Between April 14 and 18, 2019, the Yemen Polling Center held a series of workshops at its headquarters in Taiz on approaches to assessing local security.The workshops are part of the project “Re-building Peace and Security in Yemen” implemented by YPC support of the European Union’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (ICSP).
One of the workshops brought together 35 youth from seven governorates with the goal to study the underlying causes of conflict, as well as discuss YPC’s research on security on the local level. The 35 youth are active in the Youth Lobby Group as well as Saferworld’s youth network. On the first day of the workshop, YPC researchers presented their current work on security in Taiz, al-Dhale, and Aden to receive critical feedback.
The research presentations, on the one hand, facilitated a discussion on local security, including the performance of the police, security threats, as well as political dynamics behind security challenges. At the same time, the youth provided helpful comments for the researchers to further their reports. The reports are in-depth studies on issues related to security in various governorates of Yemen and will be published in the course of 2019.
On the second workshop day, the youth groups discussed in groups the specifics of the conflict in their home governorate. They identified resources and infrastructure as shaping violence in Yemen, discussed the ways the Houthis control state institutions, as well as power struggles among groups that are nominally on the same side. These discussions helped the youth identify underlying causes for conflict and violence. The discussions also informed the work of YPC researchers.
The youth also received training on research techniques and institutional assessment. For this end, they were brought together with field research supervisors from their respective home governorates. The groups not only exchanged their perspective on security in their areas, but they discussed ways how to assess the capacity of state institutions to provide security, as well as monitor the behavior of security actors.
Lastly, the youth discussed the issue of gender in security provision. The discussion raised the awareness amongst the youth that women not only have special security needs, but that these are often neglected by security providers.
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YPC nationwide representative survey, April–July 2019. Data cited in this paper is drawn from this survey unless otherwise indicated.
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