Category Archives: Project progress

Launch of EDPQS toolkits to support quality in prevention

We’re excited to announce that today sees the launch of new materials to support quality in prevention based on the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS).

What new materials are available and what do they offer?

As a result of a 2-year project to develop practical tools which could support practitioners, policy-makers and other members of the prevention community to achieve quality in prevention based on the EDPQS, the following support materials are now available:

  • EDPQS Toolkit 1 for policy-makers, commissioners and funders, summarising key messages and recommendations arising from the EDPQS for this professional group with special consideration given to the challenges of selecting prevention activities for funding or other forms of support
  • EDPQS Toolkit 2 for practitioners including service managers and front-line workers, including practical quality assessment checklists and improvement support questionnaires that can help practitioners identify stronger and weaker areas of their projects with a view to aiding self-reflection and communication with funders and other partners
  • EDPQS Toolkit 3 to help trainers and professional educators deliver training on quality and quality standards in drug prevention, including suggestions for interactive workshops with practitioners, decision-makers and University students, supported by presentation slides, participant handouts and more
  • EDPQS Toolkit 4 for people in a coordinating role wishing to develop or introduce quality standards at a regional or national level or in a particular setting, providing step-by-step guidance on how to translate, adapt and disseminate quality standards based on real-life examples of EDPQS adaptation
Toolkit 4

A preview of EDPQS Toolkit 4 (Adaptation & Dissemination)

Screenshot of EDPQS web application

Screenshot of EDPQS web application for practitioners

EDPQS Toolkit 2 is also available as a web application. Thanks to a successful collaboration with 2GIKA web services, those in charge of planning, developing and implementing prevention activities (e.g. service managers, programme developers, front-line workers) can use this toolkit in an interactive and engaging way. Toolkits users can:

  • Receive immediate feedback on the quality of different prevention activities
  • Track progress in developing activities further
  • Easily enter and save information about prevention activities
  • Save work and come back later
  • Download the information for reusing it elsewhere (e.g. reports)

In addition, the Partnership developed the following resources to aid work with the EDPQS and support a better understanding of the work we do:

  • EDPQS Activities Map informs you about EDPQS-related activities in different countries, available translations of EDPQS materials, contact details of local and national project partners, and much more
  • A Brief Summary includes a handout as well as a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used to quickly understand and explain to others what the EDPQS offer
  • EDPQS Position Paper explains some of the theoretical considerations underpinning the EDPQS work, in particular the Partnership’s views on the aims of drug prevention and the principles of high quality prevention
  • EDPQS Theory of Change clarifies how introduction of quality standards can help to improve prevention practice and lead to better outcomes for target populations
  • Questions & Answers help to clarify common questions and possible misunderstandings regarding the EDPQS

An overview of all new materials as well as previous materials (such as the Manual and the Quick Guide) is available from the Resources page.

What are the EDPQS and why are new materials needed?

The EDPQS were published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in 2011. They can help the prevention community as they:

  • Define what quality means in relation to drug prevention
  • Offer a vision of what prevention should aspire to
  • Formulate basic- and expert-level expectations toward prevention activities
  • Translate good practice recommendations into specific quality statements
EDPQS Partnership

The European Prevention Standards Partnership, at a meeting in Athens in February 2015

The EDPQS were developed by the European Prevention Standards Partnership, a consortium comprising European partners from practice, policy and academia, and supported by co-funding received from the European Union (for more information, see the EDPQS Phase I project page).

Following publication of the standards, it became clear that practical application of the standards would require additional support materials. Consequently, an extended Partnership started work in 2013 to develop practical tools which could support practitioners, policy-makers and other members of the prevention community to achieve quality in prevention based on the EDPQS (for more information, see the EDPQS Phase II project page).

Prof Harry Sumnall, LJMUProfessor Harry Sumnall, project lead in the EDPQS Phase I and Phase II projects, said:

“I’m pleased that we can now offer practical tools to help people put the EDPQS into practice without having to rely only on the thick EDPQS manual and the simple quick guide. I look forward to hearing about people’s experiences with the toolkits and hope that they will contribute to improving the quality of prevention activities, ensuring that money and effort are invested in activities that represent and support good practice. I hope we as a Partnership can continue our work on EDPQS in the future, possibly by providing training and linking EDPQS to broader activities to help professionalise the workforce and develop national prevention systems further.”

