By Rigoni, R,; Tammi, T.; van der Gouwe, D.; Moura,J.; Prins-Schiffer, K / Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network

The C-EHRN Civil Society-led Monitoring of Harm Reduction in Europe 2021 Data Report is the third of a series. 2018 marked the start of developing a framework for European civil society-based monitoring aiming, in the long-term, at improving harm reduction responses and policies in Europe. The first annual report was published in 2019 targeting developments in the areas of Hepatitis C (HCV), new drug trends, overdose prevention and civil society involvement in drug policies, themes chosen by the members of the network due to their crucial importance for harm reduction. The second report, published in 2020, added two new sections to cover the effects of the rising COVID-19 pandemic on harm reduction service delivery and map the availability of essential harm reduction services. The same six areas are covered in this third report.

Civil society has an important role in holding governments and donors accountable, among others, by engaging in independent monitoring and evaluation of services and programmes. In combination with advocacy, monitoring tools are crucial strategies to hold governments accountable and to improve the implementation of policies and programmes in line with the needs of PWUD and their environments. C-EHRN uses an online survey as a monitoring tool to collect the experiences of harm reduction service providers and service users at the ground level. The reports intend to serve as a complementary source of data both for EMCDDA [5,6] and HRI, as well as to network members. The Monitoring seeks to reflect the experiences of harm reduction service providers, focusing on how drug policies and specific harm reduction guidelines are (or are not) being implemented at the street level. Such indepth and rich information is crucial for the development of policies and services for PWUD and can be of great value for civil society organisation (CSO) advocacy and for policymakers.