|Public education in rational drug use: A global survey (WHO/DAP, 1997, 97 p.)|
Unsurprisingly, facilitating and constraining factors and lessons learned tended to be mirror images. They reflected the difficulties that many projects have in obtaining funding, which may in turn be linked to the low priority given to public education, and to weaknesses of project planning, implementation and evaluation.
Support by outside bodies was depicted as critical by projects in developed and developing countries. It clearly demonstrates the importance of gaining support during the planning and development phase of a project. It also suggests the increased chances of failure if a project is attempted in isolation from the critical support systems. Evidently, advocacy and networking at all levels (international, regional, country) need strengthening to provide a more supportive framework, particularly since some projects reported opposition from professional and commercial interests; and others the need to change an unsupportive infrastructure. These and other issues, which are interlinked, are discussed more fully in Section 6, Conclusions and Recommendations.
In an extensive list of constraining factors, it does seem surprising that only one developing country mentioned sufficient personnel as a problem. Long experience has demonstrated to DAP and to other programmes working in the field of public education that there is a marked lack of qualified and available personnel in this field. This lack is particularly evident in developing countries, where those few qualified persons are heavily solicited by the numerous health and social development projects. The responses to the present survey may be due to different cultural concepts of time and stress, or they may indicate more realistic distribution of responsibilities in developing countries.