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June 10, 2008

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Hope Hempstone

These are all good suggestions. Another one that I've seen work is establishing professional development incentives for peer educators, via opportunities for promotion to staff positions in outreach (either with the parent organization or another doing similar work); internship programs; small subsidies for classes; provision of on-site training on topics like resume development and word processing; and certification programs. Needless to say, this approach can be both labor intensive and costly, so works best as a way to groom and retain exceptional peer educators, not to prevent general attrition in a large program. It's also most effective in settings where there's high level of collaboration between different groups active in health program who can coordinate referrals, organize multi-organization internship programs, cost-share trainings, etc.

I've seen this approach work well in the context of peer education programs targeting urban and peri-urban youth within established, long-running youth group networks - your mileage may vary depending on your audience and local context.

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