Enhancing the Contribution of Sport to the Sustainable Development Goals

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Iain Lindsey, Tony Chapman
06 Apr 2017
9781848599598 (PDF)

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Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) recognises the potential contribution of sport to achieving important development objectives, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Enhancing the Contribution of Sport to the Sustainable Development Goals builds on the work of previous Commonwealth publications analysing sport’s role in progressing sustainable development. Aimed at governmental policy-makers and other stakeholders, it provides evidenced and balanced policy options to support the effective and cost-efficient contribution of sport towards six prioritised SDGs.

The guide is underpinned by an emphasis towards strengthening the means of implementation and measuring and evaluating progress, which are emphasised by the SDGs and existing Commonwealth principles. Developed through extensive Commonwealth Secretariat-led consultation with relevant experts and organisations, it represents an important addition to the growing body of SDP publications, guides and research.

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Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

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  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive summary

    Previous Commonwealth publications have presented analysis and key principles for sport and sustainable development. This guide builds on these publications to recommend evidenced and balanced policy options to support the effective and costefficient contribution of sport towards six prioritised SDGs. All identified policy options align with the importance accorded to the ‘means of implementation’ through SDG 17.

  • Contributors
  • Sport and the Sustainable Development Goals

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, sets out a ‘supremely ambitious and transformational vision’ for global development. Central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are 17 SDGs broken down into 169 targets and 230 associated indicators. The SDGs seek to build on and complete progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that they replaced, but they are also more comprehensive and far-reaching in scope. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasises that the SDGs are intended to be ‘integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental’.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Sustainable Development Goal 17: Strengthen the Means of Implementation and Revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

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    • Introduction to Sustainable Development Goal 17

      Realising the scale and ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires commitment to providing the means of implementation by which the SDGs can be achieved. This is reflected in the importance accorded to SDG 17 and its associated targets. Intensive global engagement across the United Nations system, bringing together governments, civil society and private sector actors, is promised so as to mobilise all available resources for sustainable development.

    • Means of Implementation (SDG 17)

      An array of public, private and civil society organisations have sought to utilise sport to contribute to sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG17, similarly and more broadly recognise the need for collective approaches that bring together governments, the private sector and civil society in implementing the SDGs. Consequently, this guide gives strong priority to collective approaches to enhance the contribution of sport across the range of SDGs and to address a number of SDG 17 targets.

    • Measuring Progress: Data, Monitoring and Accountability (SDG 17)

      The scale and scope of the 17 SDGs and the 167 related targets is ambitious. Identifying whether or not these targets have been met by 2030 is, in itself, an ambitious objective, but one that is strongly prioritised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Extensive work has been undertaken by the United Nations’ Statistical Commission and a specific Interagency and Expert Group to develop a Global Indicator Framework for reviewing progress towards the SDGs. The Global Indicator Framework proposed in March 2016 consists of a total of 230 indicators across all SDGs and related targets.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Sport and Sustainable Development

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    • Introduction to Sport and Sustainable Development

      The chapters in Section Two consider each of the six SDGs that have been identified, through extensive consultation with Commonwealth stakeholders, as those that sport may be well placed to make effective and cost-efficient contributions to. Each chapter follows the same structure: firstly, an overview of the particular SDG and pertinent considerations with regard to it is provided; then an evidenced analysis of how the contribution of sport to particular SDG targets may be enhanced is presented; and finally, based on the frameworks and approaches identified in Section One of this guide, potential policy options to enhance implementation that can strengthen the contribution of sport-based approaches towards the goal are offered.

    • Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-being for All, at All Ages (SDG 3)

      Universal and holistic conceptions of health and well-being are at the forefront of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and are collectively prioritised across the Commonwealth. The paradigm shift from the more specific focus of the MDGs on child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis recognises the immense significance of global health threats that have risen to prominence in the interim. Non-communicable diseases now account for 38 million deaths per year, of which 28 million are in low- to medium-income countries. Mental illness is expected to account for 15 per cent of the global burden of disease by 2020, with young people disproportionately affected.

    • Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All (SDG 4)

      The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a transformative and universal vision that commits to the provision of inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels, for all people and across the life-course. The scope of this holistic vision builds on the advances made across the period of the MDGs, during which net enrolment rates in primary education increased from 83 to 91 per cent in developing regions of the world (United Nations 2015). As reinforced by the Incheon Declaration of the 2015 World Education Forum (World Education Forum 2015), education and lifelong learning are recognised through SDG 4 as being fundamental human rights and as vital in realising the broader aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    • Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls (SDG 5)

      Gender equality is central to the core values and principles of the Commonwealth and to the achievement of sustainable development. In its own right, SDG 5 specifically recognises the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Gender issues are also more broadly acknowledged throughout the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with particular targets related to women and girls included across a number of goals, including those for SDGs 4, 8, 11 and 16 that are considered in this guide.

    • Promote Sustained, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Full and Productive Employment and Decent Work for All (SDG 8)

      The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty was met five years ahead of schedule. Overall, the number of people living on less than US$1.25 per day fell from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015 . While SDGs 1 and 10 represent a continued focus on poverty and all aspects of inequality, SDG 8 gives broader attention to ‘sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth’ as a foundation for prosperity and sustainable development more generally.

    • Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable (SDG 11)

      The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises that ‘sustainable urban development and management are crucial to the quality of life of our people’. The concomitant adoption of SDG 11 represents an important extension of the MDGs, which did not give specific attention to global trends of increasing urbanisation. Fifty per cent of the global population currently live in cities, and urbanisation is expected to continue over the timeframe of the SDGs. Demographic and geographical changes mean that, by 2030, it is estimated that as many as 60 per cent of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18.

    • Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable Development, Provide Access to Justice for All, and Build Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions at All Levels (SDG 16)

      The integrated and universal approach that is fundamental to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is well represented in SDG 16. This goal represents a specific and important extension to the preceding MDGs and is based on the recognition that: 'Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development'. Equally, sustainable development, peace and security are dependent on universal access to justice and the effective implementation of good governance principles by institutions that are transparent and accountable.

    • Appendix: Consultation
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