo by Saeed Mastour Saeed Salem The Sana’a Center Editorial  Hadi Must Go […]

Will Yemen Survive COVID-19?

The Sana’a Center Editorial There is a confluence of humanitarian and economic woes bearing down on Yemen that evoke the image of tidal waves cresting upon tidal waves, and average Yemenis have been left terrifyingly exposed. The United Nations estimates that 16 million Yemenis may ultimately be infected with the COVID-19 virus. Simultaneously, the warring […]

Gender Analysis for Progressive Policy in Yemen – GAPP Yemen

Gender Analysis for Progressive Policy in Yemen – GAPP Yemen

The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency are jointly undertaking research and advocacy project to address the effect of the war on gender relations and access to services in Yemen, to instill a gender lens in the policy debate and programmatic planning processes on Yemen by delivering gender-specific data and high quality gender-focused analysis on how the conflict has affected gender relations and powers at the local level. The project also aim to inform how policies, UN-led peace process and programming in Yemen can respond effectively by addressing gender gaps caused by current dynamics and promoting successful gender empowering models that may be identified. It also providing insights on how to create strategic platforms for women to be empowered and engage effectively.

This project is carrying out a study of how the changes have affected women’s role at the community-level; Engaging various actors working in the field of gender, such as experts, civil society, CBOs, NGOs, INGOs, UN and the donor community working in Yemen, to inform the study and contribute to the production of the final results; delivering credible and useful gender-focused analysis on the current political, security and humanitarian dynamics using data from field research on how the conflict has affected the role of women at the community level; Informing and influencing local and international actors in regard to gender-related policies and post-conflict scenarios.

Strategic Local Peacebuilding in Yemen: Building peace from the ground up

Strategic Local Peacebuilding in Yemen: Building peace from the ground up

Project Overview:

The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies and Oxford Research Group (ORG) aim to lay the foundations for more effective peacebuilding efforts while contributing to the country’s eventual political transition, strengthening local capacity, and encouraging more inclusive and strategic dialogue in two of Yemen’s key regions: Marib and Hadramawt. This will mean rethinking long-held assumptions about the nature and form that the peace process should take, and requiring the exploration of new creative models, in order to forge new possibilities for lasting peace.

Also, this project seeks to ensure increased understanding of local dynamics and power relations that underlie and have emerged as a result of the current conflict in order to address them and help inform the Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESGY) in his peacemaking efforts.

This project is funded by the UK conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF)

Project duration: May 2018- March 2019



This one-year pilot project aims to:

  • Provide platforms to diffuse tensions and channel frustrations among groups with shared Interests at the local level in Yemen.
  • Build local capacity to participate fully in the country’s democratic development and facilitate collective strategic thinking forums.
  • Strengthen the UN-led peace process and other international peacebuilding efforts, as well as the prospects for a peaceful post-agreement transition in Yemen.


Activities:  This project will be broken down into three main stages:

Stage One: this stage is considered as a research and scoping phase to assess the viability of collective strategic thinking in Yemen.

  1. Host two forums for open discussion to explore ideas and gather insight from key Yemeni thinkers in Hadhramout and Marib governorates. These forums will bring together locally based and diaspora Yemenis, including academics, business professionals, economic and political analysts, and religious representatives and actors; and civil society representatives, with attention to ensuring the representation of women and youth.
  2. Bring to light key issues that need to be addressed and discussed and identify the groups that would need to be engaged in drafting a future agreement and overseeing its implementation for it to be meaningful and lasting.
  3. Identify and empower key local actors who are best placed to lead on building and shaping the groups, as well as possible participants. This groundwork will ensure local voices both guide and own the process.
  4. Explore the most appropriate tool or methodology to address the underlying issues that led to the outbreak of war following the post 2011 political transition.


Stage Two: Initiating safe spaces for strategic dialogue

This stage will be shaped according to the lessons learned in Stage One. It would likely consist of:

  1. Gathering representatives from the two focal governorates from the identity or interest groups identified in Stage One. At this point we would provide training in the ORG-pioneered collective strategic thinking model and work with the participants to amend or develop it according to their needs.These groups will form an ongoing societal infrastructure that will continually feed into and support future conflict-resolution efforts and the country’s peaceful transition post conflict.
  2. Creating safe spaces for the groups to meet discreetly. This stage will focus on building strategic thinking capacity and cohesion within the separate groups as well as developing investment in the broader political process by identifying key issues the groups would need to see addressed.
  3. Facilitating initial strategic engagement and cross-fertilisation across and between the groups. This may initially, for example, be simply through the sharing of ideas and reports or hosting small meetings with representatives of different groups.


Stage Three: Influencing policy-makers

In this stage, the lessons and insights drawn from the separate groups will be taken forward, by its members and with ORG and the Sana’a Center providing support to local and international stakeholders:

  1. Share the groups’ strategic analysis reports with high-level Yemeni decision-makers, regional and international government officials, relevant international third parties such as the UN, the United States, the European Union and other actors seeking to engage in peace-making in Yemen.
  2. Hold workshops to discuss findings in addition to facilitating and arranging face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders in Yemen, Jordan (especially OSESGY), Lebanon, Egypt and/or Brussels and the United States.