External Evaluation Report - Alcohol Drugs and Development Program FORUT, Campaign for development and solidarity, 2009 – 2013

About the publication

  • Published: 2013
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Cornelius Goos
  • Commissioned by: FORUT
  • Country: Malawi, Sri Lanka
  • Theme: Health
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: FORUT
  • Local partner: FISD (Sri Lanka), Healthy Lanka (Sri Lanka), WODEPT (Sri Lanka), The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (international), Drug Fight Malawi, The Malawi Alcohol Policy Alliance and The Government of Malawi
  • Project number: GLO 08/440
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

Alcohol, Drugs and Development (ADD) is FORUT’s unique area of competence. ADD is a programme with activities on the global level, in FORUT’s six project countries (Sri Lanka, India, Sierra Leone, India, Nepal and Malawi) as well as in the Southern Africa region.

The strategic objective of the ADD programme is Reduced harm from Alcohol and other Substance Use. A reduction in alcohol related problems such as health problems, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, poverty, traffic injuries, other intentional and unintentional injuries can be expected from policy and prevention interventions. Alcohol and drugs users themselves, both heavy and moderate users, as well as persons around the users and society at large benefit from these interventions.

The main objective of the evaluation was to assess the achievements so far seeking external input on adjusting the trajectory of the programme.  The evaluation looked into all standard project performance aspects such as results on impact or outcome level.

A new approach has been tested in a new partner country, Malawi, since the last evaluation by Sverre Nesvåg of the International Research Institute of Stavanger in 2006 (IRIS-report 2006/88). Consequently, the new evaluation was mandated to focus on two aspects of the programme:
a. International and national alcohol policy development and advocacy;
b. Malawi; a national FORUT programme with ADD as the main perspective.
During the course of the field work it was decided to add Sri Lanka as a third focus of the evaluation, as this country offers innovative approaches to ADD work on the national and local level.

The evaluation made use of a range of qualitative methodologies to gather data relevant to the purposes of the evaluation.  The evaluator made structured in-depth interviews with a broad selection of external and internal informants and had field visits to Malawi and Sri Lanka. All relevant documents were made available for analysis by the evaluator.

Key findings
The evaluation concludes that the ADD program has been effective and very efficient and deserves to be continued with fullest possible support. There is scientific evidence and growing recognition of the detrimental effects of alcohol and drug us on development. Still, no other institution worldwide has made this relationship its primary concern for action.  FORUT’s ADD programme is widely respected in the alcohol field as a serious, knowledgeable and innovative partner. According to the evaluation FORUT punches well above its weight with the ADD programme. The demands made on the ADD program are much bigger than what the available financial and manpower resources can offer.

Global advocacy, in particular towards the World Health Organization, is a key element of the ADD programme. Parts of this work are implemented through the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance, where FORUT serves as a secretariat. The evaluation concludes that GAPA and FORUT have had demonstrable influence on decisions taken in WHO at the highest level.  GAPA has developed into an important international advocacy voice; all informants were positive about FORUT’s role in GAPA; GAPA would be a lame duck without the support of FORUT; and GAPA has produced substantial political results lately also in the form of regional networks.

The evaluation points at the fact that integration of alcohol and drug issues into mainstream development concerns (gender, HIV/AIDS, poverty, good governance etc.) has been a critical success factor for the ADD programme and that this line should be pursued and strengthened. It makes the ADD programme unique and opens up for linking up many other NGOs and also governments with alcohol and drug prevention.

The report gives a very positive description of the alcohol prevention efforts conducted by FORUT’s partner organisations in Sri Lanka, both in terms of quality, volume and degree of innovative thinking. The evaluator concludes that the alcohol policy development process which has taken place in Malawi, with technical and financial support from FORUT, has been both successful and innovative. The WHO regional Office for Africa has now documented the Malawian policy process as an internationally best practice.

In general, there is good coherence between the different ADD program components and the other FORUT programs.  One of the typical features and one of the strengths of the ADD FORUT program is that its focus in many of its activities is the impact of alcohol on developmental issues in particular on women’s and child health. 

The evaluation basically recommends that FORUT should continue on the existing strategic foundation of the ADD program and of FORUT’s overall philosophy to handle ADD issues in the overall context of development, and in particular in the context of children’s rights and women’s health. In addition there are a number of more specific recommendations in the report.

Comments from organisation, if any:
The evaluation reports sheds interesting light from the outside on key aspects of the ADD programme. It brings up issues which FORUT feels are important for further development of the programme.

During the course of the evaluation process itself we received many inputs which have already been incorporated into our planning for the next five-year period.

This means that many of the key issues from the report are already addressed in the application presented to Norad for a new five-year agreement. Other issues, which are of a more detailed character, are being dealt with in our from-year-to-year planning. A follow-up plan, outlining how the various issues from the evaluation will be handled internally in FORUT, has been made.

Published 06.12.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015