STAGE 7. Defining the sustainability and dissemination plan

What steps should be completed?

STEP 2: Planning dissemination of the intervention and results

Communicating the results of an intervention is useful for people interested in the intervention, for other professionals involved in a direct or indirect way in reducing drug demand, and also for the rest of the community. Regardless of the continuity of an intervention, it is important to communicate the work done, whether the results coincide with the initial expectations and are positive, or whether they were not as expected. Although it is certainly much more pleasant to communicate positive results, it should be noted that it is also very useful to know that an intervention has not worked, so the same mistakes can be avoided and resources and efforts can be directed at more promising initiatives in the future.

So much effort is often put into planning, implementing and evaluating an intervention that, when it comes to this stage, work teams can be fatigued. Therefore, if communication of the results of an intervention is envisaged from the beginning of the process, it can be considered just another task and decisions are made which will then facilitate the work. Providing adequate information about an intervention is just as important as committing to developing it with rigour and high quality standards. 

Developing proactive actions to disseminate interventions and their results has various advantages:

  • It helps to get support. Making the characteristics and results of an intervention known provides an opportunity to get different people (financers, professionals, community, etc.) to support the intervention, and increase population involvement and the level of community preparedness. Sharing this information transmits transparency and helps to improve trust. 
  • It helps to improve the intervention and to gain prestige and confidence. Communicating and disseminating the intervention should be considered a two-way process in which the results are presented and feedback from the various audiences is expected (and received). This information should be added to the data collected during the evaluation. A communication plan raised in this way generates prestige and confidence, and guarantees of improvement for all.
  • It helps to improve scientific knowledge. Knowledge of the characteristics, mechanisms and effects of drug demand reduction interventions improves if the professionals share their experience. However, dissemination of this type of information often tends to remain in the field of scientific communication. +

In order to plan the dissemination of the interventions and their results, it is appropriate to define:

  • The audience. +
  • The content, media and channels. +
  • The place and the moment. +
  • The people responsible. +
  • The funding. +