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Sport for Development and Peace

Enhancing the Contribution of Sport to Sustainable Development

The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to develop policies and strategies to maximise the contribution of sport to national development objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This work focuses on the intentional use of sport as a tool in advancing sustainable development and strengthening governance, gender equality and the protection and promotion of human rights.

The Commonwealth is recognised as a global leader in this sector and plays a key coordination role with international intergovernmental and the Commonwealth sports movement, as well as business, academia, non-government groups and civil society.

There are three main areas of focus for sport for development and peace in the Commonwealth:

  1. Sport’s impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  2. Developing national policy and strategy
  3. Building capacity of leaders and officials

More information on the sport for development and peace work can be found in the booklet, Enhancing the Contribution of Sport to Sustainable Development.

“In the Commonwealth, we are harnessing the role of sport as a development tool, supported by strengthened governance, sport integrity and the protection of human rights in sport, towards more inclusive and sustainable development.”
The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

Technical assistance

The Commonwealth Secretariat advocates for sport to be used as a vehicle for peace and development. We assist member countries to develop policies and frameworks that link sport to outcomes in areas such as health, education, gender equality and social cohesion. Technical assistance is available to member countries to develop national policies and strategies to maximise the contribution of sport to national development objectives.

This work focuses on the intentional use of sport as a tool in advancing sustainable development and strengthening governance, gender equality and the protection and promotion of human rights in sport. The Commonwealth is recognised as a global leader in this arena and plays a key coordination role in sports policy with other international intergovernmental and sporting stakeholders, as well as business, academia, non-government groups and civil society.

The Commonwealth works closely with governments and other stakeholders to ensure technical assistance is tailored to suit the country, their local environment and also reflects government priorities and aspirations.

The level of support may vary from country to country, but may include assistance with policy design, strategy development, consultation and engagement with stakeholders, research, training and capacity building, drafting documentation or undertaking evaluation. The Commonwealth is able to assist countries to develop overarching national plans and provide strategic advice. This may also include using external advisers and experts as required.

The Commonwealth has produced a series of guidelines and toolkits to support policy and strategy development in Sport for Development and Peace. These guide the Commonwealth’s technical assistance for member countries and are available on the website.

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Advisory Body sets out steps to quantify the role of sport in advancing sustainable development

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Publications and resources

The Commonwealth Secretariat undertakes wide ranging consultation and analysis to produce discussion papers, guidelines and toolkits for member governments and other stakeholders to assist in strengthening SDP policy and strategy.

Enhancing the Contribution of Sport to Sustainable Development.

Enhancing the Contribution of Sport to the Sustainable Development Goals

Sport for Development and Peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Commonwealth Guide to Advancing Development through Sport

Strengthening Sport for Development and Peace National Policies and Strategies

Sport for Development and Peace Youth Advocacy Toolkit

Policy Guidance to Commonwealth Governments on Protecting the Integrity of Sport

Strengthening Sport-Related Policy Coherence

States’ Obligations Under International Human Rights Conventions

Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meetings

Commonwealth Sports Ministers meet every two years in the margins of the Commonwealth or Olympic Games. At these meetings Ministers consider key sport policy issues and work to advance Commonwealth cooperation on linking sport and development, and building peaceful and cohesive communities. Find out more about Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting

Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport

The Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) is an independent body providing advice on sport policy issues, particularly as it relates to Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), and protecting the integrity of sport. CABOS reports to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meetings and, through the Commonwealth Secretariat, to member governments and key stakeholders.  

A key component of CABOS' role is to advise on sport integrity issues.

Read: Policy Guidance to Commonwealth Governments on Protecting the Integrity of Sport
Download: Policy Templates: Against the Manipulation of Sports Competitions

View current membership of CABOS

The 2017 annual CABOS meeting was held between 11-13 October 2017 on the Gold Coast - the location of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Advisory Body on Sport to address key policy issues ahead of Commonwealth Games

Advisory Body sets out steps to quantify the role of sport in advancing sustainable development

Chair’s Statement from 2017 annual meeting

Youth SDP working group

Established in May 2013, the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP) working group is composed of 10 youth practitioners working in the field of sport for development and peace. Learn more about the CYSDP