Peer work is based on the belief that peers:

  1. should be included at the start and be at the centre of activities
  2. can provide a tremendous supportive impact on their peers, on services and on policymakers
  3. are essential natural change agents and inevitable partners in any collaboration in the field
  4. and can be more successful and resourceful than professionals in passing on information, sharing knowledge and supporting their peers.

There are numerous interpretations and definitions of peer work.  We use the following working definition:

“Peer work is a freestanding initiative or a collaboration between community members and an agency, aiming at  meaningful involvement of peers and based on principles of mutuality and empowerment.”

For a detailed discussion on definitions and terminology surrounding the concepts of peer involvement. See: WHAT IS PEER INVOLVEMENT

Peer work is being implemented all over the world in the fields of education, in social programmes and in health promotion interventions.  Evidence shows that peer work leads to successful outcomes, improves programmes, benefits communities, involves targeted individuals, and contributes towards the wellbeing of the targeted communities.

Crucial to peer work, however, is the meaningful involvement of the peers.
See: BACKGROUND/ Meaningful involvement