A publication about our project

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”.

In 2018 the Open Society Foundations, through the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), initiated the project Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe. It provided funding to three transitioning countries in the Balkan region – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia – through the sub-regional network organization, Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE), to support budget advocacy for harm reduction services. The local coordinating organisations are Margina, Juventas and Prevent.

The case study looks at the implementation of this project as one of the demonstrations of the SBF mechanism, with the objectives to:

  • Document the pilot in 3 Balkan countries and to analyse 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 this approach.

Our project serves as a pilot for the Sustainability Bridge Funding (SBF), 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.

Please find the document following this link>>>

Budget analysis presented in Serbia

The budget analysis in Serbia was completed and presented on an event organised jointly by Prevent and DPNSEE in the EU Info Centre in Belgrade on 1 October 2019. The analysis was prepared in scope of the project Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe by the team of consultants engaged by Prevent.

The surveys were of a meta-analytic nature, conducted on data and information obtained on the basis of publicly available documents published by state bodies: the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia, the Customs Administration and the Agency for Business Registers.

The aim of the research was to explore the status and trends of program financing in order to find opportunities and solutions for securing funds for their sustainability.

The analysis clearly shows a continuous decrease in the allocation of funds for preventive health care, regardless of whether the total budget of the Ministry is increased or decreased and whether the budget of the Ministry of Health occupies a higher or lower percentage in the national budget for a given year. The most significant finding is the constantly present difference in the planned and executed budget – the allocated/spent funds are continuously reduced compared to those planned.

Besides the analysis of the budget of the Ministry of Health which was produced, DPNSEE has prepared and presented an analysis of the public calls for prevention of the Ministry of Health. This analysis is available following this link>>>.

Regional training for the ARYSE Advocacy Network

Within the project “Strengthening young people at risk of social exclusion“, a regional training of the ARYSE (At-Risk Youth Social Empowerment) Network for advocacy for the promotion of children and young people at risk was held from 5 to 7 July in Bar, Montenegro.

The project is being implemented in six countries from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Northern Macedonia and Serbia) and aims to contribute to the social inclusion of the larger part of the young people at risk at the regional level, by strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations, regional/national cooperation and advocacy activities.

This training was intended for representatives of the implementing organizations and representatives of the national working groups established within the project. The idea of ​​the training was that the members of the working group and representatives of the organizations form a regional advocacy body which will continue to function after the completion of the project.

During the training, the participants worked to develop a common platform on which they would base their future work on young people at risk. During the training, the participants worked to develop an advocacy plan for all target groups covered by the project: Street youth, Youth who use drugs, Youth in conflict with law, Youth without parental care, Young Roma and Youth from families with history of drug use and/or conflict with law.

The regional body would aim to continue to promote the results of the ARYSE project and to advocate for appropriate guidance created through this project. In addition, the regional body would continuously work on the exchange of information and good practices and the improvement of policies related to young people at risk and the availability of the services designed for them.

The project is implemented by the NGO Juventas (Montenegro), the Association “Prevent” (Serbia), the Association Margina (BiH), ARSIS (Albania), HOPS (Macedonia), Labyrinth (Kosovo) and the Foundation CHL (Germany).

The network of the mentioned organizations that implements activities are aimed at contributing to active participation in the social and social processes of young people from the Western Balkan countries who are at the highest risk of social exclusion.

Public event at the city beach of Novi Sad


On the Global Day of Action 26 June, Association Prevent held a public event at the main plateau of the city beach “Štrand” in Novi Sad. The event was supported by the City Health Administration, International drug Policy Consortium and OPENS 2019 – The Youth Capital of Europe.

People visiting had an opportunity to get their photos from a photo booth, get information about the campaign, discuss and get advice from the Prevent activists. Children enjoyed the original game “Ne radi se čoveče”. Members of the New Point of Culture drew graffiti with the campaign messages and also messages which visitors gave.

Prevent also prepared a Facebook frames for profile photos and published infographics with campaign messages and other educational materials.

