Often, regional and sub-regional organizations may choose to implement women, peace and security agenda using their inter-governmental perspective. The RAPs developed may be part of a larger policy on gender or outline a separate strategy. In general, RAPs seek to integrate gender equality into policies and practices both within member states and the organization itself.
Cross-learning or twinning is the process by which two countries seek to support each other on NAP development or implementation. The countries may exchange ideas, experiences and resources in the creation of their plans. Most recently, cross-learning partnerships have been announced between Liberia and Ireland and between East Timor, Finland, and Kenya.
For more information on cross-learning and twinning, follow the attached link.
NAPs should address what is specified in the WPS resolutions and local contexts and concerns. The balance between these two types of information is different for each NAP.
Some NAPs focus on the four pillars of the WPS agenda - the prevention of conflict, women's participation, protection, and recovery and relief. Others address issues domestic relevance such as climate change, disarmament, or human trafficking.
This depends which ministries are leading and involved in the NAP Processes.
Donor countries or countries with peacekeeping forces are more likely to set international objectives. Domestic focus in these contexts is usually limited to the diplomatic core and armed forces. Countries that have experienced conflict within their borders are more likely to focus on domestic concerns.
"Recognizing the potential of international policy, but also that implementation of the women, peace and security agenda must ultimately take place at the national and local level," WILPF urges that NAPs, from developed and developing countries alike, "recognize and incorporate issues of violence experienced and articulated by women with their own borders and regions."
National action plans should include
"Action points should have numbers or letters to that implementers can easily reference or access the points" - Dr. Jan Marie Fritz
"Identifying specific outcomes will not only make it easier to measure the success of the plan, but also will provide a framework for identifying problems and modifying the action plan." - Dr. Jan Marie Fritz.
WILPF calls for NAPs to be developed and adopted using a participatory, transparent process and for NAP implementation to include mechanisms for accountability including indicators and specifically allocated budgets and resources;
"Setting a plan period is useful for the enforcement and evaluation of the plan. Having a set planning period encourages a country to provide very detailed information about activities within a timeline. It should be mentioned, however, that a specified end date (particularly and early one) could provide an easy way for a new government to not renew a plan." - Dr. Jan Marie Fritz
In some cases, the end date of a NAP may coincide with general elections. It is advisable that the implementation of a NAP overlap by a year or more into the term of new administration rather than the first year of an election cycle. (Dr. Jan Marie Fritz)
WILPF demands early, extensive, and genuine consultation in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation stages with civil society organizations including women’s groups, and a broad constituency, in developing NAPs and regional action plans to make
them the most effective.
See here for more information on civil society participation.
NAPs have most frequently been developed by inter-ministerial working groups, at the lead of a single ministry or in coalition with each other.
"It is helpful to identify the lead agency because the convener is clearly identified as a point of contact with responsibility." - Dr. Jan Marie Fritz
Ministries of foreign affairs, defense, and gender are the most common actors in NAP processes. NAPs of conflict and post-conflict countries almost always are led by the Ministry of Gender, the Ministry of Family, or an equivalent ministry. NAPs of donor countries are almost always led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The benefit to a NAP led by a Ministry of Gender is the expertise and contacts to women's groups that the ministry can provide. The detriment may be that such a ministry lacks sufficient funding to effectively move forward with the NAP. The benefit to a NAP led by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs lies its ability to leverage financial resources and political will for the NAP. However, a detriment is that such a ministry may not have sufficient contact with women's groups, particularly domestic women's groups.