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This content is taken from the The International Platform on Sport and Development, Commonwealth Secretariat & Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)'s online course, Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes. Join the course to learn more.

What’s the point of programmes?

Programmes are the ‘how’ in making change happen. They are the action! Through well designed interventions the lives of a community can be improved, and in our case, lives can be improved through sport.

Programmes are a group of activities, designed to address a common goal or problem. The collective action of multiple parts nudging in the same direction has been shown time and time again to be an invaluable mechanism in making change happen, and making it stick!

Think back to our example of a problem to objective tree, which considered how to use sport to tackle youth crime (PDF). As youth crime is a complex area, it is unlikely you will be able to tackle it through only one simple activity. This is where programmes are required. An extract of a problem to objective tree based on using sport to tackle crime
Example of a problem tree (left) linking to an objective tree (right). The problem ‘high crime level amongst young people’ (red box) has been converted to a goal ‘young people desist from crime’ (purple box)

Why programmes matter

When you take the time to understand the environment, involve participants in the design, align activities to intended results (outcomes-indicators) and understand how programming components are interlinked and interdependent, the impact will be greater. You will be able to reach a larger number of individuals/areas and because contextualisation and local stakeholders were engaged from the outset, the activities/programme are more likely to be sustainable.

Without these key components, well-intended interventions may at best have a limited impact and at worst create more problems than they solve. Nothing for us, without us.

This video of the Magic Bus initiative is an illustrative example of a comprehensive programme of development.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

For those new to programme creation, this might all seem a bit overwhelming to start with, but this week aims to guide you through programme development, step-by-step. For those more experienced, it should act as a helpful refresher.

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This article is from the free online course:

Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

The International Platform on Sport and Development