Drawing on nearly a decade of wide-ranging, multidisciplinary research undertaken with young people and adults living and working in urban communities in Zambia, this jointly-authored book extends existing understandings of the use of sport to contribute to global development agendas has burgeoned over the last two decades. The book’s locally-centred and contextualized analysis represents an important departure from both the internationalist and evaluation-orientated research that has predominated in global sport for development. Offering wide-ranging historical, political, economic and social contextualization, it examines how a key period in the expansion of the sport for development sector unfolded in Zambia; considers the significance of varying degrees of integration and partnership practices between sport for development and development agencies at different levels; and outlines approaches to the provision of sport for development activities in various communities. Detailed examination of the lives, experiences and responses of young people involved in these activities, drawn from their own accounts, is a key feature of the book. Concluding reflections identify possibilities for enhancing understanding and improving research and evidence through methodologies which ‘localise global sport for development’. The book’s unique approach and content will be highly relevant to academic researchers and students studying sport and development across many different contexts.
Sport for development has become an increasingly established global ‘movement’ since the start of the 21st century. In this context, the chapter introduces readers to the twofold purpose of the book: first, to examine how ‘local’ sport for development in Zambia corresponds to more widely recognized ‘global’ dimensions and, second, to reflect on the methodology used in seeking this understanding. The chapter goes on to briefly introduce the geography, demography, political, economic and social context of Zambia and the authors’ emergent and ongoing research in the country over a period of ten years. Introduction is given to the ten studies upon which the book is based, the interconnections between them and the approach to integrating them across the wide-ranging content of the book. The chapter concludes by introducing each of the subsequent chapters in the book
This chapter explores key features of contemporary sport for development globally and reviews the expanding research undertaken on the sport for development ‘movement’. In doing so, the chapter covers the global emergence of sport for development, the array of organizations associated with sport for development, practices that characterize sport for development, and debates about the sport for development ‘evidence-base’. Academic research on these themes is, largely to date, aligned with either instrumental approaches, which represent simplifying models of change, or a critical-theoretical approach which focuses on hegemonic relations in development. The chapter argues that there remains a need to understand localized perspectives on sport for development, and identifies the core tenants of Norman Long’s actor-orientated sociology of development that underpin the research throughout the remainder of the book.
The emergence and expansion of sport for development has, as yet, mainly been considered in global terms. A contrasting, but also complementary, approach is taken in this chapter which examines how the wider political and economic context in Zambia has influenced the blurred boundaries between the development of sport and the expansion of the sport for development ‘movement’ over time. This historical account traces global and national influences across three broad phases from the post-independence expansion of the Zambian welfare state, through the imposition of neo-liberal economic and political reforms, to more recent attempts to rebalance relationships between the Zambian state and civil society. Changes in the governance of Zambian sport and the emergence of sport for development NGOs in Zambia largely followed, but lagged behind, these wider trends and their consequences in other development sectors. As a result, the chapter demonstrates how analysis of sport for development is enhanced both by placing it in the context of wider political, economic and development trends, and by examining the interlinked and multiple influences of global, national and local factors.
Partnership working has been consistently prioritized by global sport for development policies and actors and its importance in Zambia is indicated by the fragmentation of agencies working in the countries and its local communities. The chapter considers partnerships broadly at three levels: internationally, first, in Zambian SfD NGOs working with agencies providing support from the global North; nationally, second, in the extent to which these same Zambian SfD NGOs were integrated with national HIV / AIDS structures and agencies; and locally, third, in sport-orientated collaboration within specific communities in Lusaka. The breadth of this analysis allows identification of issues that have received little attention in sport for development literature today. Structural influences at all levels give rise to important patterns of inclusion and exclusion within partnerships. Conversely, in terms of agency, specific characteristics of Zambian sport for development organisations and their representatives are identified which both support and constrain their partnership working.
This chapter begins to focus on the micro dynamics influencing sport for development processes and practice. The chapter outlines everyday life for young people in Lusaka communities, discussing the physical environment, social relations and young people’s position within their communities. It overviews the central influences on young people’s lives including social conditions, family, friendships, education and employment opportunities. The chapter compares locally obtained data from adults and young people with official national data on Zambia. It examines the impact of HIV/AIDS on Zambian young people and their communities. In doing so, the chapter provides an important discussion of the context in which SfD provision takes place. The discussion of local context illustrates the complex picture of conditions within contemporary urban Zambian society that influence the capacity of SfD programmes to facilitate change within communities.
Detailed exploration regarding the provision of SfD programmes has been limited within existing literature. This chapter examines approaches to the provision of SfD enacted locally by organizations in Zambia. It focuses particularly on the role of peer leaders within SfD drawing on the experiences of young people engaged in leadership across a range of projects. In doing so, the chapter illustrates the centrality of young people to the delivery and management of SfD. The detailed overview of peer leader practice highlights how young people establish key support network through their SfD delivery. They use these networks as communities of practice to enhance their knowledge but also as vital support systems that allow them to negotiate the complexities of their everyday lives. The chapter illustrates there is no standard formula as to how SfD delivery takes place and this is instead influenced by individual peer leaders and the communities they operate within. The data presented also illustrates that peer leaders can mobilise collectively to influence issues within their local communities, contrasting previous literature which has highlighted the potential individualistic focus of SfD outcomes.
This chapter continues to develop a fuller knowledge of how SfD activities feature in young people’s lives. It makes a distinctive contribution to the examination of SfD by presenting localized accounts that come from detailed, qualitative descriptions of experiences provided directly from young people. The chapter outlines the values that young people attach to participating in sporting activities, the contribution of SfD activities towards HIV / AIDS education and gender empowerment and experiences of young people who have been able to access other opportunities, for education, training and support, through their involvement with SfD NGOs. The chapter highlights how much value many young people attributed to sport in its own right as an enjoyable activity that they could take part in together. The data on the value of sport for delivering HIV / AIDS education and facilitating wider educational involvement however also suggests that for some, sport could make a major contribution to such development goals. The chapter illustrates that whilst SfD initiatives did not always create substantial transformation of existing power relations, social structures and social inequities, there is potential for sport to contribute to wider social change. SfD is demonstrated to be a useful starting point for this process.
The concluding chapter outlines the key themes emergent throughout the book. The findings detailed in the book illustrated the complexity and diversity of SfD practice within Zambia. The conclusion discusses how recognition of this diversity also highlights the limitations of adopting or utilizing many of the models and frameworks suggested for SfD within existing literature as these inherently obscure important complexities and multi-faceted aspects of SfD. The chapter argues that it is through different methodological approaches to those currently prominent in SfD that more localized and nuanced understandings may emerge. The conclusion also discusses the connections between SfD and mainstream development in Zambia. The relationships between SfD and other development sectors are again complex and nuanced but the data presented in the book suggests that the level of integration between SfD and other development sectors appears to be greater and more complementary as analysis moves from national to local, community levels as well as from contexts which are more structured to those with greater scope for the realization of stakeholder agency. The final section of the conclusion methodological implications of the study.