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Yemeni NGOs and its role in the national dialogue conference Yemeni NGOs and its role in the national dialogue conference
by Abdullah A. Ali Sallam
2012-12-15 10:54:01
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In just a few days the national dialogue conference will convene in Yemen which may create some air of tension and anticipation over the next few as Yemen's future will be discussed. Many people in Yemen and abroad are looking forward to seeing real dialogue come out of this conference especially those with real political influence in the country. Despite the participation of many different groups in this conference, the question remains: will the views of various interest groups, especially the non-government organizations be heard and taken notice of?

There are more than 600 NGOs in Yemen and they work in many different areas like human rights, women's issues, youth, children, and charities within many facets of Yemani society. In addition, NGOs in Yemen have been playing important role in the society life. They undertake several projects for people whenever they receive attention and support by government and International organizations from many donor countries.

abdullah__abdulelah_ali_sallam_400However, these NGOs in Yemen work alone even with the most fundamental issues. Rarely can one find NGOs coordinating their activities on specific issues but, we have seen coordination at the individual level and not at the institutional level. In addition, NGOs activities are often duplicative and overlap.

Generally speaking, Yemeni NGOs are capable and experienced better than those in neighbouring countries in the region. However, NGOs, seriously need much better networking and coordination.  One can see many NGOs on the ground, but unfortunately many lack any substance, i.e., lack people, facilities, vision, mission, and means of effective implementation on the ground. The only thing you find is furniture and computers.

In a country where there have been few reasons to hope for a better quality of life, this conference offers a small glimmer of hope on the horizon.

However, Mrs Amal Basha, technical committee spokesperson on the status of the national dialogue said NGOs will be attending the conference. But she did not say how many persons from NGOs will be participating. In spite of the fact that we don’t know who and how many will be able to participate in the conference, a major issue between various NGOs in Yemen is that they do not have any a shared vision to approach the conference with. Consequently the problem is not about how many NGOs will be attending this conference, it's about having a sense of clear and shared vision for the future of Yemen.

In fact, this paradox tends to support this idiom “No One Can Give What He Does Not Have”.

The hope of many Yemenis is to create a successful national dialogue process at this conference, but to have any successful dialogue all parties must in good faith and transparency determine how they can work together in true exchange of ideas and not just the same old vocabularies of rhetoric we have all heard before. 


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Thanos2012-12-15 11:27:23
Welcome Abdullah, use this chance to talk about Yemen to everybody. Beyond the usual stereotypes people know very little about your country. Dramatically little!

Abdullah Sallam 2012-12-15 13:49:30
Thank you so much Thanos I appreciate that

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