Past ICARA Meetings & Events


Workshops & Meetings at GAPC 2023, Cape Town, South Africa: October 23rd-26th

ICARA was pleased to host three events alongside the Global Alcohol Policy Conference 2023 in October, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Advocacy Workshop

On October 23rd, ICARA hosted an advocacy workshop themed “Working together – collaboration across researchers, policymakers and practitioners towards a better alcohol policy”. The workshop was led by our Immediate Past President, Matej Košir and was well-attended by researchers, practitioners and public health advocates. As part of this session we invited guest speaker Prof. Tom Babor, to present on ‘Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity 3‘, a comprehensive guide on effective, global strategies and interventions to reduce alcohol harm. 

Annual General Meeting and General Assembly

A new ICARA board was elected on 23rd October for the term 2023-2025. You can find out more about our new board here.

Research Capacity Strengthening workshop

On 24th October, we held at workshop for researchers and practitioners who attended the GAPC conference, focusing on their needs in relation to strengthening research capacity and building research collaborations. This workshop builds on the workshop that ICARA led at the KBS 2023 conference.


Research Capacity Strengthening workshop at KBS 2023, Johannesburg, South Africa: June 5th-9th

We were proud to host a hybrid research workshop at the Kettil Bruun Society 2023 Conference on Tuesday 6th June.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs (ATOD) research capacity strengthening needs across the world, as well as developing potential research partnerships with researchers from the Global South. We built on the existing research capacity and expertise of workshop attendees, and the assets that we had, to discuss ways to address identified research capacity.

Attendees were split into smaller groups by region and discussions focused on the following areas:

  • What ATOD research has been done well in your country/region so far?
  • What types of ATOD research are priorities in your country/region today?
  • What are the main ATOD research areas where there is a gap now?
  • What are the main challenges in undertaking ATOD research?
  • What are your specific needs for undertaking this research both locally and internationally?
  • How do you think ICARA could support those needs?
  • What kinds of research partnerships would be interested in fostering with other researchers from the Global South, if any?

Notes of discussions for each region were taken and ICARA is  in the process of collating these to determine next steps for strengthening research capacity needs, and the role we can play in supporting this.


ICARA Board Meeting, Dundee, UK: November 10th-11th

The School of Health Sciences at the University of Dundee hosted an in-person ICARA Board Meeting on 10th and 11th November 2022. In this special meeting, we focused on developing an action plan for ICARA, in line with our main aims of supporting the strengthening of research capacity needs in the Global South. Three sub-groups formed to take forward three areas of work: 1) Developing a network of ATOD researchers from the Global South; 2) Supporting research institutions and researchers’ understanding of managing conflicts of interest; and 3) Supporting the promotion of ‘Alcohol, No Ordinary Commodity’.

Plans were made to host two workshops in 2023 at the KBS 2023 and GAPC 2023 conferences, to explore needs around research capacity in the Global South.

Networking event for LMICs at KBS conference in Warsaw, Poland: May 30th-June 3rd

In June 2022, some members of the ICARA board attended the KBS conference in Warsaw, Poland, where we ran a lunch-time networking event for attendees from the Global South. The event was well-attended and some attendees’ names were added to a list of alcohol researchers from the Global South, which we are trying to further develop. If you would like to be added to this list, please get in touch with us.



ICARA Annual General Meeting: November 8th

ICARA held its 2021 Annual General Meeting  online on the  8th of November. We were happy to welcome distinguished speakers including Prof. Samantha Thomas (Deakin University) and Prof. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula (University of Southern California). Current topics  such as capacity building, policy developments and conflicts of interest were discussed.

In the afternoon of the 8th of November the new ICARA board was elected. Program of meeting can be accessed here.


ICARA 2021 Webinar Series

ICARA was proud to host a series of webinars in 2021 focusing on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on ATOD research. You can find out more about the series here.


Extraordinary General Assembly: December 15th

ICARA held an Extraordinary General Assembly online on 15th December 2020, due to ongoing disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of the meeting was to:

Program of meeting can be accessed here.


Workshop at GAPC, Dublin, Ireland: March 10th 

ICARA attended the 6th Annual Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPC) in March 2020. We ran a workshop on 10th March 2020 on ‘Emerging Issues in the Science & Practice of Managing Conflicts of Interest’ with the Governance, Ethics and Conflicts of Interest in Public Health network (GECI-PH). This workshop aimed to build capacity and strengthen links between researchers and practitioners interested in this topic. Objectives of session:

  • To discuss current developments and consider gaps in research on conflicts of interest (COIs) 
  • To collectively reflect on challenges in advocating for and developing robust COI policies and procedures 
  • To review new ICARA guidelines for organisations wishing to develop clear policies 
  • To consider what ‘success’ looks like 


Workshops at Lisbon Addictions Conference: October 23rd-25th

ICARA attended the Lisbon Addictions Conference held on October 23rd-25th. Board members were directly involved in hosting three sessions.

ICARA’s Annual Board Meeting
Workshop co-hosted with European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) for EU neighbourhood countries on networking and building infrastructure to support ATOD research.

Aims of session:

  • To enable networking between countries bordering the EU
  • To discuss infrastructure and capacity-building opportunities to support ATOD research in countries beyond EU borders.
  • To discuss potential future activities of ICARA/EMCDDA to support locally-appropriate ATOD research where of value.
Workshop on conflicts of interest and the launch of ICARA Guidelines on Management of Relationships with Organizations with Vested Interests.

Program of meeting:

  • Emerging Issues 1: “Conflict of Interest Declarations & Dilemmas for Addiction Journals” – Prof. Tom Babor, University of Connecticut, Immediate Past President of ICARA
  • Emerging Issues 2: “Conflicts of interest & the Emerging Cannabis Industry” – Dr. James Nicholls, CEO, Transform Drug Policy Foundation
  • Open discussion with speakers and questions from the floor
  • Presentation of ICARA Guidelines on Management of Relationships with Organizations with Vested Interests: “Three primary principles in making decisions on relationships with funders and organizations with vested interests”, Prof. Niamh Fitzgerald, University of Stirling, ICARA President.


Prof. Niamh Fitzgerald participation in the Big debate session on ‘Industry friend of foe? Can industry contribute to better addiction science, policy, and actions?’



ICARA General Assembly in Prague: August 28th

ICARA held its General Assembly alongside its 2018 Annual General Meeting in Prague in August 2018.


ICARA Annual General Meeting in Washington, D.C.: August 28th-30th


Windsor Park, UK: July 23rd-25th


Budapest, Hungary: August 30th-31st


Chicago: September 4th-5th


Lisbon: September 29th-30th 


Hilton Head, South Carolina: September 13th-14th