The International Alcohol Control (IAC) Policy Evaluation Study is a multi-jurisdiction collaborative research project measuring the most effective alcohol control policies. The initial design of the IAC study was modelled on the International Tobacco Control Project.

The IAC study allows for comparison between jurisdictions and changes over time. The survey data allows assessment of changes in drinking behaviour before and after policy changes to evaluate the impact of alcohol control policies. The IAC Alcohol Policy Tool allows measurement of the status and on the ground impact of effective alcohol control policies.

The objectives of the IAC study are to inform local policy development and implementation and to allow rigorous evaluation of the impacts of alcohol control policies in each of the participating jurisdictions. It also allows for assessment of differences between countries. The overall aim is to reduce alcohol related harm by strengthening the development and implementation of effective alcohol policy.

Population Survey

The IAC survey is the first international study examining alcohol use and policy relevant behaviours. The IAC survey is a complex survey and is designed to be computer assisted. Data are collected using computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI), in face to face interviews using a netbook, PDA or similar device, or as a web based survey.

The alcohol consumption measures are location and beverage specific and have been adapted for use in different alcohol markets and drinking cultures including commercial and informal and illicit beverages. This approach to measurement of commercial (taxed) alcohol has been found to account for high levels of alcohol consumed in a country. Measures of policy relevant behaviours such as information about the prices paid for alcohol beverages have also been found to be valid.

IAC Alcohol Policy Tool

The IAC Alcohol Policy Tool assesses the alcohol environment allows comparison of the status and impacts in very different alcohol markets and cultures. The IAC Alcohol Policy Tool is an online tool which uses data from administrative and commercial data sets, and observational studies. It assesses the status and impact of effective alcohol control policies in the following areas: alcohol availability, pricing and taxation of alcohol products, alcohol marketing, and drink driving enforcement. The IAC Policy Tool has recently been further developed in line with the WHO led SAFER initiative to include brief intervention and alcohol industry penetration in the alcohol policy space and government safeguards.

Cross country comparison

The IAC survey and IAC Alcohol Policy Tool include key measures for policy domains that are identical or functionally similar across countries to facilitate cross-country comparisons.

IAC Alcohol Policy Index

Data from 21 jurisdictions was used to create an Alcohol Policy Index which assesses the stringency (legislation and regulation) and impact (measures of on the ground alcohol policy impacts) such as affordability and modes in which marketing is seen. The IAC Policy Index includes measures relating to the most cost effective policies (controls on supply, pricing, tax, marketing and drink driving counter measures). The indicators of the policy domains are weighted reflecting research on effectiveness and adjusted for the relationship between the Index scores and recorded Alcohol Per Capita (15+) consumption for each jurisdiction.

An overview of the study design is available here and the development of the IAC Policy Index is available here.