National Action Plans (NAPs) are a strategic tool for policymakers to operationalise and translate the international mandates of the WPS agenda into the domestic context. However, despite the adoption of UNSCR 1325 in the year 2000, NAPs did not become a UN priority until the release of two Security Council presidential statements, in 2004 and 2005, encouraging the adoption of NAPs as a means of implementation. Researchers and practitioners alike had, in the years prior, pointed out a lacuna in WPS implementation strategies. NAPs, then, became a means to ‘effectively translate this international framework into actionable changes at the national and local level’, and UNSCRs 2122 and 1889 encouraged UN member states to develop NAPs for the implementation of WPS.
NAPs represent the institutionalisation of UNSCR 1325 by states. As of August 2019, 42% of states – or a total of 82 countries – had released NAPs. For policymakers and scholars of the WPS agenda, NAPs represent a concrete step by states to fulfil their objectives regarding UNSCR 1325 and the other resolutions that make up the WPS agenda.
In this paper, we use both qualitative and quantitative analysis to answer the following research questions:
1. Which pillar(s) of the NAPs are dominant? Is this changing over time?
2. What are the dominant categories of lead, including over time and by region?
3. To what extent are new and/or emerging security issues – such as terrorism, climate change and reproductive rights – represented in the NAPs?
4. To what extent is a budget specified in the NAPs?
5. To what extent do the NAPs contain provisions for monitoring and evaluation activities?
6. To what extent do the NAPs document the participation of civil society in production and implementation?
We conclude briefly with a discussion of the insights drawn from the analysis and some considerations and recommendations for future NAP development. In the following section, we briefly outline our dataset and the analytical approach that we took.