Networking is an approach that has been employed in the harm reduction sector for over a decade, and harm reduction networks play an essential role in harm reduction advocacy at the national, regional and international level. They can provide a relatively inexpensive and accessible way to empower advocates and service providers.
When working in isolation, advocates for people who use drugs and harm reduction are often unable to engage in national, regional or international decision making. As part of a network, individuals, organisations and affected populations can increase their political influence through joint action, as well as by pooling capacity, funding, and knowledge. Networking can therefore encourage and foster the development of civil society advocacy.
Harm reduction networks and knowledge hubs exist around the world, representing a diversity of regions, countries and populations. Harm Reduction International works closely with networks in a range of ways, from coordination, financial and organisational support, to collaboration on joint research and advocacy initiatives, including via the ‘Network of Networks’.
Harm Reduction International currently provides direct financial and developmental support to a number of emerging networks. These include the Caribbean Harm Reduction Coalition (CHRC), the Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Network (MENAHRA), the Sub Saharan Africa Harm Reduction Network (SAHRN) and the European Harm Reduction Network (EuroHRN). Harm Reduction International also provides support to the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) and Youth RISE (Resources Information Support Education).