Posted by Bukola Daike on June 17, 2021 at 7:51 am
Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD), an expert group of the European Commission, released a report “Quality Standards Of Civil Society Involvement In Drug Policy”. Valeria Fulga and Yuri de Boer, AFEW International, are co authors of the report.
One of the thematic working groups of the CSFD aims to assess and promote civil society involvement in the field of drug policy. In 2020, the working group conducted a literature review to assess existing guidelines and recommendations on how civil society can be involved in policy making in a meaningful way . Based on the findings of the review, this report presents quality standards of civil society involvement to guide both decision-makers and civil society on how to create mechanisms that facilitate the building of dialogue and partnership between them.
The CSFD has developed a planning-intervention-evaluation cycle with quality standards for civil society involvement in drug policy, which is the subject of this report. In this context, civil society involvement in policy processes is conceptualised as a specific intervention, undertaken as a joint effort of decision-makers and civil society.
In addition to the steps of the cycle, the CSFD has adopted 9 overarching quality criteria, values and principles that should apply at each level of the civil society involvement process.
The CSFD firmly believes that what makes civil society involvement a high quality – that is, meaningful – exercise is mutual openness, transparency and trust on both sides. Civil society participation in the policy process should be balanced with regard to ideological and professional approaches, geographic representation, gender, age and should pro-actively involve the communities who are the most affected by drug policies, including people who use drugs.
Peter Sarosi, Rights Reporter Foundation
Valeria Fulga & Yuri de Boer, AFEW International
Marcus Keane, Ana Liffey Drug Project