To learn more about the EDPQS, please visit our introduction to the EDPQS. You can also sign up to our newsletter to receive future updates regarding the EDPQS. For any additional enquiries, please feel free to contact us.

Project Update #8: EDPQS Phase II has formally ended

The second phase of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) project formally ended on 31st March 2015. We’re pleased to report that all project activities were successfully completed, and the project outputs are now in the final stages of preparation (translation, graphical design).

Please come back in summer 2015, when this website will be re-launched with the new EDPQS Toolkits.

Project Update #7: Final partnership meeting and EDPQS workshop in Athens

EDPQS Partnership

The Prevention Standards Partnership in Athens, Greece

From 23rd to 25th February 2015, the Prevention Standards Partnership met in Athens, Greece, to discuss progress on the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) Phase II project as well as possible next steps. Additionally, on 26th February, Greek project partner UMHRI organised a national training event on EDPQS, involving practitioners and commissioners from all over Greece.

Discussing findings from the ‘pilot training’ – finalising the EDPQS Training Pack

With the Phase II project officially coming to an end in March 2015, the Partnership focused on necessary actions to finalise the toolkits being developed at this stage of the work. Special attention was given to the results of the ‘pilot training’ activity, which was carried out in six partner countries at the beginning of 2015 (Mentor International’s Prevention Hub reported on the London event). During this pilot, the Partners tested the forthcoming EDPQS Training Pack, which has been developed by project partners ASL 2 Savonese and LJMU. In total, 99 individuals participated in the pilot training, including practitioners, policy-makers, commissioners, national certifiers and University students.

The EDPQS Training Pack will include a trainer’s guide, PowerPoint slides and handouts that can be used to deliver training on how to use the EDPQS. The intention is to provide materials which, if read and followed carefully, will enable interested individuals to become EDPQS trainers and to introduce and promote the EDPQS in their own contexts.

Pilot training in Warsaw

Groupwork activity during the pilot training event in Warsaw, Poland

Results from the pilot training suggested that participants enjoyed the training, and that it helped them to appreciate the EDPQS more fully. Data about the pilot training were collected through observations, open discussions, a quiz and feedback forms. Partners reported that although many participants had known about the EDPQS previously, it was this training which helped participants to really understand how the standards can bring about practical benefits. Across all countries, participants’ favourite session was a group exercise during which the quality of a fictional prevention project was reviewed, using the EDPQS checklist from the Quick Guide. From the trainers’ perspective, project partners highlighted that more time should be allocated to the group exercises, as these were most beneficial to participants and facilitated a deeper engagement with the standards. At the meeting, the Partnership discussed these findings and agreed on necessary revisions of the EDPQS Training Pack.

Once the toolkits are ready for publication, the website will be updated accordingly and the Training Pack will then become available for download. The meeting also provided an opportunity to record video messages from Project Partners concerning the EDPQS project and the forthcoming toolkits, which will be added to the website alongside the toolkits.

Beyond Phase II

Plans for EDPQS activities beyond Phase II were also discussed. It was encouraging that all partners reported plans to continue work with the EDPQS at their national level. Besides promoting the toolkits, most Partners intend to use the EDPQS Training Pack to deliver training on the EDPQS in the months following Phase II. However, to better coordinate and sustain these efforts it was agreed that a Phase III project would be most beneficial. This confirmed the findings of a meeting held earlier this month in Bergeggi, Italy, under the auspices of Italian project partner Rachele Donini of ASL 2 Savonese to discuss plans for a potential Phase III. It was also reconfirmed that future work should focus on models of prevention systems and how the EDPQS can help to improve prevention policy-making and commissioning.

Promoting EDPQS in Greece

Greek project partners Ioulia Bafi and Anastasios Fotiou from the University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI), Greece, made use of the presence of the Partnership and organised a training event on the day following the partnership meeting. Some 20 practitioners and commissioners from different parts of Greece attended this event, many of whom had already been involved in earlier activities of the project and were interested to find out more.

Professor Harry Sumnall gave a lecture describing current concepts and emerging issues regarding prevention, and how quality standards may support prevention activities. The presentation expanded on some of the issues which will also be explored in the forthcoming EDPQS Position Paper authored by Harry.

