Publications | Videos | Infographics

Logo RYEThe Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative aims to contribute to peacebuilding and conflict prevention, (economic) stabilization and sustainable development in Yemen by building consensus in crucial policy areas through engaging and promoting informed Yemeni voices from all backgrounds in the public discourse on development, economy and post-conflict reconstruction in Yemen and by positively influencing local, regional and international development agendas. The project is implemented by CARPO – Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient, DeepRoot Consulting and the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. It is funded by the European Union and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Yemen.

 

Project duration: March 2017 – August 2020

Project partners:
DeepRoot Consulting
Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies

Project website

Get more information on this project through our One-pager or Two-pager.

Publications:

bild

Developing Human Capital

This policy brief summarizes discussions regarding Yemen’s human capital at a ‘Rethinking Yemen’s Economy’ workshop held in Amman, Jordan, on August 24-25, 2019. The workshop participants agreed that many of the obstacles to improving Yemen’s human capital were present prior to the current conflict. This brief thus recommends: countrywide population surveys; more funding of development projects over emergency humanitarian assistance; education reforms; and the targeting of sectors with high human capital returns. Crucially, policymakers should not wait for the end of the conflict to implement these recommendations.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic

bild

Restructuring Public Finances in Yemen

This policy brief addresses the issue of public finances in Yemen, which have long suffered from an overdependence on energy exports, one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world, and chronic budget and balance of payments deficits. With the intensification of the conflict in 2015, energy exports and foreign grants were frozen, while general economic and state collapse saw a precipitous decline in tax revenues. Public debt has thus risen, while the fracturing of state institutions across frontlines has hobbled public revenue collection, as well as fiscal and monetary policy. On April 27-29, 2019, the Development Champions convened in Amman, Jordan, and brought forward recommendations for the internationally recognized Government of Yemen on necessary steps to restructure public finances. These are laid out in the full text.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic

bild

The Need to Reform the Public Sector Wage Bill

This policy brief addresses the issue of Yemen’s bloated public sector. Amid consistently large budget deficits, the inflated public sector wage bill is fiscally unsustainable and threatens to undermine economic recovery and future stability in Yemen. Recognizing the multiple challenges of reforming the public sector, even in a stable country, the recommendations brought forward in this brief are addressed to the post-conflict government, which should: conduct an assessment to evaluate the conflict-driven growth of the public sector payroll; reduce administrative corruption through the biometric registration of all public sector workers; and develop a strategy to demobilize and reintegrate fighters into society without absorbing them into the public sector. Further recommendations in the full text.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic

bild

Reforming the Business and Investment Climate

This Policy Brief addresses the need for private sector recovery in Yemen and gives recommendations for the improvement of the overall business and investment climate. While the private sector has shown a far greater degree of resilience than the public sector and in many cases stepped in to replace government services, its situation – and that of its working force – remains challenging. The surest means of laying the foundations for private sector recovery in Yemen, and indeed recovery for the country overall, is to end the ongoing conflict and reunify public institutions and governance mechanisms. While the conflict is ongoing, however, there are still practical, realistic steps national and international stakeholders can take to support the Yemeni private sector.

Download the Brief in English or Arabic

bild

Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

This policy brief offers recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen – whatever the composition or structure of the government. It presents three case studies on government models previously introduced in Yemen, Tunisia and Lebanon after periods of instability. These case studies offer useful lessons on the challenges, risks and opportunities of forming transitional governments in post-conflict contexts.

Download the brief in English or Arabic

bild

The Repercussions of War on Women in the Yemeni Workforce

This policy brief sheds light on the impact of the ongoing conflict in Yemen on women’s participation in the workforce. It finds that the protracted conflict has, on the one hand, pushed more women into the workforce and new labor markets, in some cases into professions previously dominated by men. On the other hand, the war has imposed new constraints on an already low women’s participation rate. The policy brief recommends, amongst others, that micro-economic initiatives to bring women into the workforce must be accompanied by long-term efforts to address socio-economic structures that have historically constrained women’s access to the workforce.

