Empowerment among local organizations

Dr. Qais Ahmed Al-Muhammadi

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Empowerment is the implementation of activities that include support and assistance events and campaigns, with the aim of influencing decision-makers to bring about change in a specific issue. It is assumed that local organizations have a prominent role in managing the humanitarian and development file in the country, as they have the ability and preference to reach Yemeni regions, especially those affected by conflict compared to international organizations. It is noticeable that the reason for their poor performance compared to international organizations is the result of many problems and challenges. Some of them are outside its direct control and some are at its disposal. In any case,  the most important of these challenges and dilemmas are deficiencies in the legal structure and its lack of high organizational and financial capabilities in addition to deficiencies in its management style, and for this there is a real need to restructure it within a modern entity in the form of a federation or the like in order to upgrade it to the level of international organizations operating in Yemen, so as the new entity could be an umbrella for local organizations to assume the task of raising their strength in front of donors and before the local authorities by enhancing their capabilities and individual capabilities through networking, exchanging experiences and data, and following strategies to raise the level of their performance and reduce the risks they face, whether related to security aspects or those related to reducing the costs of carrying out their humanitarian and development activities as well as those related to survey data collection and analysis and facing the complexities and requirements of local authorities.

In general, Yemeni local organizations are currently unable to implement a single Empowerment campaign for a specific humanitarian or development issue for many reasons.

Currently, the priority issues in Yemen relate to basic human rights and relief needs such as providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, disbursing staff salaries, releasing prisoners of war, confronting domestic violence, alleviating poverty, supporting the achievement of peace. Before being able to participate actively in implementing successful Empowerment campaigns, the local organizations will need a conglomerate that brings it together and achieves real cooperation between them in the technical, technological and security aspects of the field in order to ensure the sustainability of these organizations and achieve their lofty humanitarian goals through alliances and networking. In this regard, there is a serious tendency to form a union that includes a number of influential local organizations, and it is assumed that this union will be organized in an appropriate and rational system, including a guide for governance and empowerment for these organizations. Here, local organizations will have to work with local authorities and with international non-governmental institutions and organizations, as well as developing the legal structure, organizational and financial capabilities (in particular, the availability of consistent internal regulations, financial systems, sound strategic and implementation plans) in addition to mobilizing coalitions of participants or assistants to influence decision-makers as well as civic pressure to achieve Empowerment on agreed humanitarian issues, by defining the objectives of the Empowerment process and its sources of funding and the process of monitoring, overseeing and evaluation mechanisms.

We emphasize the importance of local organizations making fundamental development moves that may begin with the formation of a union that brings them together and increase the power of their influence so that the union represents it in front of donors, local authorities and local organizations. Cooperation can also be in other forms, for example that some organizations network with each other on specific issues. In the event that consensus is reached and local organizations are able to establish a strong union for them, then several supportive steps will come, including an internal restructuring of local organizations under this union so that their own regulations are consistent with the system of the union and follow another step represented in preparing their staff to work under the umbrella of the union in accordance with what is already agreed upon in the union’s system. It is recommended in this regard that the union’s system be binding on its members in some cases of priority and of great importance, leaving the room for optional cooperation among the member organizations in secondary issues and that the union’s system be reconsidered every two or three years in order to develop and expand it to include: Emerging new areas and issues.

It is more appropriate for Empowerment to focus between organizations, if they are members under the umbrella of a union or through individual networking, in the following areas: (1) Information Empowerment through networking among organizations and allowing teams to collect and develop information in cooperation and facilitate their research and information activities and operations. (2) Administrative and organizational Empowerment through organizational support, facing the requirements of local authorities, and exchanging security services to help in implementation of projects of member organizations. (3) Financial Empowerment by participating in the mobilization of funds aimed at conducting an Empowerment process or campaign for previously agreed-upon causes.

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