Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)





Pursuant to mandates approved by the Inter-American Council for Education, Science, and Culture (CIECC) and by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), four workshops on education in the campaign against drug abuse were held between May 1988 and July 1989. The first took place in Uruguay in May 1988; the second in Grenada in November 1988, under the cosponsor ship of CARICOM; the third in Mexico in May 1989, and the fourth in Argentina in July 1989.

The agenda for all four workshops, which were attended by representatives of nearly all OAS member states, was as follows:

  1. Definition of a common philosophy of action for education against drug abuse and a mechanism of coordination for application in each country.

  2. Definition of a clear policy, rules, and regulations on how to handle drug abusers within the school system: responsibilities of teachers, students, parents, and school administrators in dealing with the problem. Knowledge and application of the rules by the educational community.

  3. Research: Definition of the type of information and scientific data needed for action; determination of the available research capacity and/or the institutions that would need to be developed and strengthened in each country in order for the required research to be done. Systems for the apportionment, financing, and analysis of the research and the dissemination of the results.

  4. Curriculum development: Policy framing and application in order to include prevention activities in the curricula of the formal education system.

  5. Teacher training for the campaign against the drug abuse problem (taking advantage of the curriculum as well as of the life of the school for this purpose).

  6. Framing of a comprehensive education policy designed to promote the participation of all the sectors of society--the individual, the family, the school, the community, and the mass media--in non-formal education.

  7. Instructional materials: The framing and application of a national policy for the production of instructional materials, including ordinary textbooks.

  8. Coordinated inter-agency efforts to support school systems in the design and implementation of drug abuse prevention programs in the schools, with special attention to input from the Ministry of Health and the National Drug Commission in each country.

The member states of the OAS were consulted on the Plan of Action: "Education in the Campaign Against Drug Abuse", which was discussed in the four work-shops. These meetings achieved the objectives of an exchange of views, a determination of basic components, and specific cooperative actions, promotion of education as a cornerstone of prevention, mutual understanding of the problem, and the means of attacking it, and a commitment to concerted future action with other sectors and institutions, including horizontal cooperation among the countries of the Americas.

As a result of those workshops, the Plan of Action was endorsed and enhanced. It provided the necessary input for the HEMISPHERE-WIDE MEETING to confirm and propose the bases for the long-term Inter-American Program for truly effective preventive action, starting in 1990.




In 1986, the member states of the Organization of American States decided, on the basis of the Charter of the OAS and the Inter-American Program of Action of Rio de Janeiro against the Illicit Use and Production of Narcotic Drugs and Psycho-tropic Substances and Trafficking Therein, to accord the highest priority to measures designed to reduce the demand for and prevent the use of illicit drugs, and to combat the interrelated problems of drug trafficking and production. Having noted the alarming increase in the abuse of drugs in the region and the serious social consequences for the health of peoples and nations, the member states recognized the priority and importance of education in the inter-American effort to eliminate the problems of the production, trafficking and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Policy-makers and technical representatives of the international community, both in the United Nations and in the OAS, have repeatedly called the drug problem one of the most critical of our times, a universal drama confronting mankind, and one of the principal sources of violence in the world, incompatible with peace, solidarity and development. They have ratified the priority of comprehensive preventive education and the need for coordination between and among the United Nations, the OAS, bilateral and other programs of cooperation, in order to maximize the use of international, multinational and bilateral contributions directed toward solving the problem.

Within the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) and the Inter- American Council for Education, Science and Culture (CIECC), the member states of the OAS have defined a common conceptual basis that considers drug abuse as a systemic problem requiring an inter-sectoral, inter-institutional, interdisciplinary and international response. It has been agreed that prevention methods that use education as a means of reaching children, youth, the family and the community should be an organic part of the educational system, and not an isolated topic within it. It is also suggested that in order for society fully to understand the problem of drug abuse, concrete, ongoing action must be taken to create in the community a clear awareness of the problem and a firm commitment to action. By using the community participation approach, which includes parents in the prevention process, the educational environment of the child, the young person, the adult and the elderly is broadened and expanded: the community is the educational environment par excellence.

The member states have also emphasized the need for addressing the structural social, political and economic causes that give rise to individualism, the consumer society, the absence of strong affective ties within the family and in society, the lack of important life goals, and the inequality of opportunities in education, health and social advancement, all of which create an environment which aggravates the drug problem.

The concept of comprehensive preventive education is that it is a basic process of social education, which fosters the values of the work ethic, the family as a nucleus that generates human values, the care of children who will be the future promoters of social change, and a narrowing of the generation gap. Comprehensive prevention education, understood as social education, covers a broad educational base that promotes human values and comprises: formal and nonformal education, community life, the world of work, the mass media, and other facets of society. This comprehensive, holistic concept of prevention is also geared to solving the problem of the critical populations in certain regions of the Americas who have no education -- the so-called "street children".



The Inter-American Program of Quito: Comprehensive Education to Prevent Drug Abuse, as part of a demand reduction strategy, has the following objectives:

A. To establish the bases of and prospects for multi-national, regional, sub-regional and bilateral support for national activities of the formal and non-formal educational systems for the comprehensive prevention of drug use, with appropriate participation of the family and the community.

