Topic Collection

Welcome to the S4D Topic Collection!

The S4D Topic Collection provides recommendations and practical examples on how sport can be used to achieve certain development goals (SDGs) and how it can be used in different contexts. Every topic starts with an introduction into the specific topic or context. Then depending on the topic, you will find competence frameworks for children and youth, and coaches. Related to projects in different countries, the S4D Topic Collection gives you an idea of capacity development, events, of teaching and learning materials and of M&E tools. Additionaly we provide further reading on every topic. 

Please choose one of the following S4D Topics: 

 

TOPIC OVERVIEW



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In the refugee context, sport is impactful when addressing psycho-social and integrative characteristics. Sport activities create encounters, promote psychological and physical well-being, as well as social cohesion.

Promoting sport in the context of flight and migration will contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • SDG 3: Healthy lives and well-being
  • SDG 4: Inclusive and equitable quality education
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 10: Reduce inequalities within and among countries
  • SDG 16: Peaceful and inclusive societies

The objectives of the Agenda 2030 are to empower those who are vulnerable and strengthen the resilience of host communities. Through your work within the refugee context, you can utilize the potential of sport to bring together the needs of refugees and host communities. Specifically, you may want to focus on one or more of the relevant working areas listed below:

Social cohesion: Through sport activities you create encounters/relationships between refugees and local people,and you can learn to solve rising conflicts peacefully.

Health and well-being: Sport helps to deal with stress, frustration and traumata. It can also be a platform to address health-related issues (i.e. diseases, nutrition).

Personal development: Applying certain sport games and exercises you can promote general personal values, as well as life and vocational skills.

Programmes, or single training sessions, may address more than one of the working areas given above. To cultivate ideas about appropriate games and exercises, check out our Teaching and Learning Material below. 

In 2014, the UN appointed a “Special Envoy for Youth Refugees and Sport”, namely Jacques Rogge; this appointment emphasized the increasing relevance of sport in the refugee context. Children and youth are the most vulnerable group. Rogge states that sport “can contribute to protecting refugee adolescents and young adults from abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence”. Likewise, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) recognises the important role sport plays in healing, particularly amongst refugee children. Implemented in a safe space, sport can help these children to address health issues and foster physical, emotional, mental and social development. Sport activities can provide relief from the difficult and boring day-to-day life of refugees. In the long term, sport activities can assist refugees in creating a trustful environment that ensures frequent participation and provides the opportunity for refugee participants to gain professional help if needed (i.e. vocational trainings, specialists, psychologists).

The professional help aspect is a very important one, as sport itself is not able to cure all circumstances, such as severe trauma. As far as your work is concerned, the use of sport-based approaches must be implemented carefully, based on the "do-no-harm-approach". Also, you should have an in-depth understanding of local contexts, offer enough opportunities for an exchange of experiences and team spirit, with the aim to avoid increasing conflict, fragility and violence.

In Jordan, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) launched a programme that addresses major challenges arising in refugee camps and in host communities. Due to limited capacities, those challenges include a lack of sport activities and psychosocial support, especially for children and youth. Therefore, coaches are trained to apply sport as a tool to promote values and social competences and to foster physical and psycho-social well-being.

In Kenya, the GIZ works in refugee camps and host communities with a focus on violence prevention and the promotion of peaceful co-existence. In this project, S4D concepts have been developed, which are integrated into regular coaching measures, and create the basis for training local multipliers.

The sport-pedagogical qualification of coaches and teachers is the main component of our advanced education and training programmes in the field of S4D ("Capacity Development on Individual Level"). For example, in Jordan numerous coaches and teachers have been further educated on the approach known as “S4D in the Refugee Context”. If you would like to organize a workshop in this context, below you will find courses with material on how to create your own workshops for coaches and teachers, both within and outside schools.

To comprise the entire range of competences people can gain in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D competences for children and youth, as well as for coaches. Projects and programmes working in the refugee context may use sport to address quite different topics. You may wish to use sport to promote competences in different areas, like health or violence prevention. We recommend reviewing the various competence frameworks developed in order to meet the various characteristics of your target groups and the social contexts coaches work in. 

The competence frameworks are considered as a comprehensive collection and not all competences are automatically gained by all coaches or children and youth. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities or coaches taking part in S4D workshops.

We invite you to have a look at the following manuals and guidelines, created by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), on the topic “S4D in the Refugee Context”. The following manuals outline practical games and drills, and provide helpful recommendations to promote a safe environment and key values of social cohesion. You will find a more detailed description about the materials in our collection S4D Tools for your Practice/Teaching and Learning Materials.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme and all activities on the ground. Example tools for performing M&E in the field of “S4D in the Refugee Context” are provided below. The M&E tools were developed in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) and were applied in our partner countries. If you are interested in M&E, this S4D Resource Toolkit offers you additional comprehensive information about M&E in the field of S4D and provides further hands-on M&E tools for your own practice.

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In the past few years, the sport and gender debate has moved from “gender equality in sport” towards “Sport for Gender Equality”. Instead of merely promoting the participation of women in sport, S4D initiatives worldwide now aim to use sport as an instrument to promote gender equality. This implies S4D programmes/projects and activities need to consider the specific needs of girls and women in their cultural contexts. Also, social constructions of masculinity and femininity should be considered as they play a key role in programme design.

Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promotes gender equality and focuses on ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls through promoting the empowerment of women across the world.