Watch videos made during the event in Novi Sad …

Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj. – After

Udruženje “Prevent” 26. juna, na glavnom platou Štranda, sprovelo je javnu akciju pod sloganom “Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj”. Ovu aktivnost podržali su Gradska uprava za zdravstvo Grada Novog Sada, International Drug Policy Consortium i OPENS 2019 – Omladinska prestonica Evrope Novi Sad​. Cilj projekta je doprineti unapređenju stepena bezbednosti i smanjenju stepena diskriminacije mladih u riziku od socijalnog isključivanja, kroz promovisanje različitosti i edukaciju u Novom Sadu tokom 2018. i 2019. godine."Support. Don't Punish." je međunarodna kampanja koja ima za cilj da raširi svest o negativnim posledicama rata protiv droga i promoviše politiku poštovanja ljudskih prava i zaštite javnog zdravlja, da menja zakone i politike koje onemogućavaju pristup intevencijama smanjenja štete (eng. harm reduction) i drugim servisima zasnovanim na naučnim dokazima, kao i da zaustavi kriminalizaciju korisnika drog. Posetioci javne akcije su se fotografisali u selfi kabini, i poneli poklon gotografije za uspomenu, informisali o kampanji i razgovarali sa članovima Udruženja „Prevent”. Najmlađi su igrali igricu „Ne radi se, čoveče“. Tokom trajanja akcije članovi NPC-New Point of Culture nacrtali su grafite sa porukama kampanje, ali i poruke posetilaca. U okviru kampanje nastali su i ramovi za profilne fotografije na Fejsbuku, a tokom prethodnih 10 dana su objavljeni infografici sa informativnim i edukativnim podacima.Omladinska prestonica Evrope je titula koju je dobio Grad Novi Sad za 2019. godinu. Titulu nosi grad, ali ona pripada svim njegovim stanovnicima od 15te do 30te godine. A, OPENS – Omladniska Prestonica Evrope Novi Sad je Savez udruženja koji je tu da, zajedno sa svojim partnerima sprovodi program na osnovu kojih je Novi Sad nosilac laskave titule. OPENS2019 je u 2018. godini, konkursom izabrao 42 organizacije, koje sprovode 46 programskih aktivnosti iz aplikacije na osnovu koje je Novi Sad i postao Omladinska prestonica Evrope 2019. godine. Tim aktivnostima će samo u 2018. godini biti obuhvaćeno 75.000 mladih, dok će za tri godine biti uključeno preko pola miliona mladih iz cele Evrope.Projekat se finansira iz budžeta Ministarstva kulture i informaisanja, Pokrajinskog sekretarijata za sport i omladinu AP Vojvodine i Grada Novog Sada.#supportdontpunish #podrzinekaznjavaj #OPENS2019 #mojopeNS #EYC2019 #prevent

Gepostet von Prevent am Dienstag, 2. Juli 2019

… and

Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj.

Video nastao tokom akcije ”Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj.” Selfi kabina se usijala na vrelom letnjem danu slikajući radoznale posetioce.Udruženje “Prevent” 26. juna, na glavnom platou Štranda, sprovelo je javnu akciju pod sloganom “Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj”. Ovu aktivnost podržali su Gradska uprava za zdravstvo Grada Novog Sada, International Drug Policy Consortium i OPENS 2019 – Omladinska prestonica Evrope Novi Sad​. Cilj projekta je doprineti unapređenju stepena bezbednosti i smanjenju stepena diskriminacije mladih u riziku od socijalnog isključivanja, kroz promovisanje različitosti i edukaciju u Novom Sadu tokom 2018. i 2019. godine.“Support. Don't Punish.” je međunarodna kampanja koja ima za cilj da raširi svest o negativnim posledicama rata protiv droga i promoviše politiku poštovanja ljudskih prava i zaštite javnog zdravlja, da menja zakone i politike koje onemogućavaju pristup intevencijama smanjenja štete (eng. harm reduction) i drugim servisima zasnovanim na naučnim dokazima, kao i da zaustavi kriminalizaciju korisnika droga.Posetioci javne akcije su se fotografisali u selfi kabini, i poneli poklon gotografije za uspomenu, informisali o kampanji i razgovarali sa članovima Udruženja „Prevent”. Najmlađi su igrali igricu „Ne radi se, čoveče“. Tokom trajanja akcije članovi NPC-New Point of Culture nacrtali su grafite sa porukama kampanje, ali i poruke posetilaca. U okviru kampanje nastali su i ramovi za profilne fotografije na Fejsbuku, a tokom prethodnih 10 dana su objavljeni infografici sa informativnim i edukativnim podacima.Omladinska prestonica Evrope je titula koju je dobio Grad Novi Sad za 2019. godinu. Titulu nosi grad, ali ona pripada svim njegovim stanovnicima od 15te do 30te godine. A, OPENS – Omladniska Prestonica Evrope Novi Sad je Savez udruženja koji je tu da, zajedno sa svojim partnerima sprovodi program na osnovu kojih je Novi Sad nosilac laskave titule. OPENS2019 je u 2018. godini, konkursom izabrao 42 organizacije, koje sprovode 46 programskih aktivnosti iz aplikacije na osnovu koje je Novi Sad i postao Omladinska prestonica Evrope 2019. godine. Tim aktivnostima će samo u 2018. godini biti obuhvaćeno 75.000 mladih, dok će za tri godine biti uključeno preko pola miliona mladih iz cele Evrope.Projekat se finansira iz budžeta Ministarstva kulture i informaisanja, Pokrajinskog sekretarijata za sport i omladinu AP Vojvodine i Grada Novog Sada.#supportdontpunish #podrzinekaznjavaj #OPENS2019 #mojopeNS #EYC2019 #prevent

