New Development Frontiers

Implementation of sport and other cultural programmes

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.

The aims of this project

Through comparative research to capture the voices of young people, this project seeks to fill these knowledge gaps. Our project has three broad aims: (i) to enhance knowledge of these programmes with young people in low to mid-income countries; (ii) to improve programme efficacy in policy and practice; (iii) to work with key stakeholders to support these interventions, to secure social change.

Implementation of sport and other cultural programmes

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.

The aims of this project

Through comparative research to capture the voices of young people, this project seeks to fill these knowledge gaps. Our project has three broad aims: (i) to enhance knowledge of these programmes with young people in low to mid-income countries; (ii) to improve programme efficacy in policy and practice; (iii) to work with key stakeholders to support these interventions, to secure social change.

New Development Frontiers?

The Role of Youth, Sport and Cultural Interventions

This project will investigate the role of sport, cultural and educational programmes in promoting sustainable development in three low- to middle-income countries – Cape Verde, Nepal and Timor-Leste. Specifically, we focus on how these programmes tackle poverty, conflict in fragile states, environmental sustainability, and gender inequality.

Sport conjures up conflicting images in the cultural imaginary. On the world stage, it is often associated with a competitive spirit, which from a more critical perspective is viewed as being organised around the structures of patriarchy, neoliberalism and Western colonialism. Sport in this vision is not entirely inclusive and seems to be removed from cultural life. Yet, sport can also be used to connect people and to enable social change. An example of this is the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) sector, which has begun to expand in recent years, and which aims to use sport to address human development goals, such as tackling poverty and gender inequality. 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.

The ESRC-funded ‘New Development Frontiers? The Role of Youth, Sport and Cultural Interventions’ project at Loughborough University seeks to fill this lacuna, by investigating the role of sport, cultural and educational programmes in promoting sustainable development in three low- to middle-income countries – Cape Verde, Nepal and Timor-Leste. The project, led by Professor Richard Giulianotti, Dr James Esson and Dr Aoife Sadlier (Loughborough University), Dr Martha Saavedra (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr Sagar Raj Sharma (Kathmandu University, Nepal), will last for 18 months (October 2017 to April 2019), and will continue the work of the ESRC-funded ‘Sport for a Better World?’ project at Loughborough (2014-2016). It has three broad aims: (i) to enhance knowledge of sport and cultural programmes with young people in low to mid-income countries; (ii) to improve programme efficacy in policy and practice; (iii) to work with key stakeholders to support these interventions, to secure social change. 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.

To date, much research on SDP has been based on interviews and observational methods. However, it has increasingly been recognised that a more participatory approach needs to be developed, where local programme users are directly involved in the research process. Therefore, this project will draw on Participatory Action Research (PAR), where young participants will document their experiences, using digital and other media. PAR involves the interplay between participation, power and reflexivity and requires that researchers interrogate structures of authority at all stages of the research process. The research will also draw on interviews with a range of NGOS, government organisations, international government organisations, sport federations and donors, as well as documentary research and quantitative data compilation, to contextualise the findings.

The research team enter this project with an acute awareness of the importance of valuing local traditions; the danger of idealising sport; the difficulties facing the SDP sector, such as lack of resources; and the underexplored relationship between sport and cultural interventions. Watch this space as the project gets set in motion.

Cape Verdi
Timor-Leste
Nepal

Researchers

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His research has been funded through grant awards from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (8 awards), European Commission, and the Nuffield Foundation. He is author of the books Football: A Sociology of the Global Game (Polity 1999); Sport: A Critical Sociology (Polity 2005, Revised Edition 2015); Ethics, Money and Sport (with Adrian Walsh; Routledge 2007); and, Globalization and Football (with Roland Robertson; Sage 2009).

He has edited many books, including Sport, Civil Liberties and Human Rights (with David McArdle; Routledge, 2006), and written numerous papers for international journals and edited books. His work has been translated and published in over a dozen languages.

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Dr Esson is interested in examining the efficacy of sport, cultural and educational programmes in promoting development in relation to poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and gender equality. He is also contributing to debates over the agency of young people in West Africa by exploring the relationship between international development and human trafficking within the football industry.

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Her PhD thesis was the first cultural exploration of Zumba. She argued that Zumba creates an empowering space for women, beyond the confines of capitalism and patriarchy, whilst also offering the possibility of a sustainable global politics for all humans, where differences in sexuality, gender, class and race cease to matter.

Dr Sadlier is the author of ‘Humans Don’t Fit in Boxes: Reframing female (a)sexualities for the 21st century’ (PsyPAG Quarterly, 2016) and has forthcoming work in Qualitative Research in Psychology and a Routledge popular dance collection. She also collaborates on the ERC-funded ‘Modern Moves’ project at King’s College London.

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He has experience of working both in the development sector as well as in the academic sector. Currently he works as an Associate Professor at the Department of Development Studies, School of Arts at Kathmandu University.

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She has taught at St. Mary’s College of California, Ohio University, the Escuela de Estudios Universitarios Real Madrid, and at UC Berkeley, including in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Graduate School of Journalism. Her research has ranged from agrarian politics and ethnic conflict in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, to representations of Africa in Chinese popular culture, and to gender, development, and sport in Africa.

Dr Saavedra currently has projects on women's football around the Indian Ocean, and African athletic migration to the European Union. She has been on the editorial boards of Soccer and Society; Sport in Society; and Impumelelo: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Sports in Africa. A veteran of Title IX battles, she has played soccer for most of her life and coached boys teams for over 15 years.

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About our partners

Cape Verde: Delta Cultura

Delta Cultura is an NGO based in Tarrafal, Cape Verde. It was founded by Amarilia Cabral Carreia and Florian Wegenstein in Austria in 2002. Delta Cultura seeks to end poverty through education, by developing the potential of children and adolescents, using the arts, Cape Verdean batuko dance, football and other sports. In 2005, the organisation founded an educational centre in Tarrafal, which offered training in football, IT and carpentry. In 2013, the school merged with the Tarrafal Football for Hope Centre, and expanded further through funding from FIFA. Delta Cultura continues to enable social change, and to improve educational attainment among young people, by encouraging cultural exchange and promoting Cape Verdean cultural identity.

Nepal: Empowering Women of Nepal

Empowering Women of Nepal is a local non-profit organisation, based in Pokhara, Nepal. It aims to improve the lives of Nepali women and girls through sports and adventure tourism. It was founded by three Nepali sisters, Lucky, Dicky and Nicky Chhetri, who were pioneers in the promotion of female trekking guides in the Himalayas. They also founded 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking, to empower women and girls through adventure tourism and sport. They offer practical skill-based training programmes, which are designed to develop the educational, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities of women from all over Nepal.

Research Liaison Group:

International Inspiration

Steve Harknett

Commonwealth Secretariat

Oliver Dudfield – Head of Sport for Development and Peace

Youth Sport Trust International

Helen Vost

Swiss Academy for Development

Marc Probst

Comic Relief

Richard Loat

DFID

Ed Barney

Delta Cultura

Florian Wegenstein

Empowering Women of Nepal

Lucky Chhetri

Sport Impact

Nuno Delicado

University of Kathmandu, Nepal

Dr Sagar Raj Sharma

Durham University

Dr Iain Lindsay

Monash University

Dr Ruth Jeanes

In partnership with: