Sport for International Development

Sport for International Development          
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards and Christine May, Senior Research Consultants, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia 
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Jackie Lauff, CEO, Sport Matters (April 2017)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated:  9 May 2019
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International evidence suggests that well designed sport-based programs—and programs promoting physical activity and fitness more generally—have the potential to positively influence personal and social change. This includes improved quality of life through better health and wellbeing, advancing gender equity, strengthening and unifying communities, improving education outcomes, and building skills that promote employment and economic development.

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination. Nelson Mandela (1918–2013)

Key Messages


Sports-based and physical activity-based programs offer the potential for governments to achieve a diverse range of positive community outcomes across health, education, and social sectors.


Sports-based programs are often integrated into broader international aid or assistance strategies.

Sport for development seeks to improve the conditions of communities in a sustainable way. It is based on the principle that working with communities, rather than for or on behalf of communities, will yield better engagement and long-term benefits. Sport is used as a means of achieving many non-sporting development outcomes such as: addressing social disadvantage; improving gender equality; educational outcomes; improved individual and population health; environmental sustainability; and international cooperation and understanding.

In September 2015, representatives met at the United Nations to decide on new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that directly build upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the turn of the century. The global physical inactivity crisis has significantly impacted upon global health outcomes. In tern, the rise in global obesity has implications for other social problems, such as economic disadvantage. The value of physical activity can be seen as both a global health priority on a macro level; and a personal, social, and economic priority at a micro level. The benefits of sport to personal and social wellbeing have been clearly demonstrated. Of the 17 SDG goals adopted by the United Nations, the sport for development agenda can contribute to at least eight. [source: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 17 goals to transform our world] 

  • Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for everyone, at all ages. (Goal 3)
  • Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. (Goal 4)
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. (Goal 5)
  • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (Goal 8)
  • Reduce inequality within and among countries. (Goal 10)
  • Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. (Goal 11)
  • Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. (Goal 16)
  • Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. (Goal 17)

Sport for Development and Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (PDF  - 8.9 MB), Dudfield O and Dingwall-Smith M, Commonwealth Secretariat (2015). The Commonwealth is analysing the contribution that Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) can make to this global agenda. This report provides the key findings from the Commonwealth’s consultation and analysis processes. The Commonwealth anticipates that this guidance will be of benefit to governments, as well as a broad cross-section of stakeholders – including sports organisations, civil society actors, and development agencies seeking to maximise the contribution sport-based approaches can make to sustainable development.

The Contribution of Sport to the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 Development Agenda: The position of the International Olympic Committee on behalf of the Olympic and Sport Movement (PDF  - 731 KB), IOC (2015). The enormous potential of sport, its global reach, its universal language, its impact on communities in general, and young people in particular, is a fact; and this is increasingly recognised around the world by governments. The sport sector, which gathers millions of people, practitioners, and professionals from all ages across the five continents, has contributed significantly to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is looking forward to accelerating its efforts within the post-2015 Development Agenda. The IOC, on behalf of the Olympic and sport movement, is globally advocating for the use of sport to: (1) promote health and the prevention of non-communicable diseases; (2) achieve quality education through values-based learning; (3) promote gender equality, including the empowerment of girls and women; (4) promote sustainable cities and human settlements; (5) contribute to peaceful and non-violent societies, and; (6) develop human capital and human potential.

Shaping the ‘Sport for Development’ agenda post-2015 (PDF  - 3.7 MB), Hatton D, inFocus Enterprises Ltd for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (2015). This report provides background on ‘sport for development’ (S4D) policies in Germany as an important social mechanism for positive change. 

Significant milestones can be achieved internationally by using the power of sport to affect change for good. The 2013 UNESCO Declaration of Berlin recognised that Governments have a ‘diversity of priorities and objectives that determine the allocation of resources to physical education and sports programs’. The Sport for Development and peace agenda in Australia has kindred aspirations with the Declaration of Berlin and also built upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In 2015, Pacific Island nations reaffirmed their commitment to the Declaration of Berlin.

  • 2015 Pacific Islands Sports Ministers Meeting, Pacific Games Council (3 July 2015). The fourth Pacific Islands Sports Ministers meeting was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in conjunction with the Pacific Games Council. Ministers agreed and resolved: (1) to acknowledge the value of sport for development in the Pacific and reaffirm the Declaration of Berlin as a set of key recommendations for the future of sport in the Pacific; (2) endorse the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) as the lead agency for implementation of the Declaration in the Pacific; (3) agree that each country and national governing body approves a focal point to work as a partner in implementation of the Declaration in the Pacific; (4) endorse the short-term first step project on evaluation of the contribution of sport for development in the Pacific; (5) endorse the longer-term proposal to fully develop a detailed implementation plan based on the recommendations of ONOC/UNESCO, including the call for partnerships and resources.  

Participants at the sixth World Conference of Sports Ministers (MINEPS VI), hosted by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in July 2017, agreed to the Kazan Action Plan. The plan's three priorities are: universal access [to sport], maximizing the contribution of sport to sustainable development and peace, and protecting the integrity of sport (emphasizing safety of practitioners and governance of sports organizations and competitions). In particular it reaffirms the need to align sport policy development with the overarching framework of the UN SDGs.

  • UNESCO Kazan Action Plan (PDF  - 446 KB), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2017).
  • UNESCO Declaration of Berlin (PDF  - 141 KB), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2013). This declaration reaffirms the fundamental right of every individual to access and participate in sport, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, age, impairment, cultural or social background, economic resources, gender identity or sexual orientation. It also stresses the importance of the intrinsic values of sport.  
  • Previous MINEPS Conferences (I – IV)

Supporting past international Declarations and global objectives, the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) has called upon governments, policy makers, donors and stakeholders to promote physical activity (including the specific activities of sports) as a global mechanism for change. Similarly, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has called upon all governments to make physical education, physical activity, and sport a fundamental right for all human beings.  

  • The Bangkok Declaration on Physical Activity for Global Health and Sustainable Development (PDF  - 420 KB), 6th International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand 16-19 November 2016. The Bangkok Declaration calls upon governments, policy makers, donors and stakeholders; including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN), and all relevant government and non-governmental organisations to:
    1. Renew their commitment to, and increase investment in, the implementation of policy actions to increase physical activity as a contribution to reducing the global burden of non-communicable diseases and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
    2. Establish national multi-sector engagement and coordination platforms. Physical activity can contribute to achieving key objectives in health, education, urban planning, transportation, sports, recreation, and sustainable development; as well as addressing inequities related to gender, age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability.
    3. Develop workforce capabilities across all sectors that support physical activity.
    4. Increase technical assistance and share experiences. Develop mechanisms to support knowledge transfer and increase the effectiveness of implementation of national plans and each country’s capacity to reach their physical activity targets.
    5. Strengthen monitoring, surveillance and reporting the progress of physical activity and its determinants; so that countries can hold agencies accountable to their commitments and guide effective resource allocations.
    6. Support and promote research and evaluation to further develop the evidence base, with a particular focus on addressing gaps in knowledge at the population level. 
  • Revised International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, UNESCO (17 November 2015). This International Charter puts physical education, physical activity and sport at the service of human development. The Charter urges everyone, especially governments, inter-governmental organisations, sports organisations, non-governmental entities, the business community, the media, educators, researchers, sport professionals and volunteers, participants and their support personnel, families as well as spectators, to commit to and disseminate this Charter, so that its principles can become a reality for all human beings.

Significant international dates and events

Annual Events 

  • 2 November 1993: Observance of the Olympic Truce, United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 48/11. The UN urged its member states to observe the Olympic Truce from the seventh day before the opening ceremony to the seventh day following the closing ceremony of each Olympic Games.
  • 1994: International Year of Sport and the Olympic Ideal. Acknowledging the role of the Olympic Movement in building a peaceful and better world by educating the youth of the world through sport and culture.
  • 1998: the International Olympic Committee decided to fly the United Nations flag at all competition sites of the Olympic Games.
  • 6 to 8 September, 2000: World leaders gathered at the United Nations Headquarters, at the dawn of the new millennium, to adopt the Millennium Declaration, which detailed shared values, principles and objectives fundamental to the international agenda for the twenty-first century. Member states were urged to observe the previously adopted Olympic Truce.
  • 2001: United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed the first Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, establishing the UN Office on Sport Development and Peace.
  • 16 to 18 February 2003: The first international Conference on Sport and Development was held from in Magglingen, Switzerland. The conference proceedings were tabled as the Magglingen Declaration and Recommendations (further detail below).
  • 3 November 2003: Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace (PDF  - 33 KB), adopted by the 58th session of the United Nations, Resolution 58/5. At this time, sport was recognised as contributing to human development and international cooperation.
  • 2005: International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005), United Nations Information ServiceSport 2005 (PDF  - 431 KB), United Nations.
  • 23 November 2010: Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace (PDF  - 114 KB), United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 65/4. A global invitation was issued to collaborate with the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 through sport-based initiatives.
  • 19 August 2013: Agreement to establish the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved by consensus a proclamation establishing an International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The Day will be celebrated each year on 6 April, the date of the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, by UN member states and other stakeholders. In this context, the General Assembly recalled the IOC’s role in promoting healthy lifestyles and creating access to sport for as many people as possible.
  • 6 April 2014: 1st International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, UNESCO.
  • 31 October 2014: Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace, United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 69/6.

