DISCUSSION PAPERS

What drives Saudi airstrikes in Yemen? An empirical analysis of the dynamics of coalition airstrikes, ‎Houthi attacks, and the oil market

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Title: What drives Saudi airstrikes in Yemen? An empirical analysis of the dynamics of coalition airstrikes, ‎Houthi attacks, and the oil market
Authors: Dawud Ansari, Mariza Montes de Oca, Helen Schlüter ‎
Initial publication: EADP Discussion Paper 2021 - 02
Discussion paper date: Jul 19, 2021
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Abstract

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a foreign military intervention against the Houthi ‎movement, which took over major parts of Yemen. The intervention, which manifests mainly ‎in airstrikes, has attracted widespread controversy in media and politics as well as a large ‎body of (qualitative) academic literature discussing its background and ways to escape it. ‎Complementary to these efforts and connecting to the literature on oil and conflict, this ‎study provides unique quantitative insights into what drives the extent of military interaction. ‎We use a vector autoregressive (VAR) model to analyse the interactions between Saudi ‎airstrikes in Yemen, gains of the Houthi movement on Yemeni ground, their attacks on Saudi ‎Arabian soil, and crude oil prices. Our approach builds on high-resolution data from the ‎Yemen Data Project and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.‎
Our results show not only that the airstrike campaign has been factually impotent to repulse ‎the Houthi movement but also that the movement’s expansion in Yemen has not driven ‎Saudi airstrikes. These findings draw both suitability and justification of the intervention ‎further into question. Moreover, although the data fail to show that oil price levels drive the ‎developments, our model identifies oil price volatility as a determinant for the airstrikes. ‎However, the intervention has, in turn, no significant effect on oil markets. Besides adding ‎to the academic discourse on oil and conflict, our results have implications for energy and ‎climate policy: a coordinated transition might not deteriorate regional security, while ‎uncertainty and fluctuations can increase conflict potential.‎

Communications on climate change and biodiversity loss with local populations: Exploring best-practices and postcolonial moments in eight case studies from across the globe

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Title: Communications on climate change and biodiversity loss with local populations: Exploring best-practices and postcolonial moments in eight case studies from across the globe
Authors: Dawud Ansari, Regine Schönenberg, Melissa Abud, Laura Becerra, Anne Cristina de la Vega-Leinert, Nigel Dudley, Michael Dunlop, Carolina Figueroa, Oscar Guevara, Philipp Hauser, Hannes Hobbie, Mostafa A.R. Hossain, Jean Hugé, Luc Janssens de Bisthoven, Hilde Keunen, Claudia Munera-Roldan, Jan Petzold, Anne-Julie Rochette, Matthew Schmidt, Charlotte Schumann, Sayanti Sengupta, Susanne Stoll-Kleemann, Lorrae van Kerkhoff, Maarten P.M. Vanhove, Carina Wyborn
Initial publication: EADP Discussion Paper 2021 - 01
Discussion paper date: May 7, 2021
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Abstract

Climate change and biodiversity loss trigger policies worldwide, many of which target or impact local communities. Although research, international development, and policy implementation (and, thus, success in fighting both threats) require thoughtful consideration and communication of the underlying concepts, field work encounters a cascade of tangible barriers. Technoscientific representations of quantifiable causes and effects often remain alien to local perspectives, and failure to involve communities constantly and genuinely creates gaps that may ultimately prevent research and policy success.
Therefore, in this article, we present the results of a collective self-assessment exercise for a panel of eight case studies (covering four continents) of communications between project teams and local communities within the context of climate change or biodiversity loss. Our analysis develops eight indicators of good stakeholder communication, which we construct from the literature, in addition to Verran (2002) 's concept of postcolonial moments as a communicative utopia.
Our study contributes to the (analytical) understanding of such communications, while also providing tangible insights for field work and policy recommendations. We demonstrate that applying our indicators can foster a more successful communication, although we find an apparent divergence between timing, complexity, and (introspective) effort of the project teams. While three case studies qualify for postcolonial moments, our findings show that especially the scrutiny of power relations and genuine knowledge co-production are still rare. We verify the potency of various instruments for deconstructing science; however, we also show that their sophistication cannot substitute other crucial factors. Instead, simple deconstruction efforts may suffice, while trust-building, proper time management, and an advanced awareness of the scientists are crucial. Lastly, we consider that reforming rigid and inadequate funding policies will help overcome significant barriers and improve the work in and with local communities.

Energy outlooks compared: Global and regional insights

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Title: Energy outlooks compared: Global and regional insightss
Authors: Dawud Ansari, Franziska Holz, Hashem al-Kuhlani
Initial publication: EADP Discussion Paper 2019 - 02
Discussion paper date: Dec 7, 2019
Final publication: Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, Volume 9, Number 1
Journal publication date: Jan 2020
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Abstract

We compare prominent global energy scenarios of organisations and companies. We supplement the analysis with four own scenarios, which were derived from structured analytic techniques in combination with a numerical global energy and resource market model (Multimod).
Our study provides three central contributions: (i) a compact survey of selected outlooks with meta characteristics (conceptual nature, numerical framework, qualitative elaboration) and quantitative energy system indicators at the global and regional (Europe, Asia-Pacific region, North America) level; (ii) numerous observations from a verbal analysis intended to stimulate future research; and (iii) the discussion of our own outlook.
Among other conclusions, we find that scenarios essentially carrying forward current policies and/or trendslead to future worlds that do not meet the 2°C target of the Paris Agreement. Interestingly, there are both normative and exploratory scenarios reaching the Paris Agreement, and there is no consensus betweenoutlooks on how to attain low-emission futures towards 2050. Some scenarios rely on a very strong role of renewables, others on a substantial role of negative emission technologies with fossil fuel use, yet others on assuming decreasing energy demand. There is a strong variation between outlooks with respect to transparency on scenario generation, modelling approach, and data. We argue that, in addition to transparency, the actual inclusion of a qualitative analysis of drivers and storylines helps ensure the political, social and technological feasibility of scenarios

