„COMING OUT OF THE CLOSETЀ“- Assessment and evaluation of advocacy efforts for the improvement of quality of drug dependence treatment programs in Skopje contain the assessment of community-based monitoring and advocacy activities for the improvement of the quality of state-supported programs for the treatment of drug dependencies in Skopje. The assessment covers the period from the beginning of the monitoring and advocacy in December 2011 until June 2014. The active involvement of the person who carried out the evaluation in the monitoring and advocacy activities was of an utmost advantage because it provided an insight into the assessment from the prism of the wider socio-political context which makes the understanding of the weaknesses and appreciation of successes easier.
Having in mind the existing socio-political context, advocacy activities may be assessed as successful. According to plan, an advocacy team was founded, from which several motivated individuals stood out, prepared to continue advocacy for the rights and interests of people treated at the drug treatment programs in Skopje. With varying dynamics and frequent drops in motivation, this team carried out several advocacy activities, directed simultaneously towards improving the quality of drug treatment programs and towards animating the community for more active advocacy.
Although there is no supporting environment in Macedonia for the developed of grass-roots activism among people treated for drug dependencies, monitoring and advocacy have created fertile grounds for the development of civic awareness in this community and their encouragement to activism. This starting point may and should be used for further development of this spirit of activism and for the creation of a critical mass which may cause some larger movements towards the improvement of the quality of drug dependence treatment programs in Macedonia.