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- PublicationGender and Irish Drug Policy: Report submitted to the working group as part of the 'Implementing a gender approach in different drug policy areas: from prevention, care and treatment service to law enforcement' projectThis report outlines initial aspects of gender and Irish drug policy and has been submitted as part of the working group processes of the ‘Implementing a gender approach in different drug policy areas’project. The report has been compiled collaboratively by the authors, who represent and work within different elements of the state and community responses to drug misuse in Ireland. Given the current context of the Covid19 pandemic, consultation with key stakeholders in relation to the content of this report was limited to some extent. The report responds to key questions set by the working group in regard to drug policy in Ireland, including; gender within current drug policy; transgender and/or intersex persons within service delivery; stakeholders at national level; obstacles to the integration of a gender sensitive approach; and benefits to society and health and well-being of target groups of adapting and implementing a gender sensitive approach. This paper is the Irish input to a working group on a gendered approach to drugs policy, established by the Pompidou Group, the drug policy cooperation platform of the Council of Europe.
- Publication'You can't fix this in six months': The intersectionality of women's substance use in the Irish contextThe aim of this research was to explore the experiences and support, and intervention needs of women who are dealing with multiple issues, including problem substance use, with a view to gaining an in-depth understanding of women’s life experiences, substance use trajectories and how these relate to factors such as motherhood, poverty, social exclusion, residency status, domestic violence, transactional sex, homelessness and incarceration. The objectives of the research were to: Explore the lived experiences of women with substance use and intersectional aspects, including their engagement with services. Define the unique gendered support needs and service pathways for women. Inform future Irish drug policy and service pathways. The study was funded under the Irish Research Council New Foundations programme that supports academic and non-governmental organisations (NGO) partnerships in order to address critical issues emerging within the Irish context.
- PublicationIssues and Service Access Barriers for Homeless Women with Complex Issues: A Scoping ReviewThis literature review was completed as part of an action research project commissioned by Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) which aims to explore the issues and challenges surrounding access to homeless, addiction and health services for women, with a view to creating and implementing initiatives that will improve access and possibly outcomes for women experiencing multiple levels of disadvantage or exclusion. This report presents the findings of a rapid literature scoping review conducted in November/ December 2019, which aimed to characterise the body of literature describing the presenting issues and services available for women experiencing homelessness in Dublin and Ireland. Specifically, we sought to build understanding of how client presentations and service provision issues would affect entry into services, and to gain insight into the breadth of potential needs and mechanisms of support after leaving services.
- PublicationClarifying the mechanisms and resources that enable the reciprocal involvement of seldom heard groups in health and social care research: A collaborative rapid realist review processObjective: Public and patient involvement is increasingly embedded as a core activity in research funding calls and best practice guidelines. However, there is recognition of the challenges that prevail to achieve genuine and equitable forms of engagement. Our objective was to identify the mechanisms and resources that enable the reciprocal involvement of seldom heard groups in health and social care research. Methods: A rapid realist review of the literature that included: (a) a systematic search of CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed and Open Grey (2007‐2017); (b) documents provided by expert panel members of relevant journals and grey literature. Six reference panels were undertaken with homeless, women's, transgender, disability and Traveller and Roma organizations to capture local insights. Data were extracted into a theory‐based grid linking context to behaviour change policy categories. Main results: From the review, 20 documents were identified and combined with the reference panel summaries. The expert panel reached consensus about 33 programme theories. These relate to environmental and social planning (7); service provision (6); guidelines (4); fiscal measures (6); communication and marketing (4); and regulation and legislation (6). Conclusions: While there is growing evidence of the merits of undertaking PPI, this rarely extends to the meaningful involvement of seldom heard groups. The 33 programme theories agreed by the expert panel point to a variety of mechanisms and resources that need to be considered. Many of the programme theories identified point to the need for a radical shift in current practice to enable the reciprocal involvement of seldom heard groups.
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- PublicationResponding to Women with Complex Needs Who Use Substances: A briefing paperThis briefing paper is based on an action research project led by Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) in partnership with the UCD Community Drugs Programme as part of the MQI initiative to explore the issues and challenges surrounding access to homeless, addiction and health services for women. The MQI initiative aims to create and implement responses that will improveaccess, and ultimately outcomes, for women experiencing multiple levels of disadvantage or exclusion. The action research project had two elements, a review of the academic and grey literature on women with complex needs and action learning sets with key practitioners to map the current landscape of service provision, client presentations, perceived gaps and initiatives and innovation in regards to women, substance use, domestic violence, women’s health and homelessness. In this briefing paper we draw together the themes from the literature review and from the action learning sets with practitioners and key agency representatives, with a view to informing policy and practice around five key aspects of responding to women with complex needs.