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

In this context, sport can contribute to the following aspects:

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

Due to the facts that (1) sport is traditionally seen as being a male domain and (2) women are underrepresented in almost all areas of sport, the participation of women and girls in sport activities challenges gender stereotypes related to their physical abilities and their roles in society. Sport programmes targeting mixed groups of boys and girls lend themselves to advocate equality and address constricting gender norms. Furthermore, they provide safe spaces for women and girls to practice sports.

Sport can also be used as a tool to promote women’s education, improve women’s and girls’ leadership roles and their participation in decision-making. Women in leadership positions serve as role models; they provide encouragement and support for women and girls at all levels of sport. An increase of women leadership can have a positive impact on social attitudes towards expanding women’s competences within society. Concurrently, the broad sport participation of men and boys can be used to educate them on gender-related issues, such as violence against women and girls, or addressing stereotypical attitudes and behaviour about women. Also, participating in sports means ‘being physical’, which makes it easier for women and girls to talk about sensitive topics like sexuality and reproductive health.

If you work within this field, gender mainstreaming is essential and requires a deep understanding of the barriers women and girls face in accessing, participating and benefiting from sport and physical activities. It is important to create appropriate physical resources and infrastructure, to develop equitable rules and to raise awareness of the opportunities of sport. Creating and enhancing these aspects to contribute challenging/questioning stereotypes and fighting gender discrimination. Coaches should serve as gender-sensitive role models, who work towards gender equality by supporting girls and women without neglecting boys and men.

In Afghanistan, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in cooperation with the Afghan Education Ministry works on promoting school sport for girls. Schools are still one of the few locations where girls and young women can be physically active. GIZ and their partner therefore decided to develop a curriculum for physical education (PE), which will become part of the overall basic education curriculum for primary school teachers. The programme also piloted teacher training activities which informed participants how to enhance personal and social competencies of girls and young women.

In Namibia, GIZ developed a sports-based teaching concept that operates through the S4D approach, combining sports provision for girls and young women with measures for HIV/AIDS prevention, health promotion and life skills training. Since 2016, this program has been implemented in the new girls’ sport and training centre in Windhoek. In this location girls and young women have the opportunity to play football in a safe space. Furthermore, they have access to specific counselling services, related to their health, and leadership courses. The leadership courses support in their school careers and allow girls and young women to be informed about job opportunities in the tourism sector. 

The sport-pedagogical qualification of coaches and teachers is the main component of our advanced education and training programmes in the field of S4D ("Capacity Development on Individual Level"). In Afghanistan, numerous female teachers have been educated to promote gender-sensitive physical education (PE) lessons for girls and young women in their schools. Workshop contents from Afghanistan, like the ‘child-centred approach’ and small games, are part of the PE curriculum for primary school teachers at teacher training colleges. If you are interested to get more insights click here. If interested in conducting a workshop in this context, below you will find courses with material on how to create these training workshops for coaches and teachers. 

To comprise the entire range of competences people can gain in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D competences for children and youth, as well as for coaches. Here you will find S4D competence frameworks for children and youth and for coaches with the focus on gender equality

The competence frameworks are considered as a comprehensive collection and not all competences are automatically gained by all coaches or children and youth. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities or coaches taking part in S4D workshops.

We invite you to have a look at the following manuals and guidelines created by the GIZ on behalf of the BMZ and its partner organisations, on the topic “Sport for Gender Equality". You will find a more detailed description about the materials in our collection S4D Tools for your Practice/Teaching and Learning Materials.

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme and all activities on the ground. Example tools for performing M&E in the area of “Sport for Gender Equality” are provided below; these tools were developed in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) and were applied in our partner countries. If you are interested in M&E, this S4D Resource Toolkit offers you additional comprehensive information about M&E in the field of S4D and provides further hands-on M&E tools for your own practice.

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Sport can play a supporting role in violence prevention. It can help to reduce tension and mitigate conflict by providing a neutral and peaceful space in which to engage with others. Even target groups that are difficult to reach, such as former perpetrators, can be re-integrated into society through sport. Sport also helps victims of violence to work through traumatic situations and re-build their self-confidence. Youth violence is the most visible form of violence outside conflict regions and is a growing problem in many countries. It has been found that young people’s acceptance of violence, as a means of settling conflict, decreases with participation in activities supported by sport.

Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims at the promotion of a peaceful and inclusive society, access to justice for all and at effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. 

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

Of course, sport alone cannot prevent conflict or build peace, but it can contribute to relationships across social, economic, and cultural divides. Sport initiates a sense of shared identity and fellowship among groups that might otherwise be inclined to view each other with distrust and hostility. When applied effectively, sport can teach fundamental principles such as tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, and mutual respect. Sport can support violence prevention regarding the following aspects:

  • Learning to cope with victory and defeat as well as different opinions
  • Reducing aggressive feelings and prejudices and learning self-control, respect and fairness
  • Allowing to address violence against girls and women and practising respectful interactions between girls/women and boys/men
  • Supporting girls and women to build up self-confidence in a safe space free of violence
  • Reintegrating perpetrators into society
  • Supporting victims in experiencing positive encounters and helping them to overcome traumatic experiences
  • Addressing abuse, violence and exploitation in sport

Sport provides a neutral platform for interaction and dialogue. Major sporting events can be used as such a platform; they use their profile to promote peaceful and harmonious societies. For example, the Olympic Truce aims at using the profile of ‘sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’. Since the same sporting rules apply to everyone, sport also offers a sense of equality and justice. Through sporting events teams and role models have the possibility to promote peaceful and harmonious messages to the public.

