As the University calendar slowed and the covid restrictions slowly relaxed, July saw the GDPO and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences more broadly welcome as a visiting scholar the amazing Dr Alana Griffith, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Barbados. Lecturer in Sociology and, among other things, former Commissioner on the CARICOM Commission on Marijuana, Alana spent three weeks in Swansea working with the team on the GDPO’s cannabis and the Caribbean workstream. You can read her blog about her time in Wales here: Blog.
Dave, Branwen, and Alana
In the context of ongoing interest in the Global Drug Policy Index (GDPI), and demonstrating the truly international reach of the initiative, in early August Matt made a Zoom presentation on the design and application of the Index to the Iranian National Center of Addiction Studies (INCAS), at Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS). Indeed, while the first version of the GDPI continued to generate discussion, work persisted in the background on the development of a second iteration, including the inevitable search for funding. Further, reflecting the excellence of the team behind the GDPI website, the Brazilian based company Café won a prestigious @Fastcompany Innovation by Design Award for their work on the project. Bearing in mind the quality of the website, we’re sure that this award will be the first of many.
Matt presenting to members of INCAS
Speaking very much to one of the Index’s key dimensions, August saw Heloisa Broggiato take part in a Global Palliative Care and Pain Relief Research Hub webinar on ‘Comparative Models in Palliative Care and Pain Relief from Africa, Asia, and the Americas.’ In addition to her ongoing applied work in the NGO sphere, Heloisa also saw academic success during the quarter. After many years of hard work as a part-time graduate student at Swansea University, in early September she passed her PhD viva, with only minor corrections. The GDPO team sends her a massive congratulations on this impressive achievement. We look forward to seeing spin-off articles and grey literature publications (no pressure...) Supervised primarily by Dave, the thesis, International Drug Control and Access to Controlled Medicines in Brazil: Changes and Tensions in International Regimes (2009-2019), was examined by Professor John Dumbrell (Durham University) and Dr Dawn Bolger (Swansea). A big thanks go to them and Luca Trenta who, as second supervisor, stepped up to help get Heloisa over the line. With one Observatory colleague progressing her academic career, another changed course and moved away from academia. Congratulations go to Rick Lines who in early September joined Public Health Wales as the new Head of Substance Misuse and Vulnerable Populations. Rick will remain as faculty at Swansea University and stay connected with the GDPO, especially in relation to his work on harm reduction.
In terms of publications, the publishing machine that is Ediomo-Ubong had another article in an academic journal. Based on original fieldwork, his excellent ‘Nuancing Drug Harms: Exploring the Context of Substance Abuse Among Street-Involved Women in Uyo, Nigeria’ appeared in Contemporary Drug Problems in September. That month also saw the publication launch of Cannabis Regulation: Lessons from the illicit tobacco trade, written by good friend of the Observatory, Benoit Gomis. As noted in an earlier Quarterly News, the report was produced as a collaboration between the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the GDPO, Health Poverty Action (HPA), Transform, the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).