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MEPI in Yemen

MEPI supports the National Democratic Institute`s work in Yemen to strengthen political parties and facilitate dialogue processes in the midst of the country`s political transition. Training workshops provide information to political parties on political and electoral process issues and facilitate discussions to aid parties in better defining their positions on process options and reforms. The initiative also encourages constructive and non-violent negotiations among participants. To complement this larger project, MEPI provides local grants directly to Yemeni civil society organizations, aimed at ensuring citizens` voices are heard as the country undergoes major political change. Local Grants projects enhance the media`s capacity in raising the public`s awareness of recent reforms, strengthen Yemeni women`s leadership skills in politics, promote effective political engagement among youth, and increase civic participation at the community level.

Featured Highlights

  • A Group photo of the 22 fellows participating in the program in Syracuse
    New Cohort of Leaders for Democracy Fellows

    The seventh cohort of Leaders for Democracy Fellows arrived in the U.S. on March 18, kicking off the six-week long academic portion of their fellowship. The twenty-two Fellows are based at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where they will complete coursework in democracy studies, conflict resolution, political mobilization, and communication. 

  • Training workshop panelists in session
    Newly Established MENA CSOs Receive Mentorship and Support

    The MEPI-funded Support for Training, Advocacy, and Networking in Developing Democracies initiative, implemented by Partners for Democratic Change, is actively working to enhance the organizational development of nascent civil society organizations in the Gulf region. It is building stronger, more sustainable institutions to advance citizen interests and address important economic and social issues. 

  • A group photo of the 17 Civic Education Leadership Fellows at the Department of State in Washington
    Civic Education Leaders Visit Washington

    The sixth cohort of the MEPI-funded Civic Education Leadership Fellows (CELF) visited the U.S. Department of State in Washington. The 13 Fellows – all university professors from the Middle East and North Africa – are completing three-month residencies at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University.  

  • the Media Women Forum (MFW) logo
    Yemeni Youth and Women Work Together to Advance Their Political Participation

    Through MEPI support, the Media Women Forum (MFW) implemented a project to help increase levels of political participation among Yemeni youth and women. MFW worked with members of differing political parties and independent youth leadership groups to select 32 individuals from across the country.  

  • A group photo of ALGreenIA team from Algeria
    MENA Students Enter Young Entrepreneurs Competition

    In 2012, over 5400 high school and university students from the Middle East and North Africa competed for spots on the MEPI-supported sixth annual INJAZ Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition. Seventy five students secured finalist spots for the competition which took place in November 2012 in Doha, Qatar.  

  • A group photo of women
    Women’s Rights Advocacy Succeeds in the Region

    Vital Voices’ MEPI-funded “Policy-Advocates for Women’s Issues in the Middle East and North Africa” project mentored teams of women activists and provided them training in advocacy, social media outreach, and project management over the past two years. Each country team selected a public policy issue identified as a priority and implemented nationwide campaigns to lobby for needed reforms. 

  • Yemeni Youth Performing on stage
    Yemeni Youth Perform in National Theater Competition

    More than 40 students from seven universities in Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE gathered to refine their skills in practical applications of commercial laws with a focus on arguing sample cases before arbitrators. The training was held at the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR) in Abu Dhabi from February 10-14, 2013.  

  • A veiled muslim women and a man attending the workshop
    MEPI Facilitates Involvement of Yemeni Citizens in Constitution Dialogue

    The Local Engagement for Advocacy and Dialogue is a MEPI-funded collaborative project implemented by Partners for Democratic Change that supports the efforts of Yemeni civil society organizations during the transitional period. The project works particularly with women and youth-led organizations, to assist them in involving citizens in constitutional dialogues and integrating citizens’ demands into the constitutional process.  

  • Yemen Parliament in session
    Yemen’s New Access to Information Law

    During 32 years of Saleh’s rule in Yemen, all media was state run and public information was not available to common citizens. Through a MEPI-funded project in 2009, International Research & Exchanges Board worked with local and international partners to draft a new access to information law that adheres to international best practices and sets the standard for transparency and openness.  

  • Five women sitting on a stage holding notebooks
    Vital Voices Project Aims to Improve the Lives of Women Across the Region

    On October 25, 2012 Vital Voices hosted a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. at which participants shared successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the MEPI-funded Policy Advocates for Women Issues in the Middle East and North Africa project. 

