Essentials

Sport encourages brings people together and encourages participation. It contributes to the health and well-being of children and youth. It is enjoyable and transmits values such as fairness, team spirit, tolerance and understanding. When utilised in an educational and appropriate manner, sport enhances self-esteem, self-confidence and promotes readiness to take on responsibility.

Participating in sport, children and young people learn to handle victory as well as defeat. They acquire life skills that help them deal with challenging situations and improve their prospective futures. More than any other field, sport is connected to the heart of civil society, facilitates participation and creates a sense of belonging that transcends ethnic and social divides. As an innovative approach of development cooperation, sport can provide individual and social incentives for change and sustainable development. The strength of the S4D approach lies in its cross-cutting nature, where it can contribute to designated development goals like health, gender equality or social cohesion. 

The S4D Essentials give you a general idea on:

  • What S4D is about
  • How sport can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Which S4D Competences can be gained
  • Capacity Development Procedures
  • Teaching and Learning Materials
  • Events
  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities
  • Additional resources are provided, if you want to go deeper into the subject matter

 

TOPIC OVERVIEW



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Sport has proven to be a cost-effective and flexible tool in promoting peace and development goals. Internationally, the approach that sport can contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has received increasing attention over the last decade. In 2003, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the resolution (58/3): ‘Sport, as a means to promote education, health, development and peace’. It calls on its Member States to use sport more intensively to achieve development goals. Two years later, 2005 was declared as the International Year of Sports and Physical Education by the UN.

Since the inception of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000, sport has played a vital role in enhancing each of the eight goals, a fact which has been recognized in numerous Resolutions of the General Assembly. In the Declaration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the role of sport for social progress is further acknowledged (UN, 2014):

"Sport is also an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives."

Driven by the past success of S4D activities and programmes across multiple sectors, sport will con-tinue to advance global development assisting in the work towards, and the realization of, the SDGs (UN, 2014). Through analysis and consultation activities, six SDGs (SDG 3, 4, 5, 8, 11 and 16) were identified as areas where sport-based approaches could especially make effective and cost-efficient contributions (Dudfield & Dingwall-Smith, 2015). Within this collection two additional SDGs (SDG 9 and 17) are addressed due to their relevance in our work.

 

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

“Through sport, individuals can adopt active lifestyles that enhance well-being, health and prevent diseases, particularly non-communicable diseases. Sport can be a successful tool for health education and awareness raising towards healthy lives, especially among hard-to-reach or vulnerable individuals and communities such as refugees.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport to ensure ‘good health and well-being’:

  • Providing health benefits in general (e.g. reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer; control and prevention of obesity)
  • Improving mental health and well-being
  • Effecting a positive child and adolescent development
  • Raising awareness in terms of ‘health messages’

 

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

“Sport and physical education can motivate children and youth to attend and engage in formal and informal education, as well as improve academic performance and learning outcomes. Sport can teach transferable life skills and key values such as tolerance, inclusion and can lead towards learning opportunities beyond school.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport toward ‘quality education’:

  • Engaging learners
  • Providing various learning experiences
  • Modelling of positive teaching styles
  • Re-connecting young people to formal learning environments
  • Providing more inclusive learning environments 
  • Strengthening relationships between teachers and learners


Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

“Sport can contribute to the elimination of discrimination against women and girls by empowering individuals, particularly women, and equipping them with knowledge and skills needed to progress in society. Sport can advocate for gender equality, address constricting gender norms, and provide inclusive safe spaces.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport toward ‘gender equality’:

  • Promoting female leaders and roles models
  • Raising awareness on gender issues
  • Providing safe spaces for women and girls
  • Challenging gender stereotypes
  • Engaging men and boys with gender issues 

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

“Sport can promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth by aligning production and employment with labour standards, in particular being free from child or forced labour and discriminations of all forms. It can create job opportunities for all and develop employability enhancing skills which are transferrable into the workplace.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport toward ‘decent work and economic growth’:

  • Promoting employment and vocational competences
  • Connecting young people to vocational education settings
  • Supporting growing labour markets in the sports industry


Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

“Sport can encourage innovative approaches to industrialization and inspire innovation. It can contribute to equitable access for all by providing accessible sport infrastructure and spaces. Sport can also support building and reconstruction of resilient infrastructure, including sport facilities.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport toward ‘industry, innovation and infrastructure’: 

  • serving as a platform to facilitate the renovation  and construction of sports grounds as well as local capacity development
  • generating enhancement in the overall community involvement, and motivating the mobilization of the wider community and the growth of economic activities associated with sport
  • providing strategies for sustainable action regarding the maintenance of sports grounds and the delivery of S4D activities. 

 

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

“Sport can help eliminate obstacles and barriers in the environment, transportation, public facilities and services to ensure access by all, including people facing those barriers and in vulnerable situations such as persons with disabilities. It can also promote the use of public safe spaces where diverse populations can interact and create friendly relations.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport toward ‘sustainable cities and communities’:

  • Providing an inclusive, safe and accessible space and/or a place for public encounters
  • Establishing new and safe spaces/places for different groups in urban settings
  • Using major sporting events as catalyst for sustainable urban design and planning


Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

“Sport provides a powerful communication platform for disseminating solidarity and reconciliation messages and fostering a culture of peace and dialogue, especially by promoting core values in sport such as respect, fair-play and team work. Sport institutions can be effective, accountable and inclusive by respecting human rights and striving for good governance.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of sport toward ‘peace, justice and strong institutions’:

  • Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Preventing conflicts, reducing tension
  • Establishing of platforms for dialogue
  • Generating respect and understanding
  • Addressing abuse, violence and exploitation in sport


Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Goal 17 focuses on partnerships and is seen as cross-cutting SDG; it supports all other goals.

The global reach, unmatched popularity and universal character of sport make it a versatile means of implementation. Sport can pool resources, create synergies, and build multi-stakeholder networks and partnerships for sustainable development and peace goals by bringing together a wide variety of actors from different sectors.” (UN, 2014)

The potential contribution of developing ‘partnerships for the goals’ through sport:

  • Catalyzing, building and strengthening new multi-stakeholder networks and partner­ships for sustainable development and peace goals.
  • Involving and bringing together gov­ernments, donors, NGOs, sport organizations, the private sector, academia and the media
  • Serving as a link between different sectors which can address a wide variety of topics, pool resources and create synergies
  • Being a versatile means through the global reach, its unmatched popularity, wide appeal, universal character and value-based foundation, as well as its particular association with youth.


Nationally and internationally there are many governmental and civil society actors who use sport to make a contribution to development policy. Also young people, actors in sport, academia, private sector, international organizations, as well as the media are increasingly interested in the potential of sport as a tool to reach personal, community, national and international development goals.

Since 2012, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has emphasized and exercised the potential of S4D in order to achieve development goals. Establishing the programme S4D, the BMZ has successfully implemented a range of sport-related projects in various countries.

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Sport is more than physical exercise; sport is about the personal and social development of young people. Sport activities, offered in a pedagogically valuable way, impart and strengthen different competences children and youth need in their daily lives. A necessary precondition for children and youth to develop competences are well-designed and well-conducted Sport for Development (S4D) activities delivered through coaches. Therefore, coaches must be trained by qualified instructors to develop the specific competences needed to deliver S4D activities.

To comprise the entire range of competences children and youth can gain in the field of S4D or coaches and instructors should have when working in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D competences on different levels.[1] The S4D competence frameworks include self, social, methodological/strategic and professional competences related to sport and related to S4D. Most of the competences are derived from our Teaching and Learning Material. 

In the following we will present the competences on the different levels. Additionally you’ll get an idea, how to put theory into practice; what means to make competences for children and youth part of a training session.



