Full Cycle WPS Implementation: Localization as key implementation strategy

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Full Cycle WPS Implementation: Localization as key implementation strategy

Despite some notable successes of the agenda over the years, as the 2015 Global Study on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 states, “much of the progress toward the implementation of resolution 1325 continues to be measured in ‘firsts,’ rather than as standard practice.” As a consequence, there is a gap between these progressive and transformative policies, and real change on the ground.

The Localization strategy is an innovative approach to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its supporting resolutions, pioneered by GNWP. It convenes governors, mayors, councillors, community leaders, paramount chiefs, indigenous and traditional leaders, religious leaders, women leaders, youth leaders, teachers, the security sector and all other key local actors, to formulate local action plans (LAPs), local legislation, and integrate WPS resolutions into community development plans. The formulation of local policies and legislation by local actors allows for ownership, integration of women, peace and security commitments into local development plans and budgets and more sustainable means of implementation.

Localization guarantees the alignment and harmonization of local, national, regional and international policies and community-driven strategies. It is not designed to increase bureaucratic functions or add more work for local authorities. Rather, it allows local communities to analyze their everyday government functions and policies to see what is promoting or hindering the implementation of the WPS resolutions.


Localization Objectives


1. Raise awareness and understanding of UNSCR 1325 and the supporting WPS resolutions as well as related international instruments and national laws and policies among local government authorities, traditional leaders, local women leaders, youth leaders, community elders, cultural leaders and their respective constituencies;

2. Promote local ownership of the WPS resolutions and identify concrete actions toward implementation in local communities;

3. Promote systematic coordination and greater cross-sectoral cooperation among national and local government authorities, civil society, local leaders, UN entities and multilateral institutions in implementing the WPS resolutions; and

4. Contribute to better global implementation of the WPS resolutions.


Localization Results and Impacts


The strategy is currently implemented in 13 countries:

Armenia (pictures coming)

Burundi (see pictures here)

Colombia (see pictures here: 1; 2; 3)

DRC (see pictures here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Georgia (pictures coming)

Kenya  (see pictures here)

Liberia (see pictures here: 1, 2)

Nepal (see pictures here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

the Philippines (see pictures here: 1, 2)

Serbia (pictures coming)

Sierra Leone (see pictures here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

South Sudan (see pictures here: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Uganda (see pictures here: 1, 2, 3)


Fifty-five Local Action Plans have been developed in Colombia, Liberia, Nepal, the Philippines, Serbia and Uganda. Some of the documented impacts of Localization include encouraging women to run in local elections in Nepal and the Philippines; and increased reporting and better response to cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda and the Philippines. The Localization strategy and its outcomes have been cited by the UN Secretary-General as a key tool for translating policy into practice in his reports to the Security Council in 2012, 2013, 2016 & 2017, as well as by the 2015 Global Study on UNSCR 1325.

In 2018, GNWP is developing a Localization Toolkit, which will serve to share some examples of the impact that Localization can have on the implementation of the WPS agenda and provide practical, step-by-step guidance on how to organize a Localization workshop, develop a Local Action Plan, and publish Localization Guidelines, to ensure sustainability of implementation of UNSCR 1325 and supporting resolutions at the local level. By producing and disseminating the Toolkit, GNWP hopes to encourage more countries to Localize and to ensure that the good practice of Localization become a standard.


Localization Components


GNWP Localization Strategy includes three components, as described below. The components are also visually depicted in the Prezi presentation that was delivered at the International Localization Conference in Nepal (available here: https://prezi.com/yqqfcjiba61i/implementing-locally/).


Component 1: Convening local authorities and other key local actors:

GNWP organizes Localization workshops convening local actors, including: local authorities such as provincial governors, mayors, vice mayors, district councillors, community leaders, paramount chiefs, tribal leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, local police forces, women leaders, youth leaders, teachers & other key local actors. We try to make sure around 60% of the participants are local authorities. This is the first step towards ensuring local buy-in, ownership and implementation of the UNSCR 1325 and the NAP.

The workshop uses interactive lectures and hands-on sessions to: (1) introduce the key concepts (including the concept of gender/gender equality, WPS, the concept we call the “good cycle” – the interdependence between good governance, sustainable development, and security, especially human security); (2) introduce UNSCR 1325 and the NAP, and conduct conflict analysis to identify the areas of the NAP that are the most relevant to the local context; (3) make concrete commitments towards Localizing UNSCR 1325 that will form the basis of the Local Action Plan/local legal and policy instruments to implement UNSCR 1325 at the local level, and establish a Local Steering Committee on UNSCR 1325.


Component 2: Developing local legal/policy instruments for implementation of UNSCR 1325 at the local level: 

This is a necessary step to ensure that the NAP/UNSCR 1325 are Localized and effectively implemented at the local level. It can take a form of (1) drafting a Local Action Plan, adapting the NAP to the local reality; (2) integrating UNSCR 1325/WPS into community development plans or equivalent existing local policies for development; (3) adopting by-laws and policies to implement UNSCR 1325 at the local level. Ideally, all three elements would be implemented, and complement each other.

The integration of WPS into community/local development plans and the development of by-laws and policies has to be aligned with local development processes, so it can take an average of a year or two. However, to initiate the process, and to develop a Local Action Plan that will guide the integration of WPS into other local policies, GNWP sometimes organizes a “writeshop” –a 2-day workshop, where the participants discuss existing local policies, analyse how WPS can be integrated into them, draft “SMART” plans using both gender and peace/conflict lens, and begin actual drafting of the Local Action Plan and/or other policies/by-laws to implement UNSCR 1325 at the local level.


Component 3: Building capacity to ensure implementation and sustainability: 

This is achieved through (1) “Training of Trainers”, bringing together the Localization “champions” from different governorates, identified during Localization workshops; (2) Drafting of context-specific Localization Guidelines, which will be used to localize the NAP/UNSCR 1325 in the governorates, where we did not conduct the Localization workshops. This ensures that the Localization has been rolled out in the entire country.

This component usually takes place about 6 months after the Localization workshops and the development of local legal/policy instruments for implementation of UNSCR 1325. The Training of Trainers takes place at the national level, to make sure participants from different governorates can reach it easily.


Last update: June 17, 2018

Read more on Localization…

Localization Guidelines from Nepal, Sierra Leone and DRC

Localization Toolkit (coming soon)

Localization Case Studies (coming soon)


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Localization video montages of implementation in different countries: