Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Regional Expert Group Meeting on "Sharing experiences on the implementation of Strengthening Families Programme (SFP 10-14) and best practices on prevention of Drug Abuse among Youth"

12-13 December 2019
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Family skills training programmes have proven to be highly effective in preventing substance abuse, delinquency and risky sexual behaviour. To support professionals in delivering scientific evidence-based practices in drug prevention, UNODC selected the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (SFP 10-14) for its suitability, adaptability to different country contexts, as well as for the long, rigorous research evidence that the programme is based on.   SFP 10-14 is a parent, youth and family skill-building curriculum, run in conjunction with schools, designed to prevent substance abuse and other behaviour problems in adolescents, to strengthen parenting skills and to build family strengths. SFP 10-14 has been piloted in all Regional Programme countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in close collaboration with the national counterparts since 2016. 

Representatives from law enforcement, education and health sectors of all eight Regional Programme countries got together at the expert group meeting conducted on 12-13 December 2019 in Almaty to discuss and to share  experiences of the programme delivery, both positive and also the challenges and how they were overcome.  The participants discussed how different countries face the challenge of sustainability as they move forward with family evidence-based interventions.

The delegates from the Regional Programme countries stated that the data from both parent and youth surveys in the countries have shown positive results. The results of parent surveys indicate increased appropriate parental discipline, parental monitoring and parental support.  The results of the youth survey show evidence of increased resilience in the adolescents who took part in the programme.  The countries overall received very good feedback indicating parents built healthier relationships with their children and youth valued their parents more. Some noted parents 'rediscovered' their children with improved communication.

 Having discussed many technical issues of the programme delivery and exchange of different opinions, the participants of the meeting made certain recommendations on the need to strengthen regional cooperation in relation to evidence based drug prevention interventions, noting the high value of being able to share experiences and best practices in this field. The participants reaffirmed the value of regular expert group meetings of the Regional Programme countries on prevention interventions.   The participants noted it was important to ensure training and capacity building, that there should be an emphasis on skills transfer through training of trainers and master trainer programmes. The participants highlighted the need for data collection, monitoring and analysis on implementation of evidence based prevention interventions.

Special thanks to the European Union and the Government of Finland for supporting the event and the programme implementation.