National Action Plan: United Kingdom

Flag of the United KingdomThe UK launched its third National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in 2014 for the period 2014 - 2017. The NAP was based on a draft revising the second NAP released after the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict held in London in June of 2014. The Foreign Office, Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defense jointly own the Plan. Civil Society played an important role in the developmental process; however, CSOs are not mentioned in the monitoring and evaluation plan. While references to disarmament remain missing from the third NAP, the updated NAP includes a section on the establishment of clear guidance on spending for the work described in the NAP.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is both directly and indirectly involved in several international conflicts, including in Lybia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Even though the internal conflict in Northern Ireland ended in 1998, the peace process in Northern Ireland is still underway and remains highly fragile. The difficult issue is that the UK Government denies that there was a conflict; however, women's organisations have been lobbying for years to have the UK recognise the applicability of UNSCR 1325 in Northern Ireland because of the conflict that took place.

To date, the NAP keeps an international focus negatively affecting the situation in Northern Ireland and the role of women in the country. "Building equality between women and men in countries affected by war and conflict is at the core of the UK’s national security and that of the wider world - it is necessary to build lasting peace," says the statement of intent. 

Document PDF: 

Womankind Worldwide: Moving Forward

UK analysis: Miller, Pournik,Swaine

United Kingdom Revised NAP (2014-2017)

WILPF

WILPF UK was involved in the development and implementation of the second NAP.

In the UK, WILPF members work in branches or as individuals offering a feminist perspective to building peace. We lobby and challenge government, explore root causes of conflict and mobilise women in preventing war and building peace. PRESENT CAMPAIGNS No to Trident No Trident Replacement No to Nato Drones UNSCR 1325 Human Trafficking Voices of African Women (VOAW) Each branch tends to have a slightly different campaigning focus.

WILPF is not mentioned in the third NAP.

Civil Society Actors

NAP Development

Civil society organisations were a big part of developing the third NAP where they participated through regular cross-governmental consultations with, and recommendations from the Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) and its members.

Furthermore, independent consultations were held with government staff working in conflict areas and with women from civil society. This was carried out to ensure ‘that women’s grassroots views have been integrated into this Plan’.

NAP Implementation

A collaborative approach to implementing the UNSCR 1325 on WPS is emphasized greatly in the third NAP. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DFID), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Stabilisation Unit (SU) are all urged to work within bilateral and multilateral partnerships as well as ‘to seek out civil society’s help and challenge to understand the situation on the ground, and to help push best practice in protecting, including and empowering women and girls’.

Civil society organisations are not mentioned as the lead actor in any of the actions corresponding with objectives of the NAP. However, it is noted in that it is crucial for achieving the objectives set that the implementation is done in collaboration with civil society (and other actors).

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

The lack of on the ground data, especially in terms of violence against women and girls, is recognised in the third NAP. It is stated that specific funding has been allocated to the monitoring and evaluation of the third NAP. Civil society is not mentioned in relation to monitoring and evaluation of the NAP. A report will be released in 2017 with a final evaluation of the implementation of the NAP and  corresponding outputs and outcomes. The report will be publically available.

Government Actors

NAP Development

The third NAP of the United Kingdom was developed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the the Ministry of Defence and the Stabilisation Unit and other government departments were regularly consulted durings its development.

NAP Implementation

The primary actors responsible for the implementation of the third NAP are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence and the Stabilisation Unit.

The NAP states that the United Kingdom commits to developing and publishing an Implementation Plan with baseline data of the third NAP which will continuously and on an annual basis be used as a benchmark to assess the efforts of the UK on Women, Peace and Security matters by each of the implementing actors.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

Specific funding has been allocated to the monitoring and evaluation of the third NAP and additional funding will be allocated to the collection of country specific data on WPS project which is described in more detail through the first baseline report of 2014.

Annual reports on the implementation of the third NAP will be deposited in Parliament and shared with the Associate Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security.

The Implementation Plan and the baseline reports for the third NAP will be supplemented by an external Monitoring and Evaluation by specialists that will assess to which the extent the Women, Peace and Security agenda has been mainstreamed across the UK’s diplomatic, defence and development activities, where appropriate.

