The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development through Sport

image of The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development through Sport
In the last two decades the use of sport within development and peace work has gained increased profile and credibility. Today sport is recognised at the local and international levels as a tool that, if well planned and effectively delivered, can contribute to beneficial social change.

This Guide has been produced by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) to provide support for governments and other key stakeholders seeking to strengthen the contribution of sport to development and peace work. The guide acknowledges both the value and complexity of using sport in development and peace work and recommends key principles to maximise sport’s contribution and minimise possible negative consequences.

Section I provides an evidence-based analysis of the contribution of sport to development objectives, and examines six policy domains in which sport can contribute to development: youth, health, education, gender, diversity, and peace-building.

Section II provides a framework for analysis, planning and monitoring of sport in development and peace work. The framework is a practical tool that offers detailed guidelines for policy options, strategic approaches and implementation mechanisms.

The Guide is supported throughout by appropriate references to policy statements and research evidence. It also includes several examples of current initiatives worldwide that illustrate how sport can be applied in support of development and peace.



Sport in Development Work and Peace-building

The use of sport to support development and peace is not new; many development agencies have for years included sport in their work. There has, however, been a very noticeable upsurge in the use of sport since the millennium, and it has now become a substantial movement in its own right. Today sport is being widely used by many agencies to promote social change. But sport is not a panacea for global social and economic challenges. Grandiose assertions that ‘the power of sport’ can ‘change the world’ have been received with scepticism by experienced development practitioners, many of whom regard these claims as unrealistic and/or uninformed. The purpose of this guide is to provide a nuanced, measured and credible account of the specific contribution that sport can offer. The benefits of sport are not automatic or universal but they can be achieved through well-designed approaches with appropriate planning, monitoring and evaluation that respect the importance of on-going programming and guard against abuse and poor quality provision. This requires integrating sport within development activities and agendas, and ensuring its use is underpinned by a number of principles, as described in chapter 3.


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