The International Platform on Sport and Development and its partners will soon launch a free online resource. This will build knowledge on running sports programmes and implementing policies.

Where can young people learn more about sport’s role as a tool for development? How can professionals improve their knowledge so they can better contribute to sport and development? What about people who can’t afford to pay expensive course fees? 

The International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev), which is operated by the Swiss Academy for Development, is working on an answer to these questions. With its partners, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, sportanddev is creating the first massive open online course (MOOC) on sport and development.

Sport as an enabler of development

Over the past 15 years, the number of organisations working to achieve social, economic and environmental goals through sport has consistently grown. The United Nations has also recognised sport’s ability to have an impact. Most importantly, the UN mentioned sport as an “enabler of development” in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Despite this momentum, there is still a lack of freely available resources to train current and potential staff. An increasing number of universities offer courses and modules on the subject. This is very positive, but these courses are not available in all parts of the world, and not everyone has the time or money to enrol in them. 

Five-week online course will be free of charge

The upcoming course will be free of charge and open to anyone with an internet connection, but the key target audience is governments, sports associations and NGOs. It will most benefit professionals who are relatively new to sport and development, whether because they are starting their careers or transferring from another sector. However, it will also include plenty of resources and nuggets of information that will interest more experienced experts. 

Students will learn about the strengths and limitations of sport, and gain a better understanding of how to run programmes and policies. It will be a five-week course covering the following modules:

  1. Sport, development and change (introduction to sport and development)
  2. Creating change: Policy, strategy and governance
  3. Making it happen: Programme design and delivery
  4. How do we know it’s working? (monitoring and evaluation)
  5. Mobilising people, partners and resources (advocacy, fundraising and communications)

Launch in early 2020

The partners creating the course expect to launch it in early 2020 – stay tuned for more information.