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Bridging the divide

Copyrights: Ashley Newell

Bridging the divide

sportanddev and the Japan Sport Council, along with partners, are launching a project to develop a guidebook on how to incorporate sport as a development tool for project managers and policy makers worldwide.

Sport is increasingly viewed as a tool for development and peace, and is recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs. More actors across sectors are incorporating sport and physical activity into their policies and programmes. However, there remain notable gaps in understanding and application among policy makers and project managers as to how sport can best contribute to sustainable development. There is a clear need to build capacity in the field of sport for development and peace (SDP) and bridge the divide that exists between policy and practice.

For example, research carried out by the Japan Sport Council (JSC) in 2017, showed that:

  • 6% of Japanese cities were aware that sport is recognised in the 2030 Agenda
  • 74% of cities were unaware of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • 36% of cities admitted they were unsure of how to implement SDP policy and
  • Over 28% of cities acknowledged that “they have no idea of using sport as a tool in the first place”

As such, the JSC and the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev) are pleased to announce the launch of an ambitious project entitled Bridging the Divide: A Guide for Translating Policy into Practice and Managing Projects to maximise the use of Sport for Sustainable Development.

The project seeks to increase capacity in the sport sector and beyond to mainstream the use of sport in development. A comprehensive and practical guidebook will be developed, on how to incorporate sport as a development tool for project managers and policy makers worldwide. The guidebook will be published both in Japanese and English (and ideally all official languages of the United Nations) in 2020. The project has been certified as a Tokyo 2020 Support Programme, which forms part of the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Japan Sport Council (JSC) and / Swiss Academy for Development (SAD) will coordinate the project, with oversight from an Advisory Committee representing key stakeholders and experts in the field. The current members of the Advisory Committee are representatives from:

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • Agitos Foundation (development arm of the International Paralympic Committee)
  • The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat (observer)

The project will review existing initiatives and aligned projects - no point in reinventing the wheel - and we welcome any input in this regard. Overall, the three-year project seeks to create greater awareness of the viability and value of sport as a tool for sustainable development, ideally leading to increased capacity, commitment, evidence and investment in policies and projects that mainstream the use of sport in development, including how sport can contribute to the SDGs.

We are seeking further funding and partners so do get in touch. For this and general enquiries, contact:


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Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 11:12

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