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Programme design & development

Planning makes perfect.
We work with our partners, our social protection and disability arm of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and also inclusive education of the Ministry of Education. We work with them to allow opportunities for our Para players to to go out into the communities and also take part in inclusive leadership programmes. I believe the Smash Down Barriers programme in Tonga has been a phenomenal tool in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities through sports. We have seen a number of great Para table tennis players come through the programme. The way I see The Smash Down Barriers programme with a table tennis programme is different from my organisation’s or other sporting organisations.
The other sporting organisations only introduced this sport as a kind of a way for persons with disabilities, particularly children with disabilities to taste or, or try and take part in this sport, but really do not teach the skill of their particular sport. So, the successes that we’ve seen come through the Smash Down Barriers programme is that we have a dedicated staff that goes out once or twice a week to these centres, and not just run fun, inclusive activities for for the students or the patients, but it really identify those persons that really wants to to improve their game or lift their game. And pay special attention to those students or players.
So we’ve seen a number of people come through the Smash Down Barriers programme and adapting to more the skill base or technical part of the sport and really build their game in table tennis and it’s, it’s really encouraging to to see that happening and then it’s still going strong. Now with the inclusion of the Bounce It Back programme, which is an inclusive educational programme for schools, we are seeing the change in attitude and behaviour, particularly of those persons without disabilities or, you know, students in mainstream schools. We’ve seen it in the past work in Tonga with the C’mon Tonga, Let’s Play Netball campaign, and now using it also with the Smash Down Barriers programme.
I think Australia is doing, it’s a great way to, Australia is doing a great job in introducin and addressing issues such as, you know, obesity and inclusion using sport for development and I think we should adopt and continue with using sport for development for development in the future We have equal participation in terms of our coaches, always ensuring that we have female coaches and there’s a balance in terms of our recruitment processes. You know, and just ensuring that all the coaches and volunteers that come through our programme have proper training before they can implement the programme.
Ever since the implementation of the programme in 2018, we have worked closely with some of our partners which includes the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, and through training and development of our teachers who we use as coaches, we have partnered with the Fiji women’s crisis centre, who have played a very important role in gender sensitising our coaches, they provide trainings in areas of human rights and gender equality, and this also includes the importance of understanding policies like the Child Protection Policy. Also they provided some data and shared some of the experiences that they’ve had in terms of the prevention work they’ve had in Fiji and Pacific.
The main difference with the Get Into Rugby programme is the life skills curriculum, which is built around the rugby values, integrity, solidarity, respect, discipline and passion and promotes favourable social norms to ensure equal Rugby participation of girls and boys and prevent violence against women and girls. Fiji has a high rate of violence against women and girls and is one of the highest in the world. So through the you know, sports for development programme in this case, we’re using Rugby as a tool to help raise awareness on gender discrimination, and also end violence against women and girls.
Some of the main outcomes is ensuring that at the end of the session, the promotion of gender equality, on and off the field through changing mindsets and behaviour, ensuring we have a sustainable Rugby ecosystem and also creating a safe, gender equal environment, for everyone through the non contact sport. Sports has proven to be an effective tool to address issues of gender inequalities by challenging, preconceived ideas that people have about the
respective roles and abilities of women and men. So through sports, we use that platform to raise awareness and also resilience on ending violence against women and girls. The main aim for our programme, which is the Get Into Rugby Plus programme is to try and create a safer and a better future for our children. I think that sports is an effective tool to deliver this programme, because we deal with the children from between the ages of 12 and 16. And kids love to play. It’s a fun way to, to teach them about life skills and they have fun while they’re learning.
It’s a non contact sport so girls can play too and before we have our sessions with the kids, or with the place, we normally send out consent forms to the families to the parents to fill in. Then not only that, but the child has to be there, then we have consultations with the parents to, to show that this is what the programme is about and this is what we’ll be delivering. And we tell them about what the players are going to go through. We have a channel of communication that we have to follow as a teacher. I just feel like it’s not being heard or it’s not being dealt with.
So when that happens, we have Shabina Khan from UN Women and [inaudible name] who I normally call and they do and they call and get counsellors for us and and for our players, which is a big, big help and it makes a big difference. The game is organised in such a way that the kids feel what they’re going to talk about in the session. Like if we’re talking about gossip, then our game will be about secret whispers which is something like Chinese whispers where you have miscommunication sometimes. So when it comes to life skills spot, you can always relate to the game.
So the kids relate better when they they look back at what they did in the game and how they felt and that’s how we share in our life skills, about what what some of these miscommunications can bring about like, can hurt other people’s feelings and I know what it’s like to be a female in the Pacific Islands. I’d say I’ve learned myself. It made me believe in myself. It made me believe that I can do anything. I deserve to be treated this way. I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be safe, which is what most of our children don’t understand and don’t know.
It’s always a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone. The main goal is to create better people for out intended community or communities using Rugby League. We also build capacity of the country governing body for Rugby League. We do this by using the popularity of Rugby League, and also the highly developed sports systems and resources of the NRL. So we like to align with partners who have similar strategic goals to ours, they may have reached into target groups, systems, tools or infrastructure that enables us to increase our participation or achieve our high impact on outcomes. Nestle under the brand of Milo is an example, they have a tagline fueling champions which is part of their Milo strategy.
We have similar target markets so it’s a nice fit. And it enables both organisations to achieve their strategic goals in the community space. Female empowerment is a big part of our programme. There are a number of ways we try to enhance or keep safety as part of a key element for females. We often dedicate female only activities which can provide a sense of equality, or minimise this threat or sense of being overpowered or being dominated by males, so our females or women can freely express themselves in a fun way, in the sport of rugby league or whichever chosen activity. We constantly remind all participants both male and female of the need for safety and equality in our communities.
You must have a police clearance for anyone who is employed in our programme. So this ensures the integrity of people, you know, in our programme and that in turn keeps people safe they engage with. Also we try to use examples of real women in our particular, in a particular field, to be engaged in our programmes, so this provides a sense of a real success. An example of this is the two women who lead NRL programmes, one in NRL Fiji, and one in NRL PNG. We want females to think that engage in our programme to think if she can do it, I can do it.
If anyone wants to start a new programme, I don’t think it’s one piece of advice but a series of questions that need to be asked. Ask what problem you’re trying to solve. Is your sport the best vehicle to solve the problem and how? and are there resources available in that country or in that community to support you to solve that problem? Then that will enable you to get buy in from local organisations or local agencies.
My main piece of advice for those that are wanting to start a sports for development programme is to work with your local partners, whether it be a sporting federation, that have similar objectives, or you have national organisations, you have the civil society also have commonalities, it’s very important for you to liaise with them, they would have some learnings that you might use to guide the implementation of your activities in, on the ground, in whatever country that you might be working in. Sport, definitely is an effective way to ingrain good responsible messaging to our young children from school and onwards.