Download the brief in English or Arabic

bild

The Essential Role of Remittances in Mitigating Economic Collapse

This White Paper addresses the impact of Saudi Arabia’s increasingly restrictive handling of its expatriate workforce on the economy in Yemen. The kingdom’s policies, which have forced tens of thousands of Yemenis to return home, have resulted in a dramatic loss of income from remittances for their families in Yemen at a time when the country is already going through a catastrophic humanitarian situation. The authors thus argue that it is incumbent upon GCC states, and Saudi Arabia in particular, to allow Yemeni expat workers an exemption from the current labor nationalization campaigns – at least until a post-conflict Yemen has attained acceptable economic growth and the issue of the repatriation of Yemeni workers can be revisited responsibly.

Download the White Paper in English or Arabic

 bild

Reconstruction and Recovery in Yemen

This Policy Brief brings forward the results of in-depth discussions held by the Development Champions with the aim of developing recommendations and guidelines to ensure the reconstruction and recovery of Yemen is a comprehensive, effective process that has a long-term positive impact. The Champions’ recommendations include measures to link immediate humanitarian interventions to Yemen’s long-term economic recovery; mechanisms to address fiscal challenges and enhance social protection; guidelines to create new jobs, rebuild infrastructure and strengthen the rule of law; and strategies to enhance local governance and local inclusion in the reconstruction process.

Download the brief in English or Arabic

bild

Economic Confidence-Building Measures – Civil Servant Salaries

This Policy Brief brings forward crucial recommendations resulting out of the fourth Development Champions Forum in Amman, held in December 2018. The Development Champions recommend that the Yemeni government resumes salary payments to all civil servants working in the administrative apparatus of the state registered in the Ministry of Civil Service database of 2014 across Yemen, prioritizing payments to education and health workers. Meanwhile, Ansar Allah should allow all state revenues in areas under their control to be deposited into the accounts specified by the Central Bank of Yemen temporarily headquartered in Aden, and all parties should work toward the restoration of the Central Bank as a national institution that serves all of Yemen. The Development Champions call on regional and international donors to cover any funding gap to support the payment of salaries and pensions.

Download the brief in English or Arabic

bild

Priorities for Government Policy in Yemen

This policy brief outlines recommendations for the immediate priorities of the Government of Yemen, both to achieve quick wins and to prepare the ground for medium and long-term success. These recommendations are the outcomes of in-depth discussions held during the fourth Development Champions Forum convened on 8-11 December 2018 in Amman, Jordan. They are designed to offer Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed and his cabinet a set of practical measures to help the government build on the momentum and increased visibility it achieved in the final quarter of 2018.

Download the brief in English or Arabic

bild

Corruption in Yemen’s War Economy

This brief, which is based on a more extensive White Paper, assesses the multifaceted pervasiveness of corruption in Yemen. It is demonstrated, amongst others, that patronage networks are now emerging among previously marginal or unknown figures and that the financial involvement of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has extended patronage across national borders. It is argued that any anti-corruption agenda must aim to understand the complex configuration of patronage networks in Yemen, to be introduced gradually, and to get the buy-in of as wide a group of Yemenis as possible.

Download the brief in English or Arabic
Download the White Paper in English or Arabic

bild

Generating New Employment Opportunities in Yemen

This brief brings forward crucial recommendations to address Yemen’s worsening economic and humanitarian crises. These recommendations result from the third Development Champions Forum, which took place in Amman, Jordan, between 14–16 July 2018 as part of the “Rethinking Yemen’s Economy” initiative. Amongst others, the Development Champions recommend that policy makers seek to create jobs by investing in sectors that have historically been neglected in favor of oil and gas activities. This includes investing in agriculture, developing the fishing industry, expanding mining operations, and linking reconstruction efforts to the local construction sector. In the medium term, policy makers should look to new initiatives, such as constructing a free zone on the Yemen-Saudi border.

