Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

mobile technology


An In-Depth Look at Peer Support App Development, Part 2

Clayton Velicer, MPH

In part 1 of this blog we looked at the development of an app called PersonA for increasing physical activity that includes a function for providing peer support. Specifically, we looked at how Al Ayuba and colleagues used theoretical health behavior theories to inform app development and how users were able to test the usability of the app. In part 2, we will examine how the authors combined usability testing and health theory to incorporate peer support functions into their app and results from the usability testing.
Incorporating Social and Peer Support
PersonA has two mechanisms to facilitate peer and social support. The authors believe the app can persuade people to change behaviors via social comparison (comparing oneself to others) and direct peer interactions.

The first function is a direct comparison feature that allows a user to directly compare their progress with that of one close peer, for example a friend or spouse. Users can choose to share…


Personal Reflections from the Peers for Progress June Conference

Clayton Velicer, MPH

On June 17th and 18th, I had the wonderful opportunity to hear speakers and engage with experts on peer support when Peers for Progress and the National Council of La Raza hosted a meeting of Peers for Progress investigators and the National Peer Support Collaborative Learning Network in San Francisco, California.

Projects from all over the world were showcased, representing Argentina, Cameroon, Hong Kong, Thailand, Uganda, Australia, the United Kingdom and across the United States. These presentations summarized cutting edge research on peer support for diabetes self-management provided by community health workers, promotoras and peer supporters through a variety of mediums.

One of the topics that I was particularly interested in discussing with this diverse and accomplished group was the role of technology in peer support moving forward. Recent news has covered a peer support app for diabetes care and a number of organizations launching…


One Million Health Workers Campaign: Analyzing Costs

Clayton Velicer, MPH


In  a February Peers for Progress blog  we highlighted the One Million Community Health Workers campaign. Launched in January 2013 by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez at the World Economic Forum, the campaign’s goal is to raise one million community health workers (CHW) in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. This ambitious campaign aims to expand and accelerate community health worker programs, scaling up to district, regional, and national levels through a top-down and bottom-up approach.

In that blog, we shared estimates from a technical report that estimated $3,584 is needed to train, equip, and maintain each CHW per year. The total cost of training and maintaining the CHW initiatives across sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be $2.5 billion. Figures in the report and this article are given in US dollar amounts.

The April 2013 WHO Bulletin featured an article by McCord and Colleagues that…

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