CICAD: Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID)

Educational Development Program


This Educational Development program encourages greater understanding of drug issues by working with universities,  professional associations and national drug commissions to include drug issues and related content in academic studies, especially in education and health. It seeks to expand the number of university graduates with specialized knowledge of the drug field by introducing drug-related curricula (promotion of healthy life styles, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social integration) into undergraduate and graduate programs.

This initiative started in 1997 with schools of nursing in Latin America, and then expanded to schools of public health and education, and medicine. The participating students and faculty also conduct extension activities in their communities, largely in the area of community-based prevention, as well as investigation.

So far, CICAD has partnered with 174 universities in 18 Latin American countries, and more than 50,000 professionals have graduated having studied under the CICAD-sponsored curricula.  More than 1,000 nursing school faculty members have been trained on health promotion, drug abuse prevention and social integration. Two hundred nursing professors and researchers have received specialized training in research methodology applied to the study of drug issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Other aspects of the program include:

  • The replication of the CICAD formula through broader partnerships with national associations and federations of schools of nursing, as well as with the national drug commissions in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.
  • Dissemination through four Internet networks (web sites, virtual libraries, forums and other information exchanges): nursing by the la Universidad de Nuevo León (Monterrey, México); public health by the Universidad de San Andrés (La Paz, Bolivia), education by the Universidad Abierta Interamericana (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and medicine by la Universidad de San Carlos, of Guatemala.
  • The CICAD program is transitioning away from a single school or faculty model (nursing, education, etc.), towards “integrated” approaches that draw on all relevant academic disciplines (law, sociology, and psychology, for instance) and have broad support within the university administration.
  • In the Dominican republic, the government established a national university plan on drugs (2011-1016) for nearly 40 universities and technical institutes, following CICAD's guidelines.
  • After an initial exploratory meeting in Jamaica in March 2011, a Caribbean program has gotten underway.

International Research Capacity-Building Program

The International Research Capacity-Building Program for Health-Related Professionals to Study the Drug Phenomenon in Latin America and the Caribbean is part of CICAD’s strategy to strengthen scientific research on drug issues, especially the prevention of drug use and abuse, in the region. This initiative is a collaboration among CICAD, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University of Toronto and has funding from the Government of Canada. Each year 10 academics and professionals go to a summer residency in Toronto for studies of global drug issues and research methodologies, and then return to their home schools to carry out a multi-centric investigation. In the photo to the left, grantees discuss the planning details of a multicentric project that will cap their studies.  More information.

External Evaluation of the CICAD-CAMH program (July 2012, PDF, 273 kb)


updated on 7/19/2016 5:15:17 PM