Update: See our Peer Worker Support and Compensation page for additional resources, including PAN’s policy and procedures support people with lived experiences in employment and volunteer organizations.
Peer compensation is a timely topic with more projects and organizations implementing “Nothing About Us, Without Us” principles in their work place. Peers have always been an amazing resource and their lived experience is now recognized as critical part of building projects and programs.
In PAN’s 2017 Members’ & Stakeholders’ Survey an overwhelming 93% of survey respondents supported people with lived experience to volunteer, work, or hold leadership positions. When asked to rate the question “people living with HIV and/or HCV play a key role in decision-making (eg. as managers, senior-level staff and/or on the bored of directors) at the HIV and or/or HCV organization that I am most closely connected to” 58% of respondents replied yes, for sure and 22% yes, somewhat. So evidently the adoption of “Nothing About Us, Without Us” is becoming much more entrenched in community.
When engaging peers, the topic of compensation
often comes up. There a variety of different methods
to compensate workers with lived experience.
When engaging peers, the topic of compensation often comes up. There a variety of different methods that are chosen to compensate workers with lived experience. There is no simple answer to this question and each organization has to assess what is appropriate for them and their circumstances. Several larger players in this field have released guidelines and best practice for their organizations. Here are some terrific resources that can help guide you in creating a plan that works for you.
Resource Links to Peer Compensation and guides
The BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) new Peer Payment Standards help outline payment amounts and methods to use when engaging peers across the province. Although intended for use internally by the BCCDC, these standards are also available for consideration by other community-based and public sector health care organizations to inform equitable peer payment. People who have lived experience with drug use, either past or present, are often consulted as experts and use their lived experience to inform effective health service programming and delivery to reduce health inequities and achieve social justice.
Vancouver Coastal Health developed Peer Framework For Health-Focused Peer Positions in the Downtown Eastside which has another method of breaking down methods for compensation of peers.
VCH News: How do you compensate peers or people with lived experience? This is an excellent blog post and synopsis of their work and links to other peer resources.
A Guide for Paying Peer Research Assistants- challenges and Opportunities was written by A Greer and J Buxton in partnership with the Paying Peers Working Group.
Peer Engagement Principles and Best Practices: A guide for BC Health Authorities and other providers was developed by by the Peer Engagement and Evaluation Project Team.
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Paul Kerber, Evaluation Coordinator [email protected]