International Day for Sport, Development and Peace #April2020


The Foundation, a South African Non-Profit Organisation, which is known for hosting the annual International Sport and Peace Conference in Cape Town, has this month released a Policy Agenda on Sport, Development and Peace as an invitation to stakeholders to consider important policy priorities in these challenging times. The initiative is a bottom-up approach attempting to constructively engage with the policy agendas of decision-makers, practitioners and scholars in the field as to their priorities and practises. Although the Policy Agenda recognises the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 global health crisis it is also evident sport and recreation  have taken advantage of opportunities to offer active support to the well-being of communities in lock-down.

The FSDP and its national and international advisory bodies have created a Policy Agenda that ranks a set of policy issues by priority and importance. The Policy Agenda will be published monthly and the FSDP is encouraging other like-minded NGOs in other countries and regions to develop similar policy agendas of their priorities.  The FSDP supports a cooperative and collaborative approach in policy-making and implementation and believes that cooperative governance should be supported where civil society, governments, educational institutions, federations and the private sector collaborate with each other to achieve sport, development and peace.

The purpose of the Foundation for Sport, Development and Peace publishing a monthly Sport and Development Policy Agenda on their website and releasing the Agenda widely, is to stimulate the debate globally on important policy issues in the field , especially in these times when alternative options, creativity and social cohesion are much needed. The Policy Agenda also challenges policy makers on their existing  and new  priorities,  advocates for implementation  of important policy priorities and aims to stimulate the debate and dialogue between policy makers and NGOs and civil society to address and resolve these important priorities. Although some stakeholders argue that at this time of such grave uncertainty our reality is not stable enough to determine with any accuracy what priorities should be confirmed, the FSDP argues that it is exactly at such times when the consideration of alternative policy options and better ways of ensuring action, should be vigorously explored and debated.

As policy advocacy is a core activity of the FSDP and as the Foundation has the internal policy expertise as well as national and international networks to make a meaningful contribution in setting and debating policy agendas in sport, development and peace, the Foundation is well placed to launch and maintain this initiative. Policy advocacy on these issues also challenges the need for the sporting community to respond to the call for action regarding the SDG Goals, Agenda 2030, the Kazan Action Plan etc.  The policy debate on SDP should develop SDG priority areas and appropriate Indicators for this purpose and for governments, civil society and the private sector to collectively focus their efforts on these priorities.

The FSDP International Policy Agenda for April 2020 showed a confirmation of important global priorities, such as the importance of sport for all, gender equity and social cohesion as well as a call on sport institutions to act with integrity. This month’s Policy Agenda is, however, characterised by the impact of the COVID-19 Virus, a situation which was not on the cards at all six months ago. The policy priorities regarding this abnormal time with the looming global health crises, shows that stakeholders value social cohesion and standing together at a time of such difficulty. The ranking shows that the wellbeing of sporting communities is prioritized and that physical activity and other healthy habits should be promoted. It is striking that whereas physical activity is normally taken for granted, the restriction of movement for people has led to a deep  and apparent appreciation of the value of being able to be mobile and active. Another identified priority is that in order to overcome these challenges, communities are being very creative and innovative also via social media. Policy priorities also indicate the importance of an emphasis on the youth as well as marginalised and vulnerable groups in our society. Policy priorities are therefore indicative of the promotion of the various socio-economic benefits of sport and recreation.

The FSDP Policy Agenda for South Africa shows that the COVID-19 lock-down  which South Africans are experiencing has dominated the to overcome these challenges national Policy Agenda. Whereas South Africans are normally mostly outdoor people with communities actively socializing, the lock-down experience has brough about a new appreciation for the freedom to move around normally and to appreciate physical activity and sport and recreation.

The policy priorities which are evident with respect to South Africa include the promotion of healthy lifestyles and regular exercise during the lock-down period. Our networks also gave very high ratings to the safety and well-being of our communities during the lock-down period. This included improving social relationships, social cohesion, responsible citizenship and communication via social media and other means. This priority included spending quality time with families and to stay in touch with friends and local communities. It is clear that a rapid increase in indoor activities is evident and online physical activities such as class-led exercises, dancing, yoga, recreational activities, esport, board games, indigenous games and innovative home-based exercises are on the rise.

