Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 109 - National Drugs Strategy [34992/05].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 109 - National Drugs Strategy [34992/05]. (17 Nov 2005)

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109. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the level and extent of evaluations carried out relating to the local drug task force process. [34992/05]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): Evaluation is an integral part of any programme or initiative and, on the local drugs task force, LDTF, process, it was agreed by all the parties involved in developing the programme that, in addition to evaluating the overall process to measure its success or otherwise, individual projects being funded through the initiative would also be evaluated. In 2000, an evaluation, at an approximate cost of €276,000, was carried out on 142 projects funded under the first round of LDTF plans and, as a result, 122 of those projects were mainstreamed with effect from 1 January 2001. It is likely that further evaluations in respect of projects funded under the second round of LDTF plans, and those first-round projects which were not already mainstreamed, will get under way in 2006.

A review of the structures of the LDTF process was carried out by consultants Burkenshaw Kenny in 2002 at a cost of €67,000. Under the expenditure review initiative, which operates in all Departments, a review of the LDTF process has been carried out and the findings of that review are being finalised by my Department at present. The cost of the review was approximately €81,000 and it is my intention to publish its findings in the near future. On the broader level, my Department organised the carrying out of a mid-term evaluation of the national drugs strategy and the findings of that review were published in June of this year. The review was overseen by a steering group, chaired by my Department, and made up of representatives of the relevant Departments and agencies as well as the community and voluntary sectors. The steering group found that the aims and objectives of the national drugs strategy are fundamentally sound. The report shows that there are encouraging signs of progress since 2001 when the strategy was first launched, indicating that our current approach to tackling the drug problem is proving to be effective. At the same time, however, the report highlights the need to refocus priorities and accelerate the roll out of some of the strategy’s actions and, in this context, a number of new actions and amendments have been identified. These changes will strengthen the strategy and enable it to better deliver its aims. The cost to my Department of engaging consultants for this review was approximately €76,600.

Vol. 610 No. 3
Written Answers
Thursday, 17 November 2005

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