Public Health Scotland continues the task of evaluating Rights, Respect and Recovery (RRR), the Scottish Government’s strategy to improve health by preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use harm and related deaths.
The programme, established to do this is called Monitoring and Evaluating Rights, Respect and Recovery (MERRR).
Initially led by NHS Health Scotland in 2019, those responsible have worked with partners at National Services Scotland, Information Services Division and Health Protection Scotland to develop this programme. Now, as Public Health Scotland, we continue this programme of work together.
The contributors have worked with a variety of stakeholders at every stage of the MERRR process and this will continue to be developed as the evaluation goes forward, using the most suitable approaches at different stages.
These stakeholders include people from nationally commissioned organisations such as:
- lived experience of addiction, treatment and recovery communities
- alcohol and drug partnerships
- treatment and recovery services
- academic and research communities
- Scottish Government
The aims of the MERRR programme
Based on the four key themes of the RRR strategy the MERRR programme aims to evaluate four outcomes:
- Fewer people developing problem drug use.
- More people accessing and benefitting from effective, integrated, person-centred support to achieve their own type of recovery.
- More vulnerable people diverted from the justice system wherever possible, and those within justice settings being fully supported.
- More children and families affected by alcohol and drug use will be safe, healthy, included and supported.
There is also an overarching health and social harm outcome that aims to capture the impacts on the lives of those who suffer from the negative consequences of drugs and alcohol.
A ‘theory of change’ approach was taken map the long-term goals of an intervention or strategy, which was then worked back from to show what should be in place to achieve these goals. This shows at a theoretical level how the strategy would contribute to the desired outcomes to reduce alcohol and drug-related health and social harms.
In order to monitor and evaluate the strategy, indicators relating to strategic goals have been established. To present data relating to these, a MERRR Portal has been created by the portfolio team to allow users to interactively explore the various different indicators, and their associated inequalities.