Learning and Improving in Peer Support
What is this training about?
This training is about evaluation for peer support.
Evaluation means learning what is working well and what needs to change.
Peer support is where people support one another because they have something in common.
This training helps disability peer organisations learn how to do evaluation.
Disability peer organisations are
- Run by people with disability or their families
- Run peer support programs
Peer support programs are activities that are led by peers such as peer support groups.
Research tells us many peer organisations do not know enough about evaluation.
Doing evaluation will help your organisation get funding and run better peer support programs.
What is evaluation
Evaluation means learning what is working well and what needs to change. In this training we call this learning and improving.
It involves getting information about what is happening in your programs. This information is sometimes called feedback or evidence.
This information can help you know if your peer programs are
- Helping people with disability
- Going to plan or not going to plan
- Need to change
You can also use this information to tell other people about your peer programs like
- The Board of your organisation and
- A funding body
This will make it easier for organisations to get funding and keep doing good work.
How this training works
This training will teach you how to do an evaluation.
Evaluations have different steps
- Finding out what you want to know
- Getting useful information
- Understanding the information
- Putting the information together in a report.
This training will teach you about each of these steps.
This training has 7 parts. Each part is called a module. Each module includes
- Things to read
- Study questions
The study questions help you to think about what would work in your organisation.
This training can also help you make an evaluation plan. An evaluation plan can help you
- Talk about the important work you are doing
- Get useful information about your peer programs
- Learn what works well and what needs to change
- Apply for funding!
How to use the training
There are 3 ways to use this training.
- Download the training – this is good if you want to talk about the training with other people or read from paper or a screen-reader.
- Read the training on the website – this is good if you want to read online or make your own evaluation plan.
- Use the study questions to read the training – this good if you want to make your own evaluation plan but do not have much time.
Not everyone will want to do the whole training.
You might choose to only read the modules you are interested in.
But if you want to make an evaluation plan you will need to do the whole training.
Why evaluation is important for Peer Organisations
Peer support is great but it can be hard to do well.
There is always more to learn and this is where evaluation can help.
One of the hardest things for peer organisations has been
- Not having enough funding and
- Only having short-term funding.
The NDIA now give funding to peer organisations through the ILC.
The NDIA is the National Disability Insurance Agency. It runs the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the ILC.
The ILC funds organisations to help people with disability be part of the community.
The information you give to the ILC will help the NDIA decide if your organisation gets funding.
The NDIA will want to know how peer support helps people with disability.
This means your peer organisation needs to
- Know how to do evaluations
- Use the information you get to show that good things happen for people in peer programs.
We hope you enjoy learning about evaluation for peer support.
There are great benefits from learning these skills.
It helps you know if your peer programs are
- Doing what you want them to
- Making change for peers
- Able to get funding.
We hope you can use this training in a way that suits you but we know that online training does not suit everyone.
We also hope there will be face-face training and technical support for evaluation in the future.
If you need help with this training you can send feedback to www.peerconnect.org.au/learning-and-improvement/feedback
We will help answer your questions.
This training is based on
- Lived experience as a family member of a person with disability and
- Many years of peer support and evaluation experience with families, carers and people with disability at Families4Families ABI Peer Support Network.
We would like to thank
- Jennifer from LifeUpcycled
- Co-design team