This was followed by a session exploring different country prevention systems. Angelina Brotherhood highlighted that research has only begun in recent years to explore the differences between country prevention systems, and which elements of such systems are best suited to support high quality in drug prevention. Following this introduction, systems in four countries were presented and discussed: Sweden, Poland, United Kingdom, and Greece. Contributions were made by Anders Eriksson from the Social Development Unit, Social Services Administration, Stockholm, Sweden; Artur Malczewski from the Polish National Bureau for Drug Prevention (NBDP); Harry Sumnall from Liverpool John Moores University; and Sotia Makaroni from PRONOI, a Greek prevention provider who was involved in the ‘case study’ activity also undertaken in EDPQS Phase II. The current and potential role of quality standards was highlighted in each presentation.

A group exercise was then undertaken in line with the EDPQS Training Pack. In groups, participants discussed mechanisms which exist in Greece to ensure the quality of preventive work, and how these mechanisms could be improved and supported using EDPQS. Participants engaged very much with this discussion, and the session ended only because the facilitator had to leave for the airport.

The Greek hosts Ioulia and Anastasios concluded the day by asking participants to devise an action plan about how to promote quality and use of quality standards in their own work, their organisation and at the national level. Feedback from the group suggested the need for training on EDPQS, but also helped to identify a group of motivated stakeholders active at the national level who could support the promotion and application of EDPQS in Greece.

It was interesting for the EDPQS Project Partners to meet members of the Greek prevention community and to experience the enthusiasm for high quality prevention displayed by the group. Likewise, participants enjoyed meeting in person the authors of the EDPQS, as well as being able to network with their colleagues from other parts in Greece and to discuss how the quality of prevention can be further promoted and developed in this country. This was a perfect example for the kind of exchange and advocacy at national level which the EDPQS project hopes to set in motion.

Project Update #6: The current EDPQS Project enters its final phase

Jeff LeeIn today’s blog, Project Manager Jeff Lee from the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) reviews the work undertaken by the Prevention Standards Partnership during 2014 and outlines the final phase of work. The European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) Phase II Project will formally come to an end on 31 March 2015.

What happened during 2014?

Time has flown and it seems incredible that we are now entering the final three months of the project’s life. Two important activities were begun late in 2013 and pursued during the first half of 2014. The two initial activities involved a “mapping” of existing toolkits in the health promotion field, and a needs assessment to help identify priority target audiences for EDPQS support materials and their needs (see Project Update 2 and Project Update 5 for details).

The findings from these two pieces of research provided important information and a baseline for the major focus of the second half of 2014 – the planning, development and writing of the EDPQS toolkits.

The toolkits will be a major project outcome intended to raise the awareness and help with the application of the Quality Standards by those engaged with planning, supporting or reviewing prevention related initiatives. LJMU led on this task and developed a methodology that could be used to prepare the toolkits. This was reviewed and refined with project partners and resulted in a plan for developing three toolkits.

Development of the toolkits is still ongoing. Each toolkit is being developed through a Partner acting as the lead: Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary; ASL Milano in Italy and LJMU in the UK. Each lead Partner is supported by other Partners that have been assigned to support a particular toolkit’s development.

Three toolkits are in process:

  • A toolkit to assist policy makers, commissioners, funders to identify whether a programme or a project is worthy of (financial or other) support, and which will provide information on how to follow-up the implementation of supported programmes through evaluation activities. All information will be provided within the framework of the EDPQS.
  • A toolkit to support the programme developers, service managers and front-line practitioners to review and improve their own prevention work, based upon the EDPQS
  • A toolkit to support people who wish to promote quality in prevention to raise awareness and disseminate the EDPQS. The toolkit will contain a short introduction to the EDPQS; training materials for use in face-to-face workshops; as well as guidelines to translating, adapting and disseminating the EDPQS. A position paper will be included on the use of the EDPQS with respect to a shared vision of high quality drug prevention.

The three toolkits are going through many stages of development, review, and refinement based on the initial consultation, as well as comments and feedback from the Partnership. Most importantly, the toolkits are being developed, redrafted and refined on the basis of consultations with and feedback from stakeholders in each of the countries involved as well as other potential users of the toolkits.

This major “toolkit phase” of the Project has meant a great deal of work and committed input by Partners. As an example, what might appear as the simple task of developing a two-page summary of the EDPQS project as an element of one of the toolkits is now in its 14th draft version following consultations with Partners and stakeholders!