Sport-based programmes should be inclusive, what means open to everybody regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender or economic circumstances. As such, programmes have the potential to provide “an environment for disparate groups to find common ground, share experiences and engage in constructive dialogue which, when co-ordinated with other interventions, can potentially lead to mutual respect and understanding being developed and a more peaceful and inclusive community as a result” (Dudfield & Dingwall-Smith, 2015).

In practice, this can range from sport-based programmes promoting dialogue between young people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, to engaging gang members involved in urban conflict and connecting them with positive mentors, role models and support structures. Involvement in sport can provide participants with an opportunity to connect with other groups based on a shared identity. Furthermore, it fosters self-confidence and promotes social and communication skills which are important competences to resolve conflicts non-violently and peacefully exchange views. Empowering relationships and networks, sport activities can contribute to a greater sense of identity and feeling of belonging, which can lead to an active citizenship outside of the sporting environment.

However, the limitations of sport should be recognized: sport can be a site for disrespect, misunderstanding and violence. Sport for violence prevention approaches are most effective and fully inclusive, if they are linked with other community development initiatives, facilitated by trained community leaders and systematically monitored and evaluated (Dudfield & Dingwall-Smith, 2015). The use of sport-based approaches to contribute to reducing violence must be implemented carefully. They should be based on the ‘do-no-harm-approach’, drawing on in-depth understanding of local contexts, and offering enough opportunities for an exchange of experiences and team spirit.

Within the "Youth Development through Football (YDF)" project, which took place in South Africa and nine other African countries from 2007 to 2014, numerous coaches were educated to use football for life skills education. In the additional training based on the "YDF Manual for Violence Prevention”, the coaches learned how and in what contexts violence can arise, how football can be a tool in conflict situations, to address victims of violence and at risk groups. The manual addressed the importance of coaches to recognize their own limitations and how they can build a supportive network.

In Columbia, the method "Deporte con Principios" ("sport with principles") was developed in close cooperation with local partners aiming to use sport as a tool for peace-building and violence prevention in border regions of the country. The method incorporates existing Colombian concepts of peace football, international approaches to S4D, and modern methods of sports pedagogy. The focus of the work in Colombia is on peace building, violence prevention and reconciliation. In addition, it outlines social integration of internally displaced persons and on the integration of former participants in the armed conflict.

In Kenya, sport is used to promote basic skills to prevent violence in a refugee context. E.g. in the Kakuma refugee camp, refugees with different ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds come together, and especially among the young people, conflicts arise quickly. In addressing both refugees and the host community population, trained mediation coaches use sporting activities, such as volleyball and football, to help young people to solve conflicts without violence.

The sport-pedagogical qualification of coaches and teachers is the main component of our advanced education and training programmes in the field of S4D ("Capacity Development on Individual Level"). In Colombia, workshops for teachers and coaches focus on peace building and conflict resolution in the border regions. If interested in organizing a workshop in this topic, below you will find courses with material on how to create your own workshops for coaches and teachers, both within and outside schools.

To comprise the entire range of competences people can gain in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D competences for children and youth, as well as for coaches. Here you will find S4D competences frameworks which focus on violence prevention.  

The competence frameworks are considered as a comprehensive collection and not all competences are automatically gained by all coaches or children and youth. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities or coaches taking part in S4D workshops.

Here we present some S4D activities that aim at fostering the development of competences described. For example, within the activities there are “follow-up discussions” that reflect the roles of victims and perpetrators, while another activity outlines the responsibility of every team member to promote peace. The examples are part of manuals developed in Kenya and South Africa.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme and all activities on the ground. Tools for performing M&E in the field of “Sport for Violence Prevention” are provided below. The M&E tools have been developed in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) and were applied in our partner countries. If you are interested in M&E, this S4D Resource Toolkit offers you additional comprehensive information about M&E in the field of S4D and provides further hands-on M&E tools for your own practice.

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Sport can be used to promote a variety of topics related to health, including (non-)communicable diseases, psychosocial health, and general ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Sport can improve physical fitness, mental well-being and social interactions, but it is also a valuable tool for health education, sensitization, and mobilization. Given the broad appeal of sport, particularly among young people who are difficult to reach, sports activities are an ideal way to promote health-related development goals.

Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, regardless of age. 

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

In relation to this SDG, sport can create the following benefits:

  • Sport and physical activity improve physical fitness and promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Sport promotes general individual physical and psycho-social well-being, self-esteem, social connectedness and mental health.
  • Using sport and physical activity as exercising on a regular basis prevents non-communicable diseases.
  • When integrated into development programmes, sport can address sensitive health issues like HIV/AIDS or reproductive health.
  • Sport is popular and usually sport events attract many people. Sport events can be used a platform to sensitize people to health education related to topics such as HIV/AIDS, communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Working within the health context, physical activity can be used to support therapeutic treatments of depression, stress and anxiety. Furthermore, sport initiatives can contribute to overcome stigmatization, reduce prejudices and contribute to changes in behaviour. Implemented in a safe place, sensible issues, such as sexual and reproductive health, can be communicated in a caring and age appropriate manner. Working on these benefits of sport requires pedagogical competences of programme/project staff and coaches. In general though, it is vitally important that coaches develop competences that allow them to become role models for children and youth who participate in a programme/project. S4D programmes, or single training sessions, regarding health mostly address HIV/AIDS education, health promotion and life skills training. To learn more about appropriate games and exercises, check out our Teaching and Learning Materials below.

