Governments should build open and constructive relationships with civil society in the discussion and delivery of their strategies

Policy makers often view civil society as a problem to be avoided. However, NGOs and people directly affected by drug policies (in particular people who use drugs and growers of illicit crops) are an invaluable source of expertise because of their understanding of drug markets and affected communities. They can therefore play a major role in analysing the drug phenomenon and in delivering health and social programmes. They should therefore be involved in the design and implementation of drug policies, in particular:

  • Formulating better-informed drug policy and supporting appropriate policy formulation based on practical advice and experience
  • Strengthening political support for policy design and implementation
  • Facilitating communication between policy makers and key civil society stakeholders, making sure that people and communities are involved in planning interventions that will impact on them
  • Seeking mutually beneficial partnerships with civil society organisations to undertake joint programming and/or act as programme implementers
  • Stimulating a vibrant network of civil society organisations that can support policy design and implementation
  • Improving monitoring and evaluation capability.

IDPC seeks to facilitate the creation of clear and open lines of communication between governments and civil society representatives in order to engage in meaningful and respectful exchange of information and perspectives.