Good Governance Cluster

Programme description

Title: Good Governance Cluster
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Yemen
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation
Overall term: 2009 to 2015
Jemen © GIZ

Context

In early 2011, a wave of protests swept throughout the Arab region, including Yemen. People, especially the youth, demanded reforms to their political, economic, social and cultural rights. The leaders of the regimes were unsettled. The complex Yemeni situation provided a source of conflict for all parties. The country suffered from security, electricity and fuel crises; the currency depreciated and there was a shortage of basic goods.

Late in 2011, all parties signed an official agreement with regional and international backing. This provided a mechanism to reduce tensions and conflict. It paved the way for a power transfer while calling for a National Dialogue. From March 2013 until January 2014, at the National Dialogue Conference, representatives from all political parties and groups peacefully discussed the many challenges facing Yemen.

Those challenges include the fact that institutions are inefficient and responsibilities remain unclear, while the people suffer from caprice and corruption. At the same time, rapid population growth and lack of resources are exacerbating the insecure economic and social situation. This results in perpetual conflicts within the central government and regional groups. Terror organisations have exploited that situation and are attempting to establish themselves in structurally weak regions. In turn, this inhibits economic progress and encourages the misuse of resources that are necessary for the creation of a stable state.

Objective

The capacity of reform-oriented partner organisations in selected governance areas has improved.

Jemen © GIZ

Approach

Governance, understood as the processes of decision making and decision implementation, involves both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Accordingly, the Good Governance Cluster programme works with governmental as well as non-governmental partner organisations. It supports projects in three fundamentally important areas for good governance: gender and human rights, transparency and accountability, and conflict management and communication.

State and civil society organisations propose reform projects, preferably jointly. The cluster provides support and advice on the design and implementation of the projects. The responsibility for individual projects remains with the respective partners, as far as possible. Support is only provided in line with the original application and in close cooperation with the partners. It encompasses capacity development and expert services. Members of state and civil society organisations receive training together on topics such as project management and communication. This helps them to form networks between state and civil society.

Results achieved so far

  • A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have developed a code of conduct for journalists, in order to improve and depolarise the reporting about the National Dialogue Conference. The idea has been adopted by other NGOs, as well as by the cabinet.
  • The Central Organisation for Control and Audit (COCA) has started holding annual staff talks as a way of improving communication within the organisation. Thus, a culture of appreciation among COCA staff members is emerging. This feedback system is unique among government institutions in Yemen. So far, over 100 employees have participated in the staff talks.
  • Employees of ministries and the Central Bank of Yemen are working together in a number of projects to achieve the more efficient use of public finances and to combat corruption.
  • The High Authority for Tender Control has reached out to the private sector in a countrywide series of seminars and campaigns. In this way, hundreds of contractors have been made aware of the importance of transparency in public tender processes.
  • To increase the share of women in leadership positions, more than 200 female employees, mostly from the Ministry of Local Administration, have completed training courses in leadership skills. These courses were conducted in several different governorates.
  • As important stakeholders in the revolution, the youth aspire to have more influence. NGOs now work together with the ministries concerned to develop institutionalised options for the participation of youth in the political process. A number of projects address this issue, both at the national level and in several governorates.