You are here

Annual survey results: Sport and the sustainable development goals

Copyrights: UNDP

Annual survey results: Sport and the sustainable development goals

A look at sportanddev’s annual survey results reveal some interesting trends when looking at your views on the importance of the SDGs and sport’s role in addressing them.  

We recently ran our annual survey and a few weeks ago we shared the main results related to views about our work; however, we also asked a few questions to assess your views on sport and development more generally, including two about the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

We first asked survey participants to select the three SDGs that they thought sport could have the biggest impact in addressing. The top five chosen were as follows:

1. Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (81%)

2. Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (65%)

3. Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (57%)

4. Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (54%)

5. Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (30%)

We then asked survey participants to select which three SDGs they feel are the most pressing in the world today. The top selections were as follows:

1. Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere (63%)

2. Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (45%)

3. Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (37%)

4. Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (35%)

=5. Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (31%)

=5. Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (31%)

When comparing these two lists, three interesting observations emerge. The first is that only two of the SDGs that survey participants believed sport could have the biggest impact in addressing are among the top six identified as the world’s most pressing issues. That may suggest that the sport and development community, or at least those people who participated in the survey, does not believe sport has a major role to play in tackling the topics they find most important, most notably ending poverty and ending hunger.

Secondly, the results largely confirm the findings of work already done by the Commonwealth Secretariat. A consultation it undertook with a variety of stakeholders in 2015 identified six SDGs that sport could have the biggest role in addressing, plus a seventh – Goal 17 – that was seen as cross-cutting. All of the top five from sportanddev’s survey were among the seven highlighted by the Commonwealth consultation. The other two from the Commonwealth consultation (Goal 8, decent work and economic growth and Goal 11, sustainable cities and communities) were not far behind in sportanddev’s list. Those two came joint seventh, each with 26% of people selecting them. There seems to be broad agreement on which SDGs sport can be most effective in addressing, although that does not devalue the impressive work done by organisations using sport to work towards the other goals.

Thirdly, it is interesting to highlight that Goal 17 came fifth when we asked where sport can have the biggest impact but was only identified as the fourteenth most pressing issue in the world today. We did not ask for participants to give reasons, so cannot be certain why; however, its high position on the first list seems likely to be because of sport and development’s relatively unusual ability to involve a variety of actors, from universities and NGOs to sports federations and governments. Its low position on the second list is likely due to the wording of our question – when compared to topics such as addressing climate change, ending poverty and reducing inequality, Goal 17 sounds a little generic to be considered the most pressing issue in the world today. However, some might argue that, because implementation and partnership-building affect the success of all other 16 goals, the importance of SDG 17 deserves wider recognition.

 

About

Article type

News

Author

Paul Hunt

Published

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 17:42

E-Newsletter subscribe