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Accountability dilemmas and collective approaches to communication and community engagement in Yemen

Research reports

Written by Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy, Kerrie Holloway

Hero image description: Nahda Makers staff conduct a needs assessment in Al Hudaydah Governorate, Yemen in June 2020 Image credit:Nahda Makers Image license:© Nahda Makers

The conflict in Yemen began in 2015 and shows no sign of easing. Compounded with other crises, such as a cholera epidemic, famine and now Covid-19, it has been one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world for years. More than 24 million people – about 80% of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance.

With $4.2 billion needed in 2019, Yemen became the largest humanitarian operation in history. However, despite its scale, a perception survey conducted by UNICEF highlighted dissatisfaction of the surveyed population with the response. Approximately half the surveyed population indicated that their priority needs were not being met and only 2% said that they were mostly satisfied with what they were receiving.

This study explores how and to what extent collective approaches to communication and community engagement have – or have not – been implemented in Yemen, and the degree to which they have been effective in ensuring that the humanitarian operations are people-centred and responsive to the needs of affected communities. It examines these issues from the perspectives of international humanitarian actors and local NGOs, local humanitarian actors and Yemenis.

Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy, Yazeed Al Jeddawy and Kerrie Holloway