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Sport for Development: The Road to Evidence

Sport for Development: The Road to Evidence

Publication type

Research and Project Evaluations


Commonwealth Secretariat & Laureus Sport for Good Foundation



Laureus Sport for Good and the Commonwealth Secretariat are both committed stakeholders in the Sport for Development (SfD) field, which uses sports-based programming to tackle key social issues.

In recent years, a number of organisations – from funders and delivery organisations to academic institutions and intergovernmental bodies – have invested time and resource to assess the impact of this approach as compared to other methodologies. Seeking to better understand the evidence base created by this, we worked with leading researchers to compare the impact of SfD and nonsport youth development interventions on four specific social concerns: community cohesion; education; employment; health and wellbeing. We chose a group of six cities – London, Nairobi, New Orleans, Cape Town, Hong Kong and Mumbai – split across the continents and across developed and developing economies, in which we knew (a) that large numbers of SfD organisations were operating with a focus on those social concerns, and (b) that research had been conducted, and we worked to examine the state of the evidence and the methodologies used to capture it.

Across the review we found that many similarities exist between SfD interventions and youth development interventions not using sport, both in terms of potential and in terms of challenges. It should be seen that, despite the fact that considerable learning and data can be gleaned from the studies conducted, the research team concluded that – both in sport and non-sport interventions – the methodologies used were inadequately described or developed, which limited the quality and validity of some conclusions. Nonetheless, the research team made clear recommendations to multiple stakeholders on how to work together towards strengthening the evidence base.

  • Read the full research report here



Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 11:00

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