The Australian Government has adopted a whole-of-government approach in seeking closer international links through sport, particularly with countries in Asia and in the Pacific region. The current Government strategy focuses on using existing channels of sports support and partnerships to achieve a variety of goals.

  • Sports Diplomacy 2030, Australian Government, Department of Health, (2019). The second Australian sport diplomacy strategy is linked to the national Sport 2030 plan and looks to create closer collaboration between the Australian sports codes, industry and government to leverage the nation’s sporting excellence in ways that enhance Australia’s influence and reputation to advance our national interests. Four key strategic priority areas are identified: empowering Australian sport to represent Australia globally; building linkages with our neighbours; maximising trade, tourism and investment opportunities; and, strengthening communities in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. 
  • Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy 2015-18 (PDF  - 686 KB), Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; contributing portfolio agencies: Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia), Department of Health, Tourism Australia, Austrade (2015). This document provides a strategy that focuses on the goals of connecting, developing, showcasing and sustaining new and existing channels of sports support, sports industry partnerships, and international sports networks. Australia’s sports diplomacy strategy is a whole-of-government approach that will maximise people-to-people links which develop cultural, trade, investment, education and tourism opportunities. 

In 2017 the Australian Government developed a ‘White Paper’ on Australia’s Foreign Policy, essentially a long term plan of Australia’s objectives internationally. The paper defines Australia’s economic, security and foreign policy interests and examines global trends. As part of the process the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) called for public submissions; Sport Matters, Football Federation of Australia (FFA), Australian Paralympic Committee (APC), and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) contributed to this process. A full list of submissions can be found on the Foreign Policy White Paper webpage. 

In recent years the Australian Government has contributed up to $8 million per year through sporting initiatives to help other countries across the Pacific region, the Caribbean, South Africa and India. The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) was the leading national agency responsible for delivering Australia’s overseas aid policy framework until 31 October 2013, when this responsibility was shifted to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). [source: Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] The Australian Government continues to invest in sport for development through a range of initiatives that aim to build people-to-people links and promote diplomacy and development.

Current Australian Government programs focus on the Asia and Pacific regions.

The Asian Sport Development Partnerships (ASP) program was launched in 2016 and delivers direct grants to Australian National Sporting Organisations to support partnerships and innovation with their Asian counterparts. Programs funded through the first AU$1.5 million round of grants concluded in September 2016, with 10 Australian sporting organisations undertaking development activities across 8 countries in Asia in 2015-16. In 2016-17 there were 18 successful applications from organisations for the second AU$2 million round. A full list of the programs is available from the DFAT website

  • Disability Empowerment Skills Exchange (DESE) (PDF  - 1.5 MB), Australian Volunteers for International Development and Scope Global, Process Outcomes of the Pilot Initiative (2016). The Disability Empowerment Skills Exchange (DESE) pilot project was developed and trialed as an inclusive, peer-to-peer model for international volunteering through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program. DESE deployed a team of five Australian volunteers living with a disability – one team leader and four disability empowerment officers. The team spent 28 days volunteering in Fiji, aiming to share knowledge and skills, and develop leadership skills across disabled people’s organisations in Suva. The project also aimed to change attitudes and challenge perceptions of disability and the capabilities of people with disability. 

The AU$39 million Pacific Sports Partnership Program (PSP program) uses Australia’s sport expertise to address primary risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases and physical inactivity. In addition, programs focus on gender equity and inclusion (particularly opportunities for persons with disability) issues. The PSP currently supports twelve sports across six Pacific nations. Sports included are: Australian football, badminton, basketball, cricket, football (soccer), gymnastics, netball, rugby union, swimming, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball. Rugby league is not funded through the PSP, although the National Rugby League in Australia is a partner in sport for development work in Papua New Guinea [source: Sport for Development in the Pacific, DFAT]. 

For many years Australia’s principle vehicle for development through sport was the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP), which was managed by the Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia) from 2006 through 2014. Forty-nine million dollars in funding was allocated to deliver high-quality international sporting aid programs. Programs worked with partners in participating countries to identify development challenges and then determine how sport-based activities could help.  Sport was used as a vehicle to achieve non-sporting development outcomes; such as programs addressing the issue of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Sport was used to address some of the risk factors causing NCDs, including physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and harmful tobacco and alcohol use. For example, a small investment in a ‘Development through Sport’ program on Vanuatu’s Aniwa Island contributed to a 50 per cent reduction in obesity in the sample population in 2009–10.

Final reports which summarise the barriers and enablers for participation in sport and other physical activities in Pacific partner countries were completed in June 2015, links to these documents appear in the 'Further Resources & Reading' section of this topic.         

    ASOP references

    • Australia in the Asian Century (PDF - 4.0 MB), White Paper, Australian Government (October 2012). This document, released by the Australian Government (of the time), sought to identify opportunities that would strengthen the Australian economy and society by leveraging Australian policies to take advantage of the rapid growth and development in the Asian region. This document identified 25 objectives across five key areas: the economy, education and skills, commerce, regional security and culture, that the Government believed would enable Australia to become more prosperous and resilient on a global scale by 2025. Albeit brief, the inclusion of sport in this strategy (page 268) was intended to foster and strengthen connections in Asia; highlighting the potential of sport to strengthen relationships between people.  
    • Australian Sports Outreach Program (PDF - 103 KB), Australian Sports Commission (2013). The Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) is an Australian Government initiative that aims to build the capacity of partners to plan and conduct quality sport-based activities that address locally identified development priorities. This program, which started in 2006, is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and delivered by the Australian Sports Commission. This report provides provisional insights into the contribution of the ASOP to development objectives in the Pacific region. 
    • Guidance on collecting information about people with disabilities within sport programs (PDF  - 162 KB), Australian Sports Commission. This guidance note has been developed to support organisations involved in designing and implementing sports programs for persons with disability. It outlines a range of approaches to both identifying people with disabilities and collecting information about their participation and inclusion in community activities. Finally, it outlines what program managers can do when participation rates of people with disabilities are found to be low.
    • Healthy Islands through Sport (PDF  - 1.1 MB), Australian Government, World Health Organization, and Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Report of Forum Proceedings, 21-23 March 2012, Brisbane, Australia. The Healthy Islands Through Sport (HITS) forum was held in Brisbane during March 2012. This report provides a summary of proceedings and highlights specific issues that emerged and proposed follow-up actions.
    • An impact study on the Active Community Clubs Initiative (PDF  - 3.0 MB), Rand Afrikaans University, Department of Sport and Movement Studies (2006). The aim of this research was to establish and assess the impact of the Active Community Clubs Initiative on the communities of NU2, in the township of Mdantsane, and Tshabo, a rural village in the Republic of South Africa.
    • Power of Play: Sport for Development in India (PDF  - 18.4 MB), Dasra (2013).  Dasra (in Sanskrit meaning ‘enlightened giving’) is India’s leading philanthropy foundation. This report was produced with the support of the Australian Sports Outreach Program. There is an unspoken bond between Australia and India and it is sport, especially Cricket, which brings people together. This report endorses the idea that strategic philanthropic funding, coupled with government support, can increase the access to sport at the grassroots level and go a long way toward achieving key developmental outcomes for India. Dasra makes four key recommendations in this report. First, the environment must be safe and inclusive for sport to thrive. Evidence suggests that many Indian children, especially girls, are not allowed to participate in sport because it is perceived as physically and psychologically unsafe. Transforming the culture must include schools and religious institutions, inclusion of child protection policies, and community leaders. Second, delivering a high-quality sport experience is crucial. This includes encouraging age-appropriate play, recruiting quality coaches, and encouraging local ownership of programs. Third, building an evidence base regarding the link between sport and personal/social outcomes will strengthen the argument for future programs. Finally, in a nation as vast and culturally diverse as India, building local support and identifying role models is the key to sustainability. Sport in India is seen as either a luxury or a leisure pursuit, and this has hindered systematic investment of grassroots programs and mass participation.
    • Sport for Inclusive Development: Findings and recommendations from the evaluation of enablers and barriers to inclusive sporting environments in the Pacific (PDF - 740 KB), Australian Sports Commission. In line with the Australian government’s Development-through-sport: A joint strategy of the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Agency for International Development, the potential of sport as a tool for inclusive development (particularly for persons with disability) is recognised. This report documents the perspectives and experiences of people with disability who participate in international sports for inclusive development programs, as well as the perspectives of key informants involved in the implementation of programs; such as members of Disabled People’s Organisations, sports organisations, and representatives of government. The influence of these sports programs on other community domains, such as social inclusion, education, and employment is documented; as are the perceptions of the impact of sport on community attitudes towards disability. Importantly this report provides recommendations developed from the findings to help inform and guide future inclusive sports programs.
    • Working with DPOs for Disability Inclusion within Inclusive Sports for Development Programs (PDF  - 199 KB), Australian Sports Commission. Disability inclusive development seeks to ensure that everyone in a community, including people with disabilities are involved in the development activities and programs of their communities. It seeks to ensure that people with disabilities are actively involved in leadership and decision making about development, as well as benefiting from the outcomes of development. One way to make sure people with disabilities can participate in decision making and leadership is to partner with Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs).  
    • Community Street Soccer, The Big Issue website. The heart of this program is weekly soccer sessions held across Australia. Although a domestic program, the objectives are similar to international sport for development goals. Participants (many of them from disadvantaged groups) get together in a safe and non-threatening environment, allowing them to get fit, make new friends and seek support and advice. The program is used to promote social inclusion and personal change for participants by providing support and promoting participation, inclusiveness, commitment and team spirit.
    • Football diplomacy redux: the 2015 Asian Cup and Australia’s engagement with Asia, Bubalo A, Lowy Institute for International Policy (8 March 2013). The Asian Football Confederation's 2015 Asian Cup will provide an opportunity for Australia to strengthen its diplomatic, business and people-to-people relationships with Asia though sport by hosting the tournament from 9 to 31 January 2015, across five Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle).
    • Football United, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales. Football United uses the magic of football to bring people together for the common goal of creating harmonious and cohesive societies. The organisation has used football to teach young people life skills, particularly in refugee communities and to promote social cohesion.
    • One Goal Australia. One Goal brings the football community together to fight child malnutrition through maternal and child health programs. Grassroots football clubs are used to deliver programs having life-changing impacts.
    • Rise Global. This independent sports development consultancy works with a range of organisations globally to help develop, improve and expand their sports based initiatives. Rise Global contributes to Sport and Development aid initiatives and aims to generate far-reaching benefits in areas of health, education, economics, culture and more.
    • Sport Matters. This organisation is dedicated to tailoring solutions to achieve development needs within communities relating to health, education, economy, natural disaster, peace and the environment, to improve the lives of individuals. Sport is currently used as a tool to achieve development goals within communities across Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

