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Realities and Difficulties of NGO’s in Yemen (abstract)

p. 307-308

Entrées d’index

Keywords : inventory, NGO

Texte intégral

1The emergence in Yemen of civil society organizations which are, at the same time non-governmental, non-ethnic and non-religious, is a recent phenomenon as compared with other countries. They appeared since 1990, at the time of the Reunification. In the recent years, the number of these civil institutions and organizations has grown up: some 4000 are officially registered at the Ministry of Social Affairs. They started playing an important role in the civil society especially since the application of the decentralization law in the governorates. They deal mostly with feminine issues, human rights, democracy and workers’ rights.

2Despite their dynamism, these organizations often encounter structural problems:

  • Lack of volunteers, weakness of their civil awareness combined with a lukewarm feeling of belonging to the NGO.

  • Lack of qualified workers and proper training, especially at the stage of project conception.

  • Lack of internal democracy. This emerges in particular through excessive personalization of the leadership in the organizations and their merely formal respect for the rule of democracy.

  • Interference of governmental institutions with the activities of civil organizations, often attempting to control them, ties their hands and reduces their credibility in the opinion of foreign funds investors.

  • Foreign financing being often stipulated by criteria which are quite far from the local reality, the non-governmental organizations conscientiously adopt issues which can seduce the potential donors, such as environment, feminine issues, human rights, etc. and which do not necessarily constitute true national priorities. Besides, such non-governmental organizations are even more preoccupied with getting funds than they are motivated by these issues.

3Thus, what we witness is rather ‘blabbering’ of a civil society, which needs to consolidate in order to play a truly important role in politics and development. The non-governmental organizations have obvious shortages: need for better coordination, use of mass media on a larger scale, providing more help for the private sector, wider integration of women within their structures.

4Until now, it has been difficult for civil organizations to obtain their autonomy, because they have been oscillating between seducing foreign investors and complying with the governmental restrictions. However, only under the condition of this autonomy a truly civil society can materialize.

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