Gepostet von Prevent am Sonntag, 30. Juni 2019

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign launched in South East Europe

For the launch of the Global Day of Action, DPNSEE organised a “Kick-off event” to start the campaign in South East Europe. The event was held in the EU Info Centre in Belgrade, Kralja Milana 7, on 19 June 2019.

Besides journalists, representatives of colleague civil society organisations, UN agencies, Office for combating drugs and political parties were present.

Representatives of the Network presented the key findings from baseline research on “Documenting Drug Related Cases of Discrimination”. This small scale research aims on raising awareness on existing discrimination in different areas of everyday life, map the situation and make a base for the further advocacy actions in decreasing stigma and discrimination towards people who use drugs.

DPNSEE also presented the proposal for decriminalisation of drug use and possession made to the Working group on changes to the Criminal Law in Serbia. The proposal was submitted to the Working Group for amendments to the Criminal Law but unfortunately was not supported.

DPNSEE member organisation Prevent presented results of the regional project “Budget Advocacy Monitoring in South East Europe” in Serbia. That included analysis of the national budgets for 4 last years with a specific focus on health and harm reduction, execution of the budget and excises, and the Declaration for sustainable national response to HIV.

Re Generation presented the results of their research “How the closing of the needle exchange programs affected the access to harm reduction services in two cities – Belgrade and Budapest“.

Finally, DPNSEE representatives presented the activities in the region in scope of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign.

To find out what is planned in your city or country, follow this link>>>

To see more about the campaign worldwide, follow this link>>>

Porto welcomes the 26th Harm Reduction International Conference

The 26th Harm Reduction International Conference (HR19) will be held in Porto, Portugal from 28 April to 1 May 2019. The Conference is organised by the Harm Reduction International and Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento (APDES) – a Portuguese non-profit association promoting sustainable development.

 

 

 

 

 

Held once every two years in a different country around the world, the Harm Reduction International Conference is the only global meeting for knowledge-sharing, networking, and discussion of best practices in the field of harm reduction. The last conference in Montreal in 2017 was attended by more than 1000 delegates from over 70 countries, including medical and policy experts, harm reduction practitioners, campaigners, and people who use drugs.

On Tuesday 30 April, at the Concurrent 16: Lost in Transition: Harm Reduction in Central and Eastern Europe, our Yuliya Georgieva from the Center for Humane Policy will speak about, Lost in Transition-Bulgaria struggling to ensure harm reduction activities after Global Fund withdraw while Nebojša Đurasović will present The only one harm reduction program that survived in Serbia – Experience of the Association Prevent.

Those who shall participate in the Conference are very much welcome to join this session.

The programme of the Conference is available following this link>>>

EHRA representatives visit

As the DPNSEE project Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF) through Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) is about to come to an end in April this year, EHRA Financial Director Tatiana Fomicheva and Sustainability and Transition Adviser Ivan Varentsov visited DPNSEE on 17 and 18 April 2019. The purposes of the visit were to make an oversight of the project related documents and provide support with regard to the development of the final financial report.

EHRA representatives had an opportunity to meet with representatives of the national coordinator organisations MarginaJuventas and Prevent and get to know better their achievements and challenges while implementing the project. It was also interesting to discuss lessons learnt, possible next steps and follow up actions. All three indicated that the main issue they faced was lack of information or very slow response to provide them by the authorities. Understanding this obstacle, an agreement was made that DPNSEE and partner organisations will propose to extend the project by September 2019.

Our guests presented us the EHRA activities in the scope of the Global Fund HIV multi-country project, content of the workshop on human rights issues for the Balkan region planned for autumn this year and the Global Fund Community, Rights and Gender Technical Assistance Program. For this occasion, we also invited our colleagues from Serbian partner and member organisations DugaGAJPTimok Youth Centre and Čovekoljublje.

