Cross-fertilisation needed

A house is built by a team of experts

After the architect has made the drawings for the house, the contractor sets to work. The bricklayer lays bricks, the electrician installs the wiring and the plumber installs the pipes. Each of them has their own expertise and their own role to play. It would never occur to the bricklayer to do the pipes or wiring. He knows that others can do that better and probably much more quickly than he can. The same goes for each of the professionals involved. But they are all jointly responsible for the quality of the house they build.

In a certain sense, the same thing should apply to projects in the field of sport and development. You need to have a clear vision and a blueprint of the project. But do you as a development organisation need to know the best way to kick a ball or organise a sporting event? And do you as a sports organisation need to know how to prevent HIV/AIDS or how to deal with gender issues? Learning from one another, learning with one another and getting things done together. Let this be our motto for the coming years.

Springing up everywhere

The first sport and development projects were carried out at most some fifteen to twenty years ago. At first, most development organisations felt that sport was a luxury - putting money into it was out of the question. This picture has changed drastically over the past ten years. 2005, the UN International Year of Sport and Physical Education, brought worldwide attention to the power of sport for development cooperation. Projects are now springing up everywhere.

Strengths, weaknesses

In short, there are more and more projects, but are they indeed getting better? Much experience has been gained in this brief period, and many pitfalls have been identified. Many other organisations could gain a lot from this knowledge. But do they make sufficient use of it? It can certainly be observed that the relationship between sport and development is now widely accepted; the conviction is also growing that projects can be more effective if organisations learn from each other's experiences and make use of one another's expertise. Most organisations are aware of their strengths, but do they know their weaknesses as well? How a project should be tackled is surely important; but another important question is what you as an organisation can best leave to others.

Expertise and cross-fertilisation

The Toolkit Team attaches great value to collecting and exchanging knowledge and experience in the field of sport and development cooperation. This toolkit is intended to help promote expertise on the part of sport and development organisations by providing wider access to knowledge and experience. Clearly, sport development themes are complex and they make up specialised disciplines. This is precