Promoting contemporary, transformative drug policies

Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Rural development and drug policies

Young people in drug crop cultivation areas in remote regions of Albania have barely any prospect of earning money legally. Young female farmers in the mountainous region of Pult (2021). © GIZ GmbH


Illicit drug economies exploit people and the environment in the Global South. They prevent development in the affected regions and countries. Repressive policy responses (‘the war on drugs’) have previously done little to help, and have been causing high social, economic and environmental costs for decades.

The project works at international level to stem the causes of drug economies and the damage they cause. It addresses these complex challenges with holistic approaches. People are at the heart of these approaches, which drive rural development and protect public health and the environment. Transformative drug policies allow people to free themselves from dependence on illicit economies and improve their living conditions.


Long-term, transformative approaches to drug policy are implemented at national and international level.

Karen Palacios takes her daughter with her to work on a coca field in the remote mountainous region of Cauca, Colombia (2021). © Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images


The project cooperates with a global network of partners. This network comprises political and civil-society institutions such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, the Transnational Institute (TNI), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Harm Reduction International (HRI), the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC), Universidad de los Andes and the University of Essex.

Together with these institutions, the project operates in four areas:

  1. It shapes the international drug policy dialogue at the United Nations (UN), particularly in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Within the CND, it establishes the approaches of the German Government and the European Union (EU) as guidelines for global drug policy.
  2. It promotes and presents research findings and successful methods for fact-based drug policy and alternative development within the CND.
  3. It uses digital political spaces to raise international awareness of these approaches to drug policy and lend them relevance.
  4. It advises government institutions in Latin America, South-East Europe and Africa on the transformation of their drug policies.

Last update: December 2022

Additional information