National Action Plan: Liberia

Liberia developed a NAP in 2009 for the period 2009-2013. As of November 2016, no new NAP has been released. The Ministry of Gender and Development led the NAP's development process, but in the opening paragraph it acknowledges the government, the United Nations, and civil society's role in helping develop the Liberian NAP - "We extend our appreciation to all the women’s groups, CBOs, the local NGOs, faith-based institutions, traditional leaders, county authorities and the international NGOs."

Liberia is in a post-conflict recovery phase and current UN Peacekeeping mission. Liberia has a long history of systematic exploitation and armed violence against civilians perpetrated by successive oppressive dictatorships. The emergence of armed opposition groups vying for state power in the 1990’s mired Liberia in civil conflict for 14 years. The NAP places an emphasis on the contributions of Liberian women to peacebuilding and in post-conflict recovery - “women have played a significant role in ensuring a sustainable Peace Accord that has laid the basis for the current post-conflict recovery phase.” Indeed, the first female Head of State in Africa is President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.

From a recent academic analysis: One of the most specific NAPs, the Liberian NAP includes an executive summary that provides a succinct review of the background of WPS in Liberia, the NAP development process, the main priority areas for implementation, and the mechanism through which monitoring and evaluation are to be conducted. The NAP includes a relatively detailed timeline of the process of development. It also identifies ten strategic issue areas under the four pillars. The Liberian NAP is the only one to include a matrix outlining stakeholders and their key responsibilities that goes beyond the action plan to include measures such as developing a roster of competent women in peace-building and conflict prevention (Miller, Pournik, & Swaine, 2014).

Document PDF: 

UN-INSTRAW Background Paper

Civil Society Monitoring Report

Liberia analysis: Miller, Pournik, Swaine

WILPF

​There is no WILPF section in Liberia.

Civil Society Actors

NAP Development

The NAP was developed with a rigorous process of inclusive consultation and participation involving roundtable discussions and bi-lateral interviews. The process engaged the views of a broad range of civil society actors, including women’s organizations, media, private micro credit institutions, interfaith institutions, donors and rural women. The NAP states that the objectives of the interviews and discussions were to: “assess issues affecting women’s peace and security, map women’s positions and decision-making power in the institutions and agencies, identify projects directly or indirectly related to 1325 and in the process, raise awareness and promote knowledge of the letter and intent of the resolution and its principles regarding women’s peace and security issues”.

NAP Implementation

Civil Society also has an ongoing role in implementation, oversight and review through the Civil Society Monitoring Observatory. This body will include women’s organizations and will prepare a shadow report at the end of the four year term of the NAP. NGOs, CBOs, and Women's groups are generally mentioned, but no names are specified.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

Civil society will also play a role in the Technical Monitoring and Evaluation Task Force, which includes government. Outside the formal processes elaborated in the NAP, Civil Society has an important informal role to play in supporting implementation and providing an oversight role. Recommendations were concluded on behalf of Liberia's In-Country Civil Society Monitoring Report (see the attached document on the right-hand panel above).

Government Actors

NAP Development

The lead agent in the development of Liberia's NAP was the Ministry of Gender and Development. Representatives of 12 government ministries, local authorities, national security agencies, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Women's Committee, and the Liberian Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services were also consulted.

NAP Implementation

The NAP lists many government ministries responsible for implementation. The lead agent will be the President and her Cabinet. Ministries include: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministries of Defense, Education, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Gender and Development, Health and Social Welfare, Justice, Labour, Planning and Economic Affairs, Public Works, Youth and Sports, National Elections Commission, National Housing Authority, and National Security Agency.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

A Technical Monitoring and Evaluation Task Force comprised of technical experts from Government Ministries and Agencies, including the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs (MPEA and the Liberian Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS). At the county level, monitoring and evaluation will be the responsibility of the Gender County Coordinators and the County Support Teams but ultimately, responsibility and accountability for the implementation of the LNAP will rest with Ministers who must ensure compliance with the implementation and results timeframe.

Objectives

The Liberian NAP is constructed on four Pillars: Protection, Prevention, Participation and Empowerment and Promotion. Each Pillar is linked to the relevant UNSCR1325 and UNSCR 1820 text as well as the applicable Millennium Development Goal. Each Pillar contains a set of Strategic Issues.

For example Pillar 4 “Promotion” is divided into four Strategic Issues, which includes: Promote the involvement of women’s groups in the implementation of the NAP and advocate for increased access to resources for both the government and women’s groups. Promote the participation of girls in conflict prevention, early warning, peace security issues and post conflict recovery issues through education and training. Enhance the technical and institutional capacities of governmental and civil society actors, including women’s groups to effectively implement the NAP. Promote the full involvement of governmental and civil society actors, including women’s groups in the monitoring and evaluation of the NAP.

