On 20 november 2019 Focus Ireland, an Irish non-profit organization who delivers services for homeless people and people who are at risk of losing their house, organises a conference on peer-research in the field of homelessness and housing. The goal of the conference is to bring together different organisations in Europe that are concerned with peer-research in this field to share knowledge, best-practices and innovations.

Nienke Boesveldt, together with Maarten Davelaar (Social Research and Innovation), Sascha van den Dries and Marcia Bochem (researchers UU) and Robbert Brouwer (expert by experience), will give a presentation on experiences with peer-research. together Sascha and Robbert have interviewed more than 40 visitors of social relief shelters in different regions in the Netherlands. Before they started interviewing they were trained according to the PAja-method of Maarten Davelaar. As a duo they have a lot of experience with preparing questionaires, taking interviews and discussing research reports. During their presentation on november 20th they will talk about their experiences, the added-value of peer-research and some barriers they came across during their longterm dynamic collaboration as duo-researchers.

Important themes during the conference: 

  • The added value of the peer-methodology   
  • Preventing the peer from becoming a ‘token’
  • Commitments: time, money, personal and emotional investments
  • Peer research as a continuum – when do peer-researchers stop being peer? Methodology for development, labour and training.


  • Mungos (UK) 
  • Groundswell (UK) 
  • Jade Ward, York University (UK) 
  • Paja Project (NL): Nienke, Maarten, Marcia Robbert en Sascha
  • Focus Ireland (IE)