Theory of Change
This Theory of Change for an inclusive peace process in Yemen, to be refined through consultation with stakeholders, is to develop an inclusive peace-making process for Yemen. It is based on the creation of a platform through which all parties to the conflict and citizens of Yemen can learn about the peace process and have the potential to be consulted and give their views on the meaning of peace and the stages of the peace process. It will be a bridge between the Peace Process and the people of Yemen with traffic in both directions. The theory of change is based on the following assumptions:
If we engage with the Yemeni public directly and through representative groups, using both the latest digital and the more traditional human techniques of engagement, networking, consultation and opinion mapping,
If we can develop a 21st century digital platform that encompasses direct communication lines for citizen submissions, grass roots conflict analysis, citizen testimony, public opinion polling, focus group outputs, and social media analysis into the Peace talks and sends communications outwardly to build confidence in Yemeni public, stakeholders and wider global public opinion,
if we can ensure that voices normally absent from peace processes, like women and youth, are heard and that issues, like livelihoods, education, health and wealth creation, that are sometimes marginalised, are given enough weight through an overarching inclusive process;
if this process of stakeholder networking, data gathering, analysis and communication identifies needs for capacity building or technical assistance to enable Yemeni Voices to be heard,
Then, the framework phase of the peace process can be better informed and the terms of that framework better communicated to the broader public and the political transition process can be based on the best possible intelligence, human and open source, so that it has a broader base of understanding and support beyond political elites and incorporates a broader range of interests than the interests of elites and armed groups,
Leading to the possibility that the peace process becomes a conflict transformation process leading to more than a lasting absence of violence but being the basis for the beginning of a reconstruction process,
And eventually contributing to building a stable, peaceful and inclusive political culture based on representative institutions, sustainable livelihoods and the rule of law. (long-term changes).
For this theory to work in practice it will require the active and genuine engagement of all stake holders, meaning all elements of Yemeni society and not just the conventional civil society actors and the bold and assertive use of available technology to mobilise public opinion, enable equal gender representation, provide real time data sources to ensure all interests are represented and thereby embed the peace process in the future governance and economy of Yemen.