Extended: EHRA is looking for a travel agency in Lithuania for logistics services

EHRA is looking for a travel agency for a long-term contract to assist with business travel.

Travel Agency must be based in, or have an office in Vilnius, Lithuania. The contracted Travel Agency will provide a wide range of travel management services and should have the capacity to handle commercial accounts. The Travel Agency should provide travel services (embedded person) from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm during working days. In addition, Travel Agency shall provide for 24/7 emergency service, as well as for services during weekends and official holidays where emergency travel service is required. One of the Travel Agency’s employees shall always be reachable by phone.

Much of the travel must be organized on short notice, thereby placing a premium on efficiency and rapid communication in handling all travel related matters.

The proposal should be delivered to Irena Zubkova by e-mail irena@harmreductioneurasia.org by COB 2nd of July, 2020

The proposal must include the following information:
– filled out application form (Annex 1 to this RfP)

EHRA is looking for a travel agency in Lithuania for logistics services

EHRA is looking for a travel agency for a long-term contract to assist with business travel.

Travel Agency must be based in, or have an office in Vilnius, Lithuania. The contracted Travel Agency will provide a wide range of travel management services and should have the capacity to handle commercial accounts. The Travel Agency should provide travel services (embedded person) from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm during working days. In addition, Travel Agency shall provide for 24/7 emergency service, as well as for services during weekends and official holidays where emergency travel service is required. One of the Travel Agency’s employees shall always be reachable by phone.

Much of the travel must be organized on short notice, thereby placing a premium on efficiency and rapid communication in handling all travel related matters.

The proposal should be delivered to Irena Zubkova by e-mail irena@harmreductioneurasia.org by COB 22 of June, 2020

The proposal must include the following information:
filled out application form (Annex 1 to this RfP)

Review of harm reduction programs in the situation of the COVID-19 crisis in 22 CEECA countries is published

In most countries of the CEECA region, opioid substitution therapy (OST) and sterile needle/syringe programmes (NSP) – key components of an evidence-based and comprehensive harm reduction (HR) programme – continue to operate under COVID-19 quarantine measures. Such work requires flexibility, readiness for mutual partnerships and strong advocacy by community and harm reduction activists. Unfortunately, the practice of amnesty of prisoners for drug-related crimes because of COVID-19 quarantine requirements has not been implemented in the region.

Key changes in harm reduction services include the following:

Provision of takehome OST. For many countries of the region, OST medications have been made available to take home for the first time, for periods of 5 to 14 days and sometimes up to one month. The opportunity to get take-home OST (both buprenorphine and methadone) became available to all clients in every country of the region except for Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Initially, there were difficulties in some countries in enrolling new clients onto such programmes. Some countries developed partnerships, such as mobile outpatient clinics, to deliver OST medications and, often, together with antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs to clients in remote locations.

Harm reduction works remotely. In all countries of the region, organisations have managed to deliver a range of commodities such as– sterile needles and syringes, masks, disinfectant, hygiene materials, naloxone, tests, and information materials for people who use drugs (PWUD). As a result of the restriction in movement caused by COVID-19, such service providers have found it necessary to deliver sufficient supplies at one time to cover the needs of an individual for 1-2 weeks. Often, materials are provided by mobile outpatient clinics, including social workers delivering such assistance by use of their own car or through use of a courier. Organisations have arranged online counselling for clients and, wherever possible, HIV testing through self-test kits delivered to clients. In providing such remote services, social workers and psychologists have needed to urgently develop additional skills and the management of organisations have had to introduce a flexible system of monitoring for the new service modalities.

Providing the essentials – food and shelter. For a large number of problematic users of psychoactive substances, quarantine restrictions and curfews have restricted access to temporary accommodation and made it impossible for them to earn money to find drugs. Responding to such basic needs, some organisations have re-planned budgets (as has been the case, for example, for EHRA members in Czechia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, and Slovakia), or organised crowdfunding campaigns to be able to feed those in need (as undertaken by the Pink House in Bulgaria). In some countries, partnerships have been established to make it possible to provide shelter to PWUD and women who are victims of violence. In Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, harm reduction organisations have helped their clients to receive specific assistance for unemployed people in connection with COVID-19.

Partnership in the integration of services. In most countries, the crisis situation has prompted medical centres and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of various types to partner in the daily provision and delivery of necessary preventive materials, substitution therapy and ART drugs, and food supplies to clients, especially in remote areas.