Into 2015……..

2015 has arrived with three months left of the Project’s life. The toolkits are now reaching their final stage of development. They will be produced in English and in the Partner languages as appropriate (Austrian, Czech, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian and Polish).

One further activity of the Project which began in 2014 but which will be implemented in 2015 is a pilot training for Commissioners and others engaged in the prevention field. The training will be prepared as a half day, one day or two day training course and will be piloted with invited members of the prevention community in the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland and the UK. The aim of the training is to raise awareness and understanding of the EDPQS among key people, particularly Commissioners, with a view to the Standards being applied in their regular work in funding, developing, reviewing or implementing prevention focused activities. Based on the feedback from the pilot training, the training materials will become an element of what will be provided as part of the Project’s “end products”.

It is the production and online publication of these “products” – the toolkits and the training pack – that will be the final part of the current EDPQS project. These will help make the work undertaken in Phase I – the initial production of the European Standards and the Project Manual – readily accessible and applied by those active in the prevention community. Our belief is that this will assist in the improvement of the quality of prevention undertaken in Europe and offer the potential for prevention activities based on sound research, good science and with the possibility of being both cost and person effective.

Watch this space…….

However, the challenge of ensuring that the Standards and their “products” are implemented and used in countries throughout Europe remains. Raising awareness, disseminating available materials and providing training will be the task of a Phase III… if or when it happens! Watch this space!

Project Update #5: From needs assessment to toolkit development

Summary report on the needs assessment available

Needs assessment summary

Today we’re pleased to present a summary report on a needs assessment which we carried out over the first months of 2014 as part of our European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) Phase II project. The needs assessment consisted of an online survey as well as discussion groups in seven project partner countries, and involved over 500 respondents with a stake in drug prevention, including practitioners, policy makers and others.

In the past, we’ve repeatedly heard that the EMCDDA Manual on the EDPQS is not sufficiently interactive and engaging to motivate a real change in professional attitudes and skills among the prevention workforce. Our overall aim in the needs assessment was therefore to develop a better understanding of the kind of support materials (‘toolkits’) needed to produce that change.

The feedback we received was extremely helpful to clarify what is needed to help implement and disseminate the EDPQS across Europe – in terms of content, but also in terms of presentation and style to ensure acceptability to target audiences. The results confirmed some of the assumptions we held based on previous fieldwork, but we also gained some new insights.

One interesting finding from the online survey related to the preferred format of toolkits. We had assumed that people would want to learn about the EDPQS using new and innovative approaches, such as webinars. However, respondents actually preferred traditional learning methods. Most people expressed a preference for small group workshops as a way to learn about the EDPQS. Sub-group analyses showed that it was particularly younger respondents who were interested in workshops. Large proportions of respondents also opted for self-learning using printed and static electronic materials, as well as lecture-style presentations. We found this surprising, given that self-learning and lectures are considered to be among the least engaging learning methods. However, these were also the most frequently utilised methods in practice, so respondents expressed a preference for methods which they are familiar with.

The discussion groups offered detailed insights into potential target audiences, contents and formats. Importantly, participants highlighted target audiences that we had not considered so explicitly, namely: school directors (head teachers); local government representatives; ‘opinion leaders’ in prevention who could help to promote the EDPQS (e.g., professional associations); and young people and their parents. In total, we were able to distinguish 14 groups who may be targeted with support materials. The needs assessment helped to identify priority target audiences among these 14 groups.

Download the summary report

The summary report contains more information about the purpose of the needs assessment as well as the key findings. The more detailed background reports are available upon request.

Vienna meeting to kick-off toolkit development

In the report, we also present initial ideas for the toolkits to be developed in response to the needs assessment. Broadly speaking, we envisage that the toolkits will serve three different purposes:

  • Toolkit 1: Supporting decision makers (e.g., funders and school directors) to select prevention activities for funding or other forms of support
  • Toolkit 2: Supporting service managers, programme developers and other practitioners to review and improve their own prevention work using the EDPQS
  • Toolkit 3: Providing materials to help promote high quality in prevention, including informational leaflets, presentations, training materials, advocacy papers, and guidelines on how to adapt the EDPQS for own purposes

The Prevention Standards Partnership has established three working groups, each of which is charged with developing a toolkit. From May to July, working groups reviewed all the available information (from the needs assessment but also previous project activities) to develop detailed work plans outlining the purpose and contents of the toolkits. Special attention was given to the question: what are the practical benefits of the toolkit for the identified target audiences?