For our guests, we also arranged meetings with Dr Jasmina Tanasić, Head of the Department for Social Affairs at the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and Primarius Dr Danijela Simić, Head of Department for HIV infection, STI, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis, Centre for Prevention and Control of Diseases, at the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”.

The visit will help to better document the approach, process and results of our project as well as the lessons learnt. Documenting this our joint experience as a regional best practice and example of small grants to NGOs in recently transitioned of transitioning countries to support their sustainability and transition related advocacy activities can be of benefit to the Sustainability Bridge Funding that is about to be created by a group of international donors led by the OSF.

Nova stranka first to sign “Declaration on Sustainable National Response to HIV”

Nova stranka  is the first political party in Serbia which signed the Declaration for sustainable national response to HIV, proposed by the Group for Analysis of Public Policies (GAJP) as part of their project Political support to the harm reduction programmes. Aim of this project is to invite all political parties in Serbia to sign the Declaration that will oblige them to support harm reduction programmes and their financing from budgetary sources in their future work and participation in legislative and executive bodies.

The President of the Council of the Nova stranka, Aris Movsesian said that it is normal for the Nova stranka, as well as all other political parties, to sign this declaration.  Nova stranka is committed to joining the European Union, and the last year’s European Commission report calls for regulating the treatment of HIV patients, specifically in Chapter 28 where such measures are proposed. Nova stranka also emphasises in point 8 of their Action Plan the problem of relations with vulnerable groups of citizens.

Movsesian invited other political parties to follow our example and make such a civilization step.”

The declaration is developed in scope of the Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in South East Europe project. The project is managed by DPNSEE, and coordinated in Serbia by the Association Prevent.

To read the news from the signing of the declaration in Serbian follow this link>>>.

Serbia completed project application to the Global Fund

The National Committee for fighting HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, which performs the role of the Country Coordinating Mechanism in Serbia, adopted today the documents which will be submitted to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The project is expected to run from July 2019 to June 2022.

Back in 2016, the Global Fund allocated €1,098,351 for HIV and building resilient and sustainable systems for health. The allocation have been determined primarily based on disease burden and income level. Serbia is classified as an upper-middle-income country. Serbia committed to encourage additional domestic investment of 25%. The first amount agreed during the application in already included in the national budget for 2019.

The project seeks to scale-up HIV testing services for all key affected populations (KPs), preventive programs for men who have sex with men and sex workers and needles and syringes program (NSP) and other preventive programs for people who inject drugs. In addition, the project seeks to maintain and extend support provided by organizations of people living with HIV to people on antiretroviral treatment. The project will fund services provided by civil society organisations and will contribute to community system strengthening. In order to reach the maximum impact the majority of prevention and support interventions will be implemented at least in the two regions (Belgrade and Vojvodina) in which majority of KPs are concentrated based on surveillance data..

The civil society organisations, including DPNSEE and our three member organisations from Serbia Prevent, Duga and Timok Youth Centre, actively participated in creating the new national HIV strategy, in the work of the National Committee and the Working group for negotiations with the Global Fund.

Meeting of the Working group for negotiations with the representatives of the Global Fund

Consultations in the Office for Combating Drugs

The Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia held a meeting with civil society organisations on 25 February 2019. Besides 11 organisations which signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office in 2018 (including DPNSEE and 3 of its member organisations), 4 new organisations which established formal cooperation with the Office also joined the meeting.

Most of the meeting was dedicated to the proposals for amendments to the Criminal Law related to drug-related offenses. DPNSEE sent a formal proposal to the Ministry of Justice, the Working group for changes of the Criminal Law it created, The Office for Combating Drugs and the Office for support to the civil society organisations proposing decriminalisation of drug use and possession for personal use and protection of civil society organisations providing services to drug users. The proposal is available in Serbian following this link>>>.

The proposal was appraised as a very good, clear, concise and evidence based, but concerns were expressed that it may not be supported due to current situation in the country and increased conservatism in relation to the drug use. The participants emphasized the need to establish a system of accreditation of civil society organisations services. It should include all elements of their work, from prevention, harm reduction, treatment to social services and rehabilitation.

The Office will, through their representative, present civil society proposals to the Working group for changes of the Criminal Law.

The participation of civil society organisations representatives in the Working group to prepare the new Action plan for implementing the National Drug Strategy was appraised as a very good example of partnership. The Office will propose full involvement of the civil society in designing the new Strategy.

The participants at the meeting also got acquainted with the current activities of the Office on Drugs Policy, exchanged experiences on the previous cooperation defined in the Memorandum and made suggestions for improving it.