Information about the Observatory

GDPO LogoNational and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

GDPO Quarterly News: July 2015 – October 2015

Having already participated in a United Nations University event at the end of June, while in New York in early July Dave was also an invited participant at a related invitation only roundtable on ‘Measuring success in inter-agency organized crime programming, with a particular focus on fragile contexts’.  Involving a wide range of participants, including US and UK government officials, representatives from law enforcement, RUSI and Google, once again discussions informed and were informed by GDPO research into drug policy metrics....


To read more, and to see previous quarterly news reports, click here

Our Projects

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Featured Publications

Featured Publications

UNU Report: What Comes After the War on Drugs - Flexibility, Fragmentation, or Principled Pluralism?

Cockayne, J. & Walker, S., United Nations University, November 2015


As the world prepares for the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016), this UNU policy report outlines how the global drug control system works, including recent trends.  The report describes three major perspectives going into UNGASS 2016: Orthodoxy, Scepticism, and Swing Voting.  The paper explores the likely outcome of UNGASS 2016, and makes recommendations for strengthening that outcome.  A solid preview of the upcoming UNGASS. 

See the complete report here

GDPO Situation Analysis

The GDPO Situation Analysis provides the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge assessment of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates. Presented in a focused and standardised format, the SA flags risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering to readers actionable information and evidence based insight.

Click here to read all our Situation Analysis