    The premise of using sport to promote positive societal and individual change is predicated upon developing synergies between partner organisations having the same core values and objectives. A number of international organisations play a pivotal role in promoting the agenda of sport for development and peace.

    United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) 

    In 1945, the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was formed on the back of the Second World War, on the basis of Member States moral and intellectual solidarity to promote lasting peace between nations. UNESCO is the UN’s lead agency for Physical Education and Sport.

    • Physical Education and Sport. Assistance and guidance services are provided for governments, national government organisations, and experts to debate the evolving challenges of physical education and sport. UNESCO also assists and advises Member States wishing to elaborate or strengthen their training system in physical education. Furthermore, it offers its expertise in the design and implementation of development programs in the domain of sport. UNESCO provides guidance, advisory services and assessments in related areas such as culture and social development; for example, to promote and develop traditional sport and games. UNESCO programs focus on a diverse range of themes, including: sport for development and peace, quality physical education, traditional sports and games, women and sport, and anti-doping.
    • International Charter of Physical Education and Sport (PDF  - 23 KB). The Twentieth General Conference, UNESCO, 21 November 1978, issued the Charter. The charter declares that the practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all people and forms an essential element of the education system. The International Charter was revised during UNESCO’s 38th General Conference, November 2015. Revisions of the Charter take onboard the recommendations made in the Declaration of Berlin that was adopted by 121 countries, as an outcome of the 5th World Conference of Sport Ministers. The revised Charter serves as a universal reference on the ethical and quality standards of physical education, physical activity and sport. While preserving the initial intention of the 1978 Charter, this new document also represents a renewed commitment of the international sports community to actively promote sport as a catalyst for peace and development.
    • International year of sport and physical education 2005: Final Report (PDF - 446 KB), Secretary General, United Nations (2005).
    • Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS). The Committee was established in 1978 to promote the role and value of sport and its inclusion in public policy. The Intergovernmental Committee for PE and Sport is comprised of expert representatives in the field from 18 UNESCO Member States, each elected for a four-year term. The Permanent Consultative Council, comprising key sport federations, UN agencies and national government organisations, provides technical support and advice to the Committee.

    UNESCO-led conferences

    • The International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS). This forum was created to facilitate intellectual and technical exchange in the field of PE and sport and as an institutional mechanism to articulate a coherent international strategy in this domain. First held at the UNESCO headquarters in 1976, the conference engages governments, organisations from the United Nations system and the Sports Movement. Recommendations arising from these discussions help to strengthen the educational, cultural and social dimensions of physical education and sport.
    • UNESCO Kazan Action Plan (PDF  - 446 KB), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2017). Participants at the sixth World Conference of Sports Ministers (MINEPS VI), hosted in July 2017, agreed to the Kazan Action Plan. The plan's three priorities are: universal access [to sport], maximizing the contribution of sport to sustainable development and peace, and protecting the integrity of sport (emphasizing safety of practitioners and governance of sports organizations and competitions). In particular it reaffirms the need to align sport policy development with the overarching framework of the UN SDGs.
    • MINEPS V: The Berlin Declaration (2013). The Fifth UNESCO World Sports Ministers Conference was held from 28 to 30 May 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The final report, The Declaration of Berlin (PDF  - 140 KB) details the unanimously adopted list of recommendations to curb corruption in sport, share the socio-economic benefits of sport more equitably, and ensure access to sport for all. This declaration is an important milestone of international sport policy.

    In September 2000, the fifty-fifth General Assembly of the United Nations, also named the Millennium Summit, was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, United States of America. This meeting was dedicated to reaffirming and strengthening the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century. The outcome document, the Millennium Declaration (PDF  - 62 KB), is a shared statement of values, principles and objectives between the 189 Member States, which formed the basis of a global campaign towards a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. It was in this declaration that the General Assembly urged Member States to observe the Olympic Truce, to promote peace and human understanding through sport and the Olympic ideal.

    • United Nations and the Olympic Truce. The Olympic Games represents the greatest international sporting event. The Olympic Truce is the restoration of the ancient Greek tradition of the ekecheria, promoting the maintenance of peace, mutual understanding and goodwill; common goals shared by the Olympic movement and the United Nations.

    United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP)

    The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) was established in 2001 to coordinate the efforts of the United Nations system, advocating the use of sport to achieve development and peace within and between Member States. It was officially closed 30 April 2017. During it's time of operation the role of the Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace was to act on behalf of the United Nations to systematically lead and coordinate international efforts towards attaining humanitarian, development and peace-building objectives through the use of sport. The Special Adviser also had a mandate to facilitate dialogue, collaboration and partnerships around Sport for Development and Peace between the United Nations and Member States, international and national sports organisations, civil society, the private sector, academia and the media. The Special Adviser represented the Secretary-General and the United Nations system at important global sport events and other strategically important forums. 

    • The quiet demise of the UNOSDP: Where do we go from here? Sport and Development, (published online 15 May 2017). On 4 May 2017 the UN Secretary-General ,António Guterres, announced that the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) had closed. The move was foreshadowed when special advisor Wilfried Lemke left the Office at the end of 2016 and was not immediately replaced. However, the sudden closure leaves many questions regarding the continuation of the UNOSDP’s work. The Office symbolised the important role that sport plays as an international enabler of development (e.g. social, cultural, health, education, etc.) and peace. 
    • UNOSDP Annual Report 2014 (PDF - 1.7 MB), United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (2015).
    • Sport for Development and Peace: Towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (PDF  - 964 KB), United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace (2003). This landmark report analyses the potential contribution that sport can be used to achieve the established Millennium Development Goals. The importance of a global engagement by stakeholders at all levels, including civil society, Governments and international agencies.
    • Contribution of Sport to the Millennium Development Goals (PDF  - 1.0 MB), United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (2010). This is a set of eight international development goals established at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000. The aim of the MDGs are to: (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote gender equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability, and; (8) develop global partnerships for development, by a target date of 2015. While the integration of sport cannot be used to achieve any one of the specific goals, it can be effective tool to positively influence each of these issues. As such, Sport has been described as a ‘valuable cross-cutting tool’ for achieving the MDGs.
    • UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme. This is a camp-based program designed for youth who engage in developing the communities in which they live, through sport for development projects. Support is given to these youths to develop their leadership capability through the provision of theoretical and practical training, and ongoing support.

    The 'Next Step' conferences brought together practitioners and planners to focus on achieving international development goals through sport. UNOSDP-led Next Step conference reports:

    The Magglingen declaration and recommendations: Creating a better world through sport (PDF  - 888 KB), UNOSDP, Proceedings of the First International Sport for Development Conference, Magglingen, Switzerland, (16 -18 February 2003). The declaration addresses the importance of sport for development in a range of contexts: violence and crisis situations, conflict prevention, peace promotion, health, education, and social dialogue.

