National Action Plan: Afghanistan

In July 2015, the government of Afghanistan launched its first UNSCR1325 National Action Plan (NAP). The main agency responsible for development, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP is the Steering Committee headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It works in collaboration with other government agencies, civil society organisations and international organisations. The NAP is organised under the main UNSCR1325 themes: Participation, Protection, Prevention and Relief and Recovery. Generally, Afghanistan’s UNSCR1325 NAP is developed to address the challenges women face in the aftermath of war and conflict in Afghanistan.

The NAP comes out in a very critical time to Afghanistan to address the aftermath of war in the country. Afghanistan has suffered the scourge of war for decades where women were banned from participating in the public life. Women have experienced tremendous upheaval throughout the history of Afghanistan and have been forced to bear the brunt of over three decades of conflict and insecurity. Women’s human right deteriorated to unprecedented levels during the conflicts and war as they were denied their basic rights, including access to education, healthcare, and employment. After the collapse of the Taliban regime, women made a number of gains. Nevertheless, much remains to be done to realize women’s full and equal rights.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan's NAP does not address disarmament issues, or connect the proliferation of weapons with women's insecurity. It does not include an allocated or estimated budget and there are no other financial resource consideration references within the NAP. Also, there is no clear reference on the mechanism for civil society involvement.

Document PDF: 

AFGHANISTAN’S NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON UNSCR 1325-WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURITY

WILPF

WILPF does not have a country section in Afghanistan and therefore was not involved in the development process of Afghanistan's NAP. 

Civil Society Actors

NAP Development

The Steering Committee is the body responsible for the NAP development process where there is a civil society representative. In the drafting stage, civil society conducted several meetings with the Steering Committee and the Technical Working Group to review and provide substantive comments and inputs. No further detail is given to specify the nature of the role played by a civil society representative.

NAP Implementation

 While there is no clear reference on the mechanism for civil society involvement, the NAP text lists civil society as one of the agencies to be fully or partially responsible for conducting specific actions. For instance, under the Strategic Objective "Enhancing Women’s meaningful participation in the reconciliation, negotiation, and re‐integration at all levels", civil society organisations are assigned the action of "Establish a national roaster of potential women negotiators from all 34 provinces". 

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

There is no clear reference for how civil society will be involved in the monitoring and evaluation process. However, the government recognises the important role of civil society as an independent oversight body for the successful implementation of the NAP.

Government Actors

NAP Development

The development of the NAP was initiated in coordination with civil society, and conducted through the establishment of the following structures:

1. Steering Committee with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as the Chairperson Member;

2. Technical Working Group representatives from international organizations and foreign diplomatic missions in Kabul;

3. Drafting Committee;

4. Coordination Committee.

NAP Implementation

The NAP is a government policy and a reflection of government’s commitments with regards to the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Lead implementing agencies are government agencies, ministries, structures and institutions, while civil society, media and the private sector play an important role as the supporting agencies.

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

A separate Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan is designed, which includes annual monitoring, mid-term (after two years) and final review (Evaluation) in the fourth year. The M&E Plan will include tracking and monitoring of financing for the NAP to ensure transparent and effective implementation, for which the Steering Committee is responsible. 

Objectives

The Afghan NAP is organised under the main UNSCR1325 themes: Participation, Protection, Prevention and Relief and Recovery. Each theme has a number of strategic objectives distributed across specific areas of work. For instance, under participation, there are the following objectives distributed across Civil Service, Security and Peace and Reintegration:

Objective 1: Increased meaningful participation of women in the decision making and executive levels of the Civil Service, Security and Peace and Reintegration

Objective 2: Strengthening women’s active participation in national and provincial elections.

Under each of these objectives there is a number of strategic objectives followed by a number of specific action, expected results, indicators, reporting mechanism, time frame and implementing agencies.

Action/Activities

Each Strategic Objective of the Afghan NAP includes a series of actions for practically achieving these goals. For instance, under the Prevention theme Strategic Objective 1: Protection of women through implementation and monitoring of EVAW law,anti‐human trafficking and abduction law, there are the following actions:

Develop and implement of a monitoring mechanism on implementation of EVAW law, anti-human trafficking and abduction law.
Strengthen the justice sector to effectively and efficiently address the VAW cases with special focus on prosecution office and courts.

Timeframe

The NAP spans over two phases of four year period each, and the actions in the matrix section of the NAP are linked to specific time frames. The phase one will cover 2015‐2018 and phase two will cover 2019‐2022. Also, for each strategic objective, there is a time frame set to denote in which phase the objective actions should be achieved. 

Budget

The Afghan NAP does not include an allocated or estimated budget and there are no other financial resource consideration references within the NAP. However, it does note that the absence of dedicated funding is a key concern for successful NAP implementation and accountability.When budgeting/costing the NAP, the Steering Committee should encourage national and international donors to commit to funding for the duration of the NAP.

Throughout the course of implementation attention should be focused on seeking and raising funds from multiple national and international sources. The Steering Committee should also work to increase the available funds to the NAP through the annual national government budget. The budget should also contain a contingency plan, and some margins for each expected budget line that will be used when limitations in funding occur. The NAP budget should be revised on an annual basis if needed and necessary adjustments should be made.

Also, under Relief and Recovery pillar, Objective 2: Adequate financial resources are available for activities related to women in emergency, the NAP stresses that analysis of national budget should be through gender lens. 

Indicators

The annual reporting by the lead agencies will be prepared on the basis of indicators, templates, activities and their specific responsibilities. For each objective, there is an assigned quantitative indicator. The NAP lists quantitative indicators to track the progress of objectives and activities. For instance, for strategic objective "Increased awareness among all military personnel on how to protect women from violence" the specific indicator is "Number of military personnel briefed on how to protect women from sexual violence and number of commanders informed of their responsibility to protect women." In total, there are 39 quantitative indicators listed in the NAP. 

Monitoring & Evaluation

The Steering Committee has a central role in the monitoring and evaluation process for the NAP. separate Monitoring and Evaluation
(M&E) Plan is designed, which includes annual monitoring, mid‐term (after two years) and final review (Evaluation) in the fourth year. The M&E Plan will include tracking and monitoring of financing for the NAP to ensure transparent and effective implementation, for which the Steering Committee is responsible. The GIRoA recognizes the important role of civil society as an independent oversight body for the successful implementation of the NAP.

Disarmament

Afghanistan's NAP does not address disarmament issues, or connect the proliferation of weapons with women's insecurity.