Sport is a powerful tool for involving all children – including the most marginalized and vulnerable – in group activities from an early age (UNHCR, 2013). For this reason, sport for development (S4D) organizations use sport as an inclusive means of helping children to improve their health; to develop their physical abilities; to develop their social, educational and leadership skills; and of course, to play and have fun.
This report analyses the available evidence on S4D initiatives for children and youth, to identify what works, how it works, and how to improve S4D policy and practice.
Getting into the Game – the first phase of a two-stage research project – seeks to strengthen the evidence base on policies and practices for S4D and to build knowledge on how to effectively use S4D to promote positive outcomes in four specific areas:
The goal of the research is to map current initiatives and present evidence on harnessing the power of sport to improve the lives of children and youth. This study first defines sport and presents data to show the coverage, content, and monitoring and evaluation approaches of S4D programmes from an array of organizations surveyed in this research, including UNICEF and the Barça Foundation. It then compares a diverse set of evidence-based programmes and practices to refocus attention on the advantages of S4D approaches to meet the needs of children and youth and to foster cross-national learning.