In 1998, a series of five rapid situation assessments (RSA) of injecting drug use were undertaken by The Society for Service to Urban Poverty (SHARAN) covering the major Metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, Delhi and Imphal. The RSA determined the extent and patterns of injecting drug use (IDU), the available responses, current and planned interventions, and drug users' perceptions of injecting and sexual-related risk behaviour. The RSA was necessary as there are a lack of data on IDU in India. This has resulted in the denial of injecting drug use except for the north-eastern states by official sources, thereby affecting the inputs for IDU-related interventions. The draft assessment reports were disseminated though city workshops, held between April 1998 and January 1999. Local NGOs involved in drug treatment and HIV related interventions, government officials, and the relevant State AIDS Cells were invited to the workshops in order to contribute to final city assessment reports, so as to promote ownership and to enhance coverage. While the data obtained from the RSA were largely as anticipated, the outcome of the dissemination workshops was phenomenal.