On 22nd July 2014, the three working group leaders Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary, ASL Milano, Italy, and Liverpool John Moores University, UK, met in Vienna, Austria to review and finalise all three work plans. First drafts of the toolkits should be available soon, and the final toolkits are due to be published in spring 2015.

The project now enters a critical stage: the development of the materials according to the agreed work plans. But this will not be a process behind closed doors. On the contrary, we are continuing to involve stakeholders – many of who participated in the online survey and discussion groups – in the toolkit development. Stakeholders can contribute by commenting on the usefulness of the materials being developed, by making specific suggestions regarding the contents, sharing their lessons learnt or relevant external materials with us, and so on.

If you would like to become involved as a stakeholder, please contact EDPQS Project Manager Jeff Lee at

Project Update #4: Reflections on the 2nd Project Meeting and the future of the EDPQS Project

Prevention Standards PartnershipFrom 26-28th February 2014, the Prevention Standards Partnership met in Milan, Italy, to discuss progress on the EDPQS Phase II project activities and to plan forthcoming activities. The two main issues discussed are outlined below.


(i) Who would benefit most from using the EDPQS?

Over the past months we have been exploring, through case studies and an online survey, how the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) might be applied in practice and what support the prevention community requires to undertake high quality drug prevention. As a consequence, we discussed who would benefit most from using the EDPQS; how they might benefit from using them; and what the Partnership needs to do to facilitate this. Responses to the online survey suggested that the main target audiences for support materials (to be developed in the next stage of Phase II) should be:

  • Policy makers
  • Programme developers
  • Drug prevention practitioners
  • Trainers

It was further suggested that support materials should facilitate informal/formal review of prevention activities, as well as support their planning and design, and include delivery of workshops/training on the EDPQS. These findings were in line with the results from the case studies. Participants in the case studies had benefitted most from the EDPQS as a tool to review their own prevention activities, to identify strengths and weaknesses, and as a general framework to conceptualise prevention. To complete the formal needs assessment, project partners will be carrying out focus groups in March and April, where these topics will be discussed in greater detail. However, we will continue involving target audiences in the development of the support materials.

(ii) How to ensure the sustainability of the project achievements?

The EDPQS were developed in Phase I as a European reference framework for high quality drug prevention. In the current Phase II, we aim to ‘prepare’ implementation of the EDPQS by developing support materials and pilot training. This suggests that Phase III should focus on implementing the EDPQS: by disseminating the support materials, including training and provision of other tailored support. These activities would ensure that the EDPQS are a ‘living’ tool, not a final product sitting on a bookshelf. But such activities require structures and resources that are beyond the capacities of the Prevention Standards Partnership in its current form. The question remains as to which organisations could take our efforts in promoting high quality drug prevention to the next level?

To inform our thinking on these matters, colleagues from Italy, Poland and Sweden shared their experiences of translating and using the EDPQS within their own cultural contexts. These presentations highlighted the regional and national differences with regard to how the EDPQS are perceived and how easy or difficult it can be to translate and disseminate them. This suggested the need for different dissemination strategies in different countries or even regions. Should future activities consequently take place at regional, national and/or international levels? Should we pursue a bottom-up and/or a top-down approach? Are we to promote the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards or national versions of them? The answers to these questions have implications for what activities a Phase III might include and who would be in the best position to undertake these.

We were unable to find answers to these important questions and we will no doubt be considering them in-depth over the coming months.

Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to participate in our discussions or future activities.

Project Update #3: Online survey launched – Please participate

survey_thumbnailUsing the Quality Standards: Who wants what?

We need your views –  Please participate in our online survey

One major outcome of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) Phase II project will be the provision of materials to support those working in the drug prevention community with respect to using the Quality Standards. These materials will include:

  • Support materials to help in applying the Standards to current practice
  • Training and “train the trainer” courses for different prevention providers and policy makers
  • Indicators to help provide evidence for the achievement of the Standards
  • Expert publications on specific issues related to quality standards in prevention

These materials will help all those working in the prevention field to develop their work in accordance with sound principles and evidence.

