Young people rebuild better in sport and development


Ahead of International Youth Day 2021 on August 12, the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev), in partnership with the Commonwealth, has launched a call for papers on youth engagement and leadership in sport for development.

A total of 52 papers were received from all regions of the world, focusing on various issues facing young people today, including youth development, youth engagement, social change, gender equality , inclusion and representation.

  • All articles are available here

The global South weighs

The largest number of articles came from countries in the South, indicating a growing and robust development sport sector in the region. It is all the more encouraging since most of the young people of the world come from the countries of the South.

Articles received came from different types of organizations, ranging from international NGOs to grassroots organizations. Many articles have been written by young people themselves, helping readers better understand their perspectives and issues.

In addition, a wide range of sports are used to work with young people, as indicated in the articles received. Some of the sports mentioned included soccer, table tennis, lawn tennis, kabaddi, tchoukball, the Crosse, surfing and boxing.


The main thematic axes of the articles focused on the use of sport-based approaches to foster greater inclusion, economic empowerment, peer leadership and power sharing.

Inclusion was the most apparent theme in the articles, highlighting how different marginalized groups can be helped by sport.

Another important theme was how sport for development programs can support the economic empowerment and employability of young people.

Numerous articles have also discussed the importance of peer leadership in empowering young people and preparing them to be agents of change within their communities and beyond. It is important that the actors of sport for development invest in the development of the leadership capacities of young people.

Related to the idea of ​​peer leadership, many articles have discussed the importance of a power sharing model in sport for development programs to actively engage with young participants. This means enabling young people to make their voices heard on the various programs and policies that affect them.

The path to follow

A number of thematic gaps also emerged. These included: a lack of articles focusing on the policy perspective and the work of governments and intergovernmental actors; limited attention to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and their role in sport for development; a lack of articles on how young people can use sport to respond to the climate crisis or how technology can interact with sport to enable change; and more.

Going forward, we encourage submissions related to these topics so that we can facilitate greater dialogue and help bridge the gaps between policy and practice in this area, including ensuring that young people are more involved in this area. significantly.

  • Read the full report here.

This call for articles and reports was produced as part of a partnership between sportanddev and the Commonwealth, a long-time supporter of the platform.


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