The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.
The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

New development frontiers? The role of youth, sport and cultural interventions

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Principal Investigator: Richard Giulianotti. Lead Organisation: Loughborough University

Co-investigators: James Esson; Sagar Raj Sharma; Martha Saavedra; Holly Collison

This project investigates the role of sport, cultural and educational programmes in promoting sustainable development among young people in low-income countries (LICs), specifically to tackle poverty, conflict in fragile states, environmental sustainability, and gender inequality. These programmes are usually implemented by non-governmental organizations with support from other agencies.

We have little unified knowledge from across different LICs, of how these programmes are implemented, and how they are experienced and interpreted by young user groups.

This project seeks to fill these knowledge gaps, and thus has three broad aims: i) to enhance knowledge of these programmes with young people in LICs; ii) to improve programme efficacy in policy and practice; iii) to work with key stakeholders, to support these interventions, to secure social change.

These aims translate into four research objectives: 

  1. To analyse the specific role of sport, cultural and educational interventions in tackling poverty, conflict in fragile states, environmental sustainability, and gender divisions in LICs.
  2. To capture the experiences and perspectives of young people on these programmes.
  3. To evaluate comparatively how these programmes are developed, implemented, experienced and interpreted.
  4. To identify how programmes may be changed to have stronger benefits for young people.

Comparative research will be conducted in three small nations: Cape Verde, Nepal and Timor Leste. Data will be collected mainly through qualitative methods, including the innovative use of 'participatory action research' (PAR) to capture the voices of young people. We shall work closely with our research liaison group of non-academic and academic partners to deliver strong research impacts.

The project is strongly interdisciplinary; will be undertaken by a UK Principal Investigator, three Co-Investigators (from UK, Nepal, US), and a Research Associate (UK); and, will have a duration of 18 months.

Visit the project website for more information. 

Read/download a paper on Urban community resilience highlighting key messages from research focusing on urban community resilience from the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation which features this project.

**This project was orginially titled Development frontiers in low income countries: the role of youth, sport and cultural interventions.**

Further Resources:

The project will have the following key beneficiaries and impacts:

  1. Young people (user groups, local volunteers and officials on these programmes) and wider communities in our research locations. The research will enhance how they understand, organise, implement, experience, and benefit (through much stronger voice) from these programmes.
  2. Governmental bodies, NGOs and other stakeholders including our research liaison group members. Our findings will enable these stakeholders to improve how they plan, implement and evaluate interventions. We shall advance practical findings on how, for example, they may respond more fully to young people's needs and perspectives, environmental sustainability issues, and sharing best practices.
  3. Policy-makers, journalists, commentators, and citizens with interests in wider development issues in the global South. We shall enable these groups to more fully understand, engage with, and contribute to development issues, by widely disseminating our findings.
  4. Academics, students and educational officials in our research locations. We shall enhance the research, teaching and enterprise capabilities of these groups, through our collaborations, guest lectures, and meetings.

Impact will be strongly assisted by our hosting start-of-research seminars in our study locations and a stakeholder workshop. 

Our broad impacts are:

  • Instrumental, in influencing: the policies and practices of NGOs and other stakeholders; and, behaviour across development stakeholders in LICs.
  • Conceptual, in contributing to policy, and public and academic debates, on the role of sport, cultural and educational activities for tackling poverty, conflict, environmental sustainability, and gender divisions.
  • Capacity building, in improving the skills and capabilities of: NGO officials and volunteers, young programme user groups and local communities, who will benefit from stronger programmes; and, academics and other education-sector stakeholders.
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Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Fund Start Date: 
October 1st, 2017
Fund End Date: 
April 30th, 2019
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Fund Value: