Kari Lancaster, Professor Alison Ritter
Researchers, health professionals, consumer groups and advocates in the field have repeatedly called for widespread availability of naloxone for people who inject drugs and potential overdose witnesses, to reduce the incidence of fatal overdose. This is just one example of where Australia has (in recent years) lagged behind other countries in implementing evidence-informed harm reduction programs. By documenting and analysing the successful establishment of a recently introduced policy to make naloxone available to potential overdose witnesses in the ACT (the “Expanding Naloxone Availability in the ACT (ENAACT) program”), we aim to illuminate the mechanisms and conditions for successful strategic advocacy processes which can be applied not only to naloxone provision in other jurisdictions, but also to other important IDU drug policy issues.
The aim of this project is to document and analyse advocacy and policy development processes using a case study of the recently introduced “ENAACT program”, by documenting the experiences and reflections of key experts and advocates involved in the initiative. This unique initiative is an example of successful policy advocacy by a circumscribed group (the Expanding Naloxone Availability in the ACT Committee) guided by the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (a consumer group), and therefore as a case study has the potential to provide a rich source of new knowledge about drug policy advocacy.
This project will make a valuable addition to the case study literature on advocacy processes, which will be of benefit to researchers, public health
professionals, consumer groups and advocates alike. It will contribute to the
academic literature, but the collaborative approach to analysis and
dissemination will also ensure the results are translated and used in policy practice. In addition, we hope that the shared process of data analysis, interpretation and reporting will be a useful demonstration project regarding collaborative research. This research process will also support the Canberra Collaboration, which is seeking to expand and strengthen alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) research in the ACT and region, and enhance ATOD policy and its implementation, through establishing a structured collaboration, such as a
Centre for ATOD Research, Policy and Practice in the ACT.
Within the case study design, qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with key individuals associated with the initiative (primarily members of the ENAACT Committee). Preliminary data analysis was undertaken by the research team using qualitative data analysis techniques to identify, analyse and report patterns within the data. More fulsome analysis was then undertaken collaboratively. All participants were invited to attend a face-to-face meeting to discuss the data, review the authors’ preliminary interpretation and generate new insights.
Preliminary qualitative thematic analysis was conducted by the research team in 2013, and a collaborative process of data analysis was subsequently undertaken.
The final paper arising from this project is due to be published in 2014.
For more information relating to this project, please contact Kari Lancaster: