EFDN participates in UNICEF and Barca Foundation Working Group

12 April 2018

EFDN participates in UNICEF and Barca Foundation Working Group

On Monday 9th of April, EFDN participated in the first meeting of the “Sports for Development for Children Working Group”, which is a cooperation of the Barca Foundation and UNICEF.

The Background

Sport represent a tool to contribute to a better life. Sport based activities are used by different organisations to expand people’s opportunities, to develop skills, to improve education and wellbeing or to increase community capacity and engagement, among other goals.

Under this approach, since 2006, UNICEF and Barca Foundation have joined efforts to develop specific development interventions in different countries. For the last two years, both organisations have been working to raise the profile of the partnership. As a result of this process, both institutions are carrying out different activities that aim to contribute to harnessing Sport for Development (S4D) to empower and protect the most vulnerable children.

The Working Group Initiative

As an example of this new approach, the partnership would like to initiate a series of reflections around Sport for Development for Children (S4D4C). The evidence shows the lack of leaders driving S4D on children outcomes and a desire to uplift non-euro-centric voices into the debate. Also, the need of greater coordination is an opportunity to create a coherent framework to work on this field.

For that reason, UNICEF and Barca Foundation have created a working group which united experts from different institutional backgrounds that can contribute to a deep debate on the design of a specific framework on Sport for Development for Children.

EFDN will be represented by Hubert Rovers who has a vast experience, being one of the founders of EFDN and an international CSR in sports consultant.

Sport for Development for Children Framework

The Sport for Development for Children Framework will provide the structure for S4D4C programmes to foster a strong foundation that will enable S4D organisations, sportclubs, foundations, NGOs, etc. to design, implement, monitor and evaluate S4D4C activities. This framework will set out the logic for programmes on this specific sector.

To do so, the Working Group will develop from 2018 until 2020 a series of meetings (twice a year) where experts and practitioners from different institutions and geographical areas will share their knowledge and experience on S4D. They will debate around the concept of S4D4C/ Asa result of these discussion, Barca Foundation and UNICEF will publish the results of these structured dialogues that will help to design the framework by 2020. Among others topics as how sport could contribute to child protection, to children’s social inclusion, their education and participation will be addressed.

Contributing to establishing the S4D4C framework

Over the next two years, EFDN will twice a year be represented at Working Group meetings actively contributing to the dialogue about the development, implementation and sustainability of such a framework.

Additionally, EFDN sees itself as an advocate for the Working Group’s outcome and objective, being committed to, and actively involved in, pursuing the Working Group’s outcome.

The Working Group is comprised of a number of academic and practitioners, among these:

  • Sport for Social Change Network Southern Africa
  • Safe Sport International
  • ChildFund Australia
  • Right To Play
  • Free University of Brussels and Leeds Backett University
  • Football Club Social Alliance
  • Durham University
  • Swiss Academy of Sport
  • Streetfootballworld
  • Mifalot Education and Social Enterprise

The first Working Group meeting on 9th of April in Barcelona

At the first meeting on 9th of April which took place in Barcelona, all participants had the opportunity to introduce themselves and Barca Foundation, UNICEF and RedZebra presented in detail the purpose and expected outcomes of the day.

Additionally, the scope of the Working Group was determined and it was discussed how S4D can contribute to the key focus areas:

  1. Child protection: prevention from and response to violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse directed at children
  2. Social inclusion: Addressing child poverty and discrimination and marginalisation of groups
  3. Education: ability to learn and gain new knowledge, skills and competences regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background and other circumstances
  4. Participation: Process of involving children and youth in the decision-making process that may be relevant in their lives.

Next to the division of roles and responsibilities the road map and next steps were discussed.

EFDN is looking forward to participating in such a promising and valuable initiative, together with leading organisations from the field of Sport for Development.


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