    United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

    UNICEF is the United Nations agency responsible for programs to aid education and the health of children and mothers in developing countries. UNICEF’s Sport for Development work is grounded in its mission to ensure that every child has the right to recreation and play in a safe and healthy environment. Programs partnered by UNICEF use engagement in sport for the development of children.

    United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

    At its twenty-fourth session [2013] the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee adopted Resolution 24/1 on promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal. The resolution directs the Committee to prepare a study on the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for all people. The Committee is to seek the views of Member States of the United Nations, international and regional organisations, national human rights organisations, and other relevant stakeholders and to distribute a questionnaire on this topic. 

    International Olympic Committee (IOC)

    The International Olympic Committee makes a concerted effort to use sport as a tool for development and peace, through its many programs, activities, and partnerships.

    • Development through sport. The IOC website proviedes news items highlighting the use of sport to facilitate development across the world.
    • Get Moving! Toolkit. This IOC resource provides guidlines for managing 'Sport for All' programs.
    • Olympic Agenda 2020 (PDF  - 864 KB), International Olympic Committee (2014). The IOC makes 40 recommendations in this document, including: (1) greater sustainability in all aspects of the Olympic Games; (2) fostering gender equity; (3) including non-discrimination on sexual orientation to the Olympic principles; (4) engaging with communities; (5) further blending sport and culture, and; (6) fostering dialogue with representatives from all walks of life and backgrounds on the role of sport and its values in society.
    • Olympic Day. The IOC's website lists events taking place in the month of June to celebrate Olympic Day (celebrated on 23 June each year).
    • Olympism in action. An index of documents published on the Olympic Movement website. This section lists major reports, studies, publications and information regarding the Olympic Movement and international development through sport. 
    • Olympism in action: Sport serving humankind (PDF - 2.4 MB), report, Department of International Cooperation and Development, International Olympic Committee (2013). This report illustrates the sports-related activities that assist towards humanitarian assistance, peace-building, education, gender equity, environmental sustainability and disease prevention in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
    • Olympic Solidarity Commission. A group dedicated to assisting all National Olympic Committees (NOCs), particularly those with the greatest needs, so they can develop their own frameworks to expaned the role of sport in their country. The commission helps NOCs gain access to financial, technical and administrative assistance.
    • Sport for All Commission. Established in 1983, the commission is composed of International Olympic Committee members, representatives from National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, the International Paralympic Committee, athletes and experts in the field of 'Sport for All'. Its aim is to encourage and support the efforts of sports to deliver health and social benefits.
    • World Conference on Sport for All. The IOC promotes an international forum for the exchanges of ideas and experiences aimed at realising the Olympic ideal, which states that sport is a right belonging to all individuals, without any kind of distinction. The most recent edition was the Fifteenth World Conference on Sport for All in Lima, Peru in 2013. Final reports from each conference have been made available. 

    The IOC reaffirmed its commitment to use sport to build a better world, in concert with the efforts of the United Nations. Together, the two organisations called for sporting initiatives to promote social integration and economic development through: (1) access to sport for all; (2) quality physical education programs in schools; (3) youth empowerment, education and skills development; (4) girls’ and women’s empowerment; (5) peace-building and community dialogue; (6) healthy life-styles promotion, and; (7) environmental sustainability. This historic agreement, signed on 28 April 2014, further strengthened the collaboration of the two organisations at the highest level.

    International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

    The Agitos Foundation, which takes its name from the Paralympic Symbol (the Agitos) and comes from the Latin meaning “I move”, was created by the IPC to fulfil its strategic goals in terms of development and education. It acts as a catalyst supporting the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, through the impact of sport and physical activity. Information is provided on grant support programs to fund future projects and case studies to showcase the legacies of the foundation’s work.

    Special Olympics

    Special Olympics actively seeks partnerships with international sport organisations to promote the unique ability of sports to transcend barriers and serve as a vehicle for social inclusion for children and adults with intellectually disabilities. [source: Special Olympics]

    Commonwealth of Nations

    The Commonwealth Secretariat. The Commonwealth Secretariat advocates for sport to be used as a vehicle for peace and development. They assist member countries to develop policies and frameworks that link sport to outcomes in areas such as health, education, gender equality and social cohesion. The Secretariat undertakes wide ranging consultation and analysis to produce discussion papers, guidelines and toolkits for member governments and other stakeholders to assist in strengthening sport for development and peace (SDP) policy and strategy. 

    • Enhancing the contribution of sport ot the Sustainable Development Goals (PDF  - 3.9 MB). Iain Lindsey & Tony Chapman, Commonwealth Secretariat (2017). This guide builds on these publications to recommend evidenced and balanced policy options to support the effective and cost-efficient contribution of sport towards six prioritised SDGs. 
    • Sport for Development and Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (PDF  - 8.9 MB), Dudfield O and Dingwall-Smith M, Commonwealth Secretariat (2015). The Commonwealth’s analysis of sport and the 2030 Agenda stems from a mandate to support member countries to advance SDP. There are six international development goals that can be advanced through sport: (1) ensuring healthy lives at all ages; (2) ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education; (3) achieving gender equity and the empowerment of women and girls; (4) promoting sustained economic growth; (5) making urban areas inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and; (6) promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. 
    • The Commonwealth guide to advancing development through sport (PDF  - 3.9 MB), Kay T and Dudfield O, Commonwealth Secretariat (2013). This guide is the output of a project funded by the Commonwealth Youth Program in partnership with UK Sport. It consists of two sections: (1) an evidence-based analysis of the potential contribution of sport to development objectives in the Commonwealth, and; (2) a framework for analysis, planning and monitoring of sport for development and peace. The purpose of this guide is to provide a nuanced, measured, and credible account of the specific contribution that sport can offer.
    • Strengthening Sport for Development and Peace (PDF  - 8.7 MB), Dudfield O (editor), Commonwealth Secretariat (2014). The Commonwealth Secretariat, working closely with the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS), has become an important site of expertise, leadership and co-ordination on sport for development and peace (SDP). This paper offers a challenging, illuminating look at our knowledge about SDP; underscoring not only the significant benefits of SDP, but the difficult policy questions we must address.
    • Sport for Development and Peace, Youth Advocacy Toolkit, Colucci E and Helal A, Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group, Commonwealth Secretariat (2015). Sport is a key aspect of the Commonwealth’s shared identity and is being used to contribute to education, employment, health, gender equality, social inclusion and peace building. This toolkit provides information and ideas to make the case for the use of sport to drive meaningful and sustainable change in communities.

    The Commonwealth Advisory Board on Sport (CABOS) is an independent body established in 2003. CABOS provides advice on sport policy issues and sport for development and peace. CABOS activities are reported through the Australian Government's Department of Health. The purpose of CABOS is to promote the value of sport as a tool for social, economic, health and educational development across the Commonwealth of nations. The Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group, formed in May 2013, aims to promote best practice in the use of sport for development and peace.  

    • CYSDP Position Statement (PDF  - 507 KB), Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (2014). The CYSDP urges governments, intergovernmental organisations, national governing organisations and other stakeholders in the Sport for Development and Peace field to commit to three basic principles: (1) involve youth in decision making; (2) engage in youth centred research, and; (3) provide education and training opportunities for youth.
    • 8th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting, Communiqué (PDF  - 370 KB), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (4 August 2016). The meeting took place in the context of the recent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as a marked increase in sport integrity issues. Ministers emphasised that protecting the integrity of sport is a critical underpinning factor. Efforts to address sport integrity issues must be interconnected and embedded in advancing Sport for Development and Peace.

