06 Development and sport
Today sport is regarded and appreciated as an effective mean to achieve certain development goals. Sport is used as a tool to reach various objectives in development. Among others, sport can have a positive effect on the physical and psychological health, it fosters social interaction and equal opportunities, it can help consolidate peace and promote better understanding between peoples. Through its playful aspect, sport also promotes values such as solidarity, generosity or tolerance.
What you need to watch out for when planning and furnishing development projects through sport.
Every region or country has its own social, historic and cultural differences (cf. "do no harm") that need to be acknowledged in order to have effective and efficient projects with sport activities. Following factors should also be considered:
- The social norms, traditions, clothing norms etc.
- Climate and hygiene conditions
- Training and education
The activities should especially be targeted at the participants; their age, gender, interests, etc. are all essential.
Sport has a huge potential that should be used wisely. However, it is also important to keep in mind that sport has its limits (not all problems can be solved through sport) and that there are some risks (be prepared for certain disagreements or conflicts between teams or players).
http://www.toolkitsportdevelopment.org: This toolkit offers valuable advice and project examples in development and sport. It was developed especially by and for NGOs, sport clubs and governments. You will also find a list of organisations who advocate development projects through sport.
http://www.sportanddev.org: This is an international platform dedicated exclusively to sport and development; its objective is to facilitate contacts in this area, promote partnerships between organisations and contribute to the promotion of sport and development.
http://www.unicef.org/sports/index.html or http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/sport/: Examples of projects realised by the UN.
http://www.righttoplay.com: Example of a humanitarian organisation that develops sport and games programmes for children and youth from socially disadvantaged regions of the world.
http://www.sad.ch/en/: Swiss Academy for Development
PDF version [Download]