When a football or rugby player is about to kick a penalty, they always take the time to line up their shot. They plan what they are about to do.

As the speakers in the video elaborate, the same is true for programme design. Planning your programme in collaboration with your partners and participants BEFORE delivery will significantly improve your chances of success.

Netina Latu [00:00-03:26 & 12:17-12:53] CEO, Tonga Table Tennis Federation

Semaima LagiLagi [03:26-06:26 & 12:53] Fiji Get into Rugby Plus Coordinator, Oceania

Kitiana Kaitu [06:26-09:13] Get into Rugby Plus Coach and Life Skills Educator, Fiji

Mark Mom [09:13-12:17] National Rugby League Pacific Program Manager, Papua New Guinea

NB: Please note that the titles of contributors reflect their position at the time of contributing to the course. We recognise that various contributors have changed their roles and positions and others may do so in the future.

Programme design: Inputs, activities and outputs

Key things you need to consider during programme design:

  1. What is the problem you are addressing?
  2. Who is the programme being developed for?
  3. Who will deliver it?
  4. What is the outcome or impact you want to see changed? Work backwards from there to develop programme activities (theory of change to logic model)
  5. How will you include include all stakeholders, governments, funders and the community? Engage in critical discussions BEFORE implementation.
  6. How will you ensure the long-term sustainability of the project?
  7. Clear and considered plans will improve implementation. Remember, planning is part of a cycle, so plans will likely change over time.

It is good to prepare a programme design as if someone else has to implement it. This forces you to think more about any assumptions within your design.

Reflect on this video – think about some of the planning steps covered already. What SDGs are these activities aligned to? What are the goals or impacts they hope to achieve through the programmes? What additional information would you need to run these programmes yourself? Share your thoughts in the feed below.

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Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

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