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 info@prevention-standards.eu 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