A final report will be released in 2017 with an overall evaluation of the implementation of the NAP and  corresponding outputs and outcomes. The report will be publically available.

Objectives

The third NAP of the UK presents three principles and a four "outcomes" that match the main pillars of UNSCR 1325.

Principles

Women’s participation is needed to make and build peace and prevent conflict breaking out; Women and girls suffer specific forms of violence in conflict and emergencies; In emergencies and conflict situations, women and girls have specific needs which need to be met.

Pillars:

Participation: Inclusion of women and girls' interests in decision-making processes related to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

Protection: Women and girls' safety, physical and mental health and economic security are assured and their human rights upheld.

Prevention: Prevention of conflict and all forms of structural and physical violence against women and girls, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Relief and Recovery: Women’s and girls’ specific needs are met in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Action/Activities

Each of the four output matching the four pillars of UNSCR 1325 have corresponding UK government activities to ensure that the overall objective is met.

For instance, on the first output associated with the first pillar of Participation ‘The UK encourages grass roots participation by women and girls’, the following activities are listed:

  • Provide financial and technical support for women and girls’ coalitions working to mitigate conflict and build peace, including by providing financial and capacitybuilding support to civil society organisations and platforms promoting women and girls’ participation in peacebuilding.

  • Build women and girls’ leadership, network's, ability to organise and political know-how in conflict and post-conflict situations, including by the use of the Chevening alumni network to better understand and address the social and educational barriers to women applying to the scheme; and supporting female political actors through informal exchanges, lobbying, networking events, and visits to and from the UK to share best practice and lessons learnt.

  • Support the production of rigorous evidence on increasing women and girls’ participation in decision-making and leadership and use this evidence to inform programme design and policy making.

Each of the three activities have assigned one or more government actors to be the lead in the implementation thereof.

Timeframe

UK's third NAP is for the period 2014-2017, but does not provide specific timeframes for the outcomes it describes.

Budget

There is no specific budget with allocation of funds for concrete outputs or activities in the third NAP.

However, the third NAP notes, the importance of having clear and focused guidance on spending which builds on lessons from our and others’ evaluation of work concerning the WPS agenda.

It is furthermore noted, that the UK has allocated specific funding to the external and independent monitoring and evaluation of this new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The NAP also notes, that the work on Women, Peace and Security must be fully integrated into the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Indicators

The four pillars of UNSCR 1325 are the basis for the outcomes and outputs presented in the UK’s third NAP.

Specific indicators for every action point is listed. For instance, on Participation which has the outcome of: ‘Active inclusion of women, and women and girl’s interests in decision-making processes related to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts’, there are the following Indicators:

  • Women’s political participation in parliaments, regional parliaments, and ministerial positions

  • Women’s political participation as voters and candidates

  • Representation of women among mediators, negotiators and technical experts in formal peace negotiations
Monitoring & Evaluation

The third UK NAP focuses on monitoring and evaluating how effective the UK is at promoting women, peace and security abroad and nationally. It states that, "specialists will consider the extent to which Women, Peace and Security has been mainstreamed across the UK's diplomatic, defence and development activities, where appropriate." There has been allocated specific funding to the monitoring and evaluation of the third NAP and additional funding will be allocated to the collection of country specific data on WPS projects.

The third NAP recognises the current lack of data country-level data on Women, Peace and Security issues in formulating lessons learned and best practices. Therefore, the UK has allocated specific funding to the external and independent monitoring and evaluation of the third NAP. Annual reports on the implementation of the third NAP will be deposited in Parliament and shared with the Associate Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security.

In 2017, a final report evaluating  the UK’s implementation of the NAP, corresponding outputs and outcomes will be publically available and reported to Parliament through the Associate Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security.

Disarmament

Disarmament is not explicitly  mentioned in the third UK NAP, but under the pillar of Prevention there is an activity that commits the UK to ‘Ensure women play a key role in action to control the use of illicit small arms and light weapons’