About the W3 Project

The W3 Project has always been about supporting peer work

At the W3 Project, we recognise the vital role peer programs have in supporting their communities.

The original W3 Project website banner (2014-2021)

Public health responses need meaningful input from peers. Without it, they fail to meet the needs of our most marginalised and vulnerable communities.

Despite this, peer-led responses often find it hard to measure and show the full impact and value of their work.

We want to make it easier.

We hope our work will help peer-led responses strengthen their work and increase their influence.

Ultimately, we hope that our work contributes to better health and wellbeing for people from marginalised and vulnerable communities.

On this page

Our research projects
The W3 Project started in 2013 as the What Works and Why Project. We are very fortunate that our work on the W3 Framework has also led to other exciting projects.
The people behind the research

We are committed to meaningfully involving affected communities in our research.

That is why we always have peer researchers on our project teams.

Our partner organisations

The W3 Project is based at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).

We partner with national and state peer and community organisations across Australia.

On this page

Our research projects
The W3 Project started in 2013 as the What Works and Why Project. We are very fortunate that our work on the W3 Framework has also led to other exciting projects.
The people behind the research

We are committed to meaningfully involving affected communities in our research.

That is why we always have peer researchers on our project teams.

Our partner organisations

The W3 Project is based at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).

We partner with national and state peer and community organisations across Australia.

Our research

2014-2016
What Works and Why (W3) Project Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
Stage 1: Developing the W3 Framework

We worked with peer programs working in HIV and hepatitis C across Australia.

Using a systems-thinking approach, we explored the way they work with their communities.

We developed a new framework for understanding what works and why in peer programs in HIV and hepatitis C: this is the W3 Framework.

Read more about Stage 1 of the W3 Project »

2016-2019
PozQoL Project Funded by ViiV Healthcare
Creating a quality of life scale for people living with HIV

We worked with peer-led PLHIV organisations across Australia.

We created a scale to measure and track changes in quality of life among PLHIV.

The PozQoL Project followed the principles of Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA).

Read more about the PozQoL Project »

2016-2019
What Works and Why (W3) Project Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
Stage 2: Piloting the W3 Framework

We worked closely with two Victorian peer-led organisations: Harm Reduction Victoria and Living Positive Victoria.

We implemented the W3 Framework at an organisational level. Together, we developed practical tools and approaches to evaluate and help improve the impact and quality of their programs.

Read more about Stage 2 of the W3 Project »

2017-2019
W3 Peer Insights Project Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
Peer insights on barriers and motivators to direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment uptake

We worked with peer-led PWUD organisations across Australia.

We interviewed people who inject drugs about their attitudes, beliefs, and experiences relating to hepatitis C treatment. These ‘real-time’ peer insights were translated into resources to help tailor policies and programs to the needs of communities of people who inject.

Read more about the W3 Peer Insights Project »

2017-2018
W3: Influence of Communities Funded by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO)
Understanding how, when, and where gay men are influenced about HIV

We worked with the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and AIDS Councils across Australia.

We interviewed gay and bisexual men and AIDS Council and AFAO staff. This helped us better understand how AFAO and the AIDS Councils support gay and bisexual men’s learning about HIV.

2017-2019
Networks in Flux Funded by La Trobe University Building Health Communities Research Focus Area and La Trobe University Social Research Platform 
Round 1: Examining the existing structure of relationships in the HIV and hepatitis C sector

The Networks in Flux project aims to track and understand how the networks involved in the treatment and prevention of HIV and hepatitis C in Victoria are adapting to the widespread changes in treatment technology.

We used a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative interviews — with members of the Victorian public health sector — and social network analysis of the relationships between the organisations.

The first round of data collection established a baseline of relationships in the sector, against which we can compare future rounds.

2018-current
PLHIV Peer Navigator Implementation Study Funded by ViiV Healthcare
Identifying the core elements and strategies for the effective implementation and scale-up of an HIV peer navigation program

We are working with Living Positive Victoria, a peer-led PLHIV organisation.

The study draws on the W3 Framework to assess the implementation and impact of a program that provides peer education and support for PLHIV in clinical healthcare settings.

2019
W3: Valuing the Role of the Community Response in HIV Funded by La Trobe Asia
Bringing together 27 participants from a range of key organisations in the community-led response to HIV in Asia.

Working with the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), we hosted a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand titled: ‘How do we value the role of the community responses to HIV?’

The workshop used the W3 Framework as the basis of discussions about innovative means of evidencing the central role of community organisations in the response to HIV in Asia.

2020-current
What Works and Why (W3) Project Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
Stage 3: Consolidating a national evidence base of peer-led programs’ impact and value

We are working with peer-led organisations across Australia working in the HIV and hepatitis C response.

We will pool resources and data to generate stronger and clearer evidence of what works and why. This will help provide insights and guidance for the investment and scale-up of peer programs in priority populations.

