Implementing project, is executing project plans, ideas and strategies. Project implementation is the final stage of a project lifecycle; after initiation and planning, where everything that has been planned, is built into action. Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) in partnership with Common Action for Gender Development (COMAGEND) thanks to Funding from the United States Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women Issues (S/GWI) during their regular in-person check-ins, had a 2day pre-workshop in Yaoundé to plan and prepare for localization workshops to give greater ownership to the women peace and security (WPS) agenda in Cameroon. This check-in is a monitoring and evaluation tool that was actionized by various partners to analyze their progress and to make sure they are in line with what they had planned. The pre-localization session came in after a prior Focus Group Discussion with both men and women, and the completion of the mapping initiative of local actors working within the WPS, where these partners came to prepare for a localization workshop. It should be noted that GNWP, COMAGEND Cameroon, and S/GWI have a common interest in the empowerment of women and girls to bridge the gap that prevent women’s representation in decision making bodies.
In line with the link that these organizations have with COMAGEND, it is necessary to point out that; GNWP is a coalition of over a hundred women’s organizations from countries around the globe that are experiencing humanitarian crises or conflict. They have as mission to elevate the power of women and amplify their voices to build sustainable and inclusive peace; they also collaborate and advocate for women’s rights, gender equality, and sustainable peace, and work in close collaboration with the United Nations, governments, and local women and youth-led organizations across the globe, with headquarters in New York. The S/GWI on the other hand, has as mandate to promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls through U.S foreign policy. Headed by an Ambassador-at-large, this office leads the department’s efforts to empower women and girls in U.S diplomacy, partnerships, and programs, and prioritizes Women, Peace, and Security, Gender-Based Violence prevention and response, and cross-cutting issues like; gender and climate, girls and young women, multilateral affairs, and intersectionality. The WPS resolutions localization strategy was pioneered by GNWP, to recognize that local leadership, ownership, and participation are major tools of effective policymaking and policy implementation. It is an innovative bottom-up approach to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its supporting resolutions, with the believe that real change unfolds at the local level.
This pre-localization session in accordance with the program’s manager for COMAGEND, was sequel to the presence of GNWP’s programs’ manager for Africa in Cameroon to discuss the next steps of the WPS agenda which is basically the localization workshop per say; that is contextualizing the localization strategy proposed by GNWP to adapt it to the Cameroonian context. Following a retweet of COMAGEND post by GNWP and her programs manager for Africa, Simone Diouf: “Monitoring progress and planning next steps together, makes GNWP a great team player…” can relatively express the magnitude and overall positive impact to come of the ongoing project. Karen Bedoume an intern at GNWP also confirmed the success of the pre-localization workshop with a tweet that said: “Last week with COMAGEND in Yaoundé for our pre-localization training during which we planned for our localization of #WPS workshops. It was a successful meeting with this team of passionate and strong women, and we can’t wait to bring localization to the Bali and Bamenda communities.”
The WPS agenda that brought these organizations together, aims at promoting women’s representation in decision making bodies at all levels, while taking into consideration the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). Worth bearing in mind that, the localization workshop will be carried out in the Bali Nyonga and Bamenda II communities of the grass field region of Cameroon.