     Other international organisations and programs

    • The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA). A leading international 'Sport for All' organisation that promotes and facilitates access to sport and physical activity for every person through the provision of programs and events, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities.
    • Beyond Sport.  This global organisation promotes, develops, and supports the use of sport to create positive social change. Since 2009, Beyond Sport Awards have supported over 150 projects world-wide that have used sport to promote positive social change in innovative ways or with high-impact project outcomes. 
    • Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA). The leading agency in the Caribbean region, supporting Sport for Development initiatives in thirteen Caribbean territories. CSDA works in collaboration with local, regional and international agencies, including the Australian Sports Commission, to enhance the capacity of personnel and organisations responsible for program implementation in the Caribbean region.
    • Centre for Sport, Peace and Society. The Centre, housed at the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences at the Universithy of Tennessee (USA) and forms a unique collaboration between the University and the non-profit organisation Sport 4 Peace.
    • Coaches Across Continents: Annual Report 2013. Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is a development organisation that uses soccer as a vehicle for social change. During 2013 CAC operated in 20 countries, running 51 programs with 2,152 community coaches who in turn impacted upon 171,785 children.
    • Discover Football. This is a non-profit organisation that uses sport as a tool to empower women and promote intercultural understanding. Discover Football organises international exchanges, conferences and tournaments where women and girls build skills and share knowledge that will help them gain autonomy, mobility and power.
    • Diyar. A group Christian institutions serving the Palestinian community, with an emphasis on children, youth, women and elders. The Diyar consortium use soccer (and volleyball in the future) to offer opportunities for self-development, which are otherwise limited for girls growing up in Palestine. Members of the Diyar women’s soccer team serve as cultural ambassadors of their homeland and act as role models. 
    • Fight for Peace. A non-governmental organisation based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and London, England. Fight for Peace uses boxing & martial arts combined with education and personal development to realise the potential of young people in communities that suffer from crime and violence.
    • The Foundations for Global Sports Development. This organisation strives to be a leader in the sports community by delivering and supporting initiatives that promote fair play, education, and the physical and developmental benefits of sports for youth around the world.
    • Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).  This union of international sports federations and organisers promotes the use of sport to prevent conflict and build peace. Formerly known as Sportaccord.
    • Inter Campus. This organisation uses the game of football as an educational tool to restore the right to play to needy children in 25 countries across the world.
    • International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE). Founded in the late 1950s, the ICSSPE supports the collaboration of a wide range of scientific and professional organisations of various sport branches and disciplines. By fostering sport, education and health, the organisation contributes to the development of human society by supporting the world’s largest network of organisations concerned with sport, sport science and physical education.
    • International Network of Sport and Development Consultants.  A group of consultants that use their knowledge and experience in the sport and development sector to assist companies, governments, national government organisations, and sport organisations with investments in initiatives that use sport as a tool for social development.
    • International Sport and Culture Association. This organisation seeks to improve the general health and wellbeing of individuals in a society and strengthen democracy globally through sport.
    • Laureus World Sports Academy and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The Laureus group of companies support programs that harness the power of sport to promote social change. They also support the Laureus World Sports Awards as a celebration of sporting excellence.
    • Magic Bus. The mission of this organisation is to move children out of poverty by nurturing them on a journey from childhood to livelihood, by mentors and a sports-based curriculum. 
    • Peace and Sport. This Monarco-based organisation founded in 2007 by Pentathlon Olympic Medallist and World Champion, Joel Bouzou, works for sustainable peace. To achieve this, the organisation promotes the practice of structured sport and sporting values to educate young people and foster social stability.
    • PeacePlayers International. Founded in 2001, this non-profit organisation brings children from divided communities together to play basketball.
    • Right to Play (also known as Olympic Aid). This program was conceived in 1992 by the Lillehammer Olympic Organising Committee (LOOG) as a legacy program. Olympic Aid raised funds for and awareness of the efforts to support people in war-torn countries and areas of distress, nominating Olympic athletes as ambassadors to assist in the fundraising effort. In 2002, Olympic Aid hosted a roundtable forum entitled ‘Healthier, safer, stronger: using sport for development to build a brighter future for children worldwide’, which helped place Sport for Development on the United Nations agenda. Video of Archbishop Tutu discussing the power of sport (YouTube)
    • The International Platform on Sport and Development. This is a collaborative initiative that is dedicated to using using sport for development. The platform provides global leadership in this field, by sharing knowledge, building good practice, facilitating coordination and fostering partnerships between and within different stakeholders.
    • Sport as a Catalyst for International Development, USAID. This is a United States Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realise their potential, using sport as a catalyst.
    • Sport in Action. Founded in 1998, this was the first Zambian sports non-governmental organisation. Sport in Action uses sport to positively impact the lives of children throughout 24 districts in Zambia.
    • StreetFootballWorld. This organisation uses the power of the most popular sport in the world, football, to create sustainable social change in communities. StreetFootballWorld has partnered with FIFA to construct twenty ‘Football for Hope’ centres in Africa, where sport is used to tackle a range of development and social issues.
    • Women Win. This is a global organisation connecting sport networks with the sport for international development and women's movements. Women Win continues to develop new tools, open source guidelines, grassroot approaches, and ways to promote sport as a strategy to empower adolescent girls and young women. The goal of Women Win is to learn, document, and share the impact of gender-sensitive sport programs, with a clear women's rights approach.

    April 6 was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly. The day was celebrated globally for the first time in 2014 to formally acknowledge the power of sport in generating social change for the development of individuals and communities across the world.


    Sport and play are vital to the health, happiness and well-being of children and young people. Setting a sound foundation for healthy child development includes improving access and opportunities for children to be physically active; which in turn, can help to achieve a range of development objectives.


    Sport works to improve the inclusion and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in two ways — by changing what communities think and feel about persons with disabilities and by changing what persons with disabilities think and feel about themselves. The first is necessary to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with disability. The second empowers persons with disability so they may recognise their own potential and advocate for changes in society.

    • Accessibility Design Guide: Universal design principles for Australia’s aid program (PDF  - 1.1 MB), AusAID (2014). This guide is a resource of ideas that development practitioners can consider when applying universal design. The aim is to support Australia’s aid program so it minimises barriers and becomes more accessible to people with disability and other groups. While based on good practice and successful implementation of universal design internationally, this guide is not meant to be prescriptive. It is based on the reality that each development project is unique and faces its own challenges, locally or otherwise, that may prevent it from applying all universal design principles.
    • Advocacy for All: A quick guide to including disability in development policy (PDF  - 1.1 MB), Australian Disability Development Consortium (2013).
    • Article 30 - Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, United Nations (2006). Member States recognise the right of persons with disabilities to take part on an equal basis with others, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate on an equal basis, with appropriate instruction, training, and resources.
    • Australian aid: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability (PDF  - 3.6 MB), Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2014). The Australian Government’s aid program aims to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and enhance stability, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Through the aid program Australia will continue to work with partners to tackle the stigma that surrounds disability, which can be a significant barrier to full participation in community and economic life. Aid programs help to remove barriers and enable people with disability to access services.
    • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations. This landmark international treaty came into force on 3 May 2008. It reinforced global understanding of disability as a human rights and development priority.
    • Development for All 2015-2020: Strategy for strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia's aid program (PDF  - 3.1 MB), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2015). This resource provides practical approaches to guide the Australian aid program in meeting the needs and priorities of people with disability, who are often among the poorest, most vulnerable and excluded members of developing countries.
    • Disability and Sports - ℮nable, United Nations. Resources on disability and sports, including publications, websites and a list of major disability-related sporting events.
    • Disability Sport: Changing lives, changing perceptions (Editorial), Brittain I and Wolff E, Journal of Sport for Development, Volume 3, Issue 5 (2015). This editorial reflects on the Disability Sport: Changing lives, changing perceptions Conference held at Coventry University, UK, in September 2014. This conference brought together practitioners and academics working in the field of disability and Paralympic sport. The role of sport as a means of more fully integrating persons with disability into society, and of changing the perceptions of the wider community, is gaining momentum as a field of study. One of the key issues faced by people with disabilities around the world, but particularly in conflict and post-conflict zones, is exclusion from the rest of society.
    • Harnessing the power of sport for development and peace: Recommendations to governments (PDF  - 11.6 MB), Sport for Development & Peace, International Working Group, Right to Play (2008). Chapter 5, ‘Sport and Persons with Disabilities: Fostering inclusion and wellbeing’. 
    • ITF proves sport’s positive impact through wheelchair tennis, media release, International Paralympic Committee, (30 March 2014).
    • Paralympic Sport as a vehicle for social change in Bermuda and Ghana, Forber-Pratt A, Journal of Sport for Development, Volume 3, Number 5 (2015). Sport for persons with disabilities provides health, psychosocial wellbeing, and quality of life benefits. Research has documented the benefits of sport for athletes without disabilities in resource-poor nations. However, less is known about these benefits for athletes with disabilities in nations with an emerging disability sport culture. This qualitative study sought to answer: (1) What are the effects of sport programs for persons with disabilities on psychosocial development, well-being and quality of life? (2) How has the implementation of sport programs for persons with disabilities affected the perceptions of disability by the community in these nations? Sport participation allowed for athletes with disabilities from Bermuda and Ghana to become contributing members of their society and leaders. These individuals capitalise on showing how sport can be a vehicle to change perceptions and stereotypes about disability.
    • Participation rates of developing countries in international disability sport: a summary and the importance of statistics for understanding and planning, Lauff J, Sport in Society, Volume 14, Number 9 (2011).
    • Physical activity for the chronically ill and disabled, Durstine J, Painter P, Franklin B, Morgan D, Pitetti K and Roberts S, Sports Medicine, Volume 30, Number 3 (2000).
    • Rio 2016 and disability – an analysis of the Sport-for-Development discourse and the legacies for disabled people, Mataruna L, Range D, Guimaraes A and Melo T, Journal of Sport for Development, Volume 3, Issue 5 (2015). The Paralympics can offer opportunities to promote culture, health, sport and community and social wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of disabled people in all aspects of their lives. The Paralympics can change public perceptions of disability by enhancing positive attitudes towards disability and disabled people. This article offers a review of the literature regarding mega sporting events, specifically the Paralympics, as a mechanism for social change.
    • Sport and disability project case studies. This section provides a summary of current thinking on the adaptation of physical activity, sport and recreation opportunities to ensure participation of individuals with a disability from development contexts.
    • Sport and persons with disabilities: fostering inclusion and well-being, chapter five (PDF - 1.7 MB), International network of sport and development consultants (INSDC), in 'Harnessing the power of sport for development and peace: recommendations to governments' by Right to Play (2008). This chapter presents the context, evidence and recommendations for sport and persons with disabilities to foster inclusion and well-being. 
    • Where opportunity knocks, five part series, presentation. These videos discuss environments and places that create opportunities in sport and physical activity for people with disability. In part 5 the characteristic of 'Possibility' and how that impacts on the places where opportunity happens, is considered. (1 July 2011, YouTube)

    More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topic, Persons with Disability and Sport.

