This report is part of a broader International Alert programme to develop an auditing framework through which the responses of the international community to women's needs in conflict and post-conflict situations, and support for their peacebuilding efforts can be monitored, enhanced and encouraged. The paper provides an initial overview of some international instruments and outlines achievements and challenges at the global level. However, the real value of international instruments is in their practical application at regional and national levels. Instruments and mechanisms become more relevant and meaningful when they have an impact on women's lives and provide a framework for women to engage in policy change processes and also to demand accountability. The Women's Peace Audit is an attempt to work with women's organisations and civil society institutions, sharing their experiences on a global level and drawing on the lessons learnt in communities in order to impact global processes.