In January 2016, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) agreed its Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, following a period of consultation with our membership and partners. Since its creation ten years ago, IDPC has grown in reputation, size, scope, influence and reach – guided by previous organisational strategies from 2010-2012 and 2013-2015. The current Strategic Plan maps out the priorities for 2016-2020 – a crucial five-year period for the drug policy reform movement as a whole. The Strategic Plan seeks to build upon, but also diversify and refine, the Consortium’s effective ways of working in order, and provide the best support to our members and the key affected populations that IDPC ultimately works for.

 IDPC’s vision and mission remain the same as before, as do the five core policy principles which guide our work. The Strategic Plan is also based largely around a ‘Theory of Change’ developed in 2013 (below) – reflecting the anticipated outcomes of the drug policy reform sector as a whole, and not just those of IDPC. The short-term outcomes are those which can be achieved by 2020, intermediate outcomes by 2025-2030 and long-term outcomes representing the more distant ambitions.

IDPC's theory of change

The four identified ‘strategic priorities’ above map against four pillars that reflect the high and diverse demands for our work:

1. Networking and Communications: with a focus in the current Strategic Plan on our membership, online communication tools, social media presence, media engagement, strategic partnerships, and capacity building work.

2. Building Evidence for Advocacy: with a focus in the current Strategic Plan on our high-quality publications – including the Drug Policy Guide, our annual reports, briefing papers, advocacy notes and other resources.

3. International Advocacy: with a focus in the current Strategic Plan on engagement with the United Nations and government representatives in New York, Vienna and Geneva, as well as with the relevant UN agencies, and our global harm reduction advocacy work.

4. Regional and National Advocacy: with a focus in the current Strategic Plan on the Support Don’t Punish campaign, and tailored network support in: Africa and the Middle East; Asia; Eurasia; and Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean – as well as contributing to strong civil society movements in North America, Oceania and Western Europe.

As with previous Strategic Plans, the IDPC approach is based on ‘contribution’ rather than ‘attribution’, and every planned activity will be delivered alongside IDPC members and other partners – including networks of people who use drugs and networks of growers of crops deemed to be illicit. Ultimately, IDPC will measure success by whether or not the short-term outcomes outlined in the ‘Theory of Change’ above have been achieved. It is our aspiration that, by 2020, the drug policy movement will be able to reflect on ‘the beginning of the end’ of the failed war on drugs, and that the IDPC network will have been a key driver of the move towards humane, evidence-based, effective and progressive responses to drugs.