What works: improving quality of harm reduction services through community based monitoring

22 December 2016

On 15-16 December 2016, the workshop “What works: improving quality of harm reduction servicesф through community based monitoring” was held in Tallinn, Estonia. The goal of the workshop was to help NGOs providing harm reduction services to define what kind of changes do they need through their work, and explore how they could improve quality of services provided through the community involvement in monitoring processes.

It is not a secret that harm reduction (HR) services provided by government or non-government organizations face with the needs of their beneficiaries in terms of content and quality. That is why it is important to make sure that HR service representatives know how to assess the quality of existing services and find decisions for their improvement as well as for the introduction of new services. An ongoing monitoring of the services’ quality with the involvement of representatives of key affected populations is a primary aspect in this process. At the same time such approach helps the community representatives to understand better their needs and ensure accessible, continuous and quality services.

17 participants took part in the workshop. Before its beginning, 14 of them completed the survey to give more insight into their position in the organizations, obtained practice and knowledge. In summary, results showed that the participants hold different positions; the majority of them came from service provided organizations. The workshop assisted to change thinking of participants. Some people indicated that it helped them to realize professional mistakes. It was mentioned that the workshop showed how quality monitoring could be integrated in everyday work. A few participants said that in future they would try to convince their leaders to admit quality monitoring seriously. 

More information about the goals and outcomes of the workshop can be found in the report.

Workshop was organized by EHRN under the regional program “Harm Reduction Works! Improving funding for harm reduction and HIV prevention in the European Union” funded by the European Commission. For more details please see http://www.harm-reduction.org/eu-funding-harm-reduction-and-hiv-prevention