[1] Regarding to the topic several terms (skills, competences/competencies, abilities) are used in different contexts. We decided to work with the term “competences” having its origin in pedagogy and psychology: “Competences are pedagogic skills that can be learned, cognitively anchored and therefore are knowledge-based skills and abilities that aim to accomplish successfully tasks and requirements in everyday and professional situations.” (Stangl, 2017)

The following frameworks list competences children and youth gain when participating in well-designed and -conducted S4D activities. Derived from the fundamental clusters we developed specific competence clusters regarding to the different development goals (e.g. health, gender, employability etc.) to accommodate to the various characteristics of the target groups and the social contexts the coaches work in. Additionally, we provide competence frameworks on the level of children and youth with selected SDGs, their targets and indicators. They were selected based on GIZ’s concepts and experiences.

The frameworks are not to be considered as complete and not all competences are automatically gained by all participants. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities.

The following frameworks give an overview on which competences are needed at the coaching level, to foster the development of competences on the level of beneficiaries. Derived from the fundamental clusters we developed specific competence clusters regarding to the different development goals (e.g. health, gender, employability etc.) to accommodate to the various characteristics of the target groups and the social contexts the coaches work in.

The competence frameworks are not to be considered as complete and not all competences are automatically acquired by all coaches. Overall, coaches should be qualified and empowered in their S4D competences through capacity development measures. In S4D workshops for coaches, the development of competences should be one of the most important teaching and learning objectives.

The following framework provides an overview of competences which are needed at the instructor level with regard to fostering the development of competences of coaches. Therefore the framework comprises predominantly abilities an instructor explicitly needs in relation to developing coaches’ competences. Furthermore it contains competences an instructor needs his-/herself when implementing instructing activities for coaches containing aspects of workshop presentation, adult teaching, organization, monitoring and reviewing etc. The framework is based on the presumption that an instructor already has a core set of self-competences, social competences, methodological competences and expertise in sport, sport pedagogy and S4D, which are not explicitly mentioned.

The competence framework is not to be considered as complete and not all competences are automatically acquired by all instructors. Overall, instructors should be qualified and empowered in their S4D competences through capacity development measures. In S4D workshops for instructors, the development of competences should be one of the most important teaching and learning objectives.

If applied in and educationally valuable way, personal, social and methodological/strategic competences are inherent components of sport itself. However, simply playing sports does not guarantee that children and youth will develop competences that lead to a positive development and will prepare them for the future. If the participation of children and youth in sport is to lead to positive development outcomes, the coach has to make an intentional effort to develop competences. Therefore, the development of competences has to be part of S4D activities and at best part of all training units as presented in the following example.

In the S4D TOPIC COLLECTION we present S4D activities that aim at fostering the development of competences referring to the topics gender, violence prevention, health and employability.

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Capacity development (CD) is a core task of development cooperation. German Development Cooperation (GIZ) understands CD as the development of the capability of people, organisations and societies to manage resources effectively and efficiently in order to realise their own goals on a sustainable basis (GIZ, 2015). CD should take place on three levels: individually, organisationally and societal level. With regard to S4D this implies the following:

The sport-pedagogical qualification of coaches and instructors at the individual level is the main component of our advanced education and training programmes in the field of S4D.

The Guideline "Coaches and Instructors" explores the roles and responsibilities of coaches and instructors, gives orientation for selecting the right candidates for these positions, and finally offers a standard for the implementation of S4D workshops for coaches and instructors, where those candidates learn how to apply S4D in practice.

The Guideline "Ensuring Quality Education in S4D" describes a model to ensure a high-quality education and sustainable CD processes at the individual level within S4D programmes, which in turn improves projects in general. It contains the description of the mentioned phases as well as accompanying monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities.

The purpose of organisational CD is to increase organisational learning, performance and flexibility (GIZ, 2015). In the context of S4D, advisory services are offered regarding integration of S4D into current structures, processes and programmes of organisations. 

The Guideline below adresses the embedding of S4D in the day-to-day work of an organization. It gives guidance in developing a S4D concept that fits to the individual essence of an organization.

The purpose of CD on societal level is to build legal, political and socioeconomic frameworks so that people, organisations and their networks can develop and raise their performance capability. The development and strengthening of cooperation between organisations and networks for knowledge exchange, coordination and co-production is also the focus (GIZ, 2015).

