Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy for Critical Enablers of the HIV Response for People Who Use Drugs — International Harm Reduction Consortium

Brief summary of the progress:

  • “From street to government” movement has been strengthened by collecting and making public factual data for evidence that decriminalization of drug use and possession of drugs for personal use can save money in state budgets and can be used for public healthcare and harm reduction programs such as drop-in-centers, shelters, drug checking and safe drug consumption places.
  • The Criminalization costs tool was developed to compare state spending on the criminalization of the drug possession in CEECA countries, versus support of person, who use drugs with social and health care services in freedom.
  • EHRA organized two study visits to Czech Republic and Portugal for experts of people who use drugs community from CEECA & Baltic countries. Study visit to Portugal was focused to examine the country’s experience of practical decriminalization, and collaboration of Commission for Dissuasion of drug use, General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies (SICAD) and support. In study visit to Czech Republic international and national drug policy experts shared their last two decades experience on advocacy for drug policy reform.
  • CND 2018. Experts of PWUD community have used the international meetings to get more knowledge on how they can be involved more effectively in current change of drug policy systems. Close cooperation with partners from the International Harm reduction Consortium, the project team was effectively involved in international drug policy debates, made new contacts from UN, multilateral donors and other policy and decision-making agencies.
  • 4 sub-grants were awarded to community lead NGOs in Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Lithuania.
  • EHRA, together with national organizations led by people who use drugs / OST patients, have provided descriptions of situations in 5 EECA countries to show how granting the maximum level of authority to law enforcement agencies in terms of influencing harm reduction programs, such as social or medical services, can negatively affect lives of people who use drugs.


The goal of the project is to build the capacity of community-based organizations of key populations, foster exchange and partnership between different ISP groups in budget advocacy and HIV resource accountability, help them advocate for national and municipal budgets resources to be allocated to continuum of HIV care for all ISP in EECA. The tools and experience developed within this project will be applicable to the entire EECA region.

 Project objectives:

  • Advocate for sufficient and sustainable funding of responses to HIV, which addresses the needs of ISP.
  • Build the capacity of regional networks and their members who represent PWUD, MSM, TG and PLWH and those who work in their interest in EECA in advocating for sustainable funding of responses to HIV, which addresses the needs of ISP.

Countries covered by project: Eastern and Northern Europe, the Baltic Countries and Central Asia

Project timeline: October 2017 – December 2018

Budget of EHRA: 105 613 USD (in 2017 – 32 126 USD; in 2018 – 73 486 USD)

Budget of ENPUD: 21 044 USD (in 2017 – 6 401 USD; in 2018 – 14 643 USD)

Project donor: Robert Carr Network Fund

Project status: completed


From street to government (Part I): International advocacy for progressive drug policy

From street to government (Part II): National levels advocacy for progressive drug policy within International Harm Reduction Consortium 

Georgia: White Noise Movement input

Lithuania: Young Wave Small grant results 

Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyzstan Association of Network of Harm Reduction 2017-2018

Belarus: Your chance Belarus results