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Round three: S&D can reach over 4.5 billion people

Round three: S&D can reach over 4.5 billion people

S&D needs to move beyond small life skill interventions, integrate into all sport-related academic disciplines and organise a comprehensive advocacy campaign...

On a post-2015 vision for the S&D community
My vision for the S&D community post-2015 is to build upon the lessons learned from the past and work tirelessly to create new and creative combinations of partnerships, people, and resources that empower a new generation of leaders committed to building local capacity to solve social problems. These diverse partnerships could consider innovative ways to scale high-performing S&D projects and provide key indicators of success. 

Looking beyond existing frameworks for a post-2015 agenda could ignite a wave of innovative social solutions that includes the S&D community as a significant resource to access and influence sustainable change in under-developed/developing communities.

Building on the past
It has been exciting to witness the S&D community take action over the past 20+ years and no matter how “small” the efforts may seem, the interconnected and mutually reinforcing achievements are adding up to much more than the sum of our parts. I think we are finally realising (not as an idea, but in terms of measured impact) that we have something incredibly relevant to offer governments, federations, and development/aid organisations. 

The challenge moving forward will be to accumulate and articulate the evidence in a way that is compelling to a diverse range of stakeholders and to remain relevant to the communities we serve alongside, beyond small-scale life-skill interventions. 

New combinations of partnerships, people, and resources
Training a new generation of S&D practitioners and scholars will also be critical to our ability to remain relevant in a post-2015 agenda. Universities should consider more collaboration with leading social organisations, especially S&D organisations that have been identified as leaders in the field. We should also contemplate mainstreaming S&D into all curricula in sport-related academic disciplines. 

Every person who starts a project within the S&D community (no matter the scale) emboldens someone else to use sport as an intentional tool to empower participants, to see themselves as more than passive recipients of goodwill efforts, but as change-makers and leaders building the capacity to bring about the change they hope to realise.

On S&D meeting post-2015 challenges
Sport can continue to help meeting the challenges of post-2015 development. One simple and immediate way is to present a comprehensive advocacy campaign on behalf of the S&D community (including the MDGs) to be disseminated in coordination with all major upcoming world sporting events. An initiative such as this one could realistically reach more than 4.5 billion people, more than 60% of the world’s population (an estimated 2.8 billion people will watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and approximately 4. 5 billion people are expected to tune in to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games). 

Beyond advocacy during large-scale sporting events, the S&D community could consider more innovative ways to collaborate and collect comprehensive monitoring and evaluation results to be shared with international and national policy-makers and social entrepreneur investors. 

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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