Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2010 for the period 2010-2014. The NAP was developed by a collaborative process that was undertaken by a Government-Civil Society Task Force, led by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, and included government ministries, UN agencies, civil society groups, including women’s organizations, research bodies, and the media. The NAP was drafted following the findings of a nationwide mapping survey which sought to establish a baseline of existing initiatives on UNSCR 1325 and develop a plan that could integrate coordination efforts. The NAP compiles its objectives under five thematic pillars: preventing conflict; protecting women and girls, including holding perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence accountable; increasing women’s participation and representation; promoting the implementation of the NAP; and monitoring, evaluation, and reporting. Additionally, the NAP includes an estimated budget.  

Sierra Leone reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the country stated that the implementation of the first NAP was affected by the advent of Ebola, and it expired in 2014 without achieving many of its strategic objectives. In November 2015, UN Women hired a consultant to undertake the final evaluation of the Sierra Leone National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 and 1820 (2010-2014). Consultations were carried out throughout the country in collaboration with the National Steering Committee members, a structure formed for the implementation of the NAP, and offered recommendations for the second NAP. 

Sierra Leone gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, after decades of colonial rule under the British empire. The country was subsequently ruled under a military dictatorship from 1967 to 1968. The most recent history of armed conflict in Sierra Leone is the civil war, which lasted from 1991 until 2002. 

The war had a disproportionate impact on women and girls, with thousands of women subjected to sexual violence as a weapon of war. In 2004, the Special Court for Sierra Leone ruled that the systematic violence that women were subjected to as “bush wives” during the war constituted a new crime against humanity in the form of forced marriage. 

Despite the grave human rights violations they experienced, women were excluded from the Lomé Peace Agreement signed in 1999, and thus were not among the negotiators, mediators, or signatories. The agreement included one provision on women’s role in post-conflict reconstruction, which stated that “special attention shall be accorded to [women’s] needs and potentials in formulating and implementing national rehabilitation, reconstruction and development programmes, to enable them to play a central role in the moral, social and physical reconstruction of Sierra Leone.” 



Global Gender Gap Index 2020

111 out of 153

Arms Trade Treaty Ratified


Military expenditure (2019)

$25.6 million USD

Explore Sierra Leone's National Action Plan

  • Actors
  • Timeframe
  • Objectives
  • Actions/Activities
  • Indicators
  • M&E
  • Budget
  • Disarmament

NAP Development

Civil Society were extensively involved in the development of the NAP through pre-drafting lobbying and advocacy and then through the Government- Civil Society Task Force. The Task Force included the following Civil Society representatives: Civil Society Movement; The 50/50 Group; Sierra Leone Women's Forum; Gender Research and Documentation Center of the University of Sierra Leone; Sorotipmist International Club; Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET); Mano River Women's Peace Network (MARWOPNET); Sierra Leone Labor Congress; International Alert; ENCISS; Justice Sector Coordinating Office ( JSCO); AMNET; Sierra Leone Association of Non Governmental Organizations; Campaign for Good Governance; Sierra Leone Association of Journalists.

Development was led by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children's Affairs. A Committee was formed with the involvement of relevant civil society and government ministries.

NAP Implementation

The NAP was developed in close partnership between government and Civil Society Organizations and it is articulated within the NAP that full implementation must to continue adopt the same inclusive approach. Beyond an ongoing strong role through the Government- Civil Society Task Force, which is elaborated in Pillar IV, there are no further strategies articulated. 

Government agencies involved in the implementation include: Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Information and Communication, Internal Affairs, Local Government, Sierra Leone Police and Prisons Departments, Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Ministerial Interagency Relations Dept., Office of National Security, Drafting Parliamentary Female Caucus, National Forum for Human Rights

NAP Monitoring and Evaluation

Women’s Civil Society Organizations are also actively engaged in supporting implementation, oversight and monitoring of the NAP independent of formal government processes. For instance Women's Civil Society, in collaboration with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) concluded a national monitoring review on implementation of the NAP, which made the following recommendations: Lead efforts in partnership with the National Task Force on NAP 1325 to mobilise resources and institutionalise operations of the National Steering Committee for the coordination of the full implementation of UNSCRs 1325 and 1820 as mapped out in the NAP 1325 and 1820. Intensify actions to coordinate with other Ministries, Departments, Agencies and structures in Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Internal Affairs and Local government, Lands and Environment, Education and Health, for instances, in the engagement with women, gender, peace and security issues. Earmark resources from its quarterly allocations and other sources for routine monitoring of implementing gender perspectives in MDA’s policies and continuous sex dissagregated data collection, including documentation for reporting and accountability on women gender, peace and security matters. Coordinate with the Ministry of Finance and Development as well as the Statistics Sierra Leone to ensure that sex disaggregated data on budget allocations and spending on peace building, peace and security consolidation processes and interventions are collected and published. Development partners, particularly the UN Country Gender Team, Bilateral Agencies and Institutions to support technically and to allocate resources to women’s organizations at national and community levels, in efforts of institution building and strengthening of succession planning in peace and security fields.

A Steering Committee led by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children's Affairs is tasked with heading up the monitoring and evaluation process.

