School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


14 Dec 2017

New international project exploring the role of youth, sport and cultural interventions for sustainable development

A new international research project will explore the role of sport, cultural and educational programmes in promoting sustainable development in three low and middle-income countries.

The ESRC funded ‘New Development Frontiers? The Role of Youth, Sport and Cultural Interventions’ will run until April 2019 in Cape Verde, Nepal and Timor-Leste. It will continue the work of Loughborough’s ‘Sport for a Better World?’ project, which ran from 2014 to 2016. 

The new study has three broad aims: to enhance knowledge of sport and cultural programmes with young people in low and mid-income countries; to improve programme efficacy in policy and practice; to support key stakeholders with these interventions to secure social change.

The project will be led by Loughborough University’s Professor Richard GiulianottiDr James Esson and Dr Aoife Sadlier, Professor Martha Saavedra from the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr Sagar Raj Sharma from the University of Kathmandu, Nepal.

The research team will work with one NGO in each location - Delta Cultura(Cape Verde), Empowering Women of Nepal (Nepal) and Sport Impact(Timor-Leste) – and will focus on how their programmes tackle four key issues: poverty; conflict in fragile states; environmental sustainability; and gender inequality.

In each country young participants will document their experiences, using digital and other media. The research team will also draw on interviews with a range of NGOS, government organisations, sport federations and donors.

Speaking about the project, Dr Sadlier said: “The extent to which sport can be a panacea for social inclusion and transformation in an unequal world is up for debate. However, we have little unified knowledge from across low and middle-income countries about how sport and other cultural programmes are implemented, and how they are experienced and interpreted by young people. We hope this new study will answer some of these very important questions.”

For more information, visit the project website.