International drug policy is going through a process of change. Many states that suffer greatly from the negative impacts of drug crop cultivation, drug trafficking and drug use are realigning their drug policy focus. This reorientation was triggered by the marked criticism of the “war on drugs” strategy during recent years. An increasing number of governments are showing interest in development-focused and public health-oriented approaches in order to better cope with the drug problem. One of these is the alternative development approach that aims to promote alternative sources of income for small-scale famers to replace the cultivation of drug crops and to sustainably improve their livelihoods. More and more governments are also willing to consider the public health-oriented approach of harm reduction.
However, interested governments often lack sufficiently developed evidence-based instruments and strategies as part of development-focused and public health-oriented drug policy. Further, national drug and health agencies in many countries currently do not possess the necessary capacity.
To tackle this situation, the Global Partnership on Drug Policy and Development (GPDPD) project places emphasis on counselling selected governments in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and under the political patronage of the Federal Republic’s Drug Commissioner, GPDPD works with these governments to carry out pilot advisory measures that aim to adjust their national drug policy strategies. The advisory measures are implemented jointly with a consortium of like-minded organizations headed by GPDPD. Consortium members include the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Thai Mae Fah Luang Foundation (MFLF) as well as the non-governmental organisations Transnational Institute (TNI) and International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC).