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Meta-analysis on the impact of local projects on drug-related nuisance (METAN)

Research project DR/09 (Research action DR)

Persons :

Description :

Context and goals of the research

Drug-related nuisance is a complex phenomenon that affects the quality of life in neighbourhoods and districts. Disruption of social order by (drug-related) nuisance is a problem that is a hot issue in our society and so has many political connotations. It is therefore not surprising that there have been many government initiatives focused on drug-related nuisance. Drug-related nuisance is one of the priorities in the Ministry of Justice’s Federal Detention and Security plan, one of the action points in the Federal drug bill, and a (discriminating) core concept in the penal response to drug use. The so-called ‘local drug plan’ has also existed since 1993. This drug plan provides space for measures and initiatives at a local level (cities and municipalities)) that are targeted at drug-related problems. However, this does not only involve measures concerning drug-related nuisance, but also measures with respect to the quality of assistance to drug addicts, as well as the speed of the administrative settlement of drug-related cases by the police and judiciary, the effectiveness of drug-related prevention policy, etc.

This research focuses attention on the evaluation of measures and initiatives in the framework of the local drug plan or of the drug component in current security plans, more specifically on the evaluation of measures and initiatives that are aimed at curbing drug-related nuisance. It is important for the future to study the impact of these initiatives and measures. Have the actions undertaken led to an actual curbing of drug-related nuisance? Which local strategies to curb drug-related nuisance give a positive result, which do not, and why (not)?

Course of the research

The integrated project “Meta-analysis on the impact of local projects on drug-related nuisance” (acronym: METAN) is an interrelated whole of three subprojects that together form a multidisciplinary, thematic network. This network is supported by the professors Ponsaers (UGent), De Ruyver (UGent) en Lemaître (ULg).

Research pathway 1 of the research comprises the elaboration of a method of meta-analysis of local evaluations of the drug plans concerning drug-related nuisance, and encompasses the following phases: a methodological study of the method of meta-analysis, using the method of Lawrence W. Sherman as a starting point (phase 1); and a comparative reconnaissance of the research field in practice by means of observations and interviews (phase 3).

Research pathway 2 includes an analysis of the sources useful for a secondary impact-evaluation of the drug plans concerning drug-related nuisance. As concerns this pathway, distinction is made between the following phases: stock-taking and synthesis of the local drug plans (phase 1); and a comparative study of the existing secondary sourcematerial (phase 3).

The third research pathway looks into the meta-analysis of local evaluations of the drug plans concerning drug-related nuisance. It encompasses the following phases: the setting out of the central research notions and the determination of the criteria of selection to be used to include evaluation studies of certain geographic areas in the meta-analysis, but also the determination of the thematic aspects of the problem of drug-related nuisance (phase 1); there will also be a comparative screening of the research field in practice, by means of observations and interviews in the area of Liège (phase 3). It is only during this third phase that the attention will be directed specifically towards the area of Liège. As concerns its other aspects this third research pathway displays the same general character as the other two pathways. Furthermore this third phase is to be seen as complementary to the third phase of research pathway 1 during which the other observations and interviews will be effected.

The second and fourth phase of each research pathway is an integration phase during which the results of the previous phase are brought together. During the second phase the selection of the geographical areas to be included in the meta-analysis will be made. Six cities or municipalities (among which Antwerp and Liège) will be selected. During the last phase the actual meta-analysis will be effected in which the research results of the different research pathways will be integrated and consolidated by means of interviews.

During the fifth phase of the research finally, the results of the research will be outlined in the final report in which the results will be compared to the hypotheses set out at the beginning of the research.

SHERMAN, L.W., GOTTFREDSON, D., MACKENZIE, D., ECK, J., REUTER, P. AND BUSHWAY, SH., Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising, A Report to the United States Congress Prepared for the National Institute of Justice, Washington, NIJ, 1997, URL:

Freddy Decamps - National Agency For Radioactive Waste And Enriched Fissile Materials - Brussels, Belgium
Leo De Nocker - Vlaamse Instelling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO) - Mol, Belgium
Nadine Gouzée - Federal Planning Bureau - Brussels, Belgium
Sarah Raper - University Of East Anglia - Climatic Research Unit - Norwich, UK
Emmanuel Roulin - Royal Meteorological Institute Of Belgium (IRM-KMI) - Brussels, Belgium
Peter Wittoeck - Federal Department Of The Environment - Brussels, Belgium

Documentation :

Drugoverlast in de lokale context van acht Vlaamse en Waalse gemeenten : naar een Monitor Integraal Lokaal Drugbeleid : eindrapport = Nuisances liées à la drogue dans le contexte local de huit communes wallonnes et flamandes : vers un Moniteur de politique intégrée locale en matière de drogue : rapport final  Ponsaers, Paul - De Ruyver, Brice - Lemaître, André ... et al  Gent : Academia Press, 2005 (PB6112)
[To download]  [To order

Drugoverlast in de lokale context van acht Vlaamse en Waalse gemeenten : samenvatting    Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2004 (SP1416)
[To download

Les nuisances liées aux drogues dans le contexte local de huit communes flamandes et wallonnes : résumé    Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2004 (SP1417)
[To download

Drug-related nuisances in the local context of eight Flemish and Walloon municipalities : summary    Brussels : Federale Science Policy, 2004 (SP1418)
[To download

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