    Disaster (rebuilding)

    Events such as natural disasters, conflict, and economic shocks (such as food and fuel price spikes) severely undermine national development, reverse hard-won gains, and increase poverty and insecurity. [source: Australian aid: promoting prosperity, increasing stability, reducing poverty, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government].

    The legacy of sport in building resilience of people living in affected communities is a highly valued component in the secondary response to a disaster. Indeed, the world of sport and it related activities can assist on multiple levels: (1) to give youth a sense of normalcy, to overcome related trauma and regain confidence in the future, and; (2) to assist in financing the reconstruction efforts of sport and recreation infrastructure. After a natural disaster, sport helps the rebuilding process by strengthening communities. For example, the role of sport has contributed to the development strategies after the 2010 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    • Youth wellbeing survey, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, New Zealand. In 2013, young people (12-24 years old) actively participating in the Canterbury region, as students, employees, employers and leaders, were asked to participate in a survey to determine the perspective and needs of people and to ensure future decisions are made for the betterment of Christchurch. This site contains the results of the survey and related infographics, released on 24 June 2014. Following the 2011 earthquake, which severely damaged the city of Christchurch, 63 per cent of respondents of a survey on wellbeing reported that one of the greatest stressors was the loss of sport and recreation facilities, and 18 percent suggested that it had major negative impact on wellbeing. 

    Sport can assist in mitigating the impact of a disaster through innovative approaches that address the problems of people in affected communities, enabling them to improve their own lives.


    A child’s involvement in physical activity has many personal and social benefits. Sport and physical activity are generally promoted in an education context because of the potential positive impacts on physical and mental health, as well as:

    1. Physical development - motor skill, coordination, balance, strength, flexibility.
    2. Psychological development - confidence, discipline, self-esteem, goal setting, coping strategies.
    3. Cognitive function - school achievement, memory, concentration.
    4. Social development - interpersonal communication, working in groups, making friends, coorperation.
    5. Personal values - positive attitudes, sportsmanship, pride, individual responsibility, respect, expression.
    • Brain Boost: Sport and physical activity enhance children’s learning, Martin K, School f Population Health, The University of Western Australia (2010).
    • Education through sport, International Olympic Committee.
    • Healthy Development of Children and Young People through Sport, Sport and Development.
    • International Position Statement on Physical Education (PDF  - 81 KB), International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (2010)  This position statement by the ICSSWPE reaffirms the 1978 UNESCO International Charter on Physical Education and Sport concerning the value of physical education within the overall education environment.  Physical education in schools is the most effective and inclusive means of providing all children, whatever their ability/disability, sex, age, cultural, race/ethnicity, religious or social background, with the skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding for lifelong participation in physical activity and sport.  It is the only school subject whose primary focus is on the body, physical activity, physical development and health.  Physical education develops physical competence so that all children can move efficiently, effectively and safely as they develop a ‘physical literacy’ that contributes to their overall development and achievement.

    More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topics, Physical Literacy and Sport and Sport in Education

    Economic development

    • A sporting pathway to economic development, Paramasivan M, Sport and Development, (2 January 2013). Kenyan based organisation 'Moving the Goalposts' ends its first year of partnership with International Development through Sport (IDS), supporting nearly 100 girls through a new Pathway programme.
    • Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, International Monetary Fund (IMF). This site features reports on each low-income Member-country’s poverty situation, existing poverty reduction strategies, and their efforts towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals. This report is reissued every three years (last updated in December 2016) to reflect macroeconomic, structural and social policies changes. Although limited at this stage, some information regarding the agenda and framework for development achieved through sport is available by individual country.
    • Sport and economic development, Sport and Development. This topic includes a number of diverse issues relating to sport’s role in economic development in developing countries.

    More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topic, Economic Contribution of Sport.


    Australian’s are passionate about spending their leisure time in the great-outdoors. In fact, even small doses of outdoor activity have been shown to have remarkable effects on improving and protecting mental health. There is evidence to support mood and self-esteem benefits from spending as little as five minutes per day outdoors, engaging in sport, recreation, or leisure physical activity.

    In contrast, our involvement in sport can also affect the environment around us. More organised forms of sport require sufficient infrastructure to provide patrons with appropriate facilities in which to train or compete. As the demand for sporting facilities grows, so too does our foot-print on the environment. On the largest scale, major events such as the Olympic Games provide a platform for green-technology and environmental sustainability. For example, the London Olympic Games venues featured recycled rainwater and building materials intended to achieve its 'zero waste' target.

    • London 2012’s sustainability legacy lives on, news, International Olympic Committee, (31 July 2013).
    • Sochi Declaration: Changing today for a better tomorrow (PDF - 112 KB), Tenth World Conference on Sport and the Environment, International Olympic Committee, November 2013. This declaration calls for action to further strengthen environmental and wider sustainability requirement on the Olympic Games bidding process to ensure long-term sustainable legacies from hosting the Games. Specifically, immediate measures were requested to prevent unnecessary food wastage during the hosting of the Games. 

    A conference held by the International Olympic Committee, “Changing today for a better tomorrow”, resulted in the 'Sochi Declaration'. This document advocates for the environmental sustainability of future Olympic Venues. Currently in Australia, the Queensland Government, together with the City of the Gold Coast has developed a legacy strategy for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which seeks to promote appropriate environmental and sustainability principles in the design of new venue infrastructure and in event management.

    • Embracing our Games legacy, Queensland Government, Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games (2014). This Action Plan will be reviewed annually with further programs and projects added as Queensland and the Gold Coast continue the journey to the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

    Other examples of the role of sport and sporting events on the environment include:

    • Football for the planet, Brazil 2014, FIFA. The official environmental programme of FIFA which aims to mitigate the negative impact of its activities on the environment. It is the continuation of the environmental programmes that have been developed for FIFA competitions since the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. View this link to learn more about how football can be more sustainable.
    • Sport and Environment Commission, International Olympic Committee, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
    • Sustainability, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

    More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topic, Sport, Climatic Conditions and Environmental Concerns.

    Gender equity

    The third Millennium Development Goal, as agreed to by all United Nations member states, is to promote gender equality and empower women across the world. Two countries in the world have achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, and women still face discrimination in access to education, work and participation in decision making. There a many organisations that focus on sport for women and girls, to strive in achieving these targets.

    • 7th IWG World Conference on women and sport. To be held 17 to 20 May 2018, in Gabarone, Botswana.
    • Brighton Declaration on Women and SportSixth International Working Group World Conference on Women and Sport, Helsinki, Finland, (12- to 15 June 2014).
    • Empowering Girls and Women through Physical Education and Sport (PDF  - 462 KB), Advocacy Brief, Kirk D, UNESCO Bangkok, (2012).
    • Harnessing the power of sport for development and peace: Recommendations to governments (PDF  - 11.6 MB), Sport for Development & Peace, International Working Group, Right to Play (2008). Chapter 4, ‘Sport and Gender: Empowering girls and women’.
    • International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESWG). Founded in 1949, with members in over 40 countries, this organisation’s primary aim is to support and bring together like-minded professionals from around the world working in the fields of physical education, dance and sport.
    • International Working Group on Women in Sport. Established in 1994, this organisation hosts the World Conference on Women and Sport, which serves to communicate information about the movement of women in sport.
    • Millennium Development Goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women, United Nations.
    • Using cricket to promote change: how sport is empowering women in PNG, Brown K and Sialis C, ABC Australian Plus (10 December 2015). 'Cricket Belongs to Everyone' is a simple message and in places like Papua New Guinea it’s being used to challenge gender norms and promote inclusion, with a powerful impact. The Kriket Bilong Olgeta (Cricket Belongs to Everyone) Program in PNG has been working to increase women’s participation in the once male-dominated sport of cricket. Greater visibility of female athletes and their achievements are helping to change mindsets about women and girls’ capability. Sporting activities are also being used to spread messages about eliminating violence against women and girls. Kriket Bilong Olgeta is well-placed to advocate to end gender-based violence. The Cricket PNG program works to promote gender empowerment and inclusion, challenge gender norms and provide women, girls and people with disabilities with opportunities for leadership and achievement.
    • Women in the world of sports, Puri L, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), speech given at the 5th World Conference on Women and Sport, Los Angeles, USA, (17 February 2012).
    • Women and sport, latest news, International Olympic Committee.
    • Women Win. Formed in 2007, this internationally recognised centre of excellence advances the cause of sport as a strategy to address gender inequity and empower young women. A number of tools are available on designing sports programs.

