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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.
Community members from El Sereif, North Darfur, on horseback
Community members from El Sereif, North Darfur, on their horses attend a cultural and sports event organized by UNAMID as part of the campaign "We need peace now".

Specific dimensions of sport

Sport and development initiatives in different parts of the world have made considerable progress in successfully scaling up the social impact of programmes.

Sports federations, non-governmental organisations and selected government ministries have developed a much clearer focus. That includes more clearly framing different programmes and the outcomes that programmes can realistically seek to deliver, based upon the design of the programme.

However, sport is not always the most effective means to create social, environmental or economic changes in all contexts. It may, at times, not be an appropriate solution at all.

With sport as your tool for change, the temptation can be to try to use it in every scenario, even if it is not wanted by the programme participant community. Putting the needs of the participants first is a key principle of effective sport and development programmes.

Organisation purpose

Before you begin the design process, it is important to reflect on the relevance of sport and development programmes to your organisation. Thinking back to our scenario of pitching an idea to a governing board, stopping to think whether your programme is something that should be done, and is in the best interest of your organisation, will help with design alignment and future buy-in.

Think about your initiative.

  1. What does your organisation do? What is your core business?
  2. How does your organisation do what you do?
  3. What is the purpose, cause, belief of your organisation? Why does your organisation exist?
  4. How will a Sport and Development programme enhance/add value to the work your organisation is already doing? What would be the programmes goal/purpose?

Starting with ‘Why?’ and aligning initiatives with your organisation’s core business first, encourages a sustainable and realistic starting point for programme design and resource allocation.

Reflect on these questions in the discussion with others.

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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