On September 15th and 16th JO Rodrigues and Beth Woroniuk, 2 members of the WPSN-C Steering Committee participated in the Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan Academy organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Institute for Inclusive Security. We were half of the ‘Canadian delegation’ which also included Lt. Col. Darrel Zientek, Department of National Defence and Tony Anderson, Senior Policy Advisor, Peace & Stabilization Operations Program, Global Affairs Canada.
The workshop brought together government and civil society representatives from OSCE members and missions. Over two days we discussed challenges developing and implementing NAPs. We also shared strategies to overcome these obstacles. Inclusive Security led the discussion, highlighting their vision of a high impact NAP. Key factors include political will and leadership; results-based monitoring and evaluation plan; coordination among key players; inclusion of civil society; and allocation of resources.
Some sessions encouraged discussion among countries while in others we sat in our country-specific delegations to focus on our own NAP. There was a relative consensus in our Canadian delegation of the lack of initial needs assessment and the absence of intermediate objectives.
It was clear to us that the organizers had brought together a group of people (majority women) dedicated to establishing peace and including the voices and needs of women in peacebuilding processes.
A highlight for both of us was the opportunity to exchange experiences and make connections with people from other countries (particularly civil society representatives) who are working to improve NAP design and implementation. It was informative to hear how civil society organizations (similar to our Network) are working in the UK, Finland, Serbia and elsewhere. It was also fascinating to listen to women from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and others describe how they are working under difficult circumstances to strengthen peace in their respective countries.
Discussions on NAPs focused on the importance of focusing on impacts and outputs, something members of our Network have been advocating for several years now. We had an opportunity to exchange views with our government colleagues on issues related to indicators, resources, political leadership, and other NAP design and implementation issues.
One point presented by IS: in their experience it does not work to organize a NAP around the 4 WPS pillars (prevention, participation, protection, relief and recovery). They strongly advised against designing NAPs around these themes. This advice echoes our experience and analysis of the first Canadian NAP (C-NAP). There was significant overlap and confusion among these themes in both the design and reporting on the C-NAP.
We are grateful to the OSCE for the invitation to participate. It was a useful learning experience and opportunity to connect with others. We hope to build on these relationships as we move forward.
Resources shared at the workshop included:
- Inclusive Security’s What Matters Most: Measuring Plans for Inclusive Security
- OSCE Study on National Action Plans on the Implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
Written by JO Rodrigues (WPSN-C Steering Committee member) and Beth Woroniuk (WPSN-C Coordinator)