    More information on this topic can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topics, Women's Sport and Sexuality and Gender Perspectives on Sports Ethics.


    Sport is an effective way of engaging people and communities.  It can be used as a tool to deliver personal and community health messages. Many sports-based programs focus on educating communities about the risk factors associated with both non-communicable and communicable diseases. 

    More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topics, Preventive Health, Sport and Physical Activity and Childhood Obesity


    The use of drugs can be described as having two distinct relationships in the context of sport. The most prominent, being the use of prohibited substances or methods as determined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), by athletes to enhance sports performance. As such, anti-doping features on the global agenda to preserve fair and equitable sport and to protect the people involved in sport such that the credibility of sport is upheld. In contrast, the use of sports-based interventions to provide alternative activities and promoting non-drug use is highly valued in preventing the damage to the health and social cohesion of people within a society, as a result of illegal drug use. Sport may be likened to a double–edged sword; under the right conditions there is much potential for good, but may be damaging under the wrong conditions. Sport has the potential to instil positive values and character traits in young people, to achieve respect for others and fair play for all. Safeguarding the intrinsic values of sport must be stressed. “Doping jeopardizes the moral and ethical basis of sport and the health of those involved in it” [Source: UNESCO]

    • International Convention against Doping in Sport, UNESCO and WADA.
    • MINEPS III (PDF  - 3.7 MB), Third International Conference, UNESCO, Punta del Este, Uruguay, December 1999. At this meeting, Ministers emphasised ethical values of sport and urged all countries to work together to combat unethical behaviour, including doping in sport. The important work of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was emphasised, in its efforts towards eliminating doping in sport in general and specifically within developing nations through systematic information and education.
    • Sport and Anti-Doping, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The United Nations is actively involved in the anti-doping fight because of its desire to preserve fair and equitable sport and to protect young people.
    • Sport: using sport for drug abuse prevention (PDF  - 2.7 MB), Handbook, Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, United Nations (2002).

    Some other common integrity issues that need to be addressed in sport include governance, child protection, match fixing and illegal sports betting, and discrimination. 

    More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topics, Drugs in Sport, Match-fixing & Illegal Sports Betting, Child Protection in SportSports Governance Principles & Resources, and Integrity in Sport


    Sport is a universal language and can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. Its intrinsic values; such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, and respect for the opponent and the rules of the game are understood all over the world. Sport has the potential to advance solidarity, social cohesion, and peaceful coexistence. [Source: Office on Sport for Development and Peace, United Nations]

    • From war without weapons to sport for development and peace: The Janus-face of Sport, Donnelly P, SAIS Review, Volume 31, Number 1 (2011).
    • Harnessing the power of sport for development and peace: Recommendations to governments (PDF  - 11.6 MB), Sport for Development & Peace, International Working Group, Right to Play (2008). Chapter 6, ‘Sport and Peace: Social inclusion, conflict prevention and peace building’.
    • Mapping of good practices relating to social inclusion of migrants through sport (PDF  - 1.1 MB), Bertram C, Diep M, Fox T, Pelka V, Ruitinga C and Sennett J, European Commission, Directorate for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (2016). This report looks at the wide range of projects and programs used by member countries to support social inclusion of migrants through sport. From the project analysis and the stakeholder interviews it became apparent that overall, successful projects employed a two pronged approach, engaging migrants as well as supporting existing, local clubs and organisations to establish participation opportunities that create safe and sustainable environments for migrants. Successful projects combined a number of key factors, including: (1) positive societal context; (2) creating ownership; (3) cultural exchange; (4) development pathways; (5) funding structures; (6) enhancing cultural sensitivity; (7) enhancing administrative capacity, and; (8) transferability of learning across projects. The refugee crisis in Europe presents significant challenges to member nations. Sport offers a valuable tool for the settlement and integration of migrants into the host societies.
    • Peace through sport, International Olympic Committee. 

    Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.

    Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) Reports 

    ASOP fact sheets

    ASOP case studies

    ASOP research and evaluation

    ASOP Resources



    Conferences presentations

    Grants and funding

    • Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, UNESCO. The fund provides financial assistance, of more than USD $3.2 million, to governments for the purpose of developing or implementing effective anti-doping programs. 

    International reports and newsletters

    • The Contribution of Sport to the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 Development Agenda (PDF  - 715 KB), The Position of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on behalf of the Olympic and Sport Movement (February 2015). The sport sector has contributed significantly to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is looking forward to expanding its efforts in the post-2015 Development Agenda.
    • From the Field: Sport for Development and Peace in Action (PDF  - 9.7 MB), Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, and Right to Play (2007). This report highlights successful international sports programs making a contribution in these areas: (1) child and youth development; (2) health and disease prevention; (3) gender equity; (4) inclusion of people with disabilities, and; social integration and peace-building.
    • Independent review of aid effectiveness, Australian Government. A total of 288 submissions were offered to the independent review of aid effectiveness for consideration.
    • Power of Play: Sport for Development in India (PDF  - 18.6 MB), Australian Sports Outreach Program-India, Australian Sports Commission, Australian Government, (2013). The report explores common denominations of using sport as a tool for education, health, gender equity and employability.
    • Seminar on Sport Diplomacy Outcomes (PDF  - 412 KB), European Commission (2016). A Seminar on Sport Diplomacy was held in December 2016 and attended by almost 100 participants from EU Member States, International and European sport federations, representatives of the Olympic movement, politicians, and decision makers. Four broad areas of agreement were reached: (1) implement and give full-effect to the sport-related provisions already set out in various EU member agreements; (2) strive to achieve more visibility in foreign policy through major sport events (e.g. Euro 2020); (3) collect and analyse evidence on good practices at national and European level, and (4) increase cooperation among stakeholders, youth organisations, and the Council of Europe to establish an efficient and joined-up approach towards EU strategy on sport diplomacy.
    • Sport for Development - An Impact Study (PDF  - 6.2 MB), International Development through Sport (2011).
    • Sport for Development and Peace: Governments in Action (PDF  - 20.9 MB), UN Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, and Right to Play (2008). This report summarises the general ways that governments develop and implement Sport for Development and Peace policies and programs. It identifies 34 national overviews which outline each country’s respective approach to Sport for Development and Peace. In addition to highlighting how governments are using sport to attain development objectives, most notably, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Key messages from the case studies include: (1) positioning sport to meet social needs; (2) leveraging existing research and evidence; (3) using individual champions (e.g. key government members, high profile athletes, etc.); (4) engaging multiple government departments; (5) partnering with external stakeholders; (6) leveraging international networks, and: (7) building public support.
    • Using the World Cup to harness the potential of sport for development (PDF  - 8.3 MB), Arnemann A and Klingmann D (editors), Government of Germany, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (December 2014). The World Cup is the ‘spiritual home of football’, the event demonstrates that sport has the power to unite people of all nationalities and cultural and social backgrounds in a spirit of positivity and good will.

