Reinforcing Peer's Involvment in Outreach Work
The EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 develops an approach to the phenomenon of drugs use. In that context several actions are proposed to achieve the overall objective of the EU Drugs Strategy with three cross-disciplinary themes of (i) coordination, (ii) international cooperation and (iii) information, research, monitoring and evaluation. The Peer2Peer project aims at the capacity-building of CSO through the use of scientific knowledge to increase the efficacy of cooperation practices between key-actors in the outreach work (professionals, outreach workers (OW), peers, small-scale drug dealers and police forces), emphasising the focus on the dyad “peer - Professional”. The principles inspiring this approach come from the long European tradition of rights and liberties that empower citizens to actively participate in society.
As indicated by several scholars the coproduction of service delivery by the users themselves can have very positive effects in improving the quality of the process and its outcomes, by deeply changing the relationships, positions and rules among the involved stakeholders; an open process of participation, exchange and collaboration between all (including end-users) has the potential to mobilise community resources not available otherwise and develop mutual trusting relationships between all the agents involved. In particular, the involvement of peers as someone who is at the same level than the other individuals, friend, a colleague or someone relatively strange involved in the same activity or context, in service delivery is acknowledged to be effective when dealing with injectable drug users and much more so than other psychosocial interventions, specifically those provided by healthcare workers.
The Peer2Peer project will contribute with a professional and scientific approach to create an evidence-based program to achieve more equal and concerted relations between the different stakeholders involved, effective in dealing with the overall objective of the EU Drugs Strategy to reduce drug demand. As so, it proposes a strategy that actively includes the end-users in the planning and implementing processes, while also focusing on human rights and dignity.
The partners will conduct a qualitative research on formal and informal cooperation among key actors in interventions targeting PUD. These activities will provide guidance on best practice recommendations and transferable methods for the integration of Peer Educators into street teams in order to promote locally adapted pilot interventions.
The training dimension is a vital starting point for the integration of peer educators in outreach work and it should take into account the specificities of the role, position and tasks each peer educator carries out in the Outreach Team2, namely the ability to establish relationships with dealers, in order to decrease the adulteration of substances.
Upon completion of the planning stage and training sessions, the outreach teams (with a peer educator) will start working in the field, contributing to the improvement of services provided to PUPS, so they become more accessible and tailored to PUPS needs - in order to reduce drug demand and the risks associated with psychoactive substances use.
The activities supervised by this project will be the role of the peer educator on the outreach team and the cooperation practices between outreach team and relevant stakeholders.
An Advocacy Strategy will be developed in order to strengthen cooperation practices between-key actors in outreach work and to integrate peers in outreach teams in the National and European political agendas and to stimulate the implementation of evidence-based strategies at the National and European levels.
- Findings and Recommendations E-Book - This E-Book expects to be an important contribution in the journey towards the full recognition of the importance and share of good practises of cooperation practices between stakeholders, such as peers and professionals, outreach workers, small-scale drug dealers and law enforcement officials, particularly targeting the importance of peer educator’s integration in outreach work with PUPS.
- European Policy Dialogue Meeting. Held online on the 31st of March 2021.
- Training program manual in English, Greek, Lithuanian and Polish languages.
- Guiding principles in cooperation practices in outreach work for pilot interventions
- Who are peers? Why is the involvement of peers crucial in service provision to people who use drugs and are in need? This short movie documents a study visit to Amsterdam and Antwerp, two cities with a long history of peer involvement.
- European Partner Meeting of Peer2Peer Project - December 10-12, 2019.
APDES - AGÊNCIA PIAGET PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO
Alameda Jean Piaget, n.º100, apartado 1523, 4411-801 - Arcozelo, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
+351 227 531 106/7
UINIVERSIDADE DO PORTO - FACULDADE DE PSICOLOGIA E CIÊNCIAS DA EDUCAÇÃO DA UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO
Rua Alfredo Allen, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
+351 22 607 97 00
ASUD - Auto-Support des Usagers de Drogues
32 rue Vitruve, 75020 Paris
De Regenboog Groep
Droogbak 1d, 1013 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+31 20 570 7829
EHRA - Euroasian Harm Reduction Association
Verkių g. 34B, office 701 LT – 08221, Vilnius, Lithuania
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— Drugs Policy Initiatives.
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