Second open ended working group on model indicators on sport and the SDGs


During the annual meeting of an open-ended working group on developing indicators on sports and the SDG, 90 experts from governments, international organisations and sports bodies welcomed an international framework. The framework helps countries and sports bodies measure the contribution sport makes to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The meeting was hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 20th November 2019 at Geneva, Switzerland. The event was delivered by the Commonwealth Secretariat working with UNESCO and ILO as meeting hosts.

The framework is the first international initiative to support data collection on sport’s impact on the SDGs – particularly on good health, equality, education, good governance and gender equality – areas to which sport does not directly relate but can contribute.

The Commonwealth developed the framework, which includes model indicators and a toolkit that can be used to assess the potential benefits of sport delivery and recreational programmes on the SDGs. This is part of the Commonwealth’s role in coordinating global efforts to deliver action two of the internationally recognised ‘Kazan Action Plan’ on sport, physical education and physical activity.

Officials from the countries and organisations that have adopted the framework attended the meeting. They reported that the framework has improved their ability to forge multi-sector partnerships on sport and sustainable development and enhanced their capacity to target future policy and programme to maximise sport’s benefits across communities.

The 2nd Open Ended Working Group Meeting focused on reviewing an updated measurement framework, and indicators on sport, PE, physical activity and the SDGs, sharing key learning and practical guidance emanating from pilot projects and early adopters while also identifying opportunities to engage additional stakeholders in this initiative. 

The meeting objectives were:

  • Report on progress of the development of a measurement framework and model indicators on sport, physical education, physical activity and the SDGs. 
  • Share progress, good practice and learning from piloting the measurement framework and model indicators across multiple countries and contexts. 
  • Gather input to enhance the approach and methodology to further develop and scale the use of the measurement framework and model indicators. 
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen coherence and alignment of the project to key international frameworks, the work of the international sport movement, civil society stakeholders and global action to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. 

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was invited to present it’s sports model on ‘Making India Play’. This is a validation of the grassroots sports development model embarked upon by CII through sports and education with the vision of making ‘300 million children playing sports 60 minutes daily’.

Mr Deep Mukherjee, CEO, CII National Committee on Sports and Head of Sports Development, Star & Disney India, presented ‘Making India Play’ at the session 3 – Advancing Strategic Priorities on Measuring the Contribution of Sport, PE and Physical to the SDGs, Strategic Priority 2- Going to scale – Identifying processes for engaging sport, private sector organisations and sponsors. The session was moderated by Mr Mark Mungal, Sport for Development Consultant and the other panellist were Mr David Grevemberg, Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Games Federation.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Mukherjee said, “We need to look at school sports with the lens of education. Sports should be an integral part of the school curriculum for children. We are looking at creating new opportunities for the children in India by integrating sports and education towards realising the dream of Samagra Shiksha and the vision of making ‘300 million children playing sports 60 minutes daily’. This will eventually lead to a fit and healthy nation and thus contributing to the Fit India Movement”.

Canada, Jamaica, Mauritius, Namibia, the Commonwealth Games Federation and International Paralympic Committee are among countries and organisations using the framework in support of data collection, and whose officials shared the lessons learned during the adoption of the framework.

Related article: Five focus areas that need immediate attention to promote sports in India

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Arjoon Suddhoo said: “Given the complex challenges our planet currently faces, it is critical to maximise the positive contribution of all assets at our disposal, particularly sports. However, due to lack of data about sport, physical education and physical activity, we do not know if their potential is being fully realised. The Commonwealth is pleased to lead this action to develop a measurement framework on behalf of the international community over the last two years.”

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs will host the next session of the open-ended working group in New York in 2020.

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