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Pike, Brigid (2004) National Drugs Strategy - Critical Implementation Path published. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 11, June 2004, p. 17.

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  In early 2004 the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs published a Critical Implementation Path (CIP), containing the critical implementation paths for all government departments and agencies responsible for completing the 100 actions contained in the National Drugs Strategy.1 The document maps out how each of the 100 actions is to be delivered. Government departments and state agencies have identified a wide array of tasks needed to complete the actions, including reviewing current policies, undertaking gap analyses, consulting on issues, establishing best practice, developing guidelines, producing policy frameworks and identifying resource needs. No less than 17 working or review groups are to be established to progress the work. The CIP also records the obstacles that departments and agencies have identified as they have moved forward.

 According to the target timeframes set out in the CIP, 43 actions should have been completed, or completed and ongoing, by the end of 2003; 35 actions are due for completion during 2004; and 22 actions are due for completion during the remainder of the period covered by the strategy. However, as the CIP is a plan, rather than a progress report, it is difficult to confirm how many actions have been completed or where slippage has occurred. In the introduction to the document, the authors note that the projections are dependent on resources being available to deliver the actions.

 The need for ‘each agency to prepare and publish a critical implementation path for each of the actions relevant to their remit by end 2001’ is identified in the National Drugs Strategy as a key performance indicator (KPI), contributing to the achievement of ‘an efficient and effective framework for implementing the National Drugs Strategy’. An associated KPI is the completion of ‘an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the overall framework by end 2004’. This evaluation is scheduled to be completed in two stages:

  •  an Annual Report, reporting on the nature and extent of the drug problem in Ireland and on progress in achieving the objectives set in the Strategy, due by mid-2004; and 
  •  a Mid-Term Evaluation, measuring the Strategy’s impact and effectiveness, due by the end of 2004.

 It is expected that the CIP will feed into the evaluation process. The Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, Noel Ahern TD, stated in his foreword to the document: ‘Through the CIP, we can gain important insights into the strengths and obstacles within the Strategy and refocus our efforts, if necessary. … the Strategy must be flexible enough to tackle any new challenges facing it.’

1 Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (2004) National Drugs Strategy 2001 – 2008: Critical Implementation Path. Dublin: The Stationery Office.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Issue Title
Issue 11, June 2004
June 2004
Page Range
p. 17
Health Research Board
Issue 11, June 2004
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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