The Health Research Board is participating in the Joint Action RARHA, which was launched in January 2014 and was created to continue work on key priorities of the EU alcohol strategy. It is funded by the EU and is a 3-year action aimed at supporting EU Member States to take forward work on common priorities in line with the EU alcohol strategy and to strengthen Member States’ capacity to address and reduce the harm associated with alcohol.
The Joint Action RARHA is coordinated by Portugal through SICAD - General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, Portuguese Ministry of Health with the participation of 32 Associated Partners from 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, and 28 Collaborating Partners, such as the EMCDDA, WHO, Pompidou Group and OECD, among others. The Health Research Board and the Health Services Executive are the two Irish associated partners.
RARHA has three main work strands which focus on:
- generating more comparable data across the member states on consumption patterns and on alcohol related harm,
- understanding the scientific basis for different guidelines for low risk drinking across Europe, to provide guidance to policy makers, and
- the development of a tool-kit to disseminate good practice on early intervention services , school based programmes and public awareness campaigns.
The information and tools developed in RARHA will serve the planning of public health policies on alcohol. The RARHA work process includes expert/policy makers meetings to discuss findings and ways forward. Part of the results will be presented in the form of policy briefs. RARHA is due to end with a final conference in 2016.