B. To identify, propose and implement the specific measures, mechanisms and specific activities needed in the region to achieve an immediate impact in the area of comprehensive, systemic and permanent drug abuse prevention education, in the short, medium and long-term.

C. To promote, reinforce and complement the comprehensive prevention education programs in the member states through development of specific, innovative experiences that use practice-based, replicable methodologies designed to discourage and diminish participation in the production and use of illicit drugs and trafficking therein.

D. To promote, region-wide, optimal use of resources by governments and institutions, and to maximize the investments by international agencies and institutions and donor governments by organizing and systematizing the planning, execution, follow-up and evaluation of multinational projects and activities in the area of comprehensive preventive education, consistent with the concerns of the member states.

E. To contribute to improving, strengthening and/or building an institutional capacity in the education, health, justice and other sectors that are increasingly addressing the problem among various population groups.

F. To intensify educational activities to prevent drug abuse, production and trafficking in critically poor rural and urban areas, which are the areas most adversely affected by society's structural crisis.



To achieve these overall objectives, the Program will work toward the following specific goals, within a framework that is based on the countries' comprehensive preventive education programs, the agreements and recommendations on preventive education made in technical and policy-making fora, and research findings:

A. To identify and prioritize the obstacles to curriculum change, the training of teachers and educational agents, studies and research, and the development of preventive education materials, as well as the problems encountered in applying them in the schools and extending them to the community.

B. To identify, prioritize and facilitate execution of the actions required in the region for:

  1. Comprehensive drug abuse prevention curricula, programs, and curriculum guidelines and structures, strengthening moral values and ethical principles;

  2. Education, specialization and training of teachers, technical personnel, youth leaders, parents and other educational agents to carry out a continuing comprehensive prevention education plan under ongoing supervision. Monitoring of the progress of this process, with emphasis on modules based on the individual, the social and family context, prevention in schools, community mobilization and participation techniques, information concerning drugs, and the creation of prevention units in schools;

  3. Studies and research; the gathering, processing and circulation of specialized information;

  4. Development of textbooks and materials for comprehensive preventive education, including alternative mass media and distance education;

  5. Development of innovative efforts to achieve community mobilization and participation, media support, and the coordination of intergovernmental, inter-sectoral and inter-institutional efforts.

C. To support and facilitate the identification of the resources needed to address priority problems, including the design of projects that are in accordance with the countries' criteria and mechanisms, giving flexibility to the criteria and procedures of the financing institutions.

D. To identify, systematize and publicize experiences and information regarding all types of resources which can be used in the field of comprehensive preventive education.

E. Through information networks, to maintain a constant flow throughout the region of specialized information on activities, experiences, follow-up and evaluation, and offers of horizontal cooperation under the Inter-American Program of Quito: Comprehensive Education to Prevent Drug Abuse.

F. To develop, refine and evaluate, on an ongoing basis, the Inter-American Program of Quito: Comprehensive Education to Prevent Drug Abuse.

In the formulation, execution and evaluation phases, the Program will:

  1. Emphasize multinational programming and intergovernmental cooperation, and strengthen the mechanisms of internal communication within each country, so as to involve the national coordinating agencies in the implementation of the Program;

  2. Facilitate horizontal cooperation and inter-sectoral and intergovernmental coordination, bearing in mind the potential of each country;

  3. Promote and facilitate the participation of the family and the community in the development of the project and in the range of actions and benefits;

  4. Develop and give priority to activities related to curriculum, materials development, training and research and investigation, in addition to the promotion of media support, and family and community mobilization and participation in such efforts;

  5. Promote cooperation and coordinated activities among the OAS (CICAD and CIECC), the United Nations, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), CARICOM, the Inter-American Children's Institute (IIN), the Latin American Institute of the United Nations for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD), the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the South American Accord on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (ASEP) and other specialized agencies, for the benefit of the people, which is the mission of these agencies, and channeling the resources through the pertinent national agencies.



The actions, activities and projects will benefit all the member states of the OAS, and will provide parallel benefits, through horizontal cooperation, to OAS Permanent Observer countries and to other multilateral and national institutions whose policies and guidelines are consistent with those of the Program.

The beneficiaries will be:

The infant and juvenile populations, as well as their families and communities, with emphasis on those most at risk for drug abuse.

The actions, activities and projects of the Program will reach their targets through training, advisory services, specialization, education, support and research directed toward the following:

Teachers, technical personnel and administrators/supervisors at the various levels of the education system, including universities and other institutions working in this field;

Administrators, technicians and teachers in decentralized institutions of the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice and other ministries that conduct on coordinated com prehensive drug abuse prevention education activities;

Technical and administrative personnel of public and private research and training centers, especially organizations that do community-based prevention work with children, young people and families.

Technical personnel of non-governmental organizations with installed capacity, and experience in the community, particularly those that work with young people and families.



In light of the scope of the problem described in Chapter I and the concept of comprehensive, systemic and permanent prevention education, the Program will reinforce international, sub-regional and national efforts in:

  • Curriculum

  • Training

  • Materials Development

  • Research and Evaluation

  • Outreach to community, family and the media.