In the context of S4D, networks are established, developed, steered and strengthened by bringing together actors from different fields (e.g. ministries, NGOs, sport federations etc.). In terms of system development in the policy field, the embedding of S4D in policy papers, strategies, and action plans, as well as budgeting of umbrella organisations, ministries or national agencies is the aim and objective. 

On the organizational and societal level, scaling-up activities are crucial processes to guarantee sustainability of a programme/project. Scaling-up describes the design of a process within the project or after its completion in order to achieve a broad(er) impact. The aim of these activities is to disseminate successful concepts, approaches and methods beyond the individual project:

  • to a new level (e.g. to ministries at governmental level);
  • to a new unit on the same level (e.g. to other NGOs in other regions), and/or
  • to a new context, in another sector (e.g. S4D as part of health programmes).

Within our scaling-up activities in different S4D programmes in various countries, we developed some helpful guidelines and tools, which you can find here.

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Within the S4D community, numerous Teaching and Learning Materials (manuals, toolkits, guide-lines, curricula etc.) have been created to address on several types of sports and games and with different development topics. The Teaching and Learning Materials developed by GIZ are addressed to coaches (i.e. coachs, teachers, social workers) and instructors in the areas of formal and informal education. They introduce and explain various S4D topics as well as methodological and didactical core aspects, such as the structure of a training session/of Physical Education (PE) classes, the function of coaches/teachers as role models, as well as the development phases of children and youth. Additionally, the materials outlines practical games and drills, as well as provides helpful recommendations to promote S4D competences. You will find the Teaching and Learning Materials here.

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Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of S4D interventions is high priority. Despite the shared conviction that sport can add value to development of individuals, organisations and communities, there is still a lack of substantial evidence to support the potential of sport. Effective, transparent and (if possible) comparable M&E must take place to enforce and determine the inherent benefits, risks and limitations of sport and physical activity (SAD, 2017). M&E should be an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme/project and part of all activities on the ground. Here you can learn more about the fundamental functions of M&E and how a project cycle can look like.
Our work at GIZ is systematically geared towards results. Our aim is to contribute towards long-term positive change in cooperation with our partners. M&E is therefore firmly mainstreamed in GIZ’s work. It is actively applied during the entire project cycle. M&E allows us to manage commissions effectively, develop a clear picture of the status of our projects, utilize promising approaches, and better grasp the lessons learned. Overall, it is an essential process to secure results and sustainably foster development (see M&E GIZ).

M&E of programmes and projects has different essential functions. By collecting and analysing numbers, figures, facts and verbal information regularly and in a structured way you are able to control the input and output of CD measures. Based on monitored information, evaluations generate knowledge; knowledge allows you to prove the positive development of your programmes and projects so that it is easy to promote them. Also, evaluation assists in legitimizing your programmes and projects to the community or donors.

Here you will find more detailed information on what is M&E about and why M&E is important, as well as what the differences are between actually performing monitoring and evaluation techniques.
In the context of M&E, GIZ seeks to build close partnerships with universities and research institutions to assess lessons learned from their S4D programmes. Though these partnerships additional findings are generated, presented and evaluated which help develop and improve the quality and effectiveness of the programmes.

One cooperative relationship GIZ has regarding M&E is with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS). Besides evaluating separate phases of the S4D programmes, the DSHS supports the GIZ in documentation and knowledge management processes, in networking, as well as in Public Relations measures. They additionally act as consultants due to their expertise in sport science. In terms of education and training, DSHS offers workshops to promote and to teach concepts related to the topic of M&E, e.g. to local partner organizations. The following presentations are examples of a M&E workshop held to local partner organizations in Namibia.

In the S4D Topic Collection you will find exemplarily M&E tools, developed by the DSHS, which are used in our programmes and projects in different countries and contexts. The S4D Tools for your Practice include several research tools for your own practice.

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If you want to have additional information about S4D in general, the GIZ programmes in the field and the potential contribution to the SDGs, please have a look at the following publications.