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Cities Changing Diabetes Peer Support Knowledge Network


Peer support is widely implemented and generally recognized as making sense and likely to be especially helpful in mobilizing vulnerable citizens with diabetes, or at risk of developing the condition, to connect with other people who can support them in managing their own health. Peer support is already a valued approach in Cities Changing Diabetes partner cities such as Copenhagen, Houston, Vancouver, Shanghai and Tianjin. The global Cities Changing Diabetes team and Peers for Progress are collaborating to support these efforts in different ways, including the creation of a Peer Support Knowledge Network.

The goal of the Peer Support Knowledge Network is to enhance the quality, scope and impact of peer support programs in partner cities and to achieve the overall objectives and maximize the visibility of Cities Changing Diabetes. A key feature of the network is that it is member driven. Participation is entirely voluntary and the continued viability of the network depends on participants feeling they are glad they participated and part of something useful. Peers for Progress and Novo Nordisk will practice ‘service leadership’ based on input from members.

The global Cities Changing Diabetes platform offers the opportunity to bring together diverse peer support actors to

  • Exchange program approaches, resources (eg, peer recruitment and training materials), change theory, evaluation design and findings
  • Develop a consensus around ‘state of the art’ methods and procedures (eg, for promoting insulin use, addressing distress, or promoting healthier lifestyle choices)
  • Gain a clear understanding of how peer support activities can contribute to (urban) diabetes care and prevention (eg, describing the various types of value per support can create)
  • Develop shared publications, reports and position papers
  • Meet in person occasionally to facilitate exchange among members

The Peer Support Knowledge Network met face-to-face for the first time on October 25, 2017 in connection with the global Cities Changing Diabetes Summit in Houston. There, participants defined subsequent networking to include teleconferences, social networking, continued meetings of those attending common international meetings, or in conjunction with Cities Changing Diabetes events.

Following the Cities Changing Diabetes Summit, Peers for Progress contributed to the launch of the Urban Health Network on LinkedIn, where we regularly post articles on a wide range of peer support topics, ranging from the evidence base, to case studies, to implementation and evaluation strategies.