In 2013, a strategic alliance entitled “Designed to Move” was established between the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and Nike. GIZ and “Designed to Move” shared a common goal, promoting the importance of moving. To reach this common goal, we integrated activities into 20 pilot schools in South Africa and Brazil. The alliance enforced the idea that sport and daily physical activity are essential for the social, physical and mental development of children and youth. This approach was supported by evidence that showed children and youth become inspired. Also, it was found that providing them with the opportunity to play before, during, and after classes allowed them to develop valuable life skills, such as personal development and societal integration. More information you will find in the Publication "Designed to Move" below (Further Reading). 

In Namibia, a pedagogical programme has been established focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, health promotion and life skills training, in close cooperation with the Women Desk of the Namibian Football Association and their programme “Galz and Goals”. Additionaly, the coaching manuals “Football4Life”, “Basketball4Life”, “Volleyball4Life”and “Netball4Life” were developed to support coaches in implementing health-appropriate S4D activities in their own training sessions. The programme, in cooperation with UNAIDS Namibia, also uses the potential of sport in HIV/AIDS education through the „Protect the Goals“ campaign, which reached over 8000 children and youth. Since their beginning, the programme has cooperated closely with the “Multi-sectoral Programme for HIV/Aids Education” of GIZ.

In Jordan and Northern Iraq, GIZ runs projects to use sport and physical activity for violence prevention in host communities and refugee camps. The projects promote healthy physical and mental development of children and young people, including those who are disadvantaged and disabled. It trains local coaches and instructors to identify and exploit the potential of sport for children’s and youth development.

To comprise the entire range of competences people can gain in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D Competences for children and youth, as well as for coaches. Here you will find S4D competence frameworks which focus on health.

The competence frameworks are considered as a comprehensive collection and not all competences are automatically gained by all coaches or children and youth. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities or coaches taking part in S4D workshops.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme and of all activities on the ground. Tools related to performing M&E in the area of “Sport for Health” are provided below. They have been developed in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) and were applied in our partner countries. If you are interested in M&E, this S4D Resource Toolkit offers you additional comprehensive information about M&E in the field of S4D and provides further hands-on M&E tools for your own practice.

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The attractiveness and broad impact of sports, games and exercises are suitable to promote relevant vocational competences amongst youth. Through sport-pedagogical activities, key competences can be promoted to prepare youth for the world of labour. Sport can integrate and maintain youth in education and training programmes. In addition, the sport industry is considered a driving force of economic growth with untapped potential. Overall, sport can contribute to vocational education and job prospects.

Besides the assurance of sustained economic growth, productive full employment and human working conditions, Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demands for the increase of youth employment and the decrease of the percentage of youth without school or vocational education.

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

In relation to this SDG, sport has several aspects that can be highlighted. Through a supportive environment and an adequate atmosphere in a sport training, youth can achieve key competences that contribute at the same time to improving their employability. These include:

  • Self-awareness:Youth are able to reflect on their personal behaviour and evaluate strengths and weaknesses
  • Responsibility: Youth are able to recognize the responsibility for oneself and others and act accordingly
  • Cooperation: Youth learn to work on a successful outcome, with all potentials and differences of group members in mind
  • Goal-orientation: Youth learn to work perseveringly and disciplined on achieving their goals

Apart from conveying competences you can use sport training for:

  • Giving information: Advising youth about advanced vocational education and prospects and options  
  • Networking: Supporting youth in networking and provide connections with potential employers

Using the attractiveness of sport may be relevant to reach marginalized youth or youth that are difficult to approach (i.e. early school drop outs, (former) criminals, (former) drug addicts). Sport training can contribute to (re-)integrate them into the education system. In addition, within many countries the sport sector offers a growing labour market with jobs in science, economics, politics and civil society. In the economic context, the cross-sectional character of the sport sector is considered as strength. Synergies with other economic sectors, such as tourism, education or health, are proven to be effective and create positive economic impact on many fiscal aspects, like employment growth. Thus, sport can be seen as a promoter of employment and economic prosperity.

In the Palestinian Territories and Ethiopia, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) utilizes sport as a tool to promote vocational education and job prospects. In both countries, we work closely with local TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) agencies, schools and programmes focusing on the development on the labour market. Coaches and teachers, who were qualified in the country-specific “Sport for Vocational Education and Employability” method, promote and enforce the development of key vocational competences such as communication, planning, and decision-making. These competences enhance the chances of job placement of the vocational students in the labour market. Additionally, in cooperation with local partners, we offer sport events to assist in providing information and hands-on workshops related to vocational education. The sport events also contribute to improve the often-negative image of vocational education in the regions. To combat this image, we also work closely together with responsible ministries (i.e. Palestinian Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education in Ethiopia).

In Namibia, in cooperation with Futouris e.V. and the TUI Care Foundation, the GIZ and its partners jointly promote sustainable sport-related tourism in Windhoek and the northern Ohangwena region. The core objectives of the project are to raise awareness about health-issues and to support the vocational education in the field of sustainable tourism. In cooperation with the Namibian Football Federation, GIZ has established a Girl’s Centre in Windhoek, where young women participate in sports. Additionally, our partners support these young women in their school careers and inform them about job opportunities in the tourism sector.

