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Sport for development. Program to increase support for refugees and displaced people through sports and recreational activities. Analysis and Review.

(I) Lebanon and Jordan 

#search   #work field   # analysis   #proposal


In 2017, the General Directorate of Development Cooperation (DGCD) of the Generalitat de Catalunya decided to start its commitment to sport and sports activity as a strategic tool for Catalonia in Development Cooperation. To this end, the DGCD commissioned two reports from ADIC techniques, within the framework of public development cooperation policies.


These reports carry out an exhaustive work of diagnosis and identification of needs in contexts of humanitarian crises with high presence of refugee and displaced population coming from war conflicts and other complex situations of violation of human rights, and define as the Sport for Development and Peace can have an impact on these contexts.

Essential elements have been collected to create an innovative, powerful and transformative, sport-based intervention guide to deal with the critical situations of trauma, risk and helplessness suffered by refugee and displaced populations.

The guide concludes by proposing specific project examples in the field of how the DGDC could initiate Sports for Development and Peace projects in Lebanon, Jordan and Colombia and recommends different lines of work for Catalonia to become a strategic player in this field.

It is in this framework where it is proposed that Catalonia hold an International Congress on Sport for Development, an event that will later also be held by ADIC.


The first report, which details action in Lebanon and Jordan, begins with careful and accurate research and analysis of the refugee crisis as a result of the armed conflict in Syria. After analyzing the flight flows of the Syrians and studying the measures taken by Europe and different neighboring countries in the face of this situation, it was concluded to focus the study and project proposal in Lebanon and Jordan. The number and density of refugees, long-term reception policies and conditions, and political, social, and security stability were the 3 factors that defined these two states as the most appropriate to develop the proposal.


Once the countries of intervention had been defined, the ADIC team traveled to see first-hand how the arrival of refugees in both countries affected them, what political and social measures and strategies were being implemented and how the different institutions, services and entities developed initiatives and projects to deal with the consequences of this crisis. Through interviews with international organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR or UNDP, with local organizations and institutions such as Right to Play, ARDD, KAFA or VNG and cooperation agencies such as AECID, it was observed that both in Lebanon and  Jordan the number of refugees integrated into vulnerable local populations and with limited resources, had caused a collapse of public services and infrastructure, which was leading to tensions between the local host population and refugees, as well as problems of coexistence . It is for this reason that both countries had established strategies based on social cohesion, working with both refugees and host communities. They also included in the national strategy reflected in the National Response Plan (NRP) a process of strengthening the capacities and resources of municipalities and local governments in order to address and manage this reception.


In terms of stability in the refugee management process, Jordan and Lebanon were also considered the two most viable countries with more concrete long-term proposals and objectives related to social protection and cohesion. In this context, therefore, it is observed that the proposal to work with sport as a tool for development is very appropriate and makes it possible to plan efficient and sustainable projects in the long term.

Based on the fieldwork, some of the elements that the projects proposed in these contexts should take into account were also defined. It is observed that the projects will have to face in most cases, a situation of permanent refuge and non-return, and other complex difficulties and realities arising from this new scenario that affects both the refugee population and the d 'welcome.  Lack of job opportunities, difficulty in accessing education, school dropout, sexual exploitation and child marriage, gender-based violence or the physical and psychological consequences of the traumatic experience of war and flight are some of the direct consequences observed and reflected in the crisis report which development sports projects designed in this context must take into account.


Once the intervention context is known and defined, the ADIC team contacts different organizations and institutions that work in this line and develop projects to promote social cohesion and guarantee the emotional and physical protection of the refugee population. For ADIC it is important that the proposal is framed in an existing context and institutional strategy in order to ensure the sustainability and impact of the project, as well as it is considered necessary to have local organizations with experience in the territory and a wide community network. to carry out the implementation of this. It is for this reason that the fieldwork includes visits to local entities and projects that they develop. These visits allow us to observe different elements of the projects such as the work methodology they use, the networking, and the impact they have on the beneficiaries.

The previous diagnosis of the context, the fieldwork to know the political and social reality of the country first hand, and the visit to local organizations implementing projects, together with the experience of ADIC in the field of Sport for in Development, allows to define a specific technical proposal of intervention through sport and physical activity in these contexts. The final report provides the tools to analyze a complex context and becomes a guide on how to set the objectives, strategies and actions of Sport for Development projects. Finally, a pilot test is proposed in each of the countries analyzed, which meets all the conditions set out throughout the study and which could be carried out by the Catalan Directorate for Development Cooperation.





Sport as an instrument for the development of refugees and displaced persons

The official presentation of the reports will take place during the day “Sport and development cooperation. Support for refugees and the displaced population through recreational sports activity ”organized by the General Directorate of Development Cooperation together with the Catalan Sports Council of the Generalitat de Catalunya in Barcelona, on 10 January 2018 at the Colet Museum in Barcelona.



XV Blanquerna Sports Day

The management of sports projects for

to development and international cooperation

Presentation of the reports at the XV Blanquerna Sport Conference “The management of sports projects for development and international cooperation” on  November 29, 2018, at the Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sports Sciences Blanquerna-URL.

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