Good Practice Platform

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About the RARHA Project

The Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (RARHA) was co-funded by the European Union (EU) under the second EU Health Programme together with the contribution from Member States (MS). RARHA was a three-year action aiming at supporting MS to carry out work on common priorities in line with the EU Alcohol Strategy, and strengthen MS capacity to address and reduce alcohol related harm.

The Joint Action RARHA was coordinated by the Ministry of Health in Portugal (General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies – SICAD). 31 Associated Partners and 28 Collaborating Partners took part in the Joint Action. In the group of associated partners, there were 27 EU MS together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The group of collaborating partners included, among others, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pompidou Group and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). SICAD ensured the coordination of all partners involved, as well as the coordination of the Joint Action Work Packages.

THE TOOL KIT

The aim of the tool kit was to contribute to the implementation of the EU strategy to support MS in reducing alcohol related harm, by focusing on concrete examples of good practice approaches that are implemented in MS. They present an important evidence base for MS' policy decisions and actions in the fields of alcohol prevention, treatment and harm reduction.

This tool kit builds on the information gathered by the WHO report Alcohol in the European Union, which indicates that information activities related to alcohol consumption are widespread. Good practice approaches exist but are not collectively evaluated and available for use by other MS, while in some settings, they seem to be missing. The tool kit is also based on the results of related projects funded under the EU Health Programme and under the EU Research Framework Programme. There are several good practice compilations – publications and databases – many of which have been produced with EU-funding. The challenge for the tool kit was to make them more accessible and more useful for the intended beneficiaries, in this case for relevant ministries, policy makers, public health workers, NGOs or other stakeholders and professionals responsible for designing and implementing alcohol policy interventions.

The main tasks for the tool kit were:

a) Providing good practice examples;

b) Developing good practice criteria;

c) Compiling examples into a tool kit; and

d) Disseminating the tool kit.

This European-wide assessment of alcohol prevention interventions was a unique attempt to improve the quality of alcohol prevention interventions. It was a first step towards a continuing exchange of field experience in order to promote evidence-based implementation of alcohol related interventions, and for professionals to profit from existing theoretical and practice knowledge and experience.