Joint advocacy for access, sustainability, and quality of harm reduction services and for protection of human rights for people who use drugs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia region

Brief summary of the progress by the end of 2018:

The grant was crucial for rapid start-up of the organization and strengthening of EHRA governance. It helped EHRA to strengthen financial stability, fulfill ambitious organizational goals, build strategic partnerships, become a respected and knowledgeably strong player in drug policy debates as well as in regional advocacy for the sustainable funding of harm reduction programs.

Key results in 2018 include:

  • membership grow from zero in March 2017 to 236 by the end of 2018;
  • 2 General and 3 Regional Meetings of Members EHRA have been conducted;
  • EHRA Advisory Board was established and composed from leading global experts and honorable leaders in harm reduction, drug policy, human rights and public health.
  • EHRA Steering Committee refreshed by 70% bringing diverse perspectives from PWUD activists and harm reduction advocates from different regions of CEECA;
  • broad discussion with EHRA members and partners has been organized to agree on EHRA drug policy position;
  • EHRA Secretariat team composed of 13 highly skilled professionals developed 11 regional funding proposals to ensure financial and programmatic sustainability of EHRA;
  • the updated and approved Operational manual has strong policies prohibiting discrimination against EHRA employees and an explicit Anti-harassment Policy;
  • EHRA’s leadership was continuously engaged in policy and advocacy for sustainable financing of HIV responses on EU level through active participation in policy fora, such as the EU Civil Society Forum (CSF) on HIV, TB, Hepatitis, European Harm Reduction Network Correlation Network meeting;
  • community-led advocacy for domestic funding of harm reduction programs in Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro was supported through sub-granting of South East Europe Drug Policy Network;
  • as a result of EHRA led advocacy for changes in eligibility criteria by Global Fund Board, joint statement was signed by 48 international, regional and national organizations and sent to the focal points of all GF Board Delegations as well as to GF Board Leadership and ED;
  • EHRA in partnership with national PWUD and OST patient organizations provided evidence on drastic situations with drug policy and harm reduction programs in 5 EECA countries to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law for their global report.
  • EHRA has mobilized more than 60 organizations worldwide to support Kazakhstan community activists in protecting OST program in country.

Aim / Objectives:

  • Streamline governance and membership structure of the EHRA to ensure organizational sustainability, effective decision-making system and joint advocacy efforts;
  • Ensure sustainability and quality of harm reduction services in CEECA region;
  • Increase regional cooperation targeted at the promotion of non-punitive and human rights-based drug policies;
  • Strengthen regional and national-level advocacy for the sustainable funding of quality, evidence-based and good practice models of harm reduction and HIV-related programs for PWUD and other key populations by increasing leadership of civil society and people who use drugs (PWUD) community groups;

Countries of implementation: Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Timeline: December 2017 – November 2019

Budget: 738 328 USD

Project donor: Open Society Foundations (OSF)

Project Status: In progress