Flexibility of services in response to changes in the drug scene. Due to the closure of international borders as a result of COVID-19, the drug scene has changed in many countries, with access to some drugs becoming more difficult, resulting in people having to use everything that they can find, including various prescription drugs mixed with alcohol. Many clients need advice to reduce harm in using new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as help to prevent overdose. In some countries, such as Kazakhstan, Lithuania, and Serbia, such consultations are already under development. In Prague, because crystal methamphetamine is less available, community organisations have pushed for the introduction of substitution therapy for stimulant users.

Risk of service interruption due to deficiencies in the supply chain. The closure of international borders has also led to a disruption in the supply of substitution therapy medications in Moldova; similar risks exist in other countries. In addition, government authorities responsible for OST and other harm reduction programmes in several countries have not issued a tender for the purchase of medications from public organisations providing harm reduction services; this is particularly critical in Bulgaria and Montenegro.

As Ala Iatco, the EHRA Steering Committee member from Moldova, has noted: “Now we need to transform the harm reduction system. In different countries, the situation is different and depends on many factors, but the pandemic is not only a crisis but also a chance to move new services forward.” Online discussions organised by the Steering Committee of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) were held between April 14 and April 23, 2020[1], with 51 members of the Association in seven sub-regional groups concerning the state of harm reduction programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic in 22 countries of the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) region. During discussions, members of the Association identified the main tasks of national and regional advocacy to overcome the crisis at the national and regional levels.

[1] Information was also updated as of 19 May 2020.

Download the Report

Results of the EHRA General Meeting 2020

On 11-24 May, 2020 the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) conducted the online General meeting of its 287 members.

According to the Statute of EHRA, no less than 1/3 (33,33%) of members shall participate in the General meeting, which means that at least 96 members should participate in the voting procedure. 141 participants took part in the online General meeting of EHRA members. 139 individual and organizational members’ votes are considered eligible for voting in the online General meeting. 2 votes were not counted as valid, because they didn’t have a right to vote in the EHRA online General meeting (not official representative of the organization, not an individual member of EHRA). Thus, quorum was reached, as 48,43% of members participated in the General meeting.

As a result, the online General meeting approved seven announced by EHRA issues:

  1. Approval of EHRA strategy for 2020-2024 (Confirmed – 134; didn’t confirm – 1; abstained – 4).
  2. Approval of EHRA financial report for 2019 year (Confirmed – 127; didn’t confirm – 0; abstained – 12).
  3. Approval of the changes in EHRA Statute:

          3.1. Approval of the change of mission, Art. 1 of EHRA Statute (Confirmed – 130; didn’t confirm – 2; abstained – 7). Confirmed EHRA mission is to actively unite and support communities and civil societies to ensure the rights and freedoms, health, and well-being of people who use psychoactive substances in the CEECA region.

          3.2. Approval of the change of admission of new members to EHRA Art. 14 (c) of EHRA Statute (Confirmed – 126; didn’t confirm – 3; abstained – 10). Within 14 days, members of the Steering Committee will consider the application and decide on behalf of the Steering Committee whether to grant membership. The decision is made by a qualified majority of votes.

          3.3. Approval of the amendment of Art. 20 (Termination of membership) of EHRA Statute with part 5 on procedure of revision of membership (Confirmed – 119; didn’t confirm – 6; abstained – 14). General Meeting decided to add one more case when membership terminates. Membership can be terminated in case of no participation in Association decision making processes: a) Association member, who is not participating in two in line General and/or Regional Meetings, gets an official notification letter on possible termination of Association membership from the Secretariat; b) If a member, once getting the notification letter, still does not participate in the next General/Regional Meeting, after relevant communication from Secretariat, by decision of the Steering Committee a member is excluded from the Association membership.

         3.4. Approval of the change of Art. 53 of EHRA Statute on number of experts in the Oversight Advisory Board (Confirmed – 120; didn’t confirm – 4; abstained – 15). The Oversight Advisory Board consists of minimum 3 experts. Number of Advisory Board members is unlimited and regulated by the Steering Committee in accordance with the Association needs in external support and expertise.

  1. Approval of EHRA Advisory Board candidates (Confirmed both candidates – 116; didn’t confirm both candidates – 3; confirmed only Peter Sarosi – 15; confirmed only Monique Middelhoff – 5). In total, Peter Sarosi received 131 votes and Monique Middelhoff – 121 votes.

EHRA is looking for consultants to develop an online training course on sustainability of civil society and community-based organisations

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association is looking for qualified firms or team of consultants to develop an online training course on sustainability of civil society and community-based organisations.