In order to make the best possible use of regional, multilateral, institutional and national resources, the Program will strengthen:

  • The exchange of information among the member states about research, studies and experiences on the four priority topics, through the hemisphere-wide clearing house, with its headquarters in CICAD (Inter-American Drug Information Center), and national and sub-regional information centers;

  • Regional or sub-regional courses, workshops and seminars. The Program may have sub-regional training centers or centers of excellence that may also provide regional or multilateral specialized services to the member states;

In order for the Program to designate a center of excellence as a regional service center, an institution must meet the following qualifications: it must have an installed capacity, qualified technical personnel, international prestige and experience, and an operational budget for its normal service activities.

  • Professional exchanges within and outside the region, to train administrators, technical personnel, teachers, community and youth leaders, in innovative experiences, particularly those in which families and the community are directly involved;

  • Sub-regional or in-country training programs using traveling teams of experienced trainers, which would cover some of the specialized areas requested by the countries and institutions, to train personnel who are beginning diagnostic studies linking comprehensive prevention education programs to dissemination programs, and to provide technical assistance in program management;

  • Strengthening of pilot programs or demonstration projects with concrete, innovative experiences;

  • Related practice-based research in which various governments or institutions undertake to cooperate in the analysis of a common topic;

  • Fellowships in specified areas.

The Program will publicize fellowship announcements and requirements. It will also strengthen coordination with the Regional Training Program of the Department of Fellowships and Culture of the Organization of American States, in order to seek fellowships, and will seek to establish specialized fellowships programs with Permanent Observer countries.

  • Design and development of specific sub-regional or multinational projects.

    Project proposals should specify:

  1. The significant specific problems to be addressed by the project;

  2. The objectives of the project in terms of the problem(s) identified;

  3. The participating countries and/or executing agencies* responsible for carrying out the project activities in country;

  4. The qualitative and quantitative goals which it is expected will be achieved as a result of the activities;

  5. The beneficiaries in the country, group of countries or the region;

  6. The phases of execution (initiation, expansion, consolidation, etc.) Initial or pilot activities could be considered as intensive work, with a five-year plan for expansion in some areas;

  7. The specific activities or tasks needed to accomplish the objectives and goals;

  8. Schedule of activities and tasks, and assignment of responsibilities to executing agencies;

  9. Machinery for follow-up and evaluation;

  10. National counterpart resources and approximate budget for the project;

  11. Other sources of financing and other institutions that may participate in project execution;

  12. Activities to be carried out by the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, with suggestion of priority activities to support project execution.



The Inter-American Program of Quito: Comprehensive Education to Prevent Drug Abuse will be implemented in the following stages:

A. Initiation

As agreed with the participating countries and institutions, CICAD and CIECC will draw up a table of horizontal cooperation, consolidating the proposals made at the CICAD/CIECC Hemisphere-Wide Meeting on Programming and Implementation of the Inter-American Plan of Action: Education in the Campaign against Drug Abuse, held in Quito, Ecuador in May 1990, and will take steps to begin execution of priority activities.

CICAD and CIECC will also reformulate requests for technical and financial support, so as to meet the requirements for financing from other agencies, international organizations and Permanent Observer countries. Once projects are completed, they will be presented to a project review committee for review and recommendation.

The countries and institutions will define their commitments in writing, and will present them for consideration to CICAD, specifying the proposed technical team that will execute the activity, the physical infrastructure that will be needed, and the funding pledged by the counterpart.

Multinational projects and activities falling within the Program that are in a position to execute some activities with counterpart funds would be strengthened. According to availability, the Program will complement the technical assistance necessary to improve or expand some categories of activities, subject to a prior technical needs assessment.

Groups of experts or task forces may be formed, according to need. Some national coordinators may be trained on a short-term basis.

On the basis of the Inter-American Program of Quito: Comprehensive Education to Prevent Drug Abuse, CIECC and CICAD may, in cooperation with the countries concerned, design multinational experimental or demonstration projects, for possible inclusion in the Program during the following biennium.

B. Development, follow-up and evaluation

The multinational and sub-regional projects making up the Program will include an evaluation process, to be designed by CIECC and CICAD in cooperation with the donor agencies, and the participating countries. Evaluation and follow-up mechanisms will be incorporated into the Program from the outset, with participation by technical specialists from the countries and institutions.

C. Consolidation and expansion

Based on the results of the ongoing evaluation of the initiation, development, follow-up and evaluation, projects and activities will be expanded and extended. In some cases, experimental projects may be replicated nationally, sub-regionally or regionally. Progress reports will be provided on all projects and activities, including information on problems encountered, through the information system and horizontal cooperation. Since the Program will be a flexible one, it will be refined as experience dictates.

*Institutions: In requests for external funding, some donor organizations require information on: description of the requesting institution; its organization, financing and human resources, programs of activities, responsibilities in the region's development process, the type of activities it promotes and executes, resources available for the efficient and effective implementation of the activities that it intends to support for comprehensive preventive education.

updated on 12/14/2010 6:12:55 PM