Institute for Social Development Studies

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The Impact of Harm Reduction Programs on Law Enforcement in Southeast Asia: What Works and What Doesn’t




Time: 4/2008- 4/2011

Sponsored by: AusAID

This joint project has been implemented by the University of Laos, the National Institute of Public Health in Cambodia and the Institute for Social Development Studies in Vietnam in cooperation with Nossal Institute for Global Health (Nossal), Australia since April 2008. In the 48-month duration (three stages), the project’s objectives are:

1. To identify key drivers of the endorsement and incorporation of HR principles in LE policy and practice, inn a variety of socio-political contexts, in three countries of SE Asia.

  • To build a stronger evidence base to guide HR policy and programs
  • To  help create supportive environments for street level HR activities for women and men who are IDUs
  • To provide practical, field-derived and tested recommendations for AusAID and other agencies implementation of HR practice in SE Asia

2. To strengthen capacity regionally:

  • Of relevant researchers and institutes in Asia, and
  • Of existing agencies, forums and networks involved with LE relating to HIV/IDUs

ISDS scope of work

  • encompasses the responsibility for the development of mechanisms for collection of the relevant research data, the field collection of the data, and participation in its analysis and dissemination

Preliminary achievements

  • Prepared some reports incl. country background, political framework, formal government structures and an understanding of what harm reduction programs there are to date.
  • Undertaking a qualitative study to look deeply into the possibility to scale up and sustain the HR program while Vietnam still adopts a generally punitive and repressive approach which aimed at implementing sweeping measures to control supply and demand.

         –         Study site: Hanoi

         –         Respondents: representing different stakeholder organizations who are working on HIV/ IDUs and HR

         –         50 in-depth interviews to be conducted in 2010



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