Continue reading “EHRA is looking for consultants to develop an online training course on sustainability of civil society and community-based organisations”

EHRA is looking for audio/video transcription consultant

Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) invites you to submit a price offer (in EUR) for the following services:

– transcribing audio/video interviews into a text format in Russian

– transcribing audio/video interviews into a text format in English

We invite you to submit your proposals to julia@harmreductioneurasia.org by June 1, 2020.

More information and application form is in the Request for quotes.

What’s new in 2019?

In 2019, we began to build new partnerships and look for new advocacy allies. Our participation in the 13th annual conference of the International Society for Research in Drug Policy and the Lisbon Addiction Conference gave us the opportunity to rethink the use of scientific evidence and build cooperation with researchers.

While inspiring key populations to monitor community satisfaction with services, we saw that the most productive approach to collecting advocacy data on service quality is community leadership in partnership with professional researchers.

Feminist movements have become our new allies in the fight for humane drug policy. On March 8, 2019, as a result of a productive meeting of activists, the Barcelona Declaration, supported by 119 organizations from around the world, declared: “The war on drugs is a war against women who use drugs!”

The painful public discussions caused by voices and open opinions of women who use drugs during the 16 days campaign against gender-based violence showed how much more needs to be done to support activists and overcome stigma.

Human rights defenders have become our permanent partners in 2019 in the preparation of shadow reports on violations of the rights of people who use drugs in Estonia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Harm reduction 2.0 is about developing support approaches for young people who use new psychoactive substances, and about introducing innovations.

We completed 2 joint research with the Swansea University School of Law on the use of #new psychoactive substances in Moldova and Belarus, in 2020 we will conduct research in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, and Georgia. The results are largely shocking and require urgent decriminalization of consumption, changes in approaches to harm reduction, and cooperation with the psychiatric service.

Drug checking, safe consumption rooms, harm reduction at music festivals, the involvement of peer consultants – these are world-famous services for a long time, but for the CEECA region, they still sound like innovations. How we can make them the usual reality for us, we figured out at the end of the year.

Most of the 2019 ideas are reflected in the new EHRA strategy for 2020-2024, developed by the EHRA Steering Committee. It prioritizes support for broad civic movements for non-repressive drug policies and ensuring quality of harm reduction services that meet the needs of key populations.

During 2019, 31 new organizations and activists joined EHRA. We are very happy that you are with us!

In 2019 EHRA started the implementation of nine new regional projects. For the first time, we began to work with the UNAIDS Technical Support Mechanism, with APDESH, a public organization from Portugal, in the regional consortium, and with the Swansea University School of Law to conduct research.

Greate news came 29th of December 2019, our friend and colleague, activist Andery Yarovoy finally after 16 month of imprisonment for carrying his legal OST treatment in so-called Luhansk republic is exchanged with Ukraine and could meet Holidays at home.

We can’t miss the loss and new challenges. We grieve for the soul of Alyona Asaeva, who remained in the warm Porto. New legislative initiatives that tighten working conditions for activists and harm reduction organizations in the Russian Federation will require our strength and unity.

Good luck and mutual support to all of us in the New 2020!

Letter to GF on the emergency with sustainability of harm reduction in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Romania

In advance of the upcoming 42nd meeting of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) as well as the Global Fund Regional Meeting for Eastern Europe and Central Asia to take place in Istanbul on 26-27 November, 2019, forty two (42) civil society and community organisations and networks working in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region for the benefit of key affected populations, including people who use drugs expressed their profound concern as to the current lack of sustainable harm reduction services in the South East European countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Romania, respectively. Taking into consideration the successful results of the recent Sixth Replenishment Conference, we would like to invite the Global Fund to safeguard a part of the catalytic investment funds available for the 2020-2022, including multi-country grants, matching funds and strategic initiatives, in order to sustain life-saving services for people who inject drugs and other vulnerable groups and to incentivise domestic investment in harm reduction in each of these post-transition countries.

Letter was initiated by  Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network and Drug Policy Network South-East Europe.

The letter was supported by 42 organisations.

Sustainability Bridge Funding: Case Study from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia

In the last decade, an increasing number of donors are withdrawing their support for healthcare. This has been especially true for middle-income countries, where the growth of domestic resources was one of the triggers for donor funding reduction. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) has termed this process as “transition”.

Sustainability Bridge Funding (SBF) is an idea that has been discussed among donors and civil society organizations as a way of mitigating the negative effects of transition and in providing support for key essential services for communities and key populations. As a safety net mechanism, it should respond to gaps in funding and mitigate adverse effects of donor funding withdrawal.

Open Society Foundations (OSF) first piloted the idea of SBF in Southeastern Europe — a region where the withdrawal of Global Fund has led to the collapse of services in countries including Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia — by supporting civil society to navigate the transition process and engage in effective budget advocacy.

