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S&D and the MDGs


S&D and the MDGs

Growing evidence shows that sport and development is having a positive impact worldwide, but how has it contributed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals?

In 2000, the introduction of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided a promising vision for international development and a framework of action that shaped global efforts to tackle the most pressing humanitarian needs.

Since then, sport and development (S&D) has received growing attention from the international community and is increasingly viewed as an effective way to contribute to the MDGs.

The UN and S&D
The United Nations (UN) has long supported the positive contribution of sport in development. Since 2001, however, this support has grown after the appointment of the first special adviser to the UN secretary-general on sport for development and peace (SDP). Following this, the 2005 International Year of Sport and Physical Education was launched and a partnership with the IOC resulted in the announcement that 6 April will mark the International Day on SDP.

Contributing to the MDGs
The UNOSDP has helpfully put together a document outlining the ways sport-based initiatives are contributing to progress towards achieving the eight MDGs. Here are just a few very practical examples of how the S&D community is contributing to the MDGs:

MDG 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger:

MDG 2 - Achieve universal primary education:

MDG 3 - Promote gender equality and empower women:

MDG 4 - Reduce child mortality:

MDG 5 - Improve maternal health:

MDG 6 - Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases:

MDG 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability:

MDG 8 - Develop a global partnership for development:

In a 2003 UN Inter-Agency Task Force report on “Sport for Development and Peace: Towards Achieving the MDGs” the claim is made that, “the fundamental elements of sport make it a viable and practical tool to support the achievement of the MDGs”. The report also recommended that “sport should be better integrated into the development agenda”.

While the extent to which S&D has contributed to achieving the MDGs is still unclear and should be thoroughly researched, the positive contribution of sport-based initiatives is undeniable.


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Stephen Reynard


Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 10:45