Think Tank on Civil society and Addiction NGOs

The meeting highlighted the need to overcome the barriers that divide specialized NGOs on the issue of alcohol and substance abuse

International Council on Alcohol and AddictionsHeld in in Oporto (Portugal) on 9 October, the think tank was organized by the ICAA (International Council on Alcohol and Addictions), one of the oldest non-governmental organisations active in the field of dependencies. This two-day round table brought together 30 qualified experts who thoroughly discussed the ideologies, stigmatization and misunderstandings that have divided the efforts of NGOs for years while hindering their impact.

Facing this problem, the conclusion was the following: a united community of NGOs — a coordinated partnership — can be stronger and consequently have a more powerful impact on civil society.

At the meeting, an initiative was proposed based on the “integration” of the whole non-governmental sector (including non-profit enterprises, academic and research institutes, grassroot organizations, etc.) in order to join together, connect and spark dialogue.

The issues explored in this instance were the following:

  • The importance and potential for collaboration and association among all stakeholders in civil society.
  • The potential for developing and publishing guidelines for joint working for civil society stakeholders in relevant topic areas
  • The steps which participants believe will best advance the goal of ensuring that NGOs are able to be dynamic and active participants in the pursuit of the health and social goals of civil society.