To support the ongoing scientific and evidence-based evaluation, the Ontario CRISM Node established an expert Advisory Board comprised of national and international researchers, academics, people with lived and living experience, health policy evaluators, policy makers, and economists to oversee the evaluation. The Advisory Board members will formally participate in quarterly meetings (four meetings per year over the course of five years) to provide guidance, feedback, and input on the proposed evaluation study and sub-studies, as well as the associated data and knowledge translation activities. At each meeting the advisory board will come together to discuss the progress of the evaluation, individual sub-studies, associated data and knowledge translation activities and provide feedback and direction to inform future work.
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to bring together experts in research, evaluation, drug policy, and decriminalization to contribute to the ongoing evaluation. As decriminalization is a complex policy which will have impacts on an array of sectors (e.g., healthcare, criminal justice system, social services, etc.), it is important to draw on experts' testimonies, experiences, and knowledge to ensure that the evaluation considers and captures all potentially impacted domains. For all Indigenous-specific data, we will work with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in British Columbia and other relevant Indigenous organizations.
Identification of advisory board members relied on content experts from the Ontario CRISM Node as well as the decriminalization grant team, who proposed members with demonstrated expertise and experience with national and international drug policy, research, and decriminalization initiatives. Emails were sent out to proposed members providing a general description of the study and gauging their interest in participating in an advisory capacity. Interested individuals reviewed a Terms of Reference document, completed Conflict of Interest forms, and agreed to participate in an advisory capacity for the extent of the five-year evaluation.