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Sport for development research in Cameroon with Jo Clarke


Sport for development research in Cameroon with Jo Clarke hears from Jo Clarke, a PHD student at Leeds Trinity University undertaking research on sport and development topics in Cameroon.

PhD student Jo Clarke is about to embark on six weeks of research fieldwork to explore the discourses associated with sport for development in Cameroon. The case study research aims to look at how discourses are organised, embedded and resisted from the perspective of global north sport for development NGOs and local Cameroonian stakeholder organisations at different levels. This study is part of a four-year funded PhD scholarship by Leeds Trinity University.

Jo will be working with two international NGOs operating in Cameroon who use football and cricket as methods to deliver health promotion (HIV/Aids awareness) and social inclusion messages alongside local stakeholder organisations. The fieldwork trip to Cameroon is the first stage of her data collection, during which she'll spend time with the local stakeholder organisations to conduct documentary analysis of policy documents and development plans, together with a series of semi structured interviews and participant observations.

So, why is this study so important? Jo explains:
"Sport for development policies and practices tend to endorse the concept of 'bottom-up planning' and 'local ownership' by communities in global south countries. However, these local voices have historically been given less academic attention as existing literature tends to privilege western voices (i.e. governments, international agencies, NGOs, academics). The research study aims to build on existing literature in the sector which has investigated discourse and issues of power by offering a multi-level investigation of discourse at different levels (i.e. governance/management and delivery levels) and from varying perspectives (i.e. global north donors and global south stakeholders).

Through this approach, I am aiming to offer a perspective on how the complex relationships between NGOs and local stakeholders are organised and manifested in Cameroon. The rationale for this study is therefore not concerned with whether sport for development actually works, but rather how the sector works in Cameroon."

Jo has a long-standing connection with Cameroon, having worked as a practitioner in sport for development with Cricket Without Boundaries, a UK cricket development and AIDS awareness NGO that works extensively with local communities in Cameroon since 2011.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Jo Clarke


Monday, October 19, 2015 - 23:00