Projects’ Control System


1. Controlling the implementation of Poppy for Medicine projects

2. Who are the key players in the Integrated Control System?

3. Controlled planning of individual village-level Poppy for Medicine projects

4. Controlling each project phase: policing responsibilities and penalties

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Based on a realistic analysis of the economic benefits of the illegal opium trade, village-based Poppy for Medicine projects are economic development-orientated counter-narcotics initiatives designed to help Afghan farming communities to end their reliance on illegal poppy cultivation. In doing so, Poppy for Medicine projects would help win back the hearts and minds of rural Afghan communities, thereby complementing the international community’s stabilisation efforts in the country.

As the name suggests, the local production of poppy-based medicines lies at the heart of the projects. The guiding concept of village-based Poppy for Medicine projects is that the profits on sales of these locally-produced, globally sought-after medicines would provide the economic, social, and structural means to end rural Afghan communities’ reliance on illegal poppy cultivation, and in doing so, provide the incentives necessary to trigger these communities’ committed participation in countering illegal poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

Projects secured through integration of existing security and control institutions

Village-based Poppy for Medicine projects are akin to an alternative counter-narcotics strategy that has been successfully implemented in many other countries. It involves licensing the controlled cultivation of poppy to produce essential poppy-based medicines such as morphine; whilst unlicensed poppy cultivation remains illegal. The most important issue to address in implementing poppy licensing systems is attaining and maintaining high levels of control over the licensed cultivation of poppy.

To meet the international and domestic legal requirements regarding the production of poppy-based medicines, and in response to the current security situation and the growing pervasiveness of drug trafficking in Afghanistan, The Senlis Council has developed an Integrated Control System to secure and control village-based Poppy for Medicine projects. By monitoring, policing, and regulating every aspect of a Poppy for Medicine project, the Integrated Control System would make possible the smooth, secure manufacture of medicines in Afghanistan. In addition, the Integrated Control System provides for the application of appropriate penalties if necessary.

Three levels of integrated control

The three sets of actors involved in the Integrated Control System are the village-level governance institutions known as shuras; the Afghan government’s relevant Ministries, district governments, and the state-controlled Afghan National Police; and the international community’s development agencies currently operating in Afghanistan.

The integration of Afghan villages’ existing informal local level social control structures with formal government administrative and security oversight and international development and security institutions for the control of Poppy for Medicine projects would maximise the capacities and aptitude of each for the efficient and extensive policing, monitoring and sanctioning of the projects. Further, the positive relationships such integration would engender would complement the ongoing efforts of each to defeat the insurgency, and stabilise and develop Afghanistan.

Physical security, logistical security, and quality control assured

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In particular, the Integrated Control System would secure and control the physical safety of project participants, by preventing disruption of a project by drug traffickers; and would prevent diversion of raw poppy materials, thus ensuring that project participants permanently terminate their links with drug traffickers. As well as ensuring that all raw poppy products are transformed into medicines, the Integrated Control System also provides for extensive quality control throughout the entire medicine production process.

With the support of international development agencies, medicine production experts would monitor and supervise trained, qualified staff to ensure that the locally-produced medicines meet international quality standards including those in the International Pharmacopoeia and the WHO-endorsed Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines, and comply with the relevant national requirements of importing countries. The production and export of locally-produced medicines would bring significant revenues to the local economy and trigger development. Through the Integrated Control System, the advice and support of international development experts would allow for this development to be controlled and maximised.