8 November 2017

Developing and trialling of tools for peer led programs

Our work with Living Positive Victoria and Harm Reduction Victoria has been progressing with a range of tools and approaches being trialled to enhance the evaluation of Engagement, Alignment, Adaptation, and Influence (W3 Framework functions) as well as Peer Skill.

Below are just four examples from across the work we are doing

Our collaboration with Harm Reduction Victoria includes their Peer Networker Program (PnP). The PnP recruits, trains and supports ‘peer networkers’ to distribute needles and syringes to their friends and associates as well as providing education about safer drug use and ‘modelling’ safer injecting practices.


  • To enhance our understanding of engagement through the PnP, we have been revising the data sheets and analysing the geographic and gender diversity of who the program reaches compared to other needle and syringe programs.

Influence – Policy

  • To strengthen the voice of people who use drugs and enhance the advice to the rest of the sector, we have been trialling the collection of current peer insights and feedback from the different networks in the PnP.


Our collaboration with Living Positive Victoria includes their Phoenix Workshop for people newly diagnosed with HIV:

Adaptation and Peer Skill

  • The Phoenix workshops result in rich peer discussion and problem solving. After the workshop – the peer facilitator’s debrief is a key moment with reflexive discussions– particularly about emerging issues and the quality of the peer experience occurring in the workshop. However, these insights were not being well captured for sharing within or beyond the program. Therefore we have been developing a brief facilitator feedback tool that can tap into and capture the expertise and experience of peer facilitators while minimising number of process feedback questions for participants.

Influence – Community

  • To enhance our understanding of the impact of peer led programs for PLHIV, we have collaborated with a range of PLHIV peer organisations (including Living Positive Victoria) and ViiV Healthcare to develop, trial and validate the PozQoL scale. See the separate post on PozQoL or download the summary here


We are also working with both organisations to develop clearer overall indicators for the peer led programs drawing on the W3 Framework.

In coming months we will be uploading the developed tools and approaches. For more information in the interim, contact graham.brown@latrobe.edu.au


April 27, 2017

The Power of Peers – Stage 2 of the W3 Project underway

ARCSHS, Living Positive Victoria and Harm Reduction Victoria have signed a new 3 year collaboration agreement as part of the What Works and Why (W3) project.


Signing of the W3 Project Collaboration Agreement between ARCSHS, Harm Reduction Victoria and Living Positive Victoria :  Back row – Graham Brown (ARCSHS), Steph Tzanetis (Harm Reduction Victoria), Brent Allan (Living Positive Victoria), Front Row – Charles Henderson (Harm Reduction Victoria) and Tim Krulic (Living Positive Victoria


The What Works and Why (W3) project has been a ground breaking study to investigate the role of peer-led programs and their influence in their community, policy and sector systems. In stage 1 (2013-2016) the project worked with 10 community and peer-led organisations to develop a new quality and evaluation framework for peer-led programs.

In stage 2 (2016-2019) the W3 project will be working with Harm Reduction Victoria and Living Positive Victoria to apply the framework at an organisational level. This will include the development of practical tools and approaches to evaluate and improve the impact and quality of programs as well as share real-time knowledge with the broader sector and policy response.

“What I’m passionate about is ensuing that affected communities are enabled and equipped to articulate their voices and lead the HIV response. Living Positive Victoria is investing in W3 because building our community research capacity is something that will drive the kind of systemic changes that will make this happen in Australia”said Brent Allan, Living Positive Victoria


“The role of peer-led programs in our community, right here right now, is critical if we are to build trust and enhance access to the new treatments and cure for hepatitis C. Collaborating with the W3 project will support us in strengthening the PWID (People Who Inject Drugs) peer voice and demonstrate that peer engagement is fundamental to achieving successful BBV (Blood Borne Virus) outcomes ” said Charles Henderson, Harm Reduction Victoria


“We know that peer-led programs and leadership are the key to maximising community engagement with the HIV response. That’s why we’re collaborating with the W3 Project. To enhance the work we do, to challenge stigma, to enhance engagement with treatment options, and to make the most of the opportunities that working in HIV at such a critical time present” Timothy Krulic, Living Positive Victoria

This is an exciting time for the W3 Project as we translate what we have developed into on the ground tools and strategies that enhance the evidence base for peer led programs but are also sustainable within community organisations.

The W3 Project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Watch this space for further developments for W3 Stage 2.