You are here

Knowledge in the time of COVID-19: Learning from sport for development

Knowledge in the time of COVID-19: Learning from sport for development

As we gear up for the launch of the second edition of our course on sport for sustainable development, we reflect on the challenges and opportunities of the past year.

NOTE: We are currently soliciting feedback from learners and experts to review and update the SDP MOOC on FutureLearn for a second edition. Complete the learner survey here (if you participated in the course)

This time last year, the whole world was gearing up for a period of uncertainty, with governments around the world recommending a period of restricted movement and lockdowns ranging from a few days to a few weeks, in an attempt to counter the threat of increasing COVID-19 infections. A year on, while the threat remains, the world has changed, simply because in most cases it has needed to.

The pandemic, and the ensuing lockdowns and distancing measures, caused unforeseen and overwhelming disruption to access to education, training and capacity building opportunities at an unprecedented scale. However, as societies looked to respond to this generational challenge, we have seen increased innovation in the provision of remote learning opportunities – and the sport for development sector has led the way in this regard.

Online workshops on coach education and athlete development, and bespoke programmes and webinars on safeguarding, gender issues and human rights in sport have emerged to help ensure the gains made in recent times are not reversed. Increased digital penetration and a captive audience has also led to wider reach and enhanced ease of access to learning opportunities, prompting policymakers to ponder whether information and communications technology (ICT) will be at the heart of a long-term, sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

Indeed, this International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosts the 5th Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development to discuss whether investment in technology is the key to rebuilding the sport sector post COVID-19. Governments, sector experts, academics, athletes and sport federations will come together to discuss the key priorities for the sport sector to ensure not only a successful recovery, but sustained contribution to key development priorities and sustainable development goals (SDGs) as we work towards a larger rebuild post a period of crisis.

The online global course on sport for development

This is a fitting discussion following the successful first edition of the free online course on Sport for Sustainable Development: Designing effective policies and programmes, jointly developed and launched in July 2020 by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Australian Government and the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev).

Between July and December 2020, more than 3400 learners from 165 countries across six continents, including 45 Commonwealth member countries, participated in the course. Kept free of cost to increase access to young people and those in economically disadvantaged contexts, the course has been carefully designed to help build capacity among individuals and organisations, to unlock the potential of sport through well-designed policies and programmes.

Designed to meet the needs of a variety of learners, including government officials, intergovernmental and sports organisations, public policy experts, the private sector and civil society organisations, the course allows learners to explore aspects of programme design and implementation, and understand how to measure the impact of policies and programmes. The course also allows learners to explore key concepts on sport and gender equality, disability, human rights, social inclusion, peacebuilding and safeguarding, and to understand how sport can contribute to these key sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Feedback and highlights

The course has attracted a wide range of audiences, including from the public, private and third sectors, prominent sporting institutions, intergovernmental agencies, NGOs and other key stakeholders. Many actors cited the course as filling a crucial gap in the sport and development field.

Learner feedback has been positive to date, with 62% of learners surveyed indicating they have already applied the information, tools and resources from the course in their policies, programmes and projects, meaning the course is having a real-world impact on sport and development.

  • 96% of learners surveyed* indicated the course met or exceeded their expectations
  • 95% of learners surveyed* indicated they gained new knowledge or skills in the course
  • 92% of learners surveyed* indicated that they were satisfied with the course
  • Gender split of enrolled learners – 48% female / 51% male (1% non-binary) **

As one learner commented: “The course was well presented and utilised many experts in the field to provide information and perspective. A brilliant resource for sport and development practitioners which provides a one stop shop for information, tools and frameworks to assist in the design and delivery of sport and development (policies and programmes).

The course features contributions from around the world and was designed in conjunction with an expert reference group and academic team. It empowers learners to explore aspects of programme design and implementation and understand how to measure the impact of policies and programmes.

The course is deliberately interactive and includes engaging video and audio content, as well as encouraging learners to share their on-ground experiences and insights at every stage. 

Ongoing survey to inform the second edition of the MOOC

We are currently soliciting feedback from learners and experts to review and update the SDP MOOC for a second edition.

  • Complete the learner survey here (if you participated in the course)

Registrations for the second edition of the MOOC will open on 6 April 2021, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

About

Article type

News

Author

Saurabh Mishra

Published

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 17:23

E-Newsletter subscribe