Alcohol Management Plans: Innovation in Research and Evaluation

Project Details

This study drew on the lessons of the past five decades of strategies and an analysis of current practices in the sector. Fieldwork was conducted in four locations across the Northern Territory to investigate issues including the management of alcohol in ‘open towns’ and remote communities, within the broader context of regional, Territory and federal programs, policies and legislation. An evaluation framework was developed, based on the Minimum Standards, drawn from the relevant legislative instrument under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act 2012 (Cth). The findings from this research includes the application of these standards for communities developing, implementing and evaluating their Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) in the Northern Territory.

The study recommended a population health approach, using strategies from:

  • the legislative framework
  • the public health framework
  • community development approaches, and
  • ‘rights and responsibilities’, or supported personal agency approaches.

This project was developed to provide evidence to advise the Federal Government on an evaluation framework for Alcohol Management Plans in the Northern Territory under the Stronger Futures in the northern  Territory Act 2012. A key outcome of the study was the development of an Evaluation Framework for Alcohol Management Plans consisting of four stages: (1) pre-AMP planning (alcohol in community contexts); (2) building evaluation into an AMP; (3) approval and variation; and, (4) ongoing monitoring. This project entailed a detailed study of the relevant literature, including AMP evaluation reports, and was based on fieldwork conducted in Alice Springs, Darwin, Jilkminggan, and Katherine. Further analysis was conducted by the team on supply, demand and harm reduction strategies, data collection, datasets, access, methods, reporting and monitoring.


Professor Marcia Langton

Professor Peter d'Abbs (Menzies School of Health)

A/Professor Richard Chenhall

Dr Kristen Smith


Aboriginal Medical Service Association of the Northern Territory (AMSANT)

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA)

Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation (LNAC)

Jilkminggan Community Aboriginal Corporation

Sunrise Health Service

Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC)


Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Research Outputs

Smith, K., Langton, M., d'Abbs, P., Room, R., Chenhall, R., & Brown, A. 2013, Alcohol management plans and related reforms, Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Sydney, NSW;

Smith, K., Langton, M., d'Abbs, P., Room, R., Chenhall, R., & Brown, A. 2014, Alcohol Management Plans, In E. Manton, R. Room, C. Giorgi, & M. Thorn (eds.), Stemming the tide of alcohol: Liquor licensing and the public interest,  Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in collaboration with The University of Melbourne, Canberra;

Smith, K., Langton, M. & Chenhall, R. 2015, Alcohol policy and assemblages of intervention: Managing alcohol in Indigenous communities, Addiction 2015: Alcohol, Other Drugs, Behavioural Addictions: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, Surfers Paradise, Australia, 20 – 22 May 2015, pp. 101-114.

Smith, K, Langton, M, Chenhall, R, 2014, Alcohol Management Plans in the Northern Territory: At the intersection of policy, social and spatial dynamics, Kettil Bruun Society Thematic Conference on Alcohol Policy Research, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Melbourne, Australia, 8-11 September 2014.

Chenhall, R., Smith, K. & Langton, M. 2013, Alcohol Management Plans: Do wider reform strategies lead to success? Challenges for Health and Society: Informing Positive Change, Centre for Health and Society Symposium, University of Melbourne, Australia, 17 – 18 April 2013

Langton, M. & Smith, K. 2017, Dealing with the harmful impacts of alcohol: more effective policies urgently required, 14th National Rural Health Conference, Cairns Convention Centre, 26 – 29 April, 2017.

Langton, M., Smith, K., Bawden, S. 2018, Shifting the problem? Local versus regional approaches to alcohol management by Indigenous communities, The 5th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, 7 November - 9 November.

Langton, M., Smith, K. 2017, A regional approach to Alcohol Management in Northern Australia: Mobility, supply chains and community control, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) National Indigenous Research Conference 2017: Impact, Engagement & Transformation, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 21 – 23 March 2017.

Langton, M., Smith, K., Chenhall, R., 2016. Indigenous Narratives about alcohol impacts and sobriety, The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Melbourne Conference Centre, Australia, 8-10 November.