In February, IDPC held a meeting in the UK with some of its members to review its mission, vision and strategy for the coming three years, and to empower a group of individuals to speak on behalf of the Consortium at events and conferences. Representatives of civil society organisations from France, Romania, Portugal, Lebanon, Albania, Mauritius and the UK were present, together with other partner organisations, to brainstorm an effective way forward with regards to IDPC’s work.

The recognition of IDPC as an international strategic partner by UN agencies and other major stakeholders, and the growing number of members globally was acknowledged by the participants, and IDPC’s achievements over the past three years were discussed – as well as the organisation’s role in the coming years. This exercise was facilitated using the “Theory of Change” approach – an organisational capacity-building tool that helped the participants in identifying the different outcomes that encompass the vision of IDPC, as well as the different activities related to each outcome. This exercise also helped to identify potential allies, opportunities and threats in reaching the vision of IDPC.

The two-day meeting was also an opportunity for IDPC to introduce its new Drug Policy Training Toolkit tool to the participants, which has been developed alongside the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN). The Toolkit aims to build the capacity of civil-society organisations as well as policy makers in terms of advocating for drug policy reform. It has been designed in such a way that trainers can tailor-make their agendas to reflect the time available and the audiences.

The participants tried out some of the exercises from the Toolkit, including one particularly entertaining activity where different groups created “Trees” of good and bad drug policies: each with a trunk (the policy), roots (the underlying rationales), branches (the consequences), fruits (the positive outcomes) and worms (the threats)! We also played out several interesting role-plays as part of an advocacy meeting exercise.

This workshop was a great opportunity for several members of IDPC to be part of the organisation’s strategic thinking, paving the way for the future mission of IDPC. Alongside the meetings and trainings, this workshop was also an opportunity for partners from different regions across the world to meet and share about their best practices, thus strengthening the network of civil society organisations engaged in drug policy reform and related fields.

CUT is an organisation working in harm reduction in Mauritius. Established since 2006, it now reaches out to approximately 2,000 people who inject drugs through its needle and syringe programme. It also has a major advocacy role to play, and organises a national conference on harm reduction every two years.