Global Partnership on Alternative Development (GLO/I44 ) on-going

The following publications are outputs of the Global Partnership On Alternative Deveolopment.


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The Project also supported the development of the Lao PDR National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP).





















In the past decade, opium poppy cultivation in Southeast Asia significantly declined from 158,230 hectares in 1998 to 30,388 hectares in 2008, representing over 80% reduction of opium production in the region. By 2000, Vietnam was declared opium-free.  Thailand and Lao PDR also attained this status by 2003 and 2006, respectively.  Myanmar demonstrated a steady decline in opium production, despite some recent increases in the Southern Shan State.

Notwithstanding these accomplishments, continued efforts are needed to sustain the decline of production while preventing the resumption of cultivation, particularly in Lao PDR and Myanmar.  The food security situation and the loss of income generated by opium production have put ex-poppy growing communities in a difficult position: severe poverty and widespread food shortages, coupled with increasing prices of raw opium and insufficient  law enforcement capacity are all factors that create a high risks of re-cultivation.

The Project

The Global Partnership on Alternative Development contributes to sustainable reduction and prevention of expansion of illicit crop cultivation, with a main strategy to strengthen the capacity of participating governments and development entities to mainstream AD and to integrate it into national and regional development plans and programmes. The participating governments having laid out policies and strategies to reduce illicit crop cultivation, the project  is implemented by providing governments with advisory and technical services while mainstreaming strategic AD in corporation with other development entities.

The project targets line ministries, policy makers in development entities, international financial institutions and multilateral donors. The implementation initially takes place in Southeast Asia, while feasibility is assessed for implementation in South America in the latter phases. The project shares knowledge and experience gained with other countries that address similar issues.

Objective and outcomes

The overall drug control objective of this project is to contribute to a sustainable prevention of the expansion of illicit crop cultivation though the integration of development oriented counter narcotics objectives into broader development policies.

Project outcomes

  • Established and strengthened institutional mechanisms and capacities for mainstreaming drug control objectives and analysis into conventional development programmes.
  • Increased scope of development interventions reaching illicit drug crop producing areas.
  • Increased body of available knowledge on sustainable alternative development and sharing experiences and lessons learned to the development agencies and the development community.

Project outputs

A better ability of the relevant national authorities to mainstream counter narcotics policy into broader plans and programmes and the identification of good practices and lessons learned in mainstreaming.

  • An increased ability of participating institutions to design and implement development activities in drug producing areas as well as an increased ability in resource mobilization for development in these areas.
  • The development of good practices and lessons learned on effective alternative development and mainstreaming of counter narcotics objectives and analysis into conventional development and the production of specialized thematic studies, reports and impact assessments.


This technical assistance project is implemented by UNODC in Lao PDR and Myanmar with technical support from the Sustainable Livelihood Unit in Vienna. The project implementation also involves national counterparts in China, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand as well as key alternative development agencies such as the Thai Royal Project Foundation and the Doi Tung Project of Mae Fah Luang Foundation.

Other U.N organizations, development agencies, international financial institutions, NGOs and the private sector will be included in consultations and partnerships arrangements to optimize the impact of the project.

Expected Results

By the end of the project it is expected that AD will be mainstreamed into broader development frameworks with wider partnership and networking that will lead to more development interventions having been made available for illicit crop producing communities.  In addition, the body of gained knowledge will be made available to national and international agencies, as well as the donor entities and international financial institutions (World Bank, ADB).