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Para athlete teaches young boy how to play badminton Papua New Guinea
The inclusive badminton program in Papua New Guinea sees para-athletes coaching primary school students

Conducting a situational analysis

For many nations, the protection of the rights of the child and human rights is the foundation of sport development. However, nations are increasingly developing their sport environments to ensure that programmes are safe and inclusive through national policies, funding initiatives and education programmes.

Safe and inclusive sport

Developing a sport and development “ecosystem” that is safe and inclusive not only positively impacts all participants, but can result in positive outcomes for those not traditionally welcomed or accepted in sport.

Planning your initiative with a people-centred approach enables you to better connect to the communities you aim to support.

There isn’t a set way of doing this, nor a standard output. It is more a general requirement that you need to gather a lot of foundational information on the participating community in order to design a programme that fits their ongoing needs. Ideally, this starts a co-creation relationship for your development programme.

A thorough analysis of the need, environment, and resources available to your initiative, in collaboration with community participants, will enable a strong foundation for impactful sport and development interventions. It also provides a snapshot of the current situation, which can be used as part of a baseline assessment for future monitoring of progress made.

What do you need to know?

  • Background, attitudes, and preferences of your community
  • Sport and development within the local context, including current perceptions
  • Your organisational capacity and resources

How to start your in-depth analysis?

You need to ask questions. And lots of them!

As a starting point, use the workbook questions to frame your initial reflections. There will be some questions that you can not answer yourself and will need to explore further with the community directly, and some questions that may not be relevant, but hopefully it will start to get you thinking about the specific dimensions your initiative will be operating within.

Whilst it is possible to conduct a situational analysis as desk research, it is strongly recommended to involve participants in the activity, either through interviews or group workshop sessions. The full picture will not be fully understood unless there is an opportunity to talk to participants directly.

A situation analysis is not something that is done once and then never done again – it requires ongoing review to ensure design parameters are still appropriate and that all groups involved in the programme or specific activities have been considered in the scope.

N.B. This analysis will be useful when building your logic model as there is a section for ‘assumptions’ which will help make you aware of the wider implications for delivery.

Themes for analysis

Below are some factors you may wish to consider within your analysis. The questions are not exhaustive, so do add your own questions relevant to your specific community:

Sport in Context Social Inclusion
Gender Disability
Social Cohesion Psychological Well-being
Environmental sustainability Governance
Political Landscape Socio-Economic


Developing a situation analysis report

Use the workbook below to introduce you to these tools and practice the analysis techniques. The questions are non-exhaustive, so do add your own questions relevant to your specific community.

This is the third stage of your situation analysis. This analysis will also enable you to develop your logic model through a better understanding of initiative ‘assumptions’.

Screenshot of workbook Stakeholder situational analysis
This workbook contains reflection questions for your situation analysis, under the following headings:
- Your community
- Sport and development within the local context
- Organisational capacity
- Situation Analysis Report template and a SAR template

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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