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We began by collecting all publicly available National Action Plans (NAPs). Where the NAP was not available in English, we had the document translated. This created an English-language dataset of all available NAPs, including those that have since been superseded.

For each NAP, we noted several data-points: country; region; year of publication; and the government agency or organisation that co-ordinated the development of, or took responsibility for, the Plan (such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the Ministry of Defence). In the case of the first three data points (country, region and year of publication), this information was easily drawn from the National Action Plans. However, in the case of the department or organisation responsible for co-ordination, this occasionally required subjective assessment; for example, both of the Ugandan National Action Plans (published in 2008 and 2011) are attributed to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. We coded this under ‘Gender/Women’, though a convincing argument could be made for an alternative code, such as ‘Social Affairs’.

Keyword mentions

To generate data on how frequently various terms were used in each NAP, we used NVivo, a piece of software that helps researchers conduct qualitative analysis on large datasets. For each NAP, we searched for various terms which you can see displayed as the ‘filters’ on the page with the interactive map. These filters – and the actual search terms that we searched for in each NAP – are as follows:

Filter Actual search term
civil society “civil society”
climate change environment OR climate OR environmental
cyber cyber
disability disability OR disabled
disasters disasters
elderly elderly
human rights defenders “human rights defenders”
humanitarian “humanitarian” excluding “humanitarian law”
men and boys “men and boys”
nuclear nuclear
participation participation
prevention prevention
protection protection
refugee asylum OR refugee OR displaced
reproductive health reproductive OR “family planning” OR contraception
sexual violence “sexual violence” OR rape OR “sexual and gender-based violence” OR “sexual and other violence” OR “gender-based violence” OR “gender-based persecution” OR SGBV OR GBV
small arms “arms trade” OR “small arms” OR “light weapons”
terrorism terrorism OR terror OR terrorist OR extremism OR extremist OR radical OR radicalized OR radicalised OR radicalisation OR radicalization
trafficking traffic
transitional justice “transitional justice” OR reconciliation OR reparations
women and children “women and children”

Extent of civil society involvement, budget specification, and detail on monitoring & evaluation

We went through each NAP individually by hand, to investigate:

  1. the level of civil society involvement in the planning and implementation of the Plan;
  2. the level of budget specification; and
  3. the extent to which monitoring and evaluation (M&E) was specified.

These three elements were scored according to a four-point scale.

Civil Society
0 The NAP makes no mention of relevant civil society groups (or equivalent – such as ‘non-government organisations’) being involved in the drafting process nor related activities, such as consultations or other participatory activities (but may or may not make reference to the involvement of civil society in the implementation of the NAP).
1 The NAP indicates some engagement with relevant civil society groups in the drafting process, but is vague as to the extent and nature of civil society’s input. It may refer broadly to ‘cooperation with’, ‘in conjunction with’, ‘contributions from’ or ‘collaboration with’, for example, but without detail: for example, ‘the government has consulted with civil society in developing this NAP’, ‘representatives of civil society were involved in planning this NAP’ or ‘meetings were held with civil society representatives’ without further information about the exact nature of civil society involvement. Alternatively, there may be an acknowledgement of civil society in the foreword to the NAP without any specificity as to their level of involvement in the drafting process.
2 The NAP indicates that relevant civil society groups were given the opportunity to provide meaningful input into the drafting process, including but not limited to providing written submissions on a draft NAP, participating in workshops or roundtable discussions, contributing data and/or having formal representation on a Working Group, Steering Committee or similar. The civil society contribution described is of a specified and meaningful nature.
3 The NAP indicates that (a) relevant civil society group(s) (co-)drafted it, usually with the state’s government. The development of the NAP might be described as a ‘partnership’ or ‘joint project’, for example, or may be signed by civil society organisations.
0 The NAP makes no mention of budget, funding, financial resources or financing specifically for the implementation of the NAP (distinct from general funding for broad women-related activities).
1 The NAP acknowledges the need for a budget for effective implementation but no specific funding is allocated or enumerated. This includes where a budget is included in responsible parties’ existing budgets (in other words, where the NAP activities are expected to be undertaken using existing funding).
2 The NAP includes a budget, though it lacks detail – for example, there is an overall total amount required to implement the NAP but not budgets allocated for specific activities. Alternatively, the NAP indicates that the issue of funding has been considered comprehensively (such as the identification of potential funding sources) even where a specific figure has not been provided.
3 The NAP includes a detailed budget, with implementation activities fully costed.
Monitoring and evaluation
0 The NAP does not include an M&E framework, though the value or need of M&E more generally may be acknowledged.
1 The NAP includes a basic M&E framework; for example, it may outline the kinds of activities required to implement the NAP and broadly identify responsible parties, but without providing measurable indicators of successful implementation.
2 The NAP includes a solid M&E framework, featuring objectives, activities and responsible parties broadly defined, and some indicators, but lacks further detail such as timeframes and/or measurable indicators.
3 The NAP includes a comprehensive M&E framework and includes objectives, specific activities including measurable indicators, timeframes and responsible party/ies.

There is a great deal of variation amongst NAPs, so even though we used the above scales for the purposes of coding, there was an element of interpretive analysis necessary when determining how extensively each NAP engaged with civil society, budgetary issues and monitoring and evaluation.


We included an indication as to which of the pillars each NAP ‘skews’ towards (where sufficient data is available). These ‘skews’ are based on the raw counts of the pillars of ‘prevention’, ‘participation’ and ‘protection’ and are therefore are designed to give a sense of the pillar upon which the NAP places the greatest emphasis [1]. However, we did use raw counts of these pillars, meaning that, with ‘prevention’ for example, we would have captured the ‘prevention of conflict’ and the ‘prevention of sexual and gender-based violence’, but have no way of knowing which of these dominates in the document. Similarly, ‘protection’ captures both the protection of rights, and the protection from violence.

1 We have only included three of the pillars because we have not, at this stage, been able to find a straightforward way to code for the fourth pillar (humanitarian/relief & recovery) to accurately determine ‘skew’. This remains a work in progress.

How to reference this resource

Please reference the individual NAPs and project outputs per original conditions of publication. The website and content analysis provided can be referenced as:

Biddolph, Caitlin and Laura J. Shepherd (2022) WPS National Action Plans: Content Analysis and Data Visualisation, v3. Online, at

Feedback and questions about the research are welcome. Please direct queries by email to the project’s Chief Investigator, Professor Laura J. Shepherd (