ISSUP Forum

Which resources do you use to support your prevention/treatment initiatives?

Evaluation and monitoring are key in ensuring the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programmes. A variety of guidelines and standards for drug-related interventions aimed at improving their quality exist. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction has launched an online tool that enables users to browse resources for evaluating and monitoring substance use prevention and treatment programmes.

The Evaluation Instruments Bank (EIB) is an online database of freely available resources for evaluating drug prevention and treatment initiatives. Users can search the archive by type of intervention (treatment or prevention), by type of evaluation (needs and planning, mediating and risk factors, process and outcome), by target group (children, adolescents, adults, special groups and settings) or by specific topics.

  • Where do you usually go for evidence to inform your practice/programme?
  • How do you determine whether or not to use the information you access?
  • How do you know your programme is effective? Do you currently evaluate it?

Very helpful information but I wonder how many people will use the support resources you suggest. Of more concern, and interest, is why people don’t use these resources. Is it because they are unaware of them or is it due to other reasons? Do practitioners have the inclination to use them? Or is it a question of time? Is it because we have a culture that does not allow practice and evaluation to be undertaken by the same person/people? Are we anxious about what we would discover from undertaking evaluation? Or do we still think we know best whether something works or not rather than use such scientific approaches? One way forward would be for any ‘programme’ or ‘resource’ that is used in our prevention or treatment work should have an evaluation 'tool" or process as part of what is proposed. Without this can it be seen as a 'best practice" or ‘evidence based’ resource?

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): M&E is a process that helps improve performance and achieve results. Its goal is to improve current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MONITORING AND EVALUATION
MONITORING EVALUATION
Continuous
Periodic; at important milestones such as the mid –term of implementation; at the end or as substantial period after conclusion
Keep track: oversight, analyses and documents progress In-depth analysis; compare planned with actual achievements
Focuses on inputs, activities were implementation process, continued relevance, likely results at outcome level Focuses on outputs in relation to inputs; result in relation to cost; processes used to achieve results; overall relevance; impact; and sustainability
Answers what activities were implemented and result achieved Answers why and how results were achieved, Contributes to building models for change
Alerts managers to problem Provides managers with strategy and policy options
Self-assessment by managers, supervisors, community stakeholders Internal and /or external analysis by managers, supervisors, community stakeholders, donors, and/or external evaluators

  1. What would you need to know about the inputs or outputs?
    Ans: The M&E section will be directly responsible for monitoring and evaluating the project activities. The project focal person and M&E staff will visit the project area on a monthly basis and day-to-day follow-up of activities will be conducted through telephone and email correspondence. Review sessions and management meetings will also be conducted on a quarterly basis. In addition, an in-house planning as well as project inception workshop will be arranged to build the capacity of the local team.

  2. What information about the outcomes can you measure or record?
    Ans: To record and measure information related to outcomes, monitoring visits will be conducted to assess progress, record achievements and determine areas requiring improvement. The results and findings of the monitoring, review sessions, case studies, and lessons learned will be directly applied to the implementation of the project and will be captured in the regular and periodic reports to the donor.
    Ans: What data will you record, measure and report on (how will you record/measure this data)?
    Ans: (Organization) has well established management information system (MIS), through this system all the beneficiaries and other relevant information will be kept and validate by conducting frequent field visits to the targeted area. The verified data will be used in generating monthly, quarterly and annual reports and will also share with donor as well.

  3. What will you learn about the intervention and/or policy from conducting the monitoring and evaluation?
    Ans: Through monitoring visits we will be able to know whether the project has been implemented as planned, made good progress, and face any problem. It also considers how to solve such problems. Most importantly, through monitoring we will ensure that activities are performed on schedule and within a allocated budget, that all concerns are satisfied, and that the project outputs and outcomes corresponds to the objectives.
    Our organization has capacity to evaluate projects through trained M&E staff, through evaluation we will know the value of change resulting from project outputs and outcomes. Through evaluation we will not only measure the inputs and outputs but we will learn what significant change have taken place.

  4. What can you do with the results from your monitoring and evaluation?
    The results and findings of the monitoring, review sessions, case studies, and lessons learned will be shared with management for further improving of projects at grass root level. In addition, these results can be used by policy makers for further strengthening of the programs.

Thank you for this interesting information. I agree, monitoring and evaluation are key elements to ensure quality in any initiative. Other essential element is funding. Fortunately, there are opportunities to get funded. Recently, the European Commission released their Call for Proposals 2017 aimed at funding projects in the area of drug policy, focused in the following priorities:

  • To support activities in the area of identification and epidemiology of use of new psychoactive substances;
  • To support activities aimed at the effective response to the challenges posed by the online trade of drugs;
  • To support the civil society organisations by reinforcing their (i) advocacy function, (ii) capacity to make a difference at the local level, (iii) best practice sharing methods and (iv) knowledge and skills on evidence-based interventions and minimum quality standards in the field of drug demand reduction
  • To support key stakeholders in the field of prevention by expanding their knowledge and skills, in particular in the context of minimum quality standards.

The Call for Proposals 2017 document is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/other_eu_prog/justice/wp-call/justdrugs_call-proposals_ag-17_en.pdf

Thanks for sharing information on this great funding opportunity! We’ve also published your Knowledge Share article for those looking for more details here: https://www.issup.net/knowledge-share/news/2017-07/funding-initiatives-field-drug-policy-call-proposals