The Yemen Polling Center (YPC) is an independent research center. It was established in 2004 and received its registration certificate No. 147 from the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labor in December 2005. Though the capacities of the center were limited at the time, together with professors from Sanaa University, the young team began to develop small research projects.
With the 2006 presidential elections approaching, YPC began to build its capacities in order to better evaluate public opinion during this crucial period. In 2006, YPC implemented its first project with the aim to determine the public opinion during the presidential elections. After YPC researched public attitudes towards the various presidential candidates, the results contributed to a public debate on the accuracy of the election results. This experience reinforced the center's mission to independently research the public's opinion and encouraged YPC to expand its work. With the parliamentary elections in sight in 2009, YPC started its most successful project Union up to date financed: the Yemen Parliament Watch (YPW). With the goal of strengthening the Parliament as a democratic institution, the YPW monitors parliamentary debates and has since become the primary resource for information on parliamentary proceedings for local media outlets.
The Arab Spring presented another opportunity for YPC. In early 2011, YPC published a report based on public opinion polls of the previous five years and was able to identify factors contributing to the emergence of the popular protests in 2011. The transitional phase, which was initiated by the GCC Initiative, enabled YPC to closely engage with local and international policy makers. Particularly the interest of international organizations in YPC's data, inspired local policy makers to take the center's research more seriously. In the framework of the EU funded Security Sector Governance project, YPC collaborated closely with the Restructuring Committee of the Ministry of Interior. In a workshop and conference, YPC discussed its research findings regarding the popular perceptions of the police and security in Yemen with relevant stakeholders. This positive experience in advocacy, encouraged the team at YPC to develop a new direction for the center. After identifying the need to inform policy makers on pressin
g issues, YPC established its independent Research and Advocacy Department. The focus areas of the department are media and parliament, civil society and security.
To enhance its advocacy work, YPC has established a network with local and international advocacy organizations and think tanks. The goal of YPC is to produce high quality policy recommendations with the hope of positively impacting Yemeni politics. By working towards a closer integration of public opinion into the policy making process, YPC aims to support reforms which better correspond with the needs and desires of the Yemeni people. In order to do this successfully, YPC will continue to build close relationships with policy makers and government institutions. The current transitional phase presents a window of opportunity for YPC to engage in policy discussions and contribute to building a new Yemen.