In Indonesia, the German Cooperation’s Innovation and Investment for Inclusive Sustainable Economic Development (ISED) programme realized a three-day S4D course for employees of 20 hotels on Lombok Island. Interactive small games based on the country-specific S4D method of combining play and sports with discussion, reflection and learning can enrich employability competences for young as well as established professionals.

The sport-pedagogical qualification of coaches and teachers is the main component of our advanced education and training programmes in the field of S4D ("Capacity Development on Individual Level"). In the Palestinian Territories, coaches and teachers have been further educated as part of the approach “Sport for Vocational Education and Employability”. If interested in organizing a workshop in this topic, below you will find courses with material on how to create your own workshops for coaches and teachers, both within and outside schools.

To comprise the entire range of competences people can gain in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D Competences for children and youth, as well as for coaches. Here you will find S4D competence frameworks which focus on vocational education and employability.

The competence frameworks are considered as a comprehensive collection and not all competences are automatically gained by all coaches or children and youth. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities or coaches taking part in S4D workshops.

In some countries, the GIZ and local partners offer different events for children and youth, and the general public. Examples of such events include tournaments, orientation days or summer/holiday camps. In the Palestinian Territories, the one-week summer camps, hosted at vocational schools, aim to develop individual job prospects and to promote key vocational competences through group sport activities. Through a comprehensive vocational assessment youth have the possibility to determine individual aptitudes, interests, and abilities. Through engaging in hands-on classroom-based workshops (e.g. in plumbing, mechanics etc.) and “Sport for Employment” activities, participants are exposed to many of the diverse aspects of the world of work.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme and all activities on the ground. Example tools for performing M&E in the area of “Sport for Vocational Education and Employability” are provided below; these tools were developed in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) and were applied in our partner countries. If you are interested in M&E, this S4D Resource Toolkit offers you additional comprehensive information about M&E in the field of S4D and provides further hands-on M&E tools for your own practice.

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Sport and physical education (PE) can motivate children and youth to attend and engage in formal and informal education. It supports them in acquiring competences like motivation, goal orientation, and perseverance and in learning social key values, like tolerance. Sport, as part of holistic education, creates quality learning environments, engages disenfranchised learners and can contribute to improved education outcomes (Dudfield & Dingwall-Smith, 2015). Sport activities can also create learning opportunities beyond school and improve relationships between teachers and students.

Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

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

Quality Physical Education (PE) and well-delivered sport-based activities in school, as well as other formal and informal education settings, can make various contributions to SDG 4 and its targets. The potential impact includes: 

  • Better engaged learners
  • Varied active learning experiences
  • Young people re-connected to formal learning environments
  • More inclusive learning environments
  • Modelling of positive teaching styles
  • Positive relationships between teachers and learners

Sport and PE is declared as a fundamental right in “The International Charter of Physical Education and Sport”. Also it is considered as a form of recreational activity and play, in the “Convention on the Rights of the Child”. International acceptance of the right to participate in sport and physical activity has been additionally strengthened by recognition from the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. Nevertheless, sport and PE are often neglected in formal and non-formal education settings and still has a lower status when compared to other subjects.

Sport-based approaches and quality PE have a positive effect on learners, such as the potential to improve academic performance. In a well-delivered format, it can motivate children to enrol in school and promote attending school. Relationships between learners and teachers can be enhanced based on different and active teaching methods which are inherent in sport and quality PE. Thus, teachers and sport coaches can demonstrate effective, learner-centred approaches that can be adapted to other subject areas. This can be particularly useful to engage, or support excluded learners (Dudfield & Dingwall-Smith, 2015). In this context, the attractiveness of sport can be used to reach school drop-outs or other children who do not attend school and (re-)integrate them into the education system.

Working in this field means to recognize that sport and PE, if applied correctly, contribute to a holistic education. Using participative and experienced-oriented learning methods inform children and youth on life competences, strengthening their ability to concentrate and improve their cognitive performance. Life competences and values build on individual capacity (e.g. communication, empathy) and improved inclination for educational achievement. Thus, sport is a powerful vehicle to teach children and youth positive attitudes, values and moral strength. These qualities can in turn further contribute to the development of more inclusive societies.

In Afghanistan the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) promote girls and young women through physical education (PE) in schools, as these classes are still one of the few opportunities for girls to become physically active. Therefore, teachers undergo training on how to use sport and play as a tool to promote social competences and how to adapt sport activities to local circumstances. 

In Mozambique, in collaboration with the sports faculty of the Universidade Pedagogica in Maputo, male and female coaches, students and lecturers have been educated in S4D. The contents of the workshops were integrated into the curriculum of the university and educate students on its approaches and methods. Since the workshops, the topics have been circulated into sport clubs, partner schools and communities by the students. 

Taking place in South Africa and Brazil, and organized through collaboration between Nike and GIZ, the “Designed to Move” programme used schools as a hub for promoting positive physical experiences. The objective was to reach disadvantaged children and youth who might otherwise be excluded from physical activity and play.

