Ways to involve peers

Very practical and useful strategies in involving peers in planning, implementation and decision-making are described in International HIV/AIDS Alliance’s Good Practice Guide. http://www.aidsalliance.org/publicationsdetails.aspx?id=464

Some ways to involve peers are:

  • Use participatory methods to assess drug use patterns in your site. Use people’s actual knowledge and expertise.
  • Invite drug users to elect representatives onto programme advisory committees, providing transport and other expenses, training and mentoring, and support to consult with other drug users.
  • Support people who use drugs to be spokespeople, and put in place privacy safeguards so they have control over disclosure of their drug use.
  • Build capacity among drug users via organisational development, programme management, peer education and evaluation.
  • Set up a leadership development programme:  identify people who use drugs who are potential leaders and help them build a network and capacity.
  • Set up focus groups of drug users to evaluate programmes and services.
  • Support drug user groups/networks to provide peer support, advocacy and peer education, and to develop information and education materials.

An example of how an agency can incorporate made meaningful involvement in their guiding principles

HIV/AIDS Alliance, Good Practice