The peer educator program is a community-based health promotion project that aims to improve knowledge about health and wellbeing among Waterloo social housing residents, build capacity within the Waterloo community and enhance service delivery in one of the largest social housing estates in NSW. The program was established collaboratively by health staff and community, and builds on community interest in targeted health information and a desire to support other community members.

Local Health District

Sydney Local Health District



Collaborating Organisations

SLHD, Counterpoint Community Services

Key Funders

Sydney Local health District

Project Type

Current project

Chief Investigators

Esther Alloun

Cathy O’Callaghan

Fiona Haigh

Project Rationale

Peer Educators provide a link between their communities, the health sector and the broader environment. Shared characteristics and experiences between peers and communities can enhance effectiveness of public health interventions. However, the precise mechanisms and enablers of change in peer-led approaches need to be better understood to ensure sustainability and appropriateness. The evaluation will create an evidence base to inform the rolling out of the program and future support.

Project Aims

The aim of the evaluation is to

  • Assess the impact of the peer wellbeing educator program on peer educators, community participants, and key stakeholders
  • Explore how, why, and in what circumstances the peer wellbeing educator program contributes to individual, collective and systems change in relation to health literacy, social engagement, health self-management, changed practices in health services.

Project Design and Method

Realist evaluation

Qualitative methods


Esther Alloun

Project lead centre


Project stream

Action for Equity