Action/Activities

For each "Strategic issue" the Liberian NAP gives a set of Priority Areas with Outputs that translate into actions. For example, under Pillar 3, "Participation and Empowerment", strategic issue 1 - "Government promotes women's full participation in all conflict prevention, peace building and post-conflict recovery processes at community, county, national and sub-regional levels" - the following priority areas are given:

  • Priority Areas Policy Review and revitalize the Mano River Union (MRU) Peace Commission and ensure the appointment of gender sensitive staff.
  • Revitalize the Traditional non-Aggression Pacts;
  • Revitalize the traditional non-aggression pacts developed within the countries in the region and include women.
  • Policies governing women's access to cross-border trade: Policies to be strengthened and implemented across the region - including enforcement of the ECOWAS Protocol on Freedom of Movement of Peoples.
  • Harmonization and simplification of existing regional conflict prevention frameworks: Simplification and dissemination of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) and harmonization of the pillar on women, peace and security with LNAP.
  • LNAP on Women, peace and security: Widespread translation, popularization and dissemination of the LNAP across Liberia through cultural sensitizations, translation and dialogue.
  • Training and capacity building: Expand and re-design existing peace training curricula to develop and deliver a certificated peace-building training programme for women at national, county, community and sub-regional levels in consultation with UL, WIPNET, WIPSEN, DRC and MARWOPNET.
  • Standardized and certificated training: Standardized and sustainable certificated training curricula in gender-sensitive conflict early warning reportage developed to systematically and sustainably target the media (especially female media personnel).
  • Research and Documentation: Design and develop a centralized roster of competent women working in different thematic areas on women, peace and security at national and sub-regional levels and publicize it.
  • Research and document best practices of Liberia women in peace building and conflict prevention.
Timeframe
While the NAP is implemented from 2009-2013, there are no specific timeframes established for the priority areas listed.
Budget

The NAP does not include a dedicated budget or estimated implementation and monitoring costs. A footnote in the NAP states that the Ministry of Gender and Development is responsible for the development of a budget for the NAP.

Inadequate resources is identified as a risk to successful implementation and enhancing donor commitment and increasing funding for implementation of the NAP are listed as objectives to mitigate against this risk.

Pillar 4 elaborates a number of activities to increasing resources, which includes promotion of the NAP particularly to donors. Relevant stakeholders are also required to integrate NAP implementation costs into their respective work-plans for donor funding and the Ministry of Finance.

Indicators

Each Priority Area in the Liberian NAP has a set of indicators attached. For example under Pillar 2, Prevention, in its first priority area - "Review, revise and develop policies, structures and mechanisms to prevent violence against women and girls, including those with disabilities and special needs", there are four indicators listed:

  • Number of cases reported, including by young girls, prosecuted and resolved and number of perpetrators penalized.
  • Number of Focal Points appointed in schools and number of schools participating in the programme.
  • Number of educated, traditional and religious leaders, community elders and parents sensitised to the problem.
  • Quality and frequency of trainings.
Monitoring & Evaluation

The NAP is a four year `living` document that can be "adapted according to changes in the Liberian context". Mechanisms for monitoring and impact evaluation will include an Civil Society Monitoring Observatory comprised of women’s groups and other NGOs, the existing 1325 National Steering Committee and a Technical Monitoring and Evaluation Task Force comprised of technical experts from Government Ministries and Agencies and Civil Society. The NAP is to be implemented and evaluated at multiple levels.

At the county level, monitoring and evaluation will be the responsibility of the Gender County Coordinators and the County Support Teams, however, the responsibility and accountability for the implementation of the NAP will rest with Ministers who must ensure compliance with the implementation and results time-frame. Reporting requirements include annual reports to the President of Liberia on the implementation status of the NAP. Interim Progress report to the country at the end of eighteen months and a Final Report to the President and Cabinet at the end of the 48 month implementation period.

At the International Level, implementation of the NAP will require reporting along the lines of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It is not stated in the NAP if these documents are to be made publicly available or disseminated beyond the National Steering Committee, Technical Monitoring and Evaluation Task Force and concerned Ministries.

Disarmament

Although the executive summary specifies the need to include women in “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), and security sector reform (SSR) processes” the NAP does not comprehensively address disarmament issues or explicitly identify arms proliferation as a risk to national implementation of UNSCR 1325.

However, as a means to reduce trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation and incidents involving small arms, the NAP commits to training women living close to border areas to better identify and address issues related to small arms.