CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)


CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)


CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)


CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)

What is the MEM?



In 1998, the OAS member states agreed to and designed a multilateral evaluation mechanism that would make periodic recommendations to OAS member states on improving their capacity to control drug trafficking and abuse, and enhance multilateral cooperation. 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 actions:

"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 to design the mechanism, the MEM was set to begin in 1999.

As the only multilateral evaluation of its kind in the world, the MEM highlights the strengths and weaknesses of OAS member states in its country reports, and encourages national dialogue among policymakers. The MEM also publishes a hemispheric report, which reflects the reality of member states in the Hemisphere as a whole regarding the drug problem, outlining clearly the challenges encountered, the strengths and the collective progress in implementing drug policies. Based on the CICAD Hemispheric Drug Strategy and the Plan of Action, the reports focus on the following thematic areas: institutional strengthening, demand reduction, supply reduction, control measures, and international cooperation.

During the sixty-second regular session (December 13-15, 2017), the CICAD Commissioners approved the Evaluation Questionnaire, Evaluator's Manual, Procedural Manual, and Calendar of Activities, for the seventh evaluation round. This round began in January 2018 with the submission of the MEM Evaluation Questionnaire to each OAS member states� National Coordinating Entity (NCE), followed by the publication of the national evaluation reports on drug policies in July 2019.


  • Respect for sovereignty, territorial jurisdiction, and the domestic laws of OAS member states.

  • Reciprocity, shared responsibility, and an integrated balanced approach.

  • Observance of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy, 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 OAS 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 OAS member states, in accordance with established norms and procedures.

  • Only valid hemispheric tool for evaluating drug control policies in the Inter-American system.


  • Achieve full application of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy and its Plan of Action.

  • Strengthen mutual confidence, dialogue, and hemispheric cooperation 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 MEM, indicating both results attained as well as obstacles faced.

  • Promote, within the framework of CICAD and on the basis of the evaluation results, the following actions:

    • Support OAS member states in the planning and execution of their national drug plans;

    • Contribute to the strengthening of member states' capacity to confront the drug problem; and

    • Stimulate the development of technical assistance and training programs, and the exchange of experiences and best practices according to individual's needs.

  • Strengthen multilateral participation to ensure an objective evaluation of member states' efforts.

  • Encourage cooperation and coordination with other regions, the United Nations, and other international entities.

  • Produce and public periodic reports on the drug problem situation in the countries and in the Hemisphere.




The different actors involved in the MEM process are the following:

  • Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD): is the consulting and advisory body of the OAS on the drug problem, serves as a forum for OAS member states to discuss and find solutions, as well as provides technical assistance to increase their capability to counter the drug problem. CICAD approves the reports drafted by the Governmental Experts Group (GEG) and the recommendations made by the Inter-Governmental Working Group (IWG).

  • National Coordinating Entity (NCE): are appointed by each OAS member state at the beginning of each evaluation round to provide information from their country, which allows for the GEG to carry out the corresponding evaluation.

  • National Institutions: provides the answers to the questionnaire, notes to country, as well as data updates and information through the NCE of their country.

  • Governmental Expert Group (GEG): is composed of Experts from the diverse drug-related areas, designated by each participating member state and headed by a General Coordinator and a Deputy General Coordinator. The GEG analyzes the information provided by the OAS member states and prepares the evaluation reports.

  • Inter-Governmental Working Group (IWG): is composed of all the member states to review and prepares proposas for the next MEM round, evaluating and strengthening the MEM through continuous updates to both the process and the documents for the evaluation.

  • MEM Independent Technical Consultants: are the support of the GEG, providing additional expertise in the various drug-related areas. The Consultants accompany the GEG during the evaluation process and are available for consultation.

  • MEM Unit: is under the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD, by its Spanish language acronym) and provides technical, coordination, and managerial support to the actors involved (IWG, GEG, NCEs, and MEM Independent Technical Consultants).

updated on 3/25/2022 5:33:08 PM