CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)


CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)


CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)


CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)

What is the MEM?



The creation of a multilateral evaluation mechanism which would make periodic recommendations to member states on improving their capacity to control drug trafficking and abuse and enhance multilateral cooperation, was proposed at the Second Summit of the Americas in 1998. The Heads of State and of Government of the Americas turned the concept of multilateral evaluation into a mandate, declaring in the Plan of Action that their countries would undertake the following specific action:

"Continue to develop their national and multilateral efforts in order to achieve full application of the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere, and will strengthen this alliance based on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of the States, reciprocity, shared responsibility and an integrated, balanced approach in conformity with their domestic laws;

With the intention of strengthening mutual confidence, dialogue and hemispheric cooperation and on the basis of the aforementioned principles, develop, within the framework of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS), a singular and objective process of multilateral governmental evaluation in order to monitor the progress of their individual and collective efforts in the Hemisphere and of all the countries participating in the Summit, in dealing with the diverse manifestations of the problem."

Based on these mandates and in order to execute them, the twenty-third regular session of CICAD (May 1998) formed an Inter-Governmental Working Group on the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (IWG-MEM) headed by Canada and Chile, in order to design the mechanism to begin in 1999.


The process of multilateral evaluation has the following objectives:

  • Achieve full application of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy and its Plan of Action.
  • Strengthen mutual confidence, dialogue, and hemispheric cooperation in order to confront, with greater efficiency and efficacy, the diverse aspects of the world drug problem.
  • Follow-up on the progress of individual and collective efforts in the Hemisphere of all the countries participating in the Mechanism, indicating both results attained as well as obstacles faced by the countries.
  • Promote the following actions on the basis of the evaluation results and within the framework of CICAD:
    • To Support member states in the planning and execution of their national drug plans;
    • To contribute to the strengthening of member states' capacity to confront the drug problem; and
    • To stimulate the development of technical assistance and training programs, and the exchange of experiences and best practices according to the needs of each.
  • Produce and publish periodic reports on the situation of the drug problem in the countries and in the Hemisphere.
  • Strengthen multilateral cooperation as the way to ensure an objective evaluation of member states' efforts to confront the drug problem.
  • Promote through CICAD the strengthening of cooperation and coordination with other regions, the United Nations and other international entities.


The Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) is an instrument designed to measure the progress of actions taken by the 34 member states of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). This evaluation is carried out through the elaboration and publication of national and hemispheric reports on the progress in drug control. Acting on a mandate from the Second Summit of the Americas, the MEM was created in 1999 with the objective of increasing coordination, dialogue, and cooperation within the 34 member states in order to confront the drug problem more efficiently.

The evaluation reports produced during the MEM process are drafted by government experts designated by OAS member states. Each country is entitled to one main expert and alternate experts, with the specification that each country has only one voice, and experts do not participate in the evaluation of their own country. These experts compose the Governmental Expert Group (GEG), a multidisciplinary group that ensures the objectivity and the multilateral component of the MEM.


  • Respect for sovereignty, territorial jurisdiction, and the domestic laws of States
  • Reciprocity, shared responsibility and an integrated balanced approach to this issue
  • Observance of the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere and international agreements and instruments in force


  • Governmental, singular and objective, with the participation of specialized representatives of the governments.
  • Transparent, impartial and equitable to assure an objective evaluation.
  • Full and timely participation of member states based upon mutually and previously established rules and procedures of general application to guarantee an equitable evaluation process.
  • Excludes sanctions of any kind.
  • Respectful of the confidentiality of the deliberations and the information provided by member states, in accordance with established norms and procedures.
  • Only valid hemispheric tool for evaluating drug control policies in the countries that make up the Inter-American system.



The "Procedural Manual", an updated edition of which was approved during the Fifty-Second Regular Session of CICAD, outlines and defines the roles of the various stakeholders that are involved in the MEM process. The following is a summary of the main points of the Procedural Manual:

  • Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD): approves the reports drafted by the Governmental Experts Group (GEG) and the recommendations made by the Inter- Governmental Working Group (IWG)
  • Governmental Expert Group (GEG): analyzes the information provided by member states and drafts the national and hemispheric reports. The GEG is composed of experts from different areas affected by the drug problem. Each member states designates an expert and each country has a principal expert and at the country's discretion may also appoint an alternate expert. Regarding the structure, function, and characteristics of the GEG, the GEG is headed by a General Coordinator and Assistant General Coordinators (the Coordinators are chosen by the GEG at the beginning of each evaluation round), works in the form of working groups, and governmental experts do not participate in the evaluation of their own country.
  • National Coordinating Entities (NCEs): are designated by each member state at the beginning of each evaluation round with the objective of collecting and reporting the information which is then evaluated by the GEG. The National Coordinating Entity in each member state has the responsibility of providing and coordinating the official answer of the country to the indicators and to questions made by the GEG.
  • Inter-Governmental Working Group (IWG): comprised of all member states, the IWG reviews and prepares proposals for the MEM's next round, evaluating and strengthening the MEM through its continuous updates from round to round. This review includes modifications to the instrument itself as well as a revised version of the cycle of activities and the MEM�s Manuals.
  • MEM Unit: The MEM Unit was established within the CICAD Executive Secretariat to support and coordinate all the activities of the process and to provide technical support to all the stakeholders that participate in the MEM process.


During 2017, the Inter-Governmental Group (IWG) of the MEM held virtual and in-person meetings to agree on the documents that will be used to carry out the MEM Seventh Evaluation Round, which include the Evaluation Questionnaire, Evaluator's Manual, Procedural Manual and Calendar of Activities. The final drafts of these documents were approved by the CICAD Commissioners during their Sixty-Second Regular Session (December 13-15, 2017). The Seventh Round evaluation began in 2018 with the submission of the MEM Evaluation Questionnaire to the National Coordinating Entities (NCEs) in January and the national evaluation reports on drug policies were published in June 2019.


updated on 6/26/2019 11:41:13 AM