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The ADD programme operates in three areas:
Global advocacy
National policy
Community prevention

Alcohol, drugs and development programme

 “Alcohol, Drugs and Development” (ADD) is a specialized programme run by FORUT, a Norwegian development NGO, and supported by the Government of Norway through Norad. 

The FORUT ADD programme operates in three areas:

  • Global advocacy: Engaging in advocacy before and sharing information and expertise with intergovernmental organizations and civil society networks.
  • National policy: Providing training programmes and technical advice to support governmental and NGO actions to develop national alcohol policies and other prevention programmes.
  • Community prevention: Offering technical and financial support to local communities to mobilize their citizens in alcohol and drug prevention activities.

Strategic plans and programs in the three areas are developed in partnership with local NGOs in six countries (Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Zambia). FORUT also works with governments and civil society in other countries, primarily through the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance and its regional networks.  In order to maintain state-of-the-art expertise, FORUT has established working relationships with the most prominent researchers and research networks globally.

Partner organisations in the ADD programme meet annually with FORUT staff to exchange experiences and to discuss strategies and methods for alcohol and drug prevention. The photograph to the right shows delegates to the 2012 ADD Annual Consultation, held in Bangkok, Thailand.


The programme facilitates civil society organisations’ participation in global health processes and organises NGOs to serve as a counterbalance to vested interests in those political venues.  FORUT serves as secretariat for the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) and has stimulated participation in the network by organizations from developing countries in the southern hemisphere.

FORUT views its ADD work within a wider context of global health policy and practice.  Our approach purposely integrates alcohol and other drugs into broader health concerns, both to avoid isolating – and minimizing -- the ADD issue and to recognize the inter-relationship of alcohol and drug use policy and interventions with various topics, such as non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, child rights, poverty, WHO governance and conflicts of interest, health promotion, universal health access, among others.

The ADD programme contributes to the production and dissemination of scientific data, knowledge and practical experiences related to alcohol and drug prevention at all jurisdictional levels, ranging from local communities to international forums.  Our mission  is to offer programme partners and a wider audience of interested professionals and activists access to state-of-the-art competence from the international arena that,  combined with the local partners’ knowledge of their own project situations, will help advance local prevention policy and practice.

Among the driving forces behind the increasing use of alcohol and its related harm are the commercial interests that control the production and sale of alcohol, in particular the multinational beer and spirits corporations which thrive and metastasize in a globalized marketplace.  Numerous examples of the experience in many countries illustrate that those vested interests have an agenda at odds with public health, welfare and safety. For that reason, alcohol policies should be developed without undue influence by commercial interests. The ADD programme and FORUT do not accept financial or other support from the alcohol industry and both refrain from engaging in any cooperation with such interests.

The title of the ADD programme indicates that its activities address prevention of problems related to both alcohol and illicit drug use.  Each of these areas is both vast in scope and also very complex.  Although there are many similarities (and even overlaps) between alcohol and drug problems, they are fundamentally different substances requiring somewhat divergent approaches.  One must bear in mind that drugs are often illegal and alcohol, in contrast, is legal in most countries and often highly accepted and appreciated.

Due to limited resources in the ADD program FORUT has chosen to strictly prioritise which areas should be addressed by ADD interventions: Overall, alcohol issues receive highest priority, in particular at the global level.  Nonetheless, ADD activities will be designed as much as possible to address local realities and problems defined by the target populations. Thus, if local partners and conditions define drug use as a principal challenge in any of the project areas, that issue will also be reflected in the strategies and interventions chosen for action.