To ensure high-quality and inclusive practice, capacity development and training for those delivering physical education and sport-based activities should be a priority ("Capacity Development on Individual Level"). Qualified PE teachers can use multiple ’teachable moments‘ (moments at which learning a particular topic or idea becomes possible or easiest for children/youth), before, during and after sporting activities. These moments promote and reinforce competences such as fair play and teamwork as well as respect for rules and other people.

In the context of “Sport and Education” numerous female teachers have been further educated to promote gender-sensitive physical education lessons for girls and young women in their schools in Afghanistan. In Mozambique, students, lecturers, coaches of clubs and NGOs were educated in S4D approaches. Contents of both workshops have been implemented as curricula in local education systems of each country. Below you will find the capacity development workshop materials:

To comprise the entire range of competences people can gain in the field of S4D, we developed clusters of S4D Competences for children and youth, as well as for coaches. Projects and programmes in the context of education may use sport to address quite different topics. You may wish to use sport to teach general life skills or to promote competences in different areas, like health or violence prevention. We recommend reviewing the various competence frameworks developed in order to meet the various characteristics of your target groups and the social contexts coaches work in.

The competence frameworks are considered as a comprehensive collection and not all competences are automatically gained by all coaches or children and youth. However, the frameworks are a useful presentation of competences that may and could be gained by beneficiaries taking part in S4D activities or coaches taking part in S4D workshops.

We invite you to have a look at the following manuals and curricula, created by the GIZ on behalf of the BMZ and its partner organisations, on the topic “Sport and Education". You will find a more detailed description about the materials in our collection S4D Tools for your Practice/Teaching and Learning Materials.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an essential part of the cycle of a S4D programme and all activities on the ground. Tools for performing M&E in the context of “Sport and Education” have been developed in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS), and were applied in our partner countries; these tools are provided below. If you are interested in M&E, this S4D Resource Toolkit offers you additional comprehensive information about M&E in the field of S4D and provides further hands-on M&E tools for your own practice.

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Establishing sport as a tool for development not only requires acknowledgement of its potential and qualified people, but suitable safe spaces where S4D trainings for children and youth can take place. Often appropriate sports infrastructure is scarce or missing, particularly in densely populated areas and for socially deprived children and youth. To address this gap and expand opportunities for learning and leisure, German Development Cooperation (GIZ) renovates and constructs grassroots sports grounds. 

The initiative ‘More Space for Sport – 1,000 Chances for Africa’ offers partners from the worlds of politics, business, organised sport and civil society a framework in which they can work together to support disadvantaged children and young people. Sports grounds are newly constructed or renovated in selected African countries. Activities offered on these sports grounds contribute to the achievement of development goals, such as SDG 3, SDG 4 or SDG 5. Thus, positive and sustainable changes, such as social capacities for a peaceful coexistence and local development, are initiated through sport.

To ensure sports grounds serve development purposes and facilitate the establishment of S4D, several considerations have to be taken into account during construction or rehabilitation as well as regarding use, maintenance and care. If designed properly, “Sport can contribute to equitable access for all by providing accessible sport infrastructure and spaces” (UN, 2014). 

The renovation or new construction of grassroots sports grounds in locations such as municipal establishments, youth centres, clubs, schools and educational institutions, in and around refugee camps and in rural regions, provides safe places to meet where coaches can offer sporting activities in line with the S4D approach. The following aspects should be considered in this context: 

  • Selecting the sports grounds and planning construction should be realized in participatory processes, integrating opinions of multiple stakeholders, e.g. civil society, municipalities, schools or sports clubs. Steering committees composed by representatives of different stakeholders offer a valuable platform for discussions and decisions. Moreover, they facilitate exchange between governmental and non-governmental structures and increase ownership. Processes need to be transparent and well-communicated.
  • Grassroots sports grounds are the most suitable to promote S4D and to be sustainably maintained by organisations and operators. They can be built with local materials and skills, require little maintenance, are fairly inexpensive and highly accessible.
  • GIZ established a standard sports ground design to plan and construct grassroots sport grounds efficient. This is a modular and systematic design system customized for every location and for different types of sports grounds (e.g. football, basketball, netball, multifunction), for different sizes and for different surfaces (gravel, grass, sand, concrete).
  • When building or renovating sports grounds, social, climate/environmental and economic factors need to be taken into account. They can affect type, size, surface and use of a sports ground.
  • At the best, facilities are accessible not only for children and youth related to the institution or organisation where the sports ground is placed at but also for people from diverse backgrounds living close by.
  • To ensure sports grounds are equally accessible for socially deprived people, constructions need to be designed thoroughly, taking the specific needs of children and youth, women and girls, or handicapped people, into account. This implies avoiding stairs, separate changing rooms and WASH facilities, sufficient light, safe accessibility around, among others. Beside the facilities themselves, transport ways to the facilities need to be safe and accessible.

Assuring the long-term availability of a sports ground for S4D activities requires its continuous maintenance and care as well as a regular S4D offer by the operator. In terms of both technical maintenance of the sports grounds and the activities offered on these. After all, the rule of thumb is: ‘Sports grounds with concepts!’. To support partners in reaching a sustainable use of sports grounds, the GIZ developed the ‘Maintenance and Repair Manual for Grassroots Sports Grounds’ and offers trainings on maintenance and repair ("sports ground management") to operators (see below).

