Involving project participants and other stakeholders in programme design is crucial to successful programming. The Sport for Social Cohesion Lab project is creating resources to assist organisations in doing that. 

Policymakers, researchers and NGOs often emphasise the importance of inclusive, participatory programming. Project participants, local communities and other stakeholders should be involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities. This will ensure projects meet the needs of their target audience and achieve their objectives.

However, the extent to which this happens is often unclear. Organisations sometimes lack the resources and knowledge to fully understand how to do it in a meaningful and effective way.

One method is by using a Living Lab approach, which is becoming increasingly popular in social science research but is still quite new in sport for development. Following a Living Lab approach, the Sport and Social Cohesion Lab project aims to increase social cohesion in diverse, vulnerable, urban neighbourhoods and support practitioners in delivering high-quality sport for social cohesion programmes. It creates tools and shares knowledge based on the research of project partners, and aims to improve social cohesion in the neighbourhoods where project partners work.

While the project focuses on social cohesion, the Living Lab approach can be applied and adapted to a range of social issues. We hope that the tools and resources generated by the project can be used by organisations across the sport for development sector.

You can find out more about the Living Lab approach, the Sport and Social Cohesion Lab project and tools to support you in your work on the pages below.

  1. What is a Living Lab and how can I use it?
  2. Our project: Implementing a Living Lab in the real world
  3. Co-creation in action: Examples of Living Labs
  4. Resources from the project
  5. Call for articles: Participatory approaches in sport for development 

Banner image at the top of this page by Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI).

The project is funded by the European Commission through its Erasmus+ programme. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union