25/11-BONN-In order to help them to tackle the following topic: “Institutional and Infrastructural. Rebuilding of post-conflict Yemen”, the delegations of the Security Council received Christiane Heidbrink, a research assistant at the Center for Global Studies (CGS) of the University of Bonn, who gave a presentation about the current conflict in Yemen. 

Before delving into the details, here is an overview of the situation. Yemen is located at the Southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. In 2011, during the Arab Spring, pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in order to speak out against poverty, unemployment, corruption and to force President Ali Abed Allah Saleh to end his 33-year rule who finally hand over power to his deputy Andrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Since, the country has been in a state of political crisis, going throw constant fighting between pro-government forces led by President Hadi (backed by the international coalition, namely France, the United States, and the United Kingdom), anti-government forces led by the Houthis (supported by Iran and the former President Saleh) and jihadists.

Before the conflict, Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa region according to the Human Development Index who measures life expectancy, education, and standard of living. Now that the fighting has had devastating humanitarian consequences, the United Nations has pointed out a humanitarian emergency and designated it as “severe” and “complex”. In 2019, they estimated that:

– 24,1 million people (80% of the population) were “at-risk” of hunger and disease.

– 17,8 million people were without safe water and sanitation

– 19,7 million without adequate healthcare (leading to mass outbreaks of preventable diseases like cholera, diphtheria, measles and Dengue Fever).

If poverty already affected almost half the population before the crisis, it touches now 71 to 78% of Yemeni’s households and women are more severely affected than men.

State Authority, State Capacity, State Legitimacy are key features of State building for a country and that the prime question is, as Christiane Heidbrink stated: “How to build a government that is capable to run itself?” The approach of S.C.A.L.E breaks down into five components: S.M.A.R.T Goals, Coherence, Assist, Listen, and Evaluate. This 5 sectors are the building blocks to an efficient and self-standing state body. The concept of S.M.A.R.T Goals originated by Former Director George Doran1 and later was developed into various versions of itself. There are five parts to the concept: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. 

  • Specific demands that a goal for a standing body to set their goals in a manner that is detailed yet to the point as the aspirations required to be met. 
  • Measurable means there needs to be a method of noting the change, be it positive or negative, and the motion of the progress.
  • Attainable refers to the ability to achieve the goal at hand, does it carry too much imagination or can one actually reasonably reach it?
  • Relevant required that the goal be defined and whether or not the goal, as a whole, is gauging towards a progressive solution rather than sugar coating the task at hand.
  • Timely must dictate the timeline needed or the appropriate time-span available to achieve the goal set.

In continuation, Coherence is an idea compiling both cooperation and coordination to enable transparency and equal participation of all partaking in the goal. With assist, as Christiane Heidbrink had noted that if you build a road for a country and the people do not know how to maintain and fix the road, then that road did not help in the long-term. Providing is one thing, but the understanding of the thing is another and this shall come from within the country alone and not international taught. Listen indicated that one must listen to the countries needs and the people as it is them who are the voice and they are the ones that are affected by large. Lastly, one must utilize Evaluate to ensure efficiency and cost were accounted for and are used as a reflective tool. The S.C.A.L.E model is what is used to obtain the government that can in the end run itself. 

That being said, we would like to conclude this article by underlining the major needs of the Yemeni population since Christiane Heidbrink pointed out in her speech that one of the main keys in the willingness of solving Yemen’s crisis resides in listening to them and therefore to their needs. It begins with focusing on the agriculture issue since thirty of Yemen’s 333 districts are now food insecure and nearly a quarter of the entire population, are malnourished. To tackle this urgent issue, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) proposes, for example, to increase food and livestock production as well as rehabilitate agriculture infrastructure and irrigation systems.

Come with the food issue, sanitarian and water issues, altogether closely tied. Experts are worried that Yemen would be the “first country to run out of water”. “Only one-third of Yemen’s population is connected to a piped water network” according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). It is important to point out that the need for water impact political stability, considering that 70% to 80% of conflicts in the country rural regions are water-related. The disruption of public services in this domain allows the spread of deadly diseases, such as cholera and it has made the population considerably vulnerable. Currently, 203 of the 333 Yemen’s districts are hit by acute diseases and infections.


Doran, G. T. (1981). „There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives“, Management Review, Vol. 70, Issue 11, pp. 35-36.


-Marie Lavernhe and Alan Carter