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.