We are undertaking an online survey to obtain information from those engaged in different aspects of drug prevention to inform this development.

The survey is available in the following languages:


We hope you will feel able to complete the survey and give your views. This will help to ensure that the support materials will:

a.    Be targeted at the appropriate groups
b.    Focus on the appropriate content needs
c.    Be offered in the appropriate format to facilitate their active use.

Your views are essential if we are to achieve this. We would like all those who are involved in drug prevention at whatever level to complete the survey. This includes commissioners, policy makers, programme developers, service/programme managers, practitioners and other prevention providers, researchers, evaluators, programme accreditors. The questionnaire aims to use your expertise and experience to inform us of your needs and views of what is required at the field level.

Your participation will of course be anonymous but extremely valuable. Please help us by completing the survey before February 12, 2014.

Our thanks in anticipation of your support.

Professor Harry Sumnall
Lead, EDPQS Phase II Project
Centre for Public Health
Liverpool John Moores University

Jeff Lee
Project Manager, EDPQS Phase II Project
Centre for Public Health
Liverpool John Moores University

on behalf of the Prevention Standards Partnership

Project Update #2: Activities undertaken in 2013 and what lies ahead

Jeff LeeIn today’s blog post, Project Manager Jeff Lee from the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) reviews the activities undertaken by the Prevention Standards Partnership in 2013 and outlines what will be happening over the next few months.

The New Year has arrived and it promises to be a productive one for the EDPQS Phase II Project and its Partners.

Looking back at 2013

The year 2013 saw the Project launched with the first Partnership meeting in April and the subsequent focus on Workstream 1. This addressed the application of the Prevention Standards that were developed in Phase I of the Project and published by the EMCDDA in its Manual series.

There were three key activities connected with this workstream:

  1. Reviewing indicators for quality standards: this involved reviewing existing quality standards with a specific view to how achievement of standards is evidenced. Charles University Prague in the Czech Republic took the lead on this work with LJMU, with other Partners providing examples of work on the application of indicators and issues relating to quality assurance and accreditation.
  2. The second activity involved identifying specific projects as Case Studies to explore how the Prevention Standards applied to specific practical examples of prevention work. The practical examples were provided by Partners in Italy, Hungary, Greece, Austria, Germany and Sweden (reported in Project Update #1). This allowed the sound theory of the Standards to be “checked” in practice and to ascertain how far the Standards had been applied, and their relevance and value to existing examples of prevention work. Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) coordinated this activity and is now in the process of producing a synthesis of the learning from this important piece of work.
  3. The third activity was the development of a concise set of indicators for the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards linking with the work and learning from the two activities above. This has been undertaken by Charles University Prague with LJMU and will be finalised in the early months of 2014.

What lies ahead in the first months of 2014

The end of 2013 was a phase of preparation for a busy start to the new year. Workstream 2 has its overall challenge for developing “toolkits” that will help different target audiences to be better able to implement the Prevention Standards in their work. The first two activities for this workstream are underway and are the focus of the Partners’ work as the new year begins:

  1. The first activity will involve Partners identifying existing toolkits used in health and social welfare and reviewing them so as to help inform the way forward for the Prevention Standards toolkits. Led by Azienda Sanitaria Locale Milano (ASL Milano) in Italy and supported by LJMU this activity will help to inform the content, style and methodology for developing effective and accessible toolkits using the data that will be provided. The methodology for obtaining this information has been prepared and will be implemented by Partners early in the New Year.
  2. At the same time Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies (OFDT) in France have been working with LJMU to develop a needs assessment methodology that will be used by Partners to undertake an online survey with a range of informants to gain information on the needs of the different potential target audiences with respect to the toolkits including their content, format and methodology. This will be followed up by Partners undertaking focus groups to further explore the needs and priorities that will guide the development of the toolkits. Details of how to participate in these consultations will be posted on this website in due course.

The learning from these two activities will be essential to the ensuing focus on identifying priority target audiences and developing and piloting bespoke toolkits.

Next month, there will also be a Partnership meeting in Milan that will allow the opportunity to share and review the Project’s work and progress and to discuss important issues for the Project’s development and achievement.

