UNODC data explained for civil society

Vienna (Austria), 15 December 2021 – Data produced by UNODC provides essential evidence to inform policymaking of Member States and is also an important tool for the work of the civil society.
To further strengthen the meaningful engagement of civil society organizations in the work of UNODC, the “UNODC Data Explained” initiative was launched by UNODC Civil Society Unit (UNODC CSU) and UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch (UNODC RAB).
In the second edition of a series of webinars organized jointly with the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), experts from UNODC explained the approach and principles governing data production on drug-related issues in UNODC and discussed how non-governmental stakeholders can meaningfully contribute to data collection.
Billy Batware, Programme Officer in UNODC CSU opened the webinar that gathered more than 100 participants from around the world and moderated the discussion.
Chloe Carpentier, Chief of UNODC Drug Research Section gave an overview on which drug-related data UNODC collects, which is used for example in the World Drug Report and explained how the data collected is used to inform evidence-based interventions to counter the World Drug Problem.
Enrico Bisogno, Chief of UNODC Data Development and Dissemination Section familiarizing participants with the way UNODC works with the Member States and other relevant stakeholders, including Academia and Non-Governmental Organizations to collect the most useful data, giving best practice examples. He and his team presented how data is collected through the Annual Research Questionnaire (ARQ) sent to the Member States, and through new and innovative methods such as the use of Big Data. For example, every year UNODC is actively collaborating with WHO, UNAIDS and the World Bank to produce joint estimates on people who inject drugs (PWIDs), and HIV and hepatitis B & C prevalence among PWIDs. Also, UNODC is collaborating with WHO to develop a joint data set and estimates on drug-related deaths.
The event was interactive, with the speakers addressing questions to the audience to discuss issues such as “What could CSOs do to improve national and global data on drugs?”.
The civil society participants also had opportunities to ask questions, many of which focused on how data collected by UNODC can be accessed. Data collected, including in relation to drugs can be viewed and accessed through the UNODC Data Portal, which is open to the public.
Concluding the event Jamie Bridge, Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs thanked UNODC CSU and UNODC RAB for the event and encouraged participants to visit the NGO Marketplace, an interactive online platform that allows NGOs to network, share drug-related expertise including data from the ground.