Global Drug and Development Policy Roundup

The Global Drug and Development Policy Roundup addresses the nexus between illicit drugs and socioeconomic development and seeks to identify actionable ways to increase the engagement of the international development community in tackling illicit drug production, trade and use.

The initial invite-only event took place early 2013 and used the report “Dependent on Development. The interrelationships between illicit drugs and socioeconomic development” (pdf), released by the Nossal Institute for Global Health in December 2010, as a basis for discussion.

A select group of drug and development policymakers and experts were invited and charged with developing recommendations on how the report’s central hypothesis can be operationalised: “Equitable socioeconomic development is necessary for control of illicit drugs, while effective and human rights based illicit drug control is required to foster sustainable socioeconomic development.”

Dr Markus Schultze-Kraft, who is a drug, conflict/security and development expert at IDS, hosted the event and co-chaired and facilitated it together with Dr Desmond Cohen and Ms Kasia Malinowska of the Global Drug Policy Program, Open Society Foundation.

Attendees included representatives of bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental international development agencies (GIZ, USAID, Christian Aid, among others); multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental drug policy organisations (TNI, IDPC, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, among others); and other key stakeholders and experts (Institute for Policy Studies, Swansea University, University of Bradford, among others).

The Global Roundup will produce a roadmap for deeper integration of, and more effective cooperation between, the global drug and development policy communities.


Event Briefing

Download ‘Bringing Development In:

Tackling the negative effects of illicit drugs and drug policy on development


Further resources

Co-convenor Markus Schultze-Kraft has written a series of blogs about Global Drug Policy:
And a podcast interview with Markus Schultze-Kraft for the Council on Foreign Relations.
A blog by Nick Crofts, Drugs and development – caught in a vicious cycle, published by The Guardian, on the publication of the Dependent on Development report.
A blog by Jonathan Glennie, Time for NGOs to talk about drugs, published on The Guardian’s Poverty Matter blog.
‘Illicit Drugs and Development’. Papers from a 2005 meeting on drugs and development in the Asia-Pacific regions organised by Nick Crofts and Pam Thomas (ANU), published in the Development Bulletin (see link under Related content).
Development First: A More Humane and Promising Approach to Reducing Cultivation of Crops for Illicit Markets a report from the Washington Office on Latin America.
The War on Drugs: Undermining international development and security, increasing conflict, by Count the Costs.
Getting high on impact: The challenge of evaluating drug policy by Markus Schultze-Kraft and Barbara Befani, published by the Global Drug Policy Observatory, Swansea University.
Why a governance perspective could contribute to improving drug policy and engaging the international development community: Lessons from Colombia by Markus Schultze-Kraft, in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Also recommended

  • Merill Singer (2008) Drugs and Development: Global Impact on Sustainable Growth and Human Rights. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. 
  • Philip Keefer and Norman Loayza (eds) (2010) Innocent Bystanders: Developing Countries and the War on Drugs. World Bank; Palgrave Macmillan UK
  • David Mansfield ‘Treating the Opium Problem in World Bank Operations inAfghanistan’. Guidelines prepared for the World Bank. (see link under Related content)
  • OECD’s report Transnational organized crime and fragile states, which includes a brief discussion on going beyond the ‘war on drugs’.

Project details

start date
1 May 2012
end date
1 March 2013


Recent work


Getting high on impact: The challenge of evaluating drug policy

Public policies to control and, ultimately, eliminate the non-licensed supply of, and demand for, plant-based and synthetic psychoactive substances, commonly referred to as ‘illicit drugs', such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis and methamphetamines, are heavily contested – and so is the...

1 June 2014