Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Building Civil Society Organizations capacities essential to prevent drug use in South West and Central Asia region 

Regional NGO Training workshop 26-28 July Tehran, Iran.

As part of a comprehensive effort to respond to drug use in South West and Central Asia UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries and the Asian Drug Demand Reduction NGOs Association (ADNA) organized a regional training workshops for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from 26-28 July 2016 in Teheran, The objectives of the training were: (i) to facilitate the exchange of best practices. (iii) guidelines on how to use this platform to enhance the visibility of their work and the overall credibility of their respective organizations and (iii) an introduction to Marketplace. 

The training was inaugurated by Brigadier General Ali Moayedi, Deputy of Drug Control Head Quarters, Government of Islamic Republic of Iran who highlighted the importance of capacity building and coordination of regional civil society organizations in dealing with the drug use problem effectively. UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries stated that CSOs are indispensable partners for UNODC efforts at the country level and the Regional Programme is following the UNODC Strategy while engaging with NGOs and CSOs especially in the area of drug demand reduction.

The sessions were interactive in nature, allowing not only for the intake of knowledge from the trainer, but also from each participant. Through several tours de table, debates and the feedback session, participants had the opportunity to share significant experience-based knowledge as well. Participants were given guidelines on how to optimise their online presence, including when creating the profiles of their organisations and projects. Furthermore, practical training was provided on project proposal writing, networking, the use of social media, fundraising, etc. 

The concept of Marketplace - a social innovation tool designed by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) and UNODC - was presented during the workshop. The Marketplace is an online platform that will help bridge local action and global priorities in the area of drug prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and alternative development, significantly reducing impact gaps.

The most appreciated part of the training, was the sharing of the participants' commitment and hands-on experience through the interactive nature of the training, which reinforced the sense of community and the message that civil society is stronger, when it speaks with one voice. In the words of a participant: "We are strong, when we are together." In terms of suggestions, it was recommended to continue to develop and promote Marketplace as part of an ongoing process of capacity building for CSOs working on drug related matters.

The follow-up activities to this pilot training will include: (i) providing individual assistance to the participant CSOs to create their organisation and project profiles; (ii) updating Marketplace to respond to the issues which were identified during the training and, thus, make it more user-friendly; (iii) developing the "How-to" guides and (iv) continue developing and promoting the Marketplace as an optimal online tool to increase the visibility and credibility of CSOs working on drug related issues in South West and Central Asia.