Xchange — 16 new programmes added to online registry of evidence-based prevention programmes

The EMCDDA has added 16 new programmes to Xchange, its online registry of evidence-based prevention programmes. Launched in October 2017, and now ending its pilot phase, the registry showcases interventions that European evaluation studies demonstrate to have promising outcomes relating to substance use. Five of the new programmes focus on substance use prevention and 11 on crime and delinquency prevention. At present, Xchange contains 38 programmes.

In addition to providing information on the effectiveness of programmes, the registry — available on the EMCDDA Best practice portal— also offers information on the experiences of professionals who have implemented these programmes in individual European countries. This enables decision-makers to assess the ease with which programmes can be implemented in different social, cultural and organisational contexts. It also helps prevention professionals to learn and interact with each other about their experiences with these programmes.

Even when effective programmes are used, they are not always implemented with quality and fidelity in real-life settings, often because they do not fit into the existing prevention culture and infrastructure. Xchange provides decisional support by continuously compiling information on implementation experiences with the programmes contained within it.

The registry is the centre piece of a growing network of national registries. Through Xchange, an interested visitor can access additional details on a specific programme in the national language within a local registry, or access through a national registry the European implementation experiences of a given programme. A unique feature of Xchange is that it allows national high-ranking programmes to be promoted in this European registry and, inversely, allows international visitors to find more details about local adaptations in national languages.

The Council of the European Union’s Minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in the EU demands that prevention professionals have access to knowledge on effective prevention programmes. A growing number of programmes are considered effective at reducing substance use and related problems under carefully controlled conditions. However, access to evidence‐based prevention programmes is still limited and they remain under‐utilised compared to prevention strategies with no empirical evidence for effectiveness. Xchange aims to address this challenge by providing access to such programmes.