STAGE 2. Analysing feasibility
What steps should be completed?
Step 2: Assess organisational resources
The potential for your organisation to carry out an intervention will also depend on the level of its connection with the community (strategic allies or reference network).1 The viability, coverage and sustainability of an intervention (and probably its quality and efficacy) will improve if it is shared with the relevant agents in the community.
The parties involved or interested can contribute experience, knowledge, resources and even motivation to carry out an intervention. Cooperation also gives projects a sense of unity and consensus that improves community acceptance, making them more viable. Therefore, it is essential that you find out whether your organisation has contact with the agents, sectors, groups, organisations and networks that could be important in your intervention and whether it interacts and collaborates with these groups. For example, if you intend to carry out an intervention with young drug consumers who live in a particular neighbourhood, it can be useful (and even essential) to first contact local leaders, neighbours, education staff, health professionals and other agents that are active in the area. It is preferable to draw up a list of the relevant agents first, and then explore their level of access, contact and connection. +
If you do not have access to influential agents or sectors for your project, it will be useful to explore how to contact them, either directly or, perhaps, through intermediaries who can facilitate access to them. Not having been in contact before does not have to be an impediment to future collaboration. A new collaborative structure must simply be generated: this will initially entail some management and time cost to reach agreements and obtain commitments, but in the short term these costs will be worthwhile, and they will also be useful for future interventions. The more responsibility people take for changing a situation, the more likely the situation will change. Collaboration is the process where various agents commit to working together to achieve a common goal.2
To get people involved, it is advisable to exchange views on the need and urgency of carrying out an intervention, how to deal with the situation, and also the need and advantages of working together. Get people involved and then define the principles that will govern this collaboration. There are some premises that should be remembered when doing this. +
1 Chinman M, et al. (2005). Getting to Outcomes 2004. Promoting Accountability Through Methods and Tools for Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
2 Samhsa. (2002). Achieving Outcomes: A practicioner’s Guide to Effective Prevention. Rockville, MD: Conference Edition.
© COPOLAD. Cooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drugs Policies.