WHO Collaborating Centre

SHORE is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in alcohol and drug issues. Professor Sally Casswell, SHORE's Director, is also a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Alcohol and Drug Dependence.The terms of reference for the Collaborating Centre are:

  1. To assist WHO in strengthening international collaboration on alcohol and drug policy development.
  2. To collaborate in research on alcohol-related harm, alcohol consumption and alcohol policy development and implementation.
  3. To increase awareness and implementation of the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.
  4. Capacity building for alcohol policy development and implementation.

This work is led by Sally Casswell with input from Dr Martin Wall, Sally Liggins and others at SHORE. It has focus on the Western Pacific region, which is one of the six WHO regions and home to 1.6 billion people, almost a third of the world's population. The region covers a vast area, from New Zealand in the south, China in the north-west and French Polynesia in the east.

The region is very diverse - the 37 member states include high income countries like New Zealand and Australia, Japan, Singapore and the Republic of Korea and some of the least economically developed, along with fast growing economies such as China and Vietnam.

SHORE was closely involved in the development of a regional alcohol strategy for the Western Pacific. Professor Casswell chaired the technical meeting held in 2006 to develop the Regional Strategy to reduce harm from excessive alcohol consumption and SHORE was contracted by WHO Regional Office, to prepare three background papers on alcohol taxation, alcohol marketing and trade treaties:  

  • Alcohol Marketing in the Western Pacific
  • Alcohol Taxation in the Western Pacific Region
  • Economic Treaties and Alcohol in the Western Pacific Region

These three background papers were made available at the WHO Regional Committee meeting which was held in Auckland in September 2006. (The reports have been translated into French and are also available to download from the Secretariat of the South Pacific website)

"The availability of this evidence informed the discussion on the draft regional strategy - and it was a great outcome that the Strategy was unanimously accepted by the 37 member states," says SHORE Director, Sally Casswell:

WPRO Regional Strategy to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm

Alcohol companies are global corporations says Casswell and some of the largest potential growth markets are in this region, including China, so it makes the development of a regional strategy which can then feed into a global strategy very important.

who_clip_image004.jpg Following on from the background papers, SHORE researchers Sally Casswell, Linda Hill and Sally Liggins drafted a resource book to support the implementation of the strategy. The draft resource book was considered at a Pacific Meeting held in Auckland in May 2008, funded by NZAID and co-organised by SHORE and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). The meeting aimed to strengthen collaboration between government and NGOs and also between Pacific nations. As well as strengthening networks and exchanging information and experiences about alcohol related harm and lack of policies, participants received training in a programme logic approach to planning, which they found very useful.

The resource book was subsequently published by WHO in 2009 as - The Western Pacific Regional Strategy to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm: How to Develop an Action Plan to Implement the Strategy . It gives examples of good practice, which will allow various countries within the Western Pacific to work towards implementing effective alcohol policies appropriate to their country construct.

Collaborating Centre work has included provision of technical input and advice on effective alcohol policy in the Asia and Pacific region, as well as organising and facilitating a number of WHO sponsored meetings. In 2009 WHO funded a project on Sustainable Data Collection and National Alcohol Policy Development involving several countries in South East Asia.

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Sally Casswell and Martin Wall with other participants at
the Hanoi workshop, Vietnam
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Dr Martin Wall at the Hanoi workshop

In 2011 the Western Pacific Regional Office published Addressing the harmful use of alcohol: a guide to developing effective alcohol legislation based on work conducted by SHORE. This provides an overview of rationale for legislation in different alcohol policy areas along with examples drawn from around the world but with a particular focus on the WPRO region.

Professor Casswell was also involved in the consultation process leading to the development of a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol which was endorsed by the World Health assembly in May, 2010.

SHORE is currently developing two technical tools for the World Health Organization, as part of a global project, one addressing pricing policies and the other addressing legislation. The purpose of these tools is to provide technical support to countries, thereby increasing their capacity to formulate and implement national alcohol policies that accord with the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. The tools comprise part of a larger WHO initiative, and will be used in conjunction with regional workshops and direct support in selected countries.

The pricing tool guides countries on how they can formulate public health strategies that aim to influence the price of alcohol. The tool on legislation is structured around the 10 target areas of the Global Strategy, and guides countries on how laws can contribute to the implementation of the policy options and interventions listed under these target areas. It also provides hands-on technical guidance on drafting such laws where possible. Both tools focus on the fundamental capacities and methods needed to formulate and enforce legislation and pricing policies that are proven to be both effective and cost-effective.

8-15 November 2014

Professor Casswell was invited by WHO to act as a technical consultant at a meeting in Hanoi as part of a programme to develop alcohol legislation and policy in Viet Nam. She also participated in a two day workshop on alcohol law development.

May 2015

Dr Taisia Huckle was involved in the development of a resource book Young People and Alcohol released recently by the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Sally Casswell provided peer review for the resource.

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