International research into the most effective peer support

An international consultation conducted by the World Health Organisation on effective peer support programs has highlighted the need for these services to be tailored to suit local circumstances.

The African nation of Uganda was the setting for one of the examples of how peer support can meet different needs.

Peer champions and partners

In this peer support project, 19 peer champions partnered with 27 peer partners.

After that, they then all attended a one-day training program on diabetes self-care.

The majority of these people live in poverty and couldn’t afford many of the modern conveniences that we in the West often take for granted.

Closed network for phones

Consequently, all participants were provided with a prepaid mobile phone in a closed network to keep in touch. Because of the phone, the support network directly contributed to positive changes in participants’ dietary behaviours, HbA1c results and blood pressure.

In another example, the Black Creek Community Health Centre in Toronto, Canada, used a strengths-based approach to support members of their community living with diabetes.

Live, Learn and Share

It was called the Live, Learn and Share Community Project.

They focused on the talents of individuals in the community to develop a culturally relevant guide for developing diabetes support groups. They trained members of the community to be peer support group facilitators.

Black Creek guide book

The Black Creek community has a significant population of black Caribbean members. Therefore, it was from this community that they identified and trained 16 peer support group facilitators. They also successfully created their guide book (which you can see by clicking here).

You can read more stories about peer support groups around the world at the Peers for Progress website at this link: Peers for Progress. Support Group Examples.

Queensland support groups

Finally, in Queensland, there are about 30 active peer support groups focusing specifically on diabetes.

Click here to download the National Diabetes Services Scheme peer support fact sheet.

Tell us your story

We’d love to hear your story. Tell us:

  • how your group formed,
  • how you provide support,
  • what needs you are meeting,
  • the benefits people get from your group,
  • where you see your group headed in the future.

If you’d like to share your story, please email us at

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