Taking a whole-of-community approach


While many LDAT projects are targeting a specific group in their local community (for example, youth) the complexity of ‘solving’ social problems means that a collective approach will be required to deal with them.

Complex or ‘wicked’ social problems have multiple layers of interested stakeholders, and therefore require the involvement of organisations and individuals across multiple sectors to be successful.

For this reason, it’s important that organisations and individuals working to reduce AOD harms build on the various programs and initiatives already operating in their locality to ensure effective change. This means where a broader community action plan (CAP) already exists, it’s preferable for your LDAT Action Plan to build on this – and to be explicit as to how these will fit together.

In short, choosing the make-up of the team to collaborate on your project will depend on your community’s needs (i.e. the identified target population), but should also be influenced by the variety of organisations that ‘work with’ or influence this group.

From there, a good strategy is to focus on the risk and protective factors that you’ve identified for your target group. This will provide further guidance on the appropriate setting for your program.

We’ve collated a number of inspirational examples of primary prevention programs from around the world to help LDATs develop their own plans. Some of these could be taken pretty much ‘off-the-shelf’; other examples are designed to help LDATs think laterally about  the problems in their community, and how they might develop new ways to tackle AOD harms.

We’re updating these case studies regularly, so keep checking back for new program ideas.