Sandeep Chawla, Chief of the UNODC’s Research Section, began the morning session with a presentation on the current state of data and data collection on the world drug markets. The discussion that followed raised several key issues for data collection and areas of improvement to the current data collection mechanisms.
The need to rationalise UNODC’s data collection systems was raised, in order to limit duplication. Keeping the balance between UNODC as a data gatherer and a reporter and disseminator of global data on drug markets was discussed and it was acknowledged that systems still require further improvements. A need to revisit the indicators used, to consider additions and amendments in order to increase clarity and detail of the information collected. In particular, this may include additional indicators on prices and purities of drugs and adjustments to current measures of drug use.
The key issue of the extent to which UNODC can gather data from non-governmental sources was also discussed. Currently, data is collected through questionnaires to governments which essentially self-report on the national drug market and situation.