The Research Institute on Drug Studies (from summer 2012, the name of the institute will be changed to Research Institute for Programme Evelaution) was established in 2004 with the aim of conducting research related to illegal drug use and drug users in Hungary. In order to finance reserach in Hungary at the same time, RIDS applied for funds provided by ministries and governmental institutions.
However, the institute later entered new fields by participating in an international research project aiming at the reintegration of marginalised people on EU level. Correlation Network was one of the main research and evaluation projects that the institute was involved in in the period between 2005 and 2008. The programme was carried out within the Sixth Framework of the EU Health Programme, co-ordinated by a Dutch non-profit organisation located in Amsterdam (www.correlation-net.org). In this project, RIDS was responsible for coordinating a fieldwork aiming at collecting and analysing data on drug users outside the treatment system. The institute, along with the EMCDDA (www.emcdda.europa.eu) also participated in the development of a data collection and evaluation tool for low-threshold agencies. Also part of the Correlation Network, the institute was responsible for monitoring and evaluating the entire programme.
As of 2008 the institute continued its activity outside the ELTE University and has opetrated since as an independent institution. Since then, there has been a bigger focus on research activities in the field of health and not only sociology. The focus of interest opened up to areas such as monitoring health treatment systems, conducting needs assessment projects. At the same time, the institute has carried out a number of programme and project evaluation projects, impact and outcome analyses both in the domestic and the international scene (primarily in the field of legal and illegal drug use and drug users). One of these projects was Club Health, a Healthy and Safer Nightlife of Youth project, with 20 associated and 15 collaborating partners from 15 EU Member States and Norway (club-health.eu). The programme was carried out within the Seventh Framework of the EU Health Programme, in which the institute acted as an external evaluator of the programme in 2011-2012.
Currently the institution is acting as an external evaluator for the HEPScreen project which has received funding from the European Union, under the Health Programme 2008-2013.
In addition to the activities described above, members of the institute also participate in consulting, training and giving lectures in any projects or programmes that are conducted in the field of health and sociology.