A sustainable implementation of S4D on the ground requires of technical and management competences as well as of ‘political’ support. Therefore, the regional S4D programme in Africa of the German development cooperation offers partners advice and trainings on three levels:

  1. On the implementation level, the capacity development (CD) strategy focuses on developing individual capacities needed for the implementation of S4D on the ground. This includes, for instance, the qualification of S4D coaches or the training of sports grounds managers (CD on Individual Level).
  2. On the organisational level, the CD strategy focuses on developing institutional commitment to delivering S4D. Here, advice aims at generating organisational backing for S4D and focuses on embedding the approach into the functioning of the organisation. In Togo, for instance, local steering committees have formed with participation of state and none-state actors and take care of maintaining the sports grounds as well as offering S4D (CD on Organizational Level).
  3. On the policy level, the CD strategy focuses on generating political commitment to S4D and to mainstreaming the S4D approach on a regional or national level. This includes, for instance, advice on including S4D in development plans or in national physical educational syllabi. Advice on this level focuses on national partners, such as ministries and institutions, sports federations or NGOs that work on a national or regional level. In such a way, the Namibian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture recently started to include S4D in its new school sports syllabus (CD on Societal Level).

Three levels are crucial for sustainably establishing S4D activities that foster children and youth development. The levels strongly interact and support each other. If you want to learn more about the different levels, have a look in the following publication:

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Sport can be used to highlight the importance of a healthy environment for our everyday life and emphasize the relevance of biodiversity on earth that needs to be protected. Through sports activities, students gain pedagogically valuable group experiences and learn about aspects of environmentally friendly and sustainable development in a playful way. 

Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promotes the fight against climate change and its effects. If humanity does not stop producing emissions, the average surface temperature of the world will probably exceed three degrees Celsius this century. Climate change is no longer the responsibility of one country, it is now affecting every country on every continent. 

In relation to this SDG, sport can create the following benefits:

  • Improving the knowledge of climate change and its impacts on the environment and people’s lives
  • Improving the capacity of communicating about climate change and its effects as well as the necessity of overcoming challenges together
  • Raising people’s awareness of environmental protection and the importance of a healthy environment and how we all can contribute to that
  • Encouraging discussion on environmental issues and different perspectives on them
  • Promoting active engagement with nature and its habitats in the sense of a careful and sustainable handling educating about environment and climate change
  • Taking immediate action like creating sports equipment out of natural resources or waste products
  • Implementing sport for development activities like building sports grounds or running sport events in a sustainable manner

With the destruction of biodiversity and the decrease of the oxygen content we take ourselves and above future generation the basis for life and health. Therefore, it is important to educate children and youth as early as possible about the consequences of climate change and create a careful and economical use of natural resources through environmental education.

Several Teaching and Learning Material (see below) dealing with topics like water pollution and waste management. In terms of sustainable sports equipment, another focus of our programmes is to create useful sports equipment with natural resources and recycled materials. For Example, In Uganda teachers, coaches and instructors use local equipment produced from available recyclable and environment-friendly materials e.g. banana stems, cartons, pipes, ropes, plastic bottles, rubber bicycle tyres etc. for fundamental movement activities. The production of local equipment is not only environmentally friendly but also very cheap or even free. Involving children and youth in the production this will not only motivate them to use materials but also to learn how to safeguard and care for their equipment.

We invite you to have a look at the following manuals created by the GIZ on behalf of the BMZ and its partner organisations, on the topic Sport and Environment. You will find more detailed description about the materials in our collection S4D Tools for your Practice/Teaching and Learning Materials.

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Inclusive and accessible sport activities can be designed to open up participation for all, and can in turn contribute to advancing health and other human rights for people with disabilities.

As the topic of inclusion is anchored in several SDGs (e.g. SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 8, SDG 11), it should be considered as an important cross-cutting topic. According to the principle “Leaving no one behind” the United Nations published the report Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities in 2018. In the report all SDGs are reflected in terms of people with disabilities.

Persons with disabilities havea higher probability of being subject to socio-economic disadvantage such as low income, social isolation, discrimination, fewer educational opportunities, limited access e.g. to the labour market, to transport and sporting activities. According to the UNOSDP (2014),

 “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.”

Participation in sport can improve the well-being of persons with disabilities and can contribute, in particular, to improving physical and mental health. Furthermore, sport can be used to (see SDPIWG, 2008)

  • Reduce stigma: Sport can challenge societal perceptions and discrimination against people living with disabilities. It may change the societal attitude towards people with disabilities by providing avenues for interaction.
  • Enhance socialization: Sport may help persons with disabilities to acquire personal and social competences they can apply in other aspects of their lives and which they may have lacked as a result of isolation (e.g. communication, cooperation, goal-setting etc.).
  • Promote independence: Sport can enable persons with disabilities to become more independent by improving their physical capacities (e.g., coordination, posture, muscle tone, balance, and strength) and by facilitating their socio-emotional development and capacity for self-help.
  • Contribute to empowerment: Sport is an effective means of building knowledge and awareness among persons with disabilities because it allows for large groups to come together in a fun way. The awareness and confidence that persons with disabilities gain through sport are also often the impetus for engaging in advocacy work, because the communication, leadership, and teamwork skills they develop are easily transferred to this arena.

Inclusive S4D programmes and projects highlight the importance of creating inclusive communities and can provide a mechanism to challenge and address barriers to inclusion and link participants to broader community services.

In South Africa and other African countries, the German Development Cooperation implemented the Youth Development through Football (YDF) project between 2007 and 2014. Here, the inclusion of persons with disabilities was a focal topic and the power of the World Cup in 2010 was used to draw attention for inclusion in and through sport.

