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Our PhD Candidate Mr. Fivos Papamalis has been appointed as research consultant to Harm Reduction International (HRI)

Our PhD Candidate Mr. Fivos Papamalis has been appointed as research consultant to Harm Reduction International (HRI)
Added on 04/05/2016

Harm Reduction International – in the framework of an EU co-funded project (‘Harm reduction Works! Improving funding for harm reduction and HIV prevention in the EU.’) - is launching a mapping exercise looking at funding for harm reduction in EU Member States. The project stems for a joint analysis from HRI and EHRN of the current needs related to maintaining and scaling up the access to harm reduction services in Europe.

There is a lack of reliable information around the levels of funding for harm reduction within the EU and at Member States levels. Currently, this is not systematically tracked across the region. National budgets are often not disaggregated in a manner that is conducive to assessing harm reduction expenditure. The Harm Reduction Works! project aims at filling a major knowledge gap and increase the capacity of civil society organisations to track national spending and to assess funding shortfalls.

The project aims:

-          To map funding levels for harm reduction, sources and mechanisms in the EU Member States

-          To examine the extent to which funding for harm reduction is allocated to civil society organisations and the mechanisms through which these funds are distributed

-       To identify and disseminate supportive policy and successful practice from within Europe

-        To advocate for further harm reduction application and resourcing across the EU

Mr. Papamalis E. Fivos PhDcan at SEERC and Head of Social Empowerment Network appointed as a research Consultant to HRI in order to examine the current state of harm reduction investment in Greece. As part of his duties Mr. Papamalis will perform several targeted consultations with diverse stakeholders in order to:

-          gather evidence and data that will help to estimate the financial investments in harm reduction programming in Greece; and investigate decision making on resource allocations for harm reduction

-          collect opinions and views of the relevant stakeholders in order to identify funding gaps, challenges and alternatives for harm reduction sustainability; and explore the potential policy impact of punitive and repressive policies i.e. over incarceration of drug offenders with minor offences and lack of imprisonment alternatives.

 Based on the consultation strategy the stakeholders’ categories involve a) those affected by harm reduction policies b) those who formulate and implement harm reduction policies and c) those that have knowledge and expertise in the harm reduction field.

The first targeted stakeholder consultation took place on 14.04.2016 at the office of the National Drug Coordinator Ministry of Health and Social Policy. Mr Papamalis facilitated the focus group that was conducted with representatives from OKANA, NGO Praxis, the Center for Life, Association of People Living with HIV in Greece «Positive Voice», NGO DIOGENIS, Drug & Substitute Users Union, NGO PROMITHEAS and the EMCDDA National Focal Point. Some key points that were discussed during the FGD were related to allocation and distribution of harm reduction funds in Greece, the legislative gaps and the consequences in harm reduction interventions, and the role of idealism or dogmatic preconceptions in the effective implementation of harm reduction. Moreover, we had the chance to discuss the consequences of the economic recession and the capacity to correspond to the current demands and the lessons learned.

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