Read more about Stage 3 of the W3 Project »

2021-current
Networks in Flux Funded by the Australian Research Council
Round 2: Investigating how and why organisation network structures adapt or remain resistant to rapid change

The Networks in Flux project is continuing its work, building on the findings from Round 1. In this round, we want to understand:

  • How has the network changed over the past 2-3 years?
  • How should the network change to best meet the sector’s priorities?
  • How can this change be supported by governments, research, and the existing network?

For more detailed information, see our research publications.

The people behind the W3 Project

Meet some of the people who contributed to the W3 Project and related projects

Dr Graham Brown

W3 Project and related projects
2013-current

Graham developed the W3 Project as an Associate Professor at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS). He has been the lead investigator on all W3 Project research and related projects.

The W3 Project builds upon his 25+ years of experience in community-based HIV organisations and health promotion–related research.

Petrina Hilton

W3 Project Stage 3
2020-current

Petrina is the W3 Project Research Officer at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).

Her interest in the W3 Project stems from almost 10 years working in community and peer health promotion with PLHIV, LGBTIQ communities, and people experiencing severe mental illness.

Charles Henderson

W3 Project
2014-current

Charles has been involved with W3 through his roles as Programs Manager/Acting EO at Harm Reduction Victoria and, since 2018, as Deputy CEO at NUAA.

In his native New Zealand, he was the National Manager of the NZ Needle Exchange Programme, spending over 15 years improving the health and wellbeing of people who inject drugs and developing effective peer-led services for them.

He brings to the W3 Project the passion and insights of someone who dedicates his entire professional career to promoting the human rights of people who use and inject illicit drugs, including the championing of low-barrier, accessible drug treatment options.

Chris Howard

W3 Project and PozQoL
2014-current

Chris has been involved with PozQoL and W3 through his role as Executive Programs Manager at Queensland Positive People. He brings to the projects his expertise from over 25 years working in the HIV sector in Queensland, Australia and living with HIV for 35 years.

Chris has a longstanding interest in quality of life for people with HIV. While TasP was a game changer for people with HIV, it also saw the emergence of a biomedical narrative. This focused more on disease management and less on other important factors that contribute to quality of life. PozQoL created an opportunity to measure holistic quality of life for people with HIV across four domains.

Daniel Reeders

W3 Project Stage 1
2014-2015

Daniel was the first Project Officer for the W3 Project at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS). They helped develop the method, conduct the first partner workshops, and articulate the W3 Framework.

Daniel’s passion for peer knowledge comes from 15+ years working in HIV and viral hepatitis with communities including gay, bisexual, and other queer folks, and communities of migrants and refugees.

James Dunne

W3 Project Stages 2 & 3
2019-2021

James worked as a Research Officer on the W3 Project at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).

His interest in the W3 Project stems from his experience working in policy roles within government and within peer-based drug user organisations, and his keen interest in understanding how the contributions of people with lived experience influence policy and practice.

Jane Dicka

W3 Project
2014-current

Jane’s involvement with the W3 Project has been through her role as Health Promotion Team Coordinator at Harm Reduction Victoria.

Jane brings to the projects her expertise from 30 years of lived experience and almost 20 years working in peer education and health promotion roles with people who use drugs. Her interest in the W3 Project stems from the value she sees in what peers have to offer and the need to be able to record and document that value accurately.

Dr John Rule

W3 Project and PozQoL
2014-current

John, on behalf of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), attended the very first round of peak organisation consultations for the W3 Project.

As a researcher and person living with HIV, John hoped that the method, which was peer led, would lead to excellent outcomes. The breadth of work produced through the W3 Project and PozQoL has clearly delivered on that expectation.

Sara Graham

W3 Project
2014-current

Sara’s involvement in the W3 Project has been through her role as the Peer Support Manager at Living Positive Victoria implementing and managing the Peer Navigator Program and other peer-led programs for people living with HIV.

Sara co-authored the Australian HIV Peer Support Standards. Previously, she was the Executive Officer of Straight Arrows, supporting women, heterosexual men, and families, and Project Officer for the Women’s Networking Zone at AIDS 2014.

Sara values the W3 Project for the elegant, adaptive framework it offers for the evaluation of peer-based programs.

Dr Susan Chong

W3 Peer Insights Project
2018-2019

Susan worked on the W3 Peer Insights Project through her role as a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).

Her interest in this research stemmed from her expertise in working on health promotion, community systems strengthening, and civil society participation with marginalised and vulnerable communities in the field of HIV and AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region over the past 25+ years.

Timothy Krulic

W3 Project Stages 2 & 3 and PLHIV Peer Navigator Implementation Study
2017-current

Timothy has experience working in health promotion and peer-based community organisations for people living with HIV.

His involvement with the W3 Project spans the implementation of the W3 Framework at Living Positive Victoria and his doctoral research, which investigated models for integrating peer practices into HIV clinical care and support services in Australia.

The organisations behind the W3 Project

The W3 Project is based at:

In collaboration with:

Our partners

We work in equal partnership with peer-led and community-based organisations. Since the W3 Project began in 2014, we have worked with:

National peak organisations

State PLHIV organisations

State PWUD organisations

State LGBTIQ health promotion organisation

We also work with other research institutes as well as industry and government partners.

Our funding

The W3 Project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

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