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Sport for Development

Developing an evidence-based framework for S4D programming and policy
Sport for Development

Sport for Development (S4D) uses sports to achieve crucial outcomes for children and youth, such as learning, health, empowerment and protection. Collaborating with partners, including the Barça Foundation, this research aims to expand the evidence base on S4D. Building on the findings of the Getting into the Game report, the second phase of this mixed-methods study includes in-depth, exploratory case studies of S4D organizations and programmes  across the globe. By harnessing the experiences of stakeholders from different countries, it identifies best practices and aims to develop a clear set of guidelines on designing, implementing, and ensuring the sustainability and scale-up of effective S4D programmes for children and youth. 

In 2019, Innocenti launched the first global literature review on S4D (Getting into the Game) which found that sport can be a positive factor in four key areas of children’s lives: Education, Social Inclusion, Child Protection, and Empowerment. Now in its second phase, the project builds the evidence base by drawing on ten case studies on S4D organisations operating in different contexts.

Publications

Getting into the Game: Understanding the evidence for child-focused Sport for Development
Publication Publication

Getting into the Game: Understanding the evidence for child-focused Sport for Development

Sport is a powerful means by which to engage all children in activities for personal and social development and to help them achieve their full potential. From an early age, sport provides children – including the most marginalized – with the opportunity to develop their physical abilities and health, to socialize, to build leadership skills, to foster lifelong learning and to learn as well as to have fun. Furthermore, to engage in play and recreational activities is a child’s right: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 31.1) clearly establishes “the right of the child to … leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child…”. As first of its kind global study, this report aims to address the dearth of evidence on the implementation and impact of S4D policy and programming for children. To do this, the report assesses, systematizes and maps existing evidence on S4D policies and programmes through desk-based research. Quality counts, so each chapter first assesses the evidence for its conceptual coherence, methodological and analytical strength, relevance/generalizability to the S4D field at large, and ethical considerations, before discussing the main messages and recommendations to come out of the evidence. The key messages and main conclusions have also been developed by seeking programming information from S4D programming both within UNICEF, the Barça Foundation and around the world.
Getting into the Game Report Summary: Understanding the evidence for child-focused sport for development
Publication Publication

Getting into the Game Report Summary: Understanding the evidence for child-focused sport for development

Sport is a powerful tool for involving all children – including the most marginalized and vulnerable – in group activities from an early age (UNHCR, 2013). For this reason, sport for development (S4D) organizations use sport as an inclusive means of helping children to improve their health; to develop their physical abilities; to develop their social, educational and leadership skills; and of course, to play and have fun. S4D initiatives come in various forms – from those that build personal and social programmes around sport, to those that include sport as one of many approaches to achieving social goals. This new UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti summary report analyses available evidence on S4D initiatives for children and youth. The findings cover how the key outcomes of education, social inclusion, protection and empowerment link to sport; what works in practice and how it works; the main challenges for implementation; and recommendations for better policy, practice and research.

Events

Sport for Development Phase II Launch Event: Playing the Game
Event Event

Sport for Development Phase II Launch Event: Playing the Game

21 September 2021 - Join us for our live virtual launch of Phase II of our Sport for Development Research.The Barça Foundation and UNICEF invite you to the launch of the latest evidence in #SportForDevelopment for Children by UNICEF Innocenti. We will present and discuss: - The Playing the Game Report: A framework for successful child-focused sport for development programmes - The Playing the Game Toolkit: A guide for sport for development practitioners Explore all our research on #S4D: https://www.unicef-irc.org/research/s... #PlayingTheGame #Sport4Change #AllOneForChildren