Among its other tasks, the Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD) is committed to broadening the scientific foundations of the development-focused and public health-oriented aspects of international drug policy and improving evidence and available data in this field. Assumptions, prejudices and ideological convictions that often take effect in relation to the topic of drugs need to be replaced by facts and sound knowledge. Only by this means can approaches that focus on sustainable development and the promotion of public health be methodically and successfully pursued in international drug policy.
Currently there is still no evidence-based information even on the number of small-scale farmers that actually cultivate illicit drug crops worldwide, such as opium poppy, cannabis and coca. GPDPD, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and under the political patronage of the Federal Republic’s Drug Commissioner, is tackling this situation by collaborating with international research institutions, organisations and universities in order to answer such questions, collect data and close related knowledge gaps.
Once the scientific evidence is collected, GPDPD will feed it into the international drug policy discourse. One major recipient in this process is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that publishes the annual World Drug Report. Scientific contributions will also be fed into other United Nations forums. The project’s research also focuses on developing innovative approaches in international drug policy by bringing together science and practice. In this context, GPDPD is hosting a series of events in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE) to gather academics and representatives of interested governments around one table within an Innovation Lab, to break new ground in dealing with the global drug problem.