Skip main navigation

What’s the point of programmes?

Article exploring programmes using sport for development.
Programmes are the ‘how’ in making change happen. They are the action! Through interventions that are well designed, delivered and evaluated, people’s 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 is an invaluable mechanism in making change happen, and making it stick!

Think back to our example of a problem to objective tree in week 1, which considered how to use sport to tackle youth crime (PDF). As youth crime is a complex topic, 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), set indicators, and understand how programming components are interlinked and interdependent, the impact will be greater and more 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 about 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 management, this might all seem a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry – this week aims to guide you through programme development, step by step. For those more experienced, it should act as a helpful refresher.

This article is from the free online

Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now