Building on this work, in 2018 OSF, through the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), initiated the project, Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe . It provided funding to ³ three transitioning countries in the Balkan region – Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Montenegro, and Serbia — through the sub-regional network organization, Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE), to support budget advocacy for harm reduction services

“Sustainability Bridge Funding: Case Study from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia” looks at the implementation of this project as one of the demonstrations of the SBF mechanism, with the objectives to:

·       Document the SBF pilot in 3 Balkan countries and to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and to develop suggestions for improvement; and,

·       Document the results, successes, and challenges of the budget advocacy projects supported through the SBF approach.

Please find the full version of the Case Study.

Tender for a peer educator (consultant) in Lithuania, in “Peer2Peer” project

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) as part of the two years project “Peer2Peer: Reinforcing Peer’s Involvement in Outreach Work”, is looking for a Consultant named “Peer to peer educator”  to participate in the implementation of tasks of the project on the national level.

“Peer2Peer” aims to reinforce the capacity of outreach CSOs to reduce drug demand, by recovering and upscaling the European heritage on cooperation between peers and professionals, outreach workers, small-scale drug dealers and law enforcement. This project comprises internationally recognized research, social intervention and advocacy institutions from Europe, gathered to increase the project’s impact.

More information about “Peer2Peer” project you can find at  https://harmreductioneurasia.org/projects/peer2peer/

Terms of references for Peer educator (Consultant):

  1. To participate in the need’s assessment focus-group, to discuss the empirical applicability of data produced in the activities of the project;
  2. To participate in the European Advisory Group for best practices meetings;
  3. To implement pilot-interventions in Lithuania;
  4. Support in the organization of the training in Lithuania for the preparation of pilot-intervention;
  5. To work in the field, contributing to the improvement of services provided to people who use psychoactive substances (PUPS), so they become more accessible and tailored to PUPS needs – in order to reduce drug demand and the risks associated with psychoactive substances use;
  6. To participate in the monitoring and evaluation of implementation;
  7. Support in the organization of two face-to-face discussion forums in Lithuania (including policy-makers, decision-makers, law enforcement officials, healthcare professionals and academia experts);
  8. Support in the organization of national policy dialogue seminar in Lithuania. This seminar will provide the opportunity to present project results to relevant national stakeholders, to define national policies on cooperating practices regarding outreach work with PUPS (taking into account the evidence-based knowledge produced in WP2 and WP3), to discuss future national actions and to promote effective means of exchange between all stakeholders.
  9. To participate in the policy dialogue meeting, which will be held in the European Parliament (Brussels) at the end of the project.

Proposed timeline:

From 1st December, 2019 to 31st October, 2020

Requirements to Consultant:

The submitted applications will be evaluated by the selection committee of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association. The following criteria will be used to evaluate the bids (the maximum possible number of points is 100):

  • Relevant experience (in peer education/consultation) (40 points)
  • Knowledge and experience in the field of harm reduction and drug policy (40 points);
  • Knowledge of the Lithuanian and English languages (20 points);

Payment:

Payment for the work of the Consultant will be decided based on the results of the tendering process. The proposed work under this ToR will continue starting from 1st of December 2019 till 31 of October 2020 and will take up to 130 working day approximately.

Payment will be done on monthly basis based on provided detail timesheet and invoice.

EHRA will cover meals compensation, travel, accommodation expenses required to ensure the Consultant participation in a project related event abroad.

How to apply?

Applicants must submit their CV and Letter of Interest  in free form to eliza@harmreductioneurasia.org, the subject of the letter is “Peer educator”, the deadline for submission is before 24:00 EET on November 10, 2019. CVs and Letter of Interest  should clearly reflect the competencies of the candidate required to complete this task and should include filled daily rate form in EUR (EHRA’s template).

General terms

Interested Consultants should pay attention to the following conditions:

  • EHRA will sign a long-term contract with the Consultant for the period from 1st of December 2019 till 31 of October 2020. The contract will define a detailed work plan and payment terms.
  • EHRA reserves the right (but does not commit itself to obligations) to enter into negotiations with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications or additional information.
  • EHRA reserves the right to negotiate number of working days related to the each stage of work with the Consultant. Final number of working days can change during implementation by mutual agreement between EHRA and Consultant.
  • The Consultant undertakes to calculate and pay all and any taxes applicable under Lithuanian laws and regulations from the fee, if such tax payment obligation arises to him/her.

If you have any questions or need clarification regarding this ToR, please contact Eliza Kurcevič at eliza@harmreductioneurasia.org no later than November 8th, 2019.