In Uganda, the Athletic for Development (A4D) approach is focusing on children with visual disabilities. The A4D manual provides a number of games for children and youth with visual impairment including cases of albinism.

In Namibia, the Girls Centre in Windhoek was built barrier-free. Accessible sport facilities are a necessary precondition for children and youth with disabilities to participate in sporting activities.

We invite you to have a look at the following manuals created by the GIZ on behalf of the BMZ and its partner organisations, on the topic Sport for Inclusion. You will find more detailed description about the materials in our collection S4D Tools for your Practice/Teaching and Learning Materials.

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Sport and physical education can promote and strengthen social cohesion by providing a playground for enjoying physical activities together with people from various social and cultural backgrounds. In this context, sport can also make valuable contributions to reconciliation and intercultural learning. Using sport as a tool for social cohesion means to take active steps towards mutual understanding and experience-based learning.

According to UNDP (2020) social cohesion is not a fixed endpoint but, rather, a dynamic and evolving state. Therefore it requires constant investments on different levels. With regards to the Agenda 2030 “Social Cohesion through Sport” is linked to several SDGs, mainly SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Within the larger context of post-conflict societies SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) plays an important role and links with the aspiration for social cohesive communities. Additionally, SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals) addresses the need for collaboration between public, public-private and civil society sectors on different levels, e.g. to provide inclusive access to physical activity and sport and to strengthen partnerships between organisations from the sport-, social-, educational- and public sectors.

Social Cohesion is complex, multidimensional and very context specific. It is composed of inclusivity, the notion of tolerance, the appreciation of diversity and it aims to build trust, a sense of belonging and networks of interaction within a society. Sport is a social activity that might divide as much as it unites. Nevertheless, being implemented in a pedagogical valuable manner, S4D can contribute to cohesion as an early childhood intervention, building core competences on an individual level, while fostering social inclusion and social capital on a community level. S4D activities provide an arena for the community to witness cooperation and support the building of relationships - connecting individuals to communities and across social groups.

Especially when sport activities are designed to encourage participation, not only competition, important competences such as taking responsibility for one´s action, respecting others, tolerance, cooperation and problem-solving can develop. Furthermore, S4D activities require interaction and can thus help challenge stereotypes and ‘break down barriers’ of mistrust by young people. Role models in sport can support the promotion of peace and diversity and can encourage the dialogue of divided communities and cultures.  

In the refugee context sport can be a valuable tool to promote integrating newcomers to a community. It can play an important part in re-engaging disaffected sections of the community, building shared social capital and grass roots leadership through improved cross-cultural interaction. It has to be recognized, however, that within this process sport and event activities are merely a starting point, a vehicle or booster for further activities which need to be strategically implemented and leveraged to achieve wider social development outcomes.  

Given the strong appeal sport has to children and youth, the projects in the Western Balkans, Turkey and Sri Lanka use sport as a tool to promote interaction and enhance competences, which contribute towards peaceful cohesion and resilience:

Working with the multi-ethnic, post-conflict societies and the diverse contexts in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia), the aim of the programme in the region is to strengthen social cohesion and to improve the living conditions for vulnerable groups through the S4D approach. In close cooperation with seven municipalities, German development cooperation (GIZ) supports multi-stakeholder networks consisting of local authorities, NGOs, schools, kindergartens and sport clubs. These actors are all engaged in community-based development and the implementation of strategies on using sport as a tool to strengthen inclusive participation, acknowledge diversity, increase reciprocal trust and a sense of belonging as well as the interconnectedness of individuals and groups. Through regional trainings and knowledge exchanges capacities are strengthened on the individual and organisational level which aims, on a long run, to foster social ties and interaction also across borders.

In Turkey, the DOSB in collaboration with GIZ conduct sport-related workshops in cities at the Turkish-Syrian border in order to strengthen social cohesion between Syrian refugees and the Turkish host communities. The focus is on imparting knowledge about sports and movement as an integrative element and instrument of intercultural encounter as well as the connection between sport and education, health and inclusion in the refugee context. In the workshops GIZ and partners train Turkish and Syrian multipliers to initiate and establish sport activities in clubs, schools and community centres for intercultural exchange and appreciation of the different cultures. Thus, Syrian and Turkish children, adolescents and young adults have access to meaningful activities that allow for social interaction.

In Sri Lanka the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) supported the Ministry of Education in the development and implementation of the national policy on education for social cohesion and peace in order to foster social cohesion and reconciliation among the citizens of the country. The Education for Social Cohesion Programme (ESC) developed a concept which outlines how sport can be used as a tool to promote social cohesion and how sport activities can be designed inclusively for people from various social and cultural backgrounds. The concept is used by PE teachers and was part of an inter-college exchange programme, which brought students from various ethnic and religious backgrounds together.

The sport-pedagogical qualification of coaches and teachers is the main component of our advanced education and training programmes in the field of S4D ("Capacity Development on Individual Level"). In the Western Balkans (AlbaniaBosnia and HerzegovinaKosovoNorth MacedoniaSerbia) and in Sri Lanka, workshops for coaches and teachers focus on how sport can be used as a tool to promote social cohesion and how sport activities can be designed inclusively for people from various social and cultural backgrounds.

If you want to have more detailed and/or further information about the topic, please have a look at the following publications.