It is also noted that policy priorities  which have been high on the agenda of NGOs and civil society in South Africa remain high on the Agenda of important role players despite the health crises. These include the importance of Physical Education at school as a stand-alone subject, the establishment of School Sport at all schools as well as a review of the Sport and Recreation White Paper and the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) to prioritize sport and development. The important potential for sport to contribute to socio-economic development was stressed including sport infrastructure at schools, employability, small businesses and sustainable employment.

#akxvnxmInternational Priorities as per FSDP survey: April 2020
1Ensuring Gender Equity and Social Inclusion of all Vulnerable Groups including the disabled in Sport and Development as well as safeguarding and safe spaces
2Support for the resilience and sustainability of Sport, Development and Peace initiatives throughout the COVID-19 period
3Promote cooperation to ensure the well-being of the sporting community during the Virus outbreak
4Promoting good governance of sport institutions including the transparency of NOCs, NPCs and National Sport and Recreation bodies
5Ensuring increased physical activity and sport for all of the general population and improved lifestyles including recreational programmes for the elderly
6Dramatically increase appropriate sport and recreation programmes for the youth including after school activities and regular PE sessions at school.
7Development of authoritative and representative SDG Indicators for Sport, Development and Peace to ensure that the contribution and impact of sport on the SDGs are properly recorded and reported.
8Increased partnerships and cooperation between governments and civil society including Sports Federations and NGOs
9Just and fair policies and ethical practises by role players in the global North in their collaboration and interaction with partners in the global South
10Establishing and re-introducing a UN Office for Sport, Development and Peace
11Support and assistance to coaches, educators, sports administrators and parents to act as volunteers in sport and development.
12Promotion of ethics, Universal, Olympic and Paralympic values and integrity of sport globally
13Promotion of coaching as a profession as well as coaching protection and well-being
14Promote sport as an avenue to create businesses and sustainable income for individuals and communities. Promotion of Internships and mentorship in the SDP field
15Disaster management and risk management, response and recovery for sporting organisations

#akxvnxmNational Priorities as per FSDP survey: April 2020akxvnxm
1Promoting healthy lifestyles, including good eating habits and regular exercise during the lock-down period.
2Ensure the safety and well-being of our communities during the lock-down period
3Improving social relationships, social cohesion, responsible citizenship and communication via social media and other means during the lock-down period. Spend quality time with families and stay in touch with friends and your community.
4The FSDP promotes increased activity, sport for all and healthy lifestyles of the nation as a whole and for all communities in South Africa.
5Support online physical activities such as dancing, yoga, recreational activities, esport and home-based exercise. Re-discover traditional games and play and promote indigenous games. Develop new indoor and online sport and games.
6The FSDP urges the Minister of Education to re-introduce Physical Education at all schools as a stand-alone subject and by appointing at least 2 PE teachers (1 male and 1 female) at each school.
7The FSDP encourages the South African Government to revisit the White Paper and the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) to prioritise Sport and Development, and not only high-performance sport, as a priority.
8Encourage and support after-hours School Sport at all schools in South Africa. Promote neighbourhood and street sport and recreation programmes. Ensure appropriate infrastructure in schools and communities to promote sport and recreation
9The FSDP urges SASCOC to serve the South African Sport community with integrity, in a transparent way and by promoting development and social cohesion.
10Ensuring Gender Equity and Social Inclusion of all Vulnerable Groups such as para athletes and the disabled
11Alleviate fear, discrimination and stigmatisation of people with COVID 19 and include them in new online activities
12Promote Sport as an avenue to create businesses and sustainable income for individuals and / or communities
13Promotion of cultural diversity, ethics, Universal, Olympic and Paralympic values and sport integrity in South African sport practises
14Promotion of the sport, development and peace policy debate at the African Union (AU) level as well as sport policy mapping for all African countries
15Implementation of transformation of all sport federations

The FSDP Policy Agenda will be released monthly and will be the result of the identification and ranking of important international and South African Sport and Development policy issues by its Board and Advisory Panels. We encourage like-minded NGOs to develop their own domestic, national (country-based) and regional Policy Agendas to stimulate policy dialogue and debate.

The Policy Agendas have been compiled for April 2020 and a revised Agenda will be published for May 2020. Interested readers are welcome to send their comments and suggestions to the Foundation for Sport, Development and Peace ()