Download the brief in English or Arabic

bild

Private Sector Engagement in Post-Conflict Yemen

This brief, which is based on a more extensive White Paper, assesses the factors weighing on private sector development in Yemen. It lays out the impacts of the 2011 uprising in Yemen, the ensuing political crisis and the current conflict on the economy and the private sector. Following this, recommendations are offered to both the Yemeni government and international stakeholders regarding steps that can be taken to revive and develop the private sector post conflict.

Download the brief in English or Arabic
Download the White Paper in English or Arabic

bild

Challenges for Yemen’s Local Governance Amid Conflict

The Brief deals with the role of local councils in Yemen and analyses their current situation. In the absence of central state authority and despite all the challenges they face, these councils remain important instruments for coordinating humanitarian relief efforts and local-level conflict mediation. Local councils are among the best-equipped and best-established institutions to support a shift away from the previous centralized model. Thus the Brief concludes that it is imperative that local, regional and international actors seek not merely to keep local governance structures from collapse but to enhance the capacities of local councils in post-conflict scenarios.

Download in English or Arabic
Download the White Paper in English or Arabic

An open letter regarding Hudaydah

An open letter regarding Hudaydah

This is an open letter addressing the alarming situation in Hudaydah by Yemeni development champions who regularly convene in the framework of our Rethinking Yemen’s Economy project, which is implemented in cooperation with Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies and DeepRoot Consultung.

The full text can be read here

bild

An Institutional Framework for Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Yemen

This brief proposes an institutional structure for a future reconstruction process in Yemen: a permanent, independent, public reconstruction authority that empowers and coordinates the work of local reconstruction offices, established at the local level in areas affected by conflict or natural disasters. This proposal does not arise only from lessons learned from previous reconstruction efforts in Yemen, but also from the immediate need for such an institution to begin planning and implementing reconstruction work to the greatest extent possible.

Download in English or Arabic
Download the White Paper in English or Arabic

bild

Increasing the Effectiveness of the Humanitarian Response in Yemen

This brief brings forward recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the humanitarian response in Yemen. These recommendations result from the second Development Champions Forum, which took place in Amman, Jordan, between 14–16 January 2018 as part of the “Rethinking Yemen’s Economy” initiative. Among the key topics of discussion among the Development Champions were the need for international humanitarian actors to increase their coordination with local authorities, civil society actors, and the Yemeni private sector; the importance of decentralizing the humanitarian response; and the importance of prioritizing assistance to the most vulnerable members of Yemeni society.

Download in English or Arabic

bild

International Organizations and the Yemeni Private Sector

This brief addresses the role of the Yemeni private sector in mitigating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as well as its relationship to international humanitarian organizations. It finds that a large number of Yemeni business owners have been engaged in trying to alleviate the suffering of Yemenis out of their own volition, but also in service of and cooperation with international humanitarian agencies. Despite this successful cooperation relationship, this brief also finds that there remains significant room for improvement particularly what communication and coordination measures are concerned. To this end, it is recommended – amongst others – that international humanitarian actors form a joint coordination platform with the Yemeni private sector, local authorities and civil society.

Download in English or Arabic

Cover RYE Policy Brief 2

Restoring Central Bank Capacity and Stabilizing the Rial

This brief brings forward crucial recommendations to address Yemen’s current challenges in the financial sector. These recommendations result from the second Development Champions Forum, which took place in Amman, Jordan, between 14–16 January 2018 as part of the “Rethinking Yemen’s Economy” initiative. Here, among the urgent topics of discussion was the deterioration of the value of the Yemeni rial (YR), the magnifying impact this is having on the humanitarian crisis, and the need to re-empower the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) as the steward of the rial and the economy in general. The recommendations collectively underline the need for the CBY to function in a more coherent, assertive manner – whereby its various branches operate as a united bank that is able to draft and implement economic and monetary policies for Yemen as a whole.

Download in English or Arabic

Addressing Yemen’s Most Critical Challenges. Practical Short-term Recommendations

This brief summarizes the short-term recommendations to address Yemen’s current most critical challenges in development and economy which resulted from the first Development Champions Forum. This Forum took place in Amman, Jordan, between April 29 and May 1, 2017 as part of the “Rethinking Yemen’s Economy” initiative. The challenges addressed in this brief were identified within three main, if overlapping, categories: the food security crisis, the problems faced by the banking industry, and the collapse of basic service delivery.

Download in English or Arabic

Videos:

Corruption in Yemen

Corruption, or the abuse of power for private gain, has been deeply entrenched in the Yemeni political economy for decades. Over the course of the ongoing conflict, however, state capture in Yemen has become far more complex, and new patronage networks have emerged with interests that have extended across national borders and crossed the frontlines of the war themselves, indicating collusion among supposed adversaries. As greater numbers and a wider variety of actors profit from illicit activity in the war economy, vested economic interests in continued conflict become more entrenched. Given the multi-faceted pervasiveness of corruption in Yemen, any anti-corruption agenda must aim to understand the complex configuration of patronage networks in Yemen, to be introduced gradually, and to get the buy-in of as wide a group of Yemenis as possible.

This video is based on RYE Policy Brief 9 and RYE White Paper 4.

Private Sector in Yemen

The impact of the conflict on Yemen’s economy and private sector have been calamitous, and, as a result, the economic output has dropped precipitously since its onset. The increased costs for businesses have been spurred by a lack of security and a scarcity of business inputs, while a loss of customer base and demand as well as general purchasing power decline have driven a loss in revenue. Physical damage to public and private infrastructure has also severely affected the ability of businesses to operate. And yet many businesses continue to operate; indeed, the private sector’s resilience is a major reason that the country’s humanitarian crisis–the largest in the world–is not a lot worse than it would have been in the absence of the vital role that the private sector continues to play despite all challenges.

This video is based on RYE Policy Brief 15, RYE Policy Brief 7 and RYE White Paper 3.

Local Governance in Yemen

Local councils are among Yemen’s most important state institutions. Responsible for providing basic public services to millions of Yemenis, local councils represent official governance and the Yemeni state for vast swathes of the population. The intensification of the conflict since March 2015, however, has undermined the councils’ ability to operate effectively in most areas of the country. Given the central role that local councils previously played in providing public services to their communities, their currently reduced capacity is cause for much concern as the conflict rages on and Yemen’s economic and humanitarian crises deepen. Although most local councils in Yemen are not fully functional, local councils remain important instruments for the communities they represent.

This video is based on RYE Policy Brief 6 and RYE White Paper 2.

The Road to Reconstruction

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has imposed grievous costs on Yemenis, damaging lives, property, and infrastructure, and collapsing the country’s already fragile economy. And yet the conflict will eventually subside. Previous reconstruction efforts in Yemen following conflict or natural disaster have suffered from lack of coordination with and unrealistic expectations from international donors, as well as the Yemeni government’s limited capacity for aid absorption and project implementation; as a result, there was little tangible long-term impact. Post-conflict reconstruction following this war must therefore address the basic needs and rights of the Yemeni population and put the country on a well-prepared path toward sustainable peace and development.

This video is based on RYE Policy Brief 5 and RYE Policy Brief 12.

The Development Champions

The Development Champions are a group of senior Yemeni experts and professionals from various backgrounds and with established expertise in development and economy. The Development Champions discuss priorities for intervention by national and international policymakers, issue respective recommendations and are thus at the heart of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative. The aim of this initiative is to contribute to peacebuilding and conflict prevention, (economic) stabilization, and sustainable development in Yemen by building consensus in crucial policy areas through engaging and promoting informed Yemeni voices from all backgrounds in the public discourse on development, economy, and post-conflict reconstruction in Yemen and by positively influencing local, regional, and international development agendas.

Infographics:

Restructuring Public Finances in Yemen

Even before the current conflict, Yemen’s public finances suffered from an overdependence on energy exports, one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world, and chronic budget and balance of payments deficits. The ongoing conflict has complicated an already dire situation. Energy exports have almost collapsed, while general economic and state collapse saw a precipitous decline in tax revenues. Public debt has thus risen, while the fracturing of state institutions across frontlines has hobbled public revenue collection as well as fiscal and monetary policy. In this infographic, these challenges are highlighted and urgent and long overdue deep structural reforms to Yemen’s collapsing public finances are recommended.