So it is a busy start to the New Year and we hope that all interested parties, including those who read this, will feel able to contribute their thoughts, knowledge and expertise to support our work. We seek to provide practical “tools” to assist the drug prevention community in the development and implementation of sound and effective prevention based on agreed and well evidenced quality standards. Your engagement with this effort will be much appreciated by all our Partners. Please send any comments or suggestions to or use our contact form.

In the meantime all good wishes from the Prevention Standards Partnership for a happy, healthy and successful 2014. I hope we can work together for further progress in identifying and applying prevention action that will be meaningful and effective.

Jeff Lee
Project Manager
European Drug Prevention Quality Standards Phase 2
Liverpool John Moores University

Project Update #1: Case Studies undertaken by Project Partners

A major element in the first year of the Prevention Standards Phase II project has now been completed. It involved undertaking case studies of specific projects as one way of checking the relevance and usefulness of the Standards developed during Phase I of the Project against “real” prevention activities as well as to aid the development of specific indicators for the Standards.

The Project Lead, four Co-Beneficiary Partners and three Associate Partners assisted in this task. Partners identified the Cases to be studied and explored them using an agreed methodology, providing relevant documentation, undertaking site visits and interviewing representatives of the selected Cases, and subsequently providing their feedback for analysis by the Project Lead.

The Case Studies were selected to offer a diverse range of examples of prevention work being undertaken to include a range of target groups and settings; different delivery systems; a range of providers; and of course a range of countries and cultures.

Overall, seven different prevention activities were included in the Case Studies:

  • Two of the Case Studies were undertaken by the team at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) with Associate Partner projects: REBOUND, which is a school based resilience and risk competence training programme led by the University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany; and the Three Cities initiative being undertaken in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg, represented in Phase II by the Social Development Unit, Social Services Administration, Stockholm, Sweden.This project is as an example of a commissioning process, and was of special interest to Phase II as the Prevention Standards have been actively used as part of the initiative (see examples of use).
From left: Angelina Brotherhood (LJMU), Henrik Jungaberle (REBOUND), Maximilian von Heyden (REBOUND), Harry Sumnall (LJMU), Jeff Lee (LJMU), Vera Schultka (REBOUND), Christina Wippermann (REBOUND), Ede Nagy (REBOUND). 11 June 2013, Heidelberg.

Site visit by LJMU to the REBOUND project at the University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany.

  • Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary examined a project named Kék Pont City Art Műhely programme as their Case Study, which addresses an out-of-school target group using a participant- and needs-led approach.
  • ASL Milano in Italy investigated the adaptation and implementation of Botvin’s Life Skills Training programme, which has been undertaken by a regional monitoring centre (Osservatorio Regionale sulle Dipendenze – OreD). This is an established and internationally used school based programme and the Case Study thus allows an exploration of the Standards for an adaptation of existing programmes.
  • The Institute for the Prevention of Addictions and Drug Abuse (Institut Suchtprävention, pro mente Oberösterreich) in Austria identified their Case Study as Peer Drive Clean. This project consists of alcohol education delivered in driving schools, and was of interest to Phase II as it was not entirely prevention driven (the aim is reduction of alcohol related harms rather than prevention of use).
  • The University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI) in Greece conducted a Case Study with the Prevention Centre for Addiction and Psychosocial Health Promotion of the Municipality of Kifisia (PRONOI). This offers a Case Study from a deliverer of prevention as PRONOI develops and implements interventions primarily in the area of drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention.
Site visit by UMHRI to the Pronoi Prevention Center in Kifisia, Greece.

Site visit by UMHRI to the Pronoi Prevention Center in Kifisia, Greece.

  • An additional (self funded) Case Study was carried out with the short version of the Standards by an Associate Partner, the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs in Spain (PNSD). They will undertake a Case Study using the Entre todos, school and family based prevention programme.

The seven Case Studies undertaken have involved significant time in preparation, review of relevant documentation, undertaking the Case study interviews, and writing the follow up reports. The empirical fieldwork has now been completed, and the results will be analysed by the Project Lead, Liverpool John Moores University. The findings from this piece of work will help in the preparation of Quality Standard indicators and the refinement of the Prevention Standards in conjunction with the work undertaken by the Co-Beneficiary Partner Charles University in Prague (CUNI) on evidencing achievement and the development of indicators.

Further information about the individual Project Partners can be found on the Partnership in Phase II page; and further information about the project activities can be found in the description of the Phase II project. For any additional information, please contact us.