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Sport and SDGs

Sport can play a role in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We explore this in more detail.The international collective vision for a better world is outlined in the 2030 Agenda and the accompanying SDGs. First, let us begin with a useful overview of the SDGs.

Sport can play a role in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We explore this in more detail.

The international collective vision for a better world is outlined in the 2030 Agenda and the accompanying SDGs. First, let us begin with a useful overview of the SDGs.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

“Otherwise known as the Global Goals, [the SDGs] are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.” UNDP

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development describes sport as an “important enabler of sustainable development”. The Kazan Action Plan, adopted in 2017 at the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI), makes a global commitment to link sport policy to the 2030 Agenda. The plan identifies 10 specific SDGs[1] where sport can have the biggest impact. We will cover the Kazan Action Plan in more detail in week 2.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are ranked on a podium. In 1st place are SDGs 3, 4, 5 ,8 ,11 ,16 and 17. Sport can have most impact on these goals. In 2nd place: 10, 12 and 13.  Finally, 3rd place: 1, 2 ,6 ,7, 9, 14, and 15. Sport has less relevance to these goals.

SDG shared Goals

The SDGs provide a common framework for sport and development actors to align and coordinate their work. As such, it is good to get into the habit of mapping your initiatives to these shared goals and the relevant development priorities in your nation/region (which should also align to the SDGs).

Your country is likely to have an official national development policy/strategy/plan to guide key decisions and investment. You should be able to find this online. For instance, national development in Tuvalu is guided by its National Strategy for Sustainable Development.

Aligning your work to the SDGs and other priorities in a strategic, targeted way enables you to communicate your activities through a common language and work towards common goals. This may improve understanding and measurement while enabling collective impact.

More information on Sport and the SDGs available here

Work Backwards From the SDG Goal

There are 169 Targets and 230 indicators under the 17 SDGs. The Kazan Action Plan) and key international sport policy frameworks have identified 36 of these targets as areas where sport can potentially make a valuable contribution. These 36 targets provide a valuable starting point to map sport-based policies and programmes to the SDGs.

Mapping your work to specific SDGs and targets not only ensures your activities align with and contribute to international development objectives but also enables you to use established common language to describe your work. This is particularly helpful when looking for government or national-level support.

Starting with an SDG, then focusing more specifically on the particular targets associated with this goal to identify the key target(s) for your initiative, not only ensures your activities align with and contribute towards international development objectives, but also enables articulation of your activities through an established common language. This is particularly helpful when looking for government or national-level support.

Sport and SDGs: Key Resources

There are several key resources on sport and the SDGs. These will help you understand how sport can contribute to the SDGs, including to specific targets and indicators, and demonstrate ways you can align your monitoring and evaluation processes.

[1] Measuring the Contribution of Sport – The Commonwealth, 2018 [SDGs 3,4,5,8,10,11,12,13,16,17]

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Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing Effective Policies and Programmes

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