Provides direction and guidance to policies and services

Peer work and peer involvement give direction and guidance to policies and services.  Peers themselves are often the best individuals to identify what works in a community that others know very little about.  Peers need to be involved in creating effective responses to situations and needs.  They have access to first-hand information, experiences and perspectives from the communities and from personal experiences.

Peer involvement will also greatly assist in the identification of needs, the design of recommendations and in the planning of service delivery.  By involving peers, the agency gains buy-in from service users and their wider community.

“People who use illegal drugs have demonstrated they can organize themselves and make valuable contributions to their community, including: expanding the reach and effectiveness of HIV prevention and harm reduction services by making contact with those at greatest risk; providing much-needed care and support; and advocating for their rights and the recognition of their dignity.”

Ralph Jürgens in ‘Nothing about us without us’, Open Society Fund