A summary of 2017 Dianova International activities: advocacy and international activities, campaigns and communication, strategic coordination and training, development and projects
Note: this text only relates to the activities developed by Dianova International. The specific activities of each Dianova member organization will be presented in the annual activity report to be published in May.
International Activities and Advocacy: Highlights
In 2017, network representatives publicized Dianova’s commitment and values at major international meetings focused on drugs, women’s rights, as well as migrant and refugee care within the overall framework of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Dianova International and members representatives as well as their partners have participated in or contributed to more than one hundred events in 13 countries on three continents, including several international conferences and forums, parallel events, expert committees, and think tanks. Dianova representatives have organized nine parallel events at international forums, participated on 59 expert committees, made 26 noteworthy presentations (oral or written) at these forums, and attended 23 important public events.
Women’s Rights and Empowerment
Dianova network’s mission is characterized by a strong commitment to gender equality. Such a commitment manifests itself on several levels. Dianova conducts a gender-based analysis on developing social problems. Within its programmes, the network takes account of women’s specific needs (schedules, childcare, maternity care, and more). For these reasons, women’s empowerment and rights represent a major part of Dianova’s advocacy work.
The 61st Session of the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW61), from 13 to 24 March in New York, ranks among the most important events in which Dianova has participated or been involved in this area. Prior to the event, Dianova made its position known on the issue of specific vulnerabilities of women regarding forced migration and participated in the organizing committee of the NGO CSW Forum.
- Visit the United Nation’s site and read Dianova’s contribution to the CSW61 in English, French and Spanish.
During the CSW session, our representatives organized no fewer than five parallel events in partnership with local and international NGOs, governments or NGO committees, bringing together some 350 individuals. These events highlighted the challenges and opportunities associated with the following issues: economic empowerment of migrant women, women’s participation in decision-making processes, well-being, mental health, and economic and social integration.
Addiction: Treatment and People’s Rights
Dianova advocates the implementation of prevention programmes and policies, gender-based addiction treatment, and for treatment programmes grounded on a health perspective that is respectful of individuals. The network is also committed to promoting the essential role of therapeutic communities in addiction treatment.
With this goal in mind, network representatives participated in three events in these areas. The most important event was the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs Session (CND60) which took place from 13 to 17 March. Among other themes, the commission addressed the issue surrounding the closing of UNGASS (the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the the world drug problem, which concluded in 2016), including the implementation of recommendations made at the conclusion of the session.
While collaborating with various NGO partners, Dianova organized three parallel events focusing on the versatility of therapeutic communities, addiction prevention, as well as the Triple R: Rehabilitation for Recovery and Reintegration project experience. During the CND Session, Dianova also co-sponsored the #WeDoRecover Exhibition which highlighted the reality of recovery within therapeutic communities and other residential settings, an exhibition organized by the Recovered Users Network (RUN) platform.
- Interview with the president and organizer of #WeDoRecover exhibition, Boro Goic
- Interview with Aldo Lale-Demoz, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- Interview with Antonio J. Molina, therapeutic coordinator – Dianova Spain
Dianova’s participation in the field of addiction should also be noted: at the 27 th IFNGO Conference, from 6 to 8 November, in Macao (China) where our representative highlighted the benefits of quality orientation regarding treatment; at the 16 th Conference of the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC) from 20 to 22 November, in Dublin; as well as at the Board of Directors meeting of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities (WFTC) in Bangkok (Thailand), where the objective was to document the changes that occurred through the modernization and specialization of the therapeutic community model for addiction treatment.
Activities in Expert Committees
The development of our activities at Dianova’s New York Office sped up the process in terms of activities of representation and relationships with international organizations. This development is translated into a significant involvement throughout the four active expert committees at the United Nations Headquarters in New York: the NGO Committee on Migration – CoM, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women –NGO CSW/NY, the NGO Committee on Mental Health and the NGO Major Group.
The participation of our representatives in other meetings and expert committees should be duly noted: the WHO Forum on Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviors (from 26 to 28 June, in Geneva); the meetings of the European Union’s Civil Society Forum on Drugs; as well as the meetings of the Conference of NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations (COnGO) and meetings of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC).
Altogether in 2017, Dianova representatives have participated in 59 meetings and expert committees, an increase of 40% compared to the previous year.
International Campaigns and Communication
In observance of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking on 26 June, Dianova’s member organizations in 14 countries have joined the ‘Listen First’ campaign of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) while thus highlighting the relevance of advocacy and international cooperation within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The ‘Listen First’ campaign aimed at raising awareness among individuals to listen more attentively to children and young people in order to help them grow up healthy and safe. The slides prepared by different members of Dianova were geared more particularly toward parents, teachers, policy makers and health workers, for the purpose of encouraging these different public figures to share these slides on their respective networks. According to estimates, the campaign brought together more than 1,300,000 individuals.
Mental Health in the Workplace
In observance of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, the Dianova International network and the NGO Committee on Mental Health, New York have joined forces to implement the WHO’s Global Campaign aimed at promoting sound mental health in the workplace.
