This toolkit grew out of the recognition that peer education is one of the most popular approaches used by Save the Children UK and its partners working on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. However, much of the work has been failing to reach its full potential in changing the sexual behaviours of children and young people.
What is the Aim of this toolkit?
- This toolkit aims to provide information, activities and lessons learned to help users decide whether peer education is a useful approach for their work on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS with children and young people. If users decide that it is, the toolkit will help them to develop peer education projects that are high quality, sustainable and able to ‘move beyond awareness-raising’. This toolkit is not a ‘how to’ manual for doing peer education work. It does not, for example, provide messages on sexual and reproductive health or guidance on how to conduct sessions.
- Nor does this toolkit promote pre-determined models of good practice. Many other resources already exist that highlight peer education good practice. Also, what is considered good practice in one context, may not apply in another. Rather it provides a framework for identifying what could be considered as good practice and adapted for the context in which you work.
This toolkit also contains quick guides to 18 programming options that describe some of the key elements of a comprehensive response to sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS for children and young people.The quick guides present different programming options you could adopt to ensure the provision of a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS programme.
The quick guides are designed to help you to use this toolkit. They are particularly relevant at the beginning and end of section 1, looking at whether peer education is a useful approach for your programme (pages 14–18 and 38–40), and in the first part of section 4, which looks at ways for your peer education programme to move beyond awareness-raising (pages 98–100).
Each quick guide outlines what the programming option involves, how it does or doesn’t fit within a child rights framework and to what extent it is suitable for working with marginalised children and young people. It also covers the resources that are required and the main advantages and disadvantages of the particular programming option, and it lists further resources.
Who is this Toolkit for?
The primary audience for this toolkit is programme managers and project staff in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community groups and government organisations. It is designed to be used by organisations that are thinking about starting peer education on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS with children and young people as well as by organisations that are already working in this area.
- Section 1 is aimed at those who are new to or are in the process of reviewing their peer education work. Sections 2 and 3 are for those currently doing peer education and looking for ways to improve the quality of their work.
- Section 4 is intended for use by those who have been doing peer education for some time and who are looking at ways to move beyond awareness-raising and information provision in order to increase the impact of their work or to keep their peer educators motivated.
How Should this Toolkit be used?
- The toolkit is designed to be used in a participatory way either in a workshop setting or as part of a project design or review process. Wherever possible, the activities should involve not just project staff and volunteers, but also key community members.These include peer educators,‘target’ children and young people, community leaders and other important stakeholders, such as teachers, parents and health workers.
- People using this toolkit might want to work through all of the sections one by one. Or, if you feel that specific parts of your programme need strengthening, you might prefer to select one or two complete sections or a few activities from different sections. If you are in the early stages of developing a peer education programme or if you have serious doubts about whether your work is effective, it is vital to work through section 1 first.