    Influential people and organisations 


    Research & Reading

    • A systematic review of the mental health impacts of sport and physical activity programmes for adolescents in post-conflict settings, Hamilton A, Foster C and Richards J, Journal of Sport for Development, Volume 4, Issue 6 (2016). Children and adolescents exposed to violent conflict are at high risk of developing mental health problems. Sport and physical activity programs have been used as part of post-conflict assistance to youth. A systematic review of the literature evaluated the effectiveness of such programs. Two studies described projects in northern Uganda; reporting an improvement in boys’ mental health following an intervention, when compared to controls. A third study reported continual improvement in symptom presentation in ex-child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Common limitations of such studies were short duration, poor follow-up, or a lack of treatment mechanisms research. This review concluded there is a shortage of high-quality program evaluation, which limits the strength of conclusions that can be drawn about their efficacy. Sport and games are often involved in psychosocial interventions, but are not described in detail or clearly reported.
    • Changing the game—can a sport-based youth development programme generate a positive social return on investment? Ben Sanders & Emanuel Raptis, Commonwealth Youth and Development, Volume 15(1), pp.1-17, (2017). This study examines a sport for development and peace intervention initiated by Grassroot Soccer South Africa that promotes youth employability and leadership. Preliminary results offer encouraging evidence of progress into employment, education and training with positive social returns for the youth and external stakeholders, suggesting that this investment is cost-effective and impactful (every R1 invested in a coach yielded a return of R1.72 for society at large over 5 years). The results indicate that structured sport-based programmes can put young people to work and get them to study in a constructive manner, thereby stimulating economic growth and development. It is concluded that initiatives using sport to promote youth work merit greater investment, recognition and research. 
    • Going to Scale? A critique of the role of the public sector in sport for development and peace in South Africa, Ben Sanders, Chisto De Coning & Marion Keim, African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences, Volume 23(4), pp.514-532, (December 2017). This study analyses the role of the public sector in SDP, examining how it can best work with other stakeholders and partners to ensure sport is optimised as a vehicle for social change. Findings show that state led SDP initiatives can achieve results but improved outcomes are more likely if partnerships exist within government and with other organs of society. It is recommended the state plays a strategic and regulatory role, focusing less on service delivery while providing greater leadership and direction in coordinating efforts related to SDP. Teamwork is vital.
    • How should universities play the game? Role of the academic sector in sport for development and peace in South Africa, Ben Sanders & Marion Keim,  South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, Volume 39(3), pp.121-134, (2017). The study found academic institutions in South Africa can strengthen research, teaching and learning in SDP and help inform evidence-based practice and policy. Better collaboration is needed within and between the academic sector, government and civil society as well as an improved North-South exchange for universities.
    • Investing in sporting success as a domestic and foreign policy tool: the case of Qatar, Reiche D, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, (published online 10 December 2014).
    • Is there a “right” sport to use in sport for development? Loat R, Sport and Development, (21 November 2016). The author reviews the evidence to understand why organisations and governments return to a small group of ‘core sports’ when implementing sport programs that deliver health and social messages. Football (i.e. soccer) is usually the sport of choice because: (1) it is the most popular global sport; (2) it’s a team sport, so 22 people play at the same time; (3) the sport can be played by both genders and across all ages; (4) equipment costs are low, and; (5) football generally suits most geographies and climates. Basketball is another sport with international appeal, but almost any sport can be used, provided there is maximum access by individuals and communities.
    • The opportunities and challenges of using cricket as a sport for development tool in Samoa, Khoo C, Schulenkorf N and Adair D, Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, Volume 6, Number 1 (2014). This paper looked at the use of sport as a community engagement tool by focusing on a cricket-for-development program in Samoa. The authors discuss the activities of relevant sport and government organisations, and draws upon interviews with local stakeholders in Samoa.
    • Sport for development and peace policy discourse and local practice: Norwegian sport for development and peace to Zimbabwe, Hasselgard A and Straume S, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, (published online 25 April 2014). This article is an analysis of a Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) project. Specifically, it investigates how SDP discourses influenced by Western donors are translated and given meaning by the recipients in the social context where the intervention takes place. Through a single case study of Norwegian SDP cooperation in Zimbabwe, we demonstrate how practice at the informal local level does not always fit the project’s formal discourse found in policy documents and project plans, initially developed under strong influence by Norwegian donors. It is argued that when the attention is shifted from formal discourses of development to local practices on the recipient side, a more nuanced picture of development discourse appears. Recipient organizations or local project staff do not necessarily uncritically accept the formal SDP discourse imposed on them, but are able to translate, reformulate, resist or manipulate discourse through a process of transformation and contextualization.
    • The world in turmoil: Promotion of peace and international understanding through sport, Amusa L, Toriola A and Goon D, African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation & Dance, Volume 19, Number 1 (2013). For many centuries the potential role of sport in promoting a culture of peace and understanding has been of topical interest. The earliest attempt of sport being used to achieve this goal could be traced to the ancient Olympic Games which started in 776 BC, in which the Olympic truce or Ekecheiria was observed by ancient Greek city-states before, during and immediately after the Games. Before the Sydney 2000 Olympaid, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) resurrected the principle of the Olympic truce. However, according to the United Nations (UN) peace should not be misconceived as only referring to the absence of war or violence. Peace should also be defined in the context of absence of oppression or discrimination, racism, poverty, disease and gender-related inequalities, inequality among nations, and respect for human right and democratic principles. To what extent has the ideal of Olympic truce survived? Is a culture of peace and international understanding attainable through sports? What setbacks and challenges do we face in our quest to achieve this lofty ideal? Based on critical analyses of documentary evidence, this article examines the challenges facing international sport in promoting peace and understanding from a multidisciplinary perspective, i.e. covering international relations, politics and diplomacy, sociology, social psychology of sport, religion and economics.
    • Development through sport: fans and critics, ePublication, Ireland-Piper D, Sports Law eJournal, Faculty of Law, Bond University, (26 June 2013). Sport is used as a tool for development, dispute resolution and reconciliation. The use of sport to meet development goals such as education, health and gender equity has grown into a widely recognised form of development assistance, commonly known as ‘Development through Sport’.
    • Olympism in Action , Olympic hosting and the politics of ‘Sport for Development and Peace’: investigating the development discourses of Rio 2016, Darnell S, Sport in Society, Volume 15, Number 6 (2012). This paper offers an overview, and critical, comparative reading, of the discourses of international development championed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) versus those ascribed through media and corporate communications to the 2016 Summer Olympics, awarded in 2009 to the city of Rio de Janeiro.
    • Accounting for legacy: monitoring and evaluation in sport in development relationships, Kay T, Sport in Society, Volume 15, Number 6 (2012). The paper suggests that despite the rhetoric of ‘partnership’ that surrounds sport in development and Olympic legacy programmes, monitoring and evaluation (M+E) systems play a major role in constructing the donor–recipient relationship as hierarchical. M+E procedures are shaped by funders' information requirements, emphasize external accountability, limit local programme learning, compromise data quality and impose burdensome forms of data collection and reporting that undermine relationships. The paper advocates refocusing M+E approaches to serve internal programme learning needs rather than external funders' determined but inconclusive quest for ‘evidence’.
    • Sport for development and peace: a public sociology perspective, Donnelly P, Atkinson M, Boyle S and Szto C, Third World Quarterly, Volume 32, Number 3 (2011). We provide a brief introduction to public sociology, and outline its relevance in the sociology of sport, before making suggestions about the incorporation of public sociology into sdp research. Three main overlapping areas of research emerge from a public sociology perspective, and are needed in order to engage in a constructively critical analysis of sdp: descriptive research and evaluation; analyses of claims making; and critical analyses of social reproduction. The paper concludes with a brief examination of the dilemmas that may be encountered by those engaging in public sociology research, in both the academy and the field.
    • Integrating sport-for-development theory and praxis, Alexis L and Jon W, Sport Management Review, Volume 14, Number 4 (2011). The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we provide the theoretical foundations of sport-for-development theory (SFDT) to showcase how sport interventions can most effectively promote social change and development. Secondly, we utilise the SFDT programme recommendations as a blueprint to compare and contrast two sport interventions that use sport as a vehicle to promote positive social change, one at the global and the other at the local level. Based on this analysis, suggestions for future research and practice are provided.
    • Sport, development and aid: can sport make a difference? Jarvie G, Sport in Society, Volume 14, Number 2 (2011). Improving life chances requires a coordinated effort and as such any contribution that sport can make must also build upon a wider coalition of sustained support in order to narrow the gap between rich and poor. In a substantive way this article, drawing upon international evidence, notes the potential of education through sport to help with influencing life chances, if not levels of poverty, in the world today.
    • Children's Right to Play: An Examination of the Importance of Play in the Lives of Children Worldwide, Lester S and Russell W, The Communication Initiative, December 2010. The authors argue that play is fundamental to the health and well-being of children, and that state signatories to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - as well as adults, more generally, should recognise, respect, and promote play as a right.
    • Power, Politics and "Sport for Development and Peace": Investigating the Utility of Sport for International Development, Darnell S, Sociology of Sport Journal, Volume 27, Number 1 (2010). Sport is currently mobilized as a tool of international development within the “Sport for Development and Peace” (SDP) movement. Framed by Gramscian hegemony theory and sport and development studies respectively, this article offers an analysis of the conceptualization of sport’s social and political utility within SDP programs. Drawing on the perspectives of young Canadians (n = 27) who served as volunteer interns within Commonwealth Games Canada’s International Development through Sport program, the dominant ideologies of development and social change that underpin current SDP practices are investigated. The results suggest that while sport does offer a new and unique tool that successfully aligns with a development mandate, the logic of sport is also compatible with the hegemony of neo-liberal development philosophy. As a result, careful consideration of the social politics of sport and development within the SDP movement is called for.
    • The politics of sport-for-development: Limited focus programmes and broad gauge problems? Coalter F, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Volume 45, Number 3 (2010). This article explores the almost evangelical policy rhetoric of the sports-for-development ‘movement’ and the wide diversity of programmes and organizations included under this vague and weakly theorized banner. It is suggested that, although the rhetoric of sport as a human right has provided some rhetorical and symbolic legitimation for sport-for-development initiatives, the recent dramatic increase in interest reflects broader changes in the aid paradigm, reflecting perceived failures of top-down economic aid and an increased concern with issues of human and social capital, as well as the strengthening of civil society organizations.
    • A new social movement: sport for development and peace, Kidd B, Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, Volume 11, Number 4 (2008). In recent years, national and international sports organizations, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities and schools have conducted programmes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the disadvantaged communities of the First World to assist sports development (e.g. Olympic Solidarity), humanitarian relief (e.g. Right to Play), post-war reconciliation (e.g. Playing for Peace), and broad social development. These initiatives, linked under the banner of ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ (SDP), have been prompted by athlete activism and an idealist response to the fall of apartheid, and enabled by the openings created by the end of the Cold War, the neo-liberal emphasis upon entrepreneurship and the mass mobilizations to ‘Make Poverty History’. A major focus of policy development has been the United Nations, the SDP International Working Group, and the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport. This essay sketches out the landscape of this new movement, critiques the problems and considers the prospects.


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