Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has recently launched its new strategic plan 2020-2024: Leading Change, A Society Free from Alcohol Harm.

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Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has recently launched its new strategic plan 2020-2024: Leading Change, A Society Free from Alcohol Harm. The plan sets out its vision, mission, values, goals and actions over the next five years.

Vision: A society free from alcohol harm

Mission: To advocate to reduce alcohol harm

Values: Alcohol Action Ireland are committed to the following values
• Compassion- avoiding any judgements on the individual
• Evidence based approach
• Integrity
• Transparency and honesty
• Commitment to long term well-being and public health
• Working in partnership

Key goals:
• Coherent and urgent implementation of Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018
• A childhood free from alcohol harm
• Services for all affected by alcohol harm
• Establishment of a state-sponsored Office to lead on alcohol policy
• Be the authority on alcohol advocacy and policy in Ireland

Actions around each of the goals:

The individual goals build on strengths within the organisation and are crosscutting. The full implementation of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act will help to protect children from alcohol harm while advocating for the provision of comprehensive services will help to support children who are currently being harmed by alcohol. Alcohol harm intrudes into many aspects of life in Ireland and so has implications for multiple government departments.

The establishment of a state-sponsored office to take the lead in co-ordinating all actions around alcohol will have the effect of keeping government focus on this critical issue and reduce the impact of alcohol industry efforts to water down public health measures. All of these actions will require innovative thinking, research, analysis and communication. Taken together the achievement of these goals has the potential to lead to a significant drop in the level of alcohol harm in Ireland and bring about a necessary cultural change in our relationship with alcohol.

How will we achieve our goals?
We will conduct public attitude surveys on issues around alcohol which will help to identify issues and mark possible changes achieved. Using the Silent Voices model we will also seek input from people with lived experience and their families or supporters including young people to help inform our positions on alcohol issues. We will raise the issues with politicians, key government agencies and in the media utilising all our communication channels.
We will illustrate the issues involved using both existing data and personal stories. We will work pro-actively with policy formers and influencers in all government departments to ensure alcohol issues and the impact on the next generation, i.e. children, are included in the development of policy – e.g. Department of Health, Children and Youth Affairs, Education, Justice, Finance, Transport, Tourism and Sport, Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
We will seek to have specific policies adopted by government which will address the issues. We will work with other like-minded organisations to amplify our voice. We will seek funding from government, non-alcohol business and philanthropic sources to support our work.
We will ensure that our board and governance structures are in line with what the organisation needs to achieve our aims. Where necessary we will seek expertise in communications, legal and economic issues.

What resources are needed to achieve our goals?
Staff Requirements
• Chief Executive Officer to co-ordinate all aspects of the organisations and to ensure funding for activities.]
• Head of Communications and Advocacy to develop and deliver AAI's messages to multiple audiences through media relations and public affairs.
• Policy Research Officer to develop the research base from which AAI will develop its central messages.
• Internship Research Assistant to support all aspects of AAI e.g. through organisation of meetings, events, assisting in policy research and delivery of communication messages.
• With funding, we aim to augment our core staff with additional expertise to assist with our goals.

The Alcohol Action Ireland full strategic plan can be accessed at:

https://alcoholireland.ie/download/publications/21155_AAI_Strategic_Plan_v6_web%25E2%2580%25A2.pdf