Measurement Matters: Designing New Metrics for a Drug Policy that Works


Measurement Matters introduces a preliminary set of goals, targets and indicators to help guide governments, law enforcement agencies, health institutions and civil society craft more effective and efficient drug policy. It is based on interviews with more than 50 of the world´s leading drug policy experts and a review of international best practice. It is not intended as a strict road map or blueprint, but rather a series of sign-posts to help advance thinking and action.

According to author and coordinator of the Global Commission Secretariat, Ilona Szabo de Carvalho, “conventional drug policy metrics are measuring the wrong variables. They tell us how tough we´re being, but say nothing about whether we´re successful or not”. As a result, the focus on diminishing the supply for drugs has not only generated adverse consequences, but also subordinated even higher priorities associated with promoting public health and citizen security.

Measurement Matters re-frames the drug policy discussion. It proposes 2 high-level impacts, 6 goals, 16 targets and 86 indicators. At the center of the proposed framework is a desire to end the criminalization and stigmitization of drug users, curb drug use through public health measures, diminish incarceration of non-violent drug-related offenders, target violent organized crime groups and traffickers, provide meaningful alternatives to illicit crop production, and encourage experimentation with different approaches to regulating drugs.

Download the pdf here.