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DRUG POLICY / Report

Implementation Report of "The 2021-2022 Anti-Drug Action Plan"

Prior to the implementation of the "National Drug Policy Strategy for 2023-2030,"[1] the country operated under the "State Strategy for Combating Drug Addiction," which was initiated in 2013. This foundational policy document marked the government's first formal approach to drug policy.[2] The strategy outlines the government's perspective in this specific area, and its execution is typically facilitated through an action plan. These action plans are operational policy documents, detailing specific steps to achieve the strategy's stated goals and objectives.[3] To effectively pursue the objectives set forth in the 2013 National Drug Policy Strategy, the country adopted "action plans for the fight against drug addiction" for the fiscal years 2014-2015,[4] 2016-2018,[5] and 2019-2020[6]. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that the monitoring of these plans' implementation has been insufficient.Top of FormBottom of Form

The 2021-2022 anti-drug action plan was approved by the Inter-agency Coordinating Council on Combating Drug Abuse of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia at the beginning of 2021.[7] This policy document aligns with the goals set in the 2013 "National Strategy for Combating Drug Abuse." However, it's important to recognize that the development of the action plan took place significantly later than the adoption of the strategy, in a context that had notably changed, and under a different set of circumstances. Considering these factors, it's recommended that the 2021-2022 action plan include an analysis of the current situation. Doing so would provide clarity about the specific conditions and challenges that influenced the formulation of this action plan and how closely its objectives and activities are aligned with the central needs of the nation's drug and addiction policy framework.

The 2021-2022 anti-drug action plan consists of nine thematic blocks/directions. These directions are:

  1. prevention;
  2. Treatment and rehabilitation;
  3. Harm reduction;
  4. Supply Reduction;
  5. Treatment, Rehabilitation and Harm Reduction in Penitentiary Institutions
  6. Overcoming stigma and discrimination;
  7. Refinement of the legislative base;
  8. Data collection/ analysis;
  9. Policy development, coordination, and international cooperation.

The thematic blocks in the action plan collectively cover a broad spectrum of 25 objectives and 82 activities, each meticulously designed to fulfill these objectives. Moreover, the action plan primarily incorporates the key elements required in an operational planning document. These fundamental aspects include evaluation indicators, baseline and target metrics, implementation timelines, responsible and partner organizations, and funding sources.[8]Top of FormBottom of Form

During the course of the research, a number of concerns were found that require improvement and are crucial for the successful implementation of the action plan. The identified deficiencies may be a significant obstacle for the state agencies responsible for implementing the action plan, which are part of the Inter-agency Coordinating Council on Combating Drug Abuse. The action plan does not include crucial aspect, namely, the specific source and magnitude of the budget necessary for the activity or measures. It is important to acknowledge that each activity within the action plan must be accompanied by an allocated budget in the national currency. Additionally, if the activity is funded through the state budget, it is necessary to include the program code that corresponds to the funding of said activity.[9]  This information is not present within the confines of the provided action plan. Within the framework of the action plan's activities, the sole mention of the financing source is provided, with verbal references made to either the state budget or donor funding. However, there is a lack of specificity regarding the particular program code or the name/number of the project that is sponsored by donor funds.

The second challenge identified during the review of the document's core requisites is related to the timeframes set for executing the activities. Of the total 82 activities, only 8 have a one-year implementation period, while the remaining activities are allotted a two-year timeframe within the action plan, covering the years 2021 to 2022. In line with standard practices, it's essential that each activity is assigned a specific deadline, with a level of precision that aligns at least with one quarter of the reporting year.[10] The monitoring of the action plan during its implementation is crucial in order to assess the extent to which the planned activities have been carried out.

The lack of detailed indicators is a notable shortcoming in the plan. Standard protocols necessitate that each activity and objective should be matched with precise indicators.[11]  However, the action plan presented includes only one general "indicator for evaluating the completion of the plan." This absence of detailed indicators hinders the ability to conduct a fair and thorough assessment of each activity's performance and the realization of the objectives' intended goals.Top of FormBottom of Form

The purpose of this report is to monitor the implementation of the Anti-Drug Action Plan for the period 2021-2022. Its focus is primarily on the quantitative aspects of achieving the objectives and tasks outlined in the plan. The report does not delve into evaluating the substantive content of the action plan, nor does it address issues related to its scope or adequacy.

ENG_1702476494.pdf

Footnote and Bibliography

[1] “National Strategy on Combating Drug Abuse” 2023. Available: https://cutt.ly/CwQ3Y0mc.

[2] “National Strategy on Combating Drug Abuse”, 2013. Available: https://cutt.ly/zwQ3UkW8.  

[3] Guidelines for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, 2020. p. 10.

[4] “2014-2015 action plan for the fight against drug addiction”. Available: https://cutt.ly/CwQ3IEfG.   

[5] “2016-2018 action plan for the fight against drug addiction”. Available: https://cutt.ly/IwQ3OqPc.  

[6] “2019-2020 action plan for the fight against drug addiction”. Available: https://cutt.ly/QwQ3Obmr.

[7] “2021-2022 anti-drug action plan”, Available: https://cutt.ly/1wQ3O3tV.   

[8] In the report's annexes, only specific elements will be included, namely activities, evaluation indicators, baseline and target metrics, and responsible agencies, with an emphasis on indicating the implementation status. This decision was made because these components are considered most pertinent for assessing the effectiveness of the plan's implementation.

[9] Annexes to the Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Guide, 2020. Annex 4. p. 26-28; Appendix 9, p. 53-54.

[10] Ibid., p. 28; Guidelines for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, 2020. p. 31.

[11] Annexes to the Guidelines for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, 2020. Annex 2, p. 11.

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