How can agencies support peer involvement?

Agencies can play an important role in initiating and facilitating peer involvement.  They can build a ‘culture of empowerment’, consisting of various requirements, insights, services and means of communication that are aspects of an organisation’s recognition and efforts to facilitate the meaningful involvement of people using drugs.

“Support is essential  to empowerment, including financial support and capacity-building for drug users to mobilise and advocate for access to services, or to challenge police violence or punitive drug treatment. Support is also part of an effective approach to the prevention of HIV among people who inject drugs.”

International HIV/AIDS Alliance  Developing HIV/AIDS work with drug users: a guide to participatory assessment and response







Some areas where organisations can stimulate a culture of empowerment are:

  • educating the board members and staff of organisations about why the involvement of people who use drugs is important
  • incorporating peer involvement into organisational planning, including staff recruitment
  • including peer involvement in the indicators and outcomes used to evaluate an organisation’s work, in order to measure the participation of people who use drugs in activities
  • supporting the development of groups of people who use drugs.

Source: HIV/AIDS Alliance, Good Practice Guide