Although the period of the NAP is from 2010-2014, Sierra Leone does not specify timeframes for each sub-activity.

The Sierra Leone NAP includes five Pillars and each is correlated with the relevant UNSCR 1325 and 1820 text:

  • Prevention of Conflict including Violence Against Women and Children (SGBV) Protection, Empowerment of Victims and Vulnerable Persons especially women/girls
  • Prosecute, Punish Perpetrators effectively and Safeguard Women and Girls' Human Rights to Protection during and post conflict as well as Rehabilitate Victims/Survivors of SGBV and Perpetrators.
  • Participation and Representation of Women.
  • Promote Coordination of the Implementation Process, including Resource Mobilization,
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of and Reporting on the National Action Plan.

Each pillar contains an Outcome Objective and Output Objective. For example, Pillar 2: “Protection, Empowerment of Victims and Vulnerable Persons especially women/girls” includes the following objectives:

Outcome Objective

  • Contribute to increased Protection, Empowerment and support of Victims and Vulnerable Persons especially women/girls.

Output Objectives

  • Reporting of SGBV cases at national and community levels increased Health (psychosocial) economic and legal and support provided to vulnerable persons including victims and survivors.
  • Government measures and benefits for women and girls in vulnerable situation increased to ensure the respect for their social and economic rights

Sierra Leone's NAP has a set of strategies and specific activities for each Pillar. For example, Pillar 2 'Protection,Empowerment ofVictims andVulnerable Persons especially women/girls' gives the following strategies:

  • Alliance building with law enforcement agencies and the courts
  • Strengthening existing mechanisms/procedures
  • Networking with NAC-GBV Security and Justice Sectors Coordinating Institutions;
  • Court Monitoring, and reporting; ?Intensifying community sensitization and advocacy;
  • Dialoguing with parents and community leaders
  • Enhancing data base
  • Improve health -care delivery services, conditions of services for medical personnel; equip health care facilities and training on SGBV issues.
  • Ensuring that victims of SGBV have access to free medical report across the country
  • Lobby for lawyers to be available at regional and district levels and ensure sustainability and incentives to provide legal services to women and girls.
  • Intensify access to Adult/functional literacy class,
  • Training in specialized skills for older girls attending in adult education classes
  • Role modeling/mentoring school age girls to stay in school complete and perform well.
  • Strengthening/building institutional capacities in gender responsive programmes/projects, including gender sensitive parenting
  • Data base development

Each Pillar has a set of indicators associated with it. For example, Pillar 2 has the following indicators:

Percentage increase in the number of cases reported to law enforcement agencies. Information management and dissemination systems developed.

Percentage increase in the number of victims receiving psychosocial support and treatment within a minimum time

Percentage number of victims receiving economic support including micro Finance

Percentage increase in number of victims having access to legal aid.

Percentage increase in the number of new government programs skewed to wards benefiting vulnerable women and girls

Increase in the number of vulnerable women and girls benefiting from such programs.


The Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs is responsible for steering the overall Monitoring and Evaluation process which will occur at multiple levels.

The National Steering Committee will review progress on the NAP’s implementation, make recommendations to enhance its success and update the government, UN, and donor community. A core technical group comprised of government bodies will provide support to the National Steering Committee by gathering and analyzing national data. The group is comprised of government bodies. The Regional Gender Office will monitor implementation on the regional level, collaborating with the regional judiciary system, Family Support Unit, the Provincial Secretary’s Office, Regional Minister’s Office and NGOs.

A Regional Steering Committee will collect and analyze data and prepare reports to the National Steering Committee. Local Councils will chair District Steering Committees supported by the District Gender Offices. They will provide reports to the Regional and National Steering Committees and coordinate efforts on the community level. Councilors, Chiefdom Police, village leaders, and community women’s organizations will gather and provide data at the district level. Ward committees can also coordinate community level efforts. The NAP does not articulate the composition of the various Steering Committees. It is not stated in the NAP if these documents are to be made publicly available or disseminated beyond the various Steering Committees and concerned Ministries. 

Civil Society has concluded an independent monitoring report, coordinated by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, which you can view here. The NAP elaborates on risks for implementation and evaluation which including, institutional readiness, technical capacity, data storage and management and financial constraints. The NAP identifies strategies to mitigate against these risks, which includes advocacy, capacity building, the development of a database and data storage and management guidelines and fundraising activities. The costs of these activities are included in a Budget for Monitoring and Evaluation.

The NAP does not have a dedicated budget, but includes a projected cost of the NAP is USD $21,301,314. The NAP includes a budget for the implementing the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy at USD $1,625,750. The government recognizes within the NAP that it holds the primary responsibility in providing funding for the plan, and commits to specified progressive increases in overall funding within the Results Framework. However, it is recognized that funding will need to be sought from national and international donors, public, non-government, faith based and private sector. The NAP also includes the need to include private citizens in fundraising activities in order to enhance local ownership of the NAP. The Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs is tasked with the lead role in fundraising activities and coordination of donors.

Despite a recent history of conflict that involved small weapons, there is no mention of disarmament, small arms, or illicit trade in Sierra Leone's NAP.

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