Sustainable community development through sport and events: A conceptual framework for Sport-for-Development projects

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Journal Article
Sport Management Review, 2012, 15 (1), pp. 1 - 12
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The number of aid organisations, NGOs and government agencies pursuing the Millennium Development Goals and seeking to improve the everyday needs and social life of disadvantaged communities has been growing over the past decade. Particularly in divided societies, Sport-for-Development projects have increasingly been staged to contribute to intergroup togetherness, social cohesion and community empowerment. While the analyses of individual sport and event initiatives highlights their capacity to impact positively on people and groups, they do not provide strategic guidelines, models or frameworks for community empowerment. However, such models are needed to foster practical research in the area of community development that can inform sport and event planning, management and leverage. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper presents and discusses the Sport-for-Development (S4D) Framework, which can be used to guide the strategic investigation of sport and event projects and their contribution to understanding and measuring direct social impacts and sustainable social outcomes for (disparate) communities. The S4D Framework presents a holistic yet flexible management tool that can take account of cultural heterogeneity and program diversity, while shaping implementation, directing evaluation, and encouraging future planning of development initiatives. To conclude, this paper suggests different ways in which the S4D Framework can be empirically tested and validated through both qualitative and quantitative research.
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