This infographic is based on RYE Policy Brief 17.

Reforming the Business and Investment Climate

The surest means of laying the foundations for private sector recovery in Yemen, and indeed recovery for the country overall, is to end the ongoing conflict and reunify public institutions and governance mechanisms. While the conflict is ongoing, however, there are still practical, realistic steps national and international stakeholders can take to support the Yemeni private sector. Doing so would in turn help spur economic growth and job creation for a destitute population. It would also potentially initiate a cascade of positive developments in Yemen: easing the humanitarian crisis, bolstering socio-economic and political stability, and restarting formal financial cycles, among others.

This infographic is based on RYE Policy Brief 15.

The Essential Role of Remittances in Mitigating Economic Collapse

Scarce opportunities to earn a viable livelihood in Yemen continue to drive hundreds of thousands of Yemenis abroad in search of work, especially to neighboring countries. Over time, remittances from Yemeni expatriates have become one of the most important sources of foreign currency inflows into Yemen and have played an essential role in mitigating economic collapse during the ongoing war. Since approximately 90% of total remittances come from neighboring countries, the forcible deportation of Yemeni workers en masse; labor market nationalization campaigns that impose greater restrictions on the number of job categories open to expatriate workers; and very high fees to live and work for legally documented workers and their families have resulted in a decline of these remittances on which millions of Yemenis depend and therefore in huge losses to the country’s economy.

This infographic is based on White Paper 05.

Generating New Employment Opportunities II: Labor Force, Labor Market and Expatriates

Decades of political instability and cyclical armed conflict have curtailed Yemen’s economic growth, job creation and labor productivity. Sharing a collective sense of urgency to address Yemen’s worsening economic and humanitarian crises, 22 of Yemen’s leading socioeconomic experts convened as part of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative to discuss job creation in Yemen and develop potential strategies to combat increasing levels of unemployment and economic hardship. This video is the second of two parts. It provides an overview of the impact of the current conflict on the job market and livelihoods and recommends means for generating new employment opportunities in Yemen.

This infograhic is based on RYE Policy Brief 8.

Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

To maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen, two options stand out for the composition of an immediate post-conflict government to lead a transitional period in the country. First, a consensus government with cabinet seats divided among the key Yemeni political factions. Second, a technocratic caretaker government appointed by a consensus prime minister. In both cases, there are several recommendations to help the government during this period play the critical role of stabilizing the country and delivering peace dividends to Yemenis.

This infograhic is based on RYE Policy Brief 14.

Generating New Employment Opportunities I: Yemeni Labour Market

Decades of political instability and cyclical armed conflict have curtailed Yemen’s economic growth, job creation and labor productivity. Before the current conflict, much of the country’s working population was engaged in unskilled labor, working in rural agriculture or informally employed in small businesses. Sharing a collective sense of urgency to address Yemen’s worsening economic and humanitarian crises, 22 of Yemen’s leading socioeconomic experts convened as part of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative to discuss job creation in Yemen and develop potential strategies to combat increasing levels of unemployment and economic hardship. This video is the first of two parts. It provides a brief overview of Yemen’s labour force, labour market, and expatriate workforce.

This infograhic is based on RYE Policy Brief 8.

Civil Servant Salaries

The rising wage bill for the public sector is a timebomb that threatens future economic stability in Yemen. The public sector is one of the main employers in Yemen and accounted for 32% of total government spending on average during the period from 2001 to 2014. This very heavy burden on public expenditure calls for long-overdue structural reforms in Yemen’s public administration
and state budget, including the removal of double-dippers and ghost workers from the payroll. This video presents the key outcomes of the Development Champions’ discussions on this matter.

This infograhic is based on RYE Policy Brief 16 and RYE Policy Brief 11.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email