Strengthening Institutional and Economic Resilience in Yemen (SIERY)

Project Summary

The Strengthening Institutional and Economic Resilience in Yemen (SIERY) project has been designed to buttress the resilience of local governance systems in Yemen to reinforce the resilience and recovery of conflict-affected communities. The project is based on the assessment that in a context of protracted conflict and massive population movements across the country (disproportionately affecting women, children and youth), that the resilience of local populations cannot depend solely upon self-help or on foreign aid. It is also necessary that local authorities are able to more effectively fulfil their mission in terms of: (a) core functions, (b) basic service delivery, (c) emerging needs such as conflict resolution, humanitarian aid, disaster management, internally displaced people and (d) economic recovery.

Despite a precarious situation, local authorities in Yemen have proven remarkably resilient in the face of the prolonged effects of the conflict. Further deterioration will have serious implications for the sustainability of aid and recovery and the viability of any future political settlement and transition. The growing local governance system gaps in capacities, resources, and outcomes across the country create severe institutional and economic resilience instabilities that threaten to perpetuate the conflict.


UNDP has created a structured and systematic project for local authorities to help maintain, enhance, and expand performance. The project aims to ensure economic and social wellbeing for Yemenis, in particular for the poorest and most vulnerable. SIERY responds to crucial development challenges to supporting a response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, but simultaneously supporting the implementation of the HDP Nexus by strengthening institutional capacity and economic stability at the local level, supporting small businesses and improving access to economic opportunities for women.

  1. Strengthened local authority capacities to respond to community needs for services in an inclusive and accountable manner.
  2. Improved capacities of public services providers for scaling-up the outreach to the most vulnerable.
  3. Strengthened central, local and horizontal relations between local governance stakeholders.
  4. Strengthened linkages/cooperation opportunities between micro, small and medium enterprises, private sector and micro-finance microfinance institutions involved in the value chains.
  5. Increased and de-risked access to financial services for economic agents in promising value chains.

Women Empowerment

SIERY streamlines gender equality and women’s empowerment by ensuring implementation of both at all programme stages while acknowledging the social and cultural barriers faced by women in Yemen.

Promoting Women and Youth in Development Planning Process

SIERY helps minimize the gap of women’s participation in Yemen’s local governance structure by involving women and youth in both the District Facility Team (DFT) and District Core Team (DCT) – particularly in Marib where there is less participation. It focuses upon:

  1. Building technical skills, especially in the areas of gender and youth sensitivity
  2. Implementing a gender analysis that measures the impact of the conflict on the change in the roles and needs of women, men, girls, and boys.

These efforts aim to encourage local authorities to reflect community needs – especially women and youth – in an accurate and inclusive way in local development plans.

This has resulted in women’s and youth needs being reflected in the local government plans, and the building or rehabilitation of schools, maternity and childhood hospitals, vocational centers for women, and the rehabilitation of youth technical institutes. 

Engaging Women in Value Chains

The programme helps promote women’s engagement in Yemen’s value chains by training them to produce new value-added products and connecting them to a leading company that helps with promotion, marketing, and distribution of the products. Among others, the value chain sectors include dates, fish processing, henna, and honey.

Promoting Economic and Social Rights by Empowering Girls and Women

This is done by rehabilitating basic service infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, sanitation and water facilities, and others. With these improved basic services, the girls and women will be able to actively participate in the social and economy activities.


Institutional Resilience Component

  • Local authorities have been enabled to respond inclusively to community needs through the improved capacities of 548 members (over 25% women) of the DFTs and DCTs in 45 targeted districts in an integrative, participatory manner regarding planning, budgeting, and implementation.
  • 41 districts in 9 governorates have produced gender sensitive local development plans through a participatory and inclusive process.
  • Within the 41 plans, over 40 locally prioritized projects have been completed benefiting over 1.6 million people (895,511 women and 795,633 men), providing them with access to basic services such as education, renewable energy, environmental improvements, health, market facilities, sanitation, and water.
  • Standardised tools, manuals and curricula have been introduced that can be used beyond the 47 target districts and for every annual planning process beyond the project period.
  • 21 District Capacity Development Plans serve as the basis for further the development of local authority capacities to sustain gains made in 2022.
  • 375 (138 women, 237 men) civil society organizations members and 432 (104 women, 328 men) community committee members were trained on local governance and conflict sensitivity.
  • Marib local authorities (9% women) participated in an exchange visit to Rwanda that expanded their skills in practical planning for improved basic service delivery response, to help stimulate local economic development.
  • 23 District Educational Plans in the south have been prepared and approved by the District Education Offices (DEOs).
  • Over 20 back-to-school campaigns took place, demonstrating improved capacity in educational planning and management and student well-being:
  • 203 educational staff (21 women, 162 men) from 23 districts were trained in Educational Planning on diagnosis, monitoring and evaluation of education sector operational plan.
  • 100 local authorities (22 women, 78 men) in Aden, Hadramout, Marib, Lahj, and Taiz were trained in school safety, risk mitigation and emergency planning preparation.
  • 348 educational staff and school managers (97 women, 251 men) from various districts were trained on a Back to School for Enrolment Campaign.
  • SIERY also supported the education offices at central, governorate, and district levels with data management systems, including information and communication technology.

Economic Resilience Component

  • In collaboration between the private sector and local authorities in Aden and Hadramout, 7 value chain sectors (e.g., clothing, dates, fish processing, henna, health, honey, wheat) identified to receive support.
  • 680 smallholders, 249 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), 16 business associations, and 7 lead firms have been able to develop quality business continuity and business plans thanks to their enhanced business and technical skills.
  • 501 smallholders received grants (150 dates, 100 Henna, and 251 vegetable sectors in Hadramout).
  • 106 SMEs received partial grants.
  • Over 2,000 farmers are benefiting from the construction of four irrigation channels.
  • 5 market infrastructures have been identified through participatory processes involving the private sectors, Chamber of Commerce, and local authorities (Aden, Hadramout, and Sana’a)

Women’s Empowerment Accomplishment

  • 80% of the students benefiting from the education infrastructure initiatives are girls.
  • Active women’s participation (over 25%) in the DFT and DCT ensures women and youth needs are taken into consideration while developing district development plans and priority lists. Combined with the selection gender criteria, this has increased gender responsiveness to basic services such as girls’ education, maternity and childhood health services, vocational centers for women, and the rehabilitate of technical institutes for youth throughout the 9 governorates.
  • Over 65 women from civil and business entities participated in selecting the priority economic sectors for SIERY support.
  • As a result of the dedicated women’s workshop in Hadramout, Seiyun businesswomen established a women’s union that promotes women’s projects. Highlighting their role in the community will help increase their representation and influence on local government policies and decisions. 
  • SIERY helped with the ground-breaking establishment of the first Businesswomen Forum in Hadramout by providing support to institution building and strategic planning, enabling the set-up of a strong management structure and a good “business” plan for the Forum.
  • 81 women were able to start their own businesses thanks to capacity development in value chain activities, start-up grants and partnership with leading firms to market their products.
  • Through the Marib Women Fellowship Initiative, 70 Marib women (35 representing the governorate staff and district diwans and 35 recent graduates) have improved their personal and technical skills (e.g., computer, communication, leadership, reporting, local government structure, participatory planning, public budgeting, public procurement, project management, and other skills) and are now ready for the internship period with the local authority institutions.