Recent Articles

A comprehensive sport for development strategy using collaborative partnerships to facilitate employment among youth facing barriers

The collaborative development and delivery of “plus sport” employment training programs are promising strategies to increase work readiness, life skills, and employment among youth facing barriers to positive development in a North American urban context. Three programs developed and delivered at MLSE LaunchPad, a large urban sport for development facility in Toronto, Canada, provide a precedent for further implementation and study of collaborative programs that incorporate intentionally designed sport activities into a youth employment program. Strategic codevelopment and codelivery of “plus sport” programs with collaborative community partners and a mixed funding model involving professional sport organizations, charitable foundations, corporate partners, individual donors, and various levels of government are recommended to maximize sustainability and impact. Learnings to date at MLSE LaunchPad point to several key programming components for the successful delivery of youth sport for development employment training in a context of high youth unemployment rates disproportionately impacting youth facing barriers and a rapidly evolving job market.

Guiding qualitative inquiry in sport-for-development: The sport in development settings (SPIDS) research framework

The burgeoning field of sport-for-development (SFD) is witnessing a steady increase in experience-related empirical investigations. To support academics—and in particular young and emerging scholars—with a rigorous framework for investigating social and cultural phenomena in different SFD contexts, we propose the process-oriented sport in development settings (SPIDS) research framework. SPIDS represents a guiding framework that advocates a qualitative approach to researching SFD projects in which multiple methods are combined for a holistic in-depth investigation. In this paper, we apply practical examples from the SFD field to the SPIDS framework and discuss its individual sections in a step-by-step manner. Specific focus is placed on aspects of reflection and reflexivity as distinctly important and underpinning aspects of qualitative SFD research.

Advancing the sport for development field: Perspectives of practitioners on effective organizational management

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the perspectives of SFD practitioners on how SFD organizations can be more effectively managed for sustainability and meaningful impact. With a goal to respond to the call that SFD research should reflect on its effectiveness and the managerial direction in which it is going, we engaged with a variety of SFD practitioners to seek out their voices as well as to illuminate their reflections on and inputs to the field. Thirty practitioners from 29 SFD organizations participated in the study. Practitioners’ advice for effectively managing SFD organizations included enhancing sustainability, having a passion for sport and SFD, gaining experience before taking action, engaging in professional training, establishing academic partnerships, developing a professional and entrepreneurial mindset, and utilizing online resources. Practical implications, recommendations, and future research directions are discussed.

Insights on the funding landscape for monitoring, evaluation, and research in sport for development

The international community’s increasing attention to sport in policy decisions, along with growing programmatic and scholarship activity, demonstrate the need for data that facilitates evidence-informed decision making by organizations, policy actors, and funders within the Sport for Development (SfD) field. To achieve this, there is a need for effective and sustainable investment, resource mobilization, and funding streams that support meaningful and rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and research. In this paper, the SfD funding landscape as it pertains to monitoring, evaluation, and research is critically appraised by a diverse writing team. This appraisal is informed by our experiences as stakeholders, along with findings from two recent systematic reviews and knowledge accumulated from SfD literature. Various topics are discussed (e.g., intervention theories, external frameworks, targeted funding, collective impact, transparent funding climate), with the conclusion that all actors must support the pursuit of participatory, rigorous, process-centered (but outcome-aware) monitoring, evaluation, and research that aims to enhance our understanding of SfD. Ultimately, this monitoring, evaluation, and research should improve both policy and intervention design and implementation while also defining and testing more realistic, contextually relevant, culturally aware outcomes and impacts.

Formalizing sports-based interventions in cross-sectoral cooperation: Governing and infrastructuring practice, program, and preconditions

Sports-based interventions are utilized today in many countries in cross-sectoral cooperation, for instance, as a means of social inclusion. However, not enough is known about the conditions of development or the formalization of operations. Accordingly, in this article, we focus on two instances of midnight football carried out in two suburban areas in Sweden in order to explore the mechanisms and conditions for interventions to achieve increased formalization and sustained operation. Through an analysis of interviews and network visualizations, we examine how collaborating agencies conceive of and describe their role in the assemblages of agencies surrounding and enabling the interventions. By looking closely at the forms of collaboration and communication in these networks, we find that the interventions have developed locally and not according to a central or strategic design. We identify three levels of design within the interventions, where communication, cooperation, and formalization can be governed: practice, program, and preconditions. Through a detailed analysis of these levels of intervention, we present crucial mechanisms for increased formalization and sustained operation and how these mechanisms differ between sites. In conclusion, on the basis of our analysis, we discuss refined approaches to understanding the temporality and interchangeability in the formation of cooperation and thus offer a refined conceptualization of the formalization of operations.

Announcing the JSFD Early Career Scholar Award

We are pleased to announce the “JSFD Early Career Scholar Award,” to be awarded to an early career JSFD author in recognition of significant scholarly contributions to the sport for development field. The winner of the award will be recognized online and in a newsletter shared with all JSFD followers.

Now accepting expressions of interest for JSFD Co-Editor position

The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals for the role of co-editor. Co-editors oversee the screening and reviewing of submissions and work closely with the Managing Editor to ensure the efficient and effective handling of manuscripts through to publication. The editorial team is responsible for setting and maintaining the editorial direction of JSFD, ensuring a high quality and rigorous review process and governing the work of the Editorial Board.

Volume 7, Issue 13 published

The Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) is pleased to announce the publication of its thirteenth issue.

Understanding female youth refugees’ experiences in sport and physical education through the self-determination theory

As female youth from refugee backgrounds are forced to migrate and resettle, they face unique challenges not often addressed by their host community. Participating in physical activity (PA), however, may pave a pathway to healthy resettlement. Nine Burmese females from refugee backgrounds participated in semistructured interviews and discussed their experiences in sport and physical education and how those experiences relate to their sense of belonging, autonomy, and relationships, as well as their ability to adapt. Participants then completed a photovoice task where they photographed highlights and challenges they have faced in PA. Photographs were analyzed and discussed in a follow-up interview. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. Resulting dimensions such as sport incompetence, growth mindset, importance of autonomy and choice, and desired peer relationships support Ryan and Deci’s (2000) self-determination theory. Practical implications for PE teachers, coaches, and school administrators are discussed. These results inform school districts of potential barriers and future interventions that could help this population better resettle and encourage participation in sports and physical activity.