Mental health plays an essential role in the health of populations; this is the official statement presented in the 2013–2020 Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan, adopted by the WHO’s governing body, the World Health Assembly. That is why Dianova have shared in the goals and strategies laid out in this plan: taking into account determinants for mental health, prevention and health promotion, and improved access to care.
Through graphic materials and messages made available to different public entities (policy makers, health workers, human resources directors, etc.) Dianova’s campaign aimed to help recognize the risk factors involved and to introduce adequate preventive measures in the workplace. The Mental Health in the Workplace campaign reached more than 870,000 persons.
Upon the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the Dianova network joined the United Nations UNITE Campaign, a 16-day campaign to raise awareness of the abuse and violence suffered by some 800 million women and girls all over the world.
Implemented in collaboration with several organizations in the Dianova network in 12 countries, the campaign stressed three principal themes: sexual violence in the workplace, education, and women’s rights policies. The campaign addressed health workers, human resource managers, teachers, families and politicians, and took place from 25 November to 10 December (World Human Rights Day). It involved 16 days of activism and online sharing of visuals, articles, testimony and graphic information concerning violence towards women. The campaign is estimated to have reached more than 1,100,000 persons.
Coordination, Strategic Management and Training
Around sixty representatives from member organizations and guests came from 14 different countries to attend the Dianova Network 2017 Meetings (12–14 June at Castelldefels in Spain). The three days of working sessions and discussions included a meeting of the assembly council (Dianova International’s managing body); the assembly of delegates (composed of one or more delegates from each member organization); a series of training and discussion workshops; and a presentation of the best practices of member organizations.
- See the summary of the 2017 meetings by Montse Rafel, Director of Dianova International
Assembly of Delegates
At the assembly the delegates approved the 2016 annual report of activities, modifications of the statutes and the admission of four new associate members: Association of Youth Committed to Humanitarian Action (AJEAH, Togo); European Center for the Addiction Prevention (CEPA, Romania); Active Women for Environmental Protection (FAPE, RDC); and Interest Organization for Substance Misusers (RIO, Norway). The associate membership category was originally created to enable like-minded organizations to join forces with Dianova in order to advance their common goals and make the voice of civil society heard in international organizations.
The assembly was followed by a presentation by the sociologist José Carron on the history and development of the social state, civil society and the third sector in Europe and America.
- Dianova and the third sector challenges – a downloadable study in English and Spanish
Workshops and Best Practice Exchanges
On the second day, all participants were invited to participate in one of three simultaneous training workshops and discussions organized around questions pertaining to network finances, the network’s function as an advocate of social change, and new challenges in social intervention.
The first workshop, Enterprising organizations – strategies to strengthen long-term financial health, helped participants analyze the principal fund-raising sources, then reviewed strategies for efficient fundraising. See the article by Xavier Pons.
The objective of the second workshop New challenges for social intervention in a changing world analyzed different scientifically valid therapeutic approaches and how they can meet the challenge of beneficiaries’ emerging new needs. See the article by Esther Martos.
The last workshop, Promoting social change – which keys to strengthen the network, cast light on advocacy by network representatives. The workshop concluded with the selection of a group of ‘international ambassadors’ charged with helping the network gain visibility and defend its values and positions. See the article by Lucía Goberna.
In addition, the TAPAJ programme (alternative work, paid by the day) was discussed at a round-table discussion; the programme was originally established in Quebec and offers young people facing social exclusion a way to reduce social risks. See the article.
Lastly, on the last day, meetings were devoted to discussions and exchanges with several Dianova network member organizations: good practices, results, new activities, projects, and a presentation of new associate members.
Development and Projects
Developing Alternative Resources
In 2017, Dianova’s department of international projects identified new sources of financing while creating opportunities for collaboration with Dianova International members to promote network construction and to strengthen a feeling of community and belonging. This commitment is based on the ‘diversification’ component of Dianova’s directives for 2020, ‘We implement projects through strategic alliances which guarantee our autonomy and sustainability’.’
Although the projects department is physically located in Barcelona, its geographical perspective is defined by the place of activities of ordinary members and associates – associate members by their capability to undertake projects in new territories or disadvantaged regions, and ordinary members by their experience in developing international projects.
In all, 22 projects on four continents were analyzed.
Strengthening Internal Cohesion and Organizational Development
As a network, we work on a daily basis to improve our sustainability with an integrated vision of the activities we complete and the impact they have. To accomplish this, we endeavour to develop a trust-based relationship with our employees, while strengthening team cohesion and network member development. Ensuring that our structure is closely aligned with a given activity’s strategy and goals, and that we have the competence essential to a given activity, is both a necessity and one of our greatest concerns.
We are convinced that the Dianova model for human resources managementhelps our organizations be more flexible and better prepared for the volatile environment that surrounds them. This is why we have prepared a questionnaire to evaluate how this model is used by member organizations, thus making an inventory of the different processes and policies and identifying the areas that need improvement.
Political, social and economic changes over the last few years have led people to determine new directions and the need to reorganize the organizational and functional structures of third sector institutions to which our organizations belong. As a result we have had to analyse the current structure of each member organization, identify their risks, concerns and priorities so as to ensure their sustainability. The three workshops held during Dianova network’s meetings were designed to meet this specific challenge.