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Project Code and Sector
Project Background and Justification
Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities
Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements
Financial Information

AD/RAS/97/C73 - Improvement of Drug Abuse Data Collection Systems

1. Project Code and Sector

No. and Title: AD/RAS/97/C73 - Improvement of Drug Abuse Data Collection Systems
Status/Starting Date: Janurary 2000
Project Function: Subregional: Prevention and reduction of drug abuse
Duration: 4 years
Executing Agency: UNODC
Aggregate Budget & Funding Source: US$ 1,755,400


2. Project Background and Justification

The urgent need to reduce the demand for drugs of abuse, particularly in East Asia, is widely acknowledged. While the rapid spread of drug abuse has prompted the countries of the region to take countermeasures, such measures have been constrained by the inadequacy of reliable information on the drug abuse situation, and consequent weakness in the development of drug control policy.

The countries of the subregion, which are signatory to the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding on Drug Control (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam), report significant increases in drug abuse and related problems. China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam have all reported an increase in the level of drug abuse, particularly heroin abuse. Cambodia and Laos perceive an increase in drug abuse problems, but are unable to quantify the extent. Abuse of cannabis is widespread in all the countries of the subregion. The emerging problem of abuse related to methamphetamine, its derivatives and volatile solvents, as well as pharmaceutical preparations such as cough medications, is also observed. China, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam also report increased levels of injection drug use.

All the countries of the subregion have established or are in the process of forming Central Coordinating Agencies to assume responsibility for issues related to the prevention and control of drug abuse. However, significant variance has been observed in the level of authority and operational readiness amongst the agencies. Common to all the countries are coordinating agencies hampered by the lack of information required for assessing the drug abuse situation, the inadequacy, and in some instances the absence, of technical competence in the areas of data collection methodology, data storage/retrieval, analytical and interpretation techniques, as well as weaknesses in the organizational capacity to establish data collection systems. Some agencies also have significant limitations in the assignment of responsibilities for data collection and management.

Among the six MOU countries, consensus has emerged on the need for improvement in subregional capacities to monitor the extent, nature and trends of drug abuse through the development of national drug abuse information systems, commensurate with country resources and drawing upon a variety of sources.

As one of three elements within the demand reduction initiatives of the MOU Subregional Action Plan on Drug Control, this project will develop or strengthen the design and operations of drug abuse information systems within the subregion. Addressing the different needs of each national drug control agency, while providing a subregional context for training and coordination, the project aims to achieve four outputs: design or modification of organizational coordinating mechanisms and procedures to facilitate the development of drug abuse information systems; design and implementation of systematic data collection procedures using appropriate methodologies; development of human resource capacities regarding data collection techniques, storage/retrieval, analysis and interpretation; and assessment and provision of appropriate support in the form of hardware and software for operation of drug abuse information systems.


3. Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities

A. Immediate Objective:
Improve the design and operations of drug abuse information systems within the subregion.

B. Main Project Activities:
1. A Subregional Implementing Agency will be subcontracted through competitive bidding. The Project Team will then establish a detailed project workplan.
The Project Team will review the organizational structure, roles and responsibilities of the national lead agencies and other agencies responsible for drug abuse data gathering, and conduct assessment missions to the countries concerned.
Each participating government will ensure the designation of the national lead agency responsible for the coordination. Each national lead agency will assist the Project Team in the selection of a appropriate National Consultant to represent and participate in the national application of project activities.

Each national lead agency will establish or confirm its core human resource requirements for coordination as a focus of training and competence development for the information system and its technical requirements.
The Project Team will consolidate or establish standard operating procedures for coordination of information within and across the relevant agencies.

2. The Project Team will identify the data collection methodology to be adopted by the participating countries.
Data collection instruments will be designed and tested.
The detailed procedures for data collection, entry, checking, retrieval and analysis will be nationally structured and operationalized.
Reporting formats will be established.
The Project Team will prepare a subregional reporting format for review and agreement of all concerned parties.
Standard operating procedures manuals will be developed for each lead and associated national agency.

3. The Project Team will establish a training schedule to operate the national systems during the life of the project.
The Project Team will identify suitable individuals to conduct the needed training courses on a subregional basis.
Jointly the Training Team will prepare detailed curricula for the various subregional courses, consolidate the schedule of training activities organize and deliver a minimum of three subregional training courses for suitable candidates.
The Training Team will separately or collectively deliver the training courses.
The participants trained in subregional courses will modify the training materials for national application, and organize and deliver up to three national training courses per country; a total of eighteen (18) courses at the national level. Additionally the national training courses will be structured, to address the unique requirements of the national system.
The Project Team will provide supervision and advice for the trained personnel to implement their respective task functions.

4. The initial assessment of national information system requirements will be carried out for hardware and software specifications.
The Project Team will prepare or consolidate the design of each national information system as well as ascertain the necessary hardware and software requirements to operationalize such a system.
Appropriate vendors will be identified and tenders will be called and independently evaluated.
The Project Team will supervise the equipment purchase. The National Consultant will supervise the installation of equipment and ensure provision of on-the-job applications training.
The National Consultant will provide assistance to facilitate the operationalization of the drug abuse information data system.
The Project Team will undertake independent analysis to evaluate the compatibility and comparability of the information.
The Project Team will formulate a regional profile of the drug abuse situation.

C. Project Outputs:
1. Organizational coordinating mechanisms and procedures for drug abuse information systems designed/modified.

2. Systematic data collection procedures for the development of drug abuse information systems designed and implemented by responsible national agencies, using appropriate methodologies.

3. Human resource capacity for data collection, storage/retrieval, analysis and interpretation techniques, established.

4. Appropriate support provided in the form of hardware and software for the purposes of operationalizing a comprehensive drug abuse information system.


4. Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements

With varying levels of development, each MOU country has a drug control agency with which this project may be associated, either as a direct recipient or as a national coordinating agency.

The project will be executed by UNODC (Regional Centre, Bangkok) and implemented through a subcontracting arrangement with an appropriate academic institution having extensive experience with UN related project management, drug abuse epidemiology, as well as monitoring and information system development. At the national level, each participating government will identify the national lead agency responsible for the development and coordination of their drug abuse information system, and the activities of the project will be implemented by a Technical Unit to be formalized through the individual national agencies responsible for coordinating drug control matters. The country offices of UNODC or UNDP offices (in countries without a UNODC office) in the subregion will provide support to the project through their respective networks.

Within the Subregional Implementing Agency, a Project Team will be established with responsibility for the operational/technical aspects of the programme. The team will be comprised of the Project Director with overall responsibility for the project delivery, and the Project Coordinator responsible for the day-to-day operational aspects, and a Secretary to provide administrative support. The Project Team will be responsible to the Director, UNODC Regional Centre or designated official, and the Project Advisory Committee.

A Project Advisory Committee will consist of the Director, UNODC Regional Centre, Bangkok, or his designated official, and the members of the Project Team, and a representative of each national lead agency, and a representative of UNDP who may be invited to participate on the Committee when appropriate. The Committee will provide overall guidance in the project design, review progress, make decisions within the project framework, and prepare or endorse recommendations on substantive matters beyond its purview.


5. Financial Information

Project Budget in US$ (app)
Personnel 123,000
Sub-contract 1,553,450
Project Support Cost 201,950
Total $1,755,400