  • MEPI logo (© State Department)
    MEPI Launches 214 New Projects in 2012

    As of September 30, 2012 (the end of Fiscal Year 2012), MEPI awarded an unprecedented number of grants to international and indigenous organizations working throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. These grants reflect a large increase in civil society activities in MENA, and strong demand for MEPI support, especially in countries that recently experienced democratic transitions. 

  • Two young women sitting side by side looking at a laptop screen with a third woman between them pointing at the screen explaining
    MEPI Partner Uses New Media to Inform Citizenry

    Through its Social Media|Social Action (SM|SA) project, MEPI partner IREX recently issued a solicitation to provide small grants to youth-serving non-governmental organizations (NGOs) interested in leveraging media tools and approaches to increase the outcomes and impact of their organizations’ activities. 

  • Senator Jack Reed speaking behind a podium to a group of students with the American flag in the background
    Students Leaders Learn About Civil Society and Leadership

    A total of 118 undergraduate students from across the Middle East and North Africa participated in the 2012 MEPI Student Leaders Program in Washington, D.C. The program brings civically engaged students with outstanding academic achievements from universities throughout the region to the U.S. to study civil society, democratic participation, and leadership. 

  • A group of youth in a workshop session
    International Youth Activism Summit Promotes Cross-Border Collaboration

    In June 2012, MEPI partner Soliya convened an international summit during which thirty-four Fellows ages 20 to 30, from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East met to work together towards the betterment of their communities.  

  • Two men kneeling down drawing on a big white sheet of paper on the floor
    IFES and Arab Parliamentarians Work on Political Finance in MENA

    Recent electoral events in the MENA region have led to calls for greater transparency and accountability. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption are working on the MEPI-funded “Enhancing Transparency in Political Finance in the Arab Region” project to increase stakeholders’ awareness on issues relating to political finance. 

  • Two young women in a photo still from the “Voice from the Other Side”
    Young Activists Produce Films to Capture Change

    After extensive training in media production and community engagement provided by U.S.-based NGO Soliya and MEPI, 110 young civil society leaders throughout the Middle East and North Africa are harnessing the power of new media technologies to promote informed and constructive discourse on reform topics. 

  • Group photo Young Council members
    Local Youth Councils Bring Yemeni Activists Together

    The MEPI-funded Equal Access International RIGHTS Initiative in Yemen educates youth about their legal rights, provides a forum for youth to express their views, and empowers them with the tools, knowledge and encouragement to become engaged citizens. The RIGHTS initiative helped form six new Local Youth Councils in Sana'a, Lahj, Hadramout, Hodeidah, Aden and Taiz.  

  • A group photo of LDF fellows with Secretary Clinton sitting in the middle of front row
    Sec. Clinton Affirms Commitment to Supporting Arab Reformers

    MEPI’s 2012 Leaders for Democracy Fellows (LDF) met with Secretary Clinton on May 29th, following their participation in the Civil Society Strategic Dialogue town hall meeting earlier in the month. The Secretary praised the fellows’ reform-oriented activism and work in advancing civil society during an unprecedented time in the Arab world.  

  • Secretary Clinton speaking at the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards ceremony
    MEPI Commemorates International Women’s Day 2012

    On International Women’s Day 2012, MEPI recognizes this critical moment for women’s rights in the MENA region. The Arab Spring has brought profound change to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), change that includes both promise and uncertainty. 

  • Group photo with MEPI Alumna and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkul Karman
    MEPI Congratulates MEPI Alumna and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkul Karman

    Prominent Yemeni journalist and activist Tawakkul Karman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize along with two other women "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work." 

  • A group of boys reading newspapers
    Yemeni Youth Raise Democratic Awareness through School Journalism

    After the “School Journalism and Democratic Awareness” program was successfully launched by the Taiz-based Yemeni NGO Center for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, 11 boys and girls schools published 11 newspapers throughout January and February. 

  • A group photo with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
    2011 Leaders for Democracy Fellows Meet with Secretary Clinton

    MEPI’s 2011 Leaders for Democracy Fellows met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on June 3. The Secretary assured the Fellows of U.S. Government support for democracy and human rights across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and praised them for their dedication and hard work.