Providing an appropriate environment

You also need to consider whether you are able to provide an appropriate environment to implement the program, for instance, whether to choose a formal setting such as a school versus an informal setting such as a community agency drop-in space.

More formal models may be those where the conventional hierarchies are used (e.g. between school teachers and students) in contrast to less formal models where equality and real involvement in decision-making is encouraged.1

Informal approaches may provide mutual support, minimal training and may have little or no supervision. These models are often embedded in the community and culture of the target group.1

As part of considering an appropriate environment you might like to consider whether it is a safe space for young people.

You will also need to consider what level of structure will be appropriate for your program.


  • Will a highly structured program such as an intensive 8 week education program meet your needs, or is a program that is less formal, driven by the target group or the peers more appropriate?
  • Will the program be an ongoing program or consist of a number of subsequent events (e.g. weekend camps/retreats)?
  • Do you already have a structure in place to implement your program?
  • Are you creating a totally new program?


  1. McDonald, D 2004, ‘Alcohol and Other Drug Peer Education in Schools: A review for the ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy Implementation and Evaluation Group’, Social Research and Evaluation, Canberra.