Anticipating global energy, climate and policy in 2055: Constructing qualitative and quantitative narratives

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Title: Anticipating global energy, climate and policy in 2055: Constructing qualitative and quantitative narratives
Authors: Dawud Ansari, Franziska Holz
Initial publication: EADP Discussion Paper 2019 - 01
Discussion paper date: Jan 10, 2019
Final publication: Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 58, December 2019, 101250
Journal publication date: Aug 27, 2019
External link to the final journal article
Link to the discussion paper

Abstract

This study presents a set of novel and multidisciplinary scenarios (‘narratives’) that provide insight into four distinct and diverging yet plausible worlds. They combine qualitative and quantitative elements in order to reflect the interlinked and complex nature of energy and climate. We use the STEMPLE+ framework to include social, technological, economic, military (security), political, environmental, and cultural (+) dimensions in our narratives. We present the construction of the narratives, which started with the generation of qualitative scenario storylines using foresight analysis techniques, including a facilitated expert workshop. We then calibrated the numerical energy and resource market model Multimod to reflect the different storylines. Finally, we combined and refined the storylines and numerical model results into holistic narratives. The study generates insights into the key assumptions and drivers of different pathways of (more or less successful) climate change mitigation. Moreover, a set of transparent and discriminatory indicators serves to identify which paths the world might take. They include quantitative results, e.g. emissions, energy consumption and electricity mix, as well as developments in the political or social sphere. Lessons learnt include the dangers of increased isolationism and the importance of integrating economic and energy-related objectives, as well as the significant role of civil society. However, we also show that the development of renewables and electrification are inappropriate indicators for a successful energy transition, as these trends are also consistent with emission-intensive scenarios.

An Evaluation Study of Efficiency of Microfinance Institutions in Yemen

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Title: An Evaluation Study of Efficiency of Microfinance Institutions in Yemen
Publication: World Journal of Business and Management Vol 4, No 2 (2018)
Authors: Eissa Hasan AboHulaika
Date: Dec 20, 2018
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Abstract

This paper is intended to evaluate the efficiency of microfinance institutions in Yemen in terms of loan officer productivity and operational self-sufficiency. This study is based on empirical method. The population of this study were 11 Microfinance Institutions operating in Yemen. The data collected was based on both primary and secondary data. The primary data was collected using questionnaire, open-end interviews, while the secondary data was collected from books, Microfinance Institutions Websites, annual reports, Social Fund for Development (SFD) annual reports, Yemen Microfinance Network (YMN), etc. The main findings of the study were that most microfinance institutions in Yemen are inefficient in terms of loan officer productivity and operational self-sufficiency. The study presented valuable recommendations and suggestions based on the findings of the study to strengthen, enhance & improve the efficiency of microfinance institutions in Yemen.

Simulating the potential of swarm grids for pre-electrified communities - A case study from Yemen

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Title: Simulating the potential of swarm grids for pre-electrified communities - A case study from Yemen
Authors: Martha M. Hoffmann, Dawud Ansari
Initial publication: EADP Discussion Paper 2018 - 01
Date of initial publication: Jul 23, 2018
Final publication: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Volume 108, July 2019, Pages 289-302
Date of journal publication: 5 April, 2019
Link to the updated discussion paper

Abstract

Swarm grids are an emerging approach to electrification in the Global South that interconnects individual household generation and storage to a small electricity network to make full use of existing generation capacities. Using a simulation tool for demand, weather, and power flows, we analyse the potential of an AC swarm grid for a large pre-electrified village in rural Yemen. Service quality and financial indicators are compared to the cases of individual supply and a centralised micro grid.
While the swarm grid would improve supply security from the current 12.4 % (Tier 2) to 81.7 % (Tier 3) at lower levelised costs, it would be inferior to the micro grid in both service (Tier 4) and costs. This is mainly driven by the large pre-installed fossil-fuel generator and storage capacities in our case study. However, this situation may be representative for other relevant locations. Under these conditions, a swarm grid poses the danger of creating (possibly-undesirable) incentives to invest in diesel generators, and it may fail to support prosumerism effectively.
Nevertheless, the swarm’s evolutionary nature with the possibility for staggered investments (e.g. in smaller yet complementary groups of consumers) poses a central advantage over micro grids in the short-term alleviation of energy poverty.

Resource curse contagion in the case of Yemen

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Title: Resource curse contagion in the case of Yemen
Author: Dawud Ansari
Publication: Resources Policy 49 (2016): 444-454.
Date: Aug 18, 2016
Post publication: EADP Discussion Paper 2020 - 01
Discussion paper date: Jun 08, 2020
External link to the full article
Link to the discussion paper

Abstract

This study analyses the economic developments in Yemen from the 1970s to today in the context of the Resource curse hypothesis. After a brief survey of the resource curse literature, using empirical data, historical accounts, and political (economic) analyses, I confirm that post-reunification Yemen suffers from an intense oil curse. The curse is evidenced by low genuine savings rates, oil-dependency, a stagnating economy, and institutional failure. However, this study finds that the institutional failure which caused this is itself a product of the resource-curse-like developments following migrant worker remittances from Saudi Arabia in the 1970s and 1980s. Moreover, the current instability in Yemen has its origins in rent-seeking defections in the corrupt governing patronage network due to sudden anticipations of oil exhaustion. The analysis suggests that worker migration is able to transmit resource curse symptoms to other economies, which makes them also more vulnerable to future resource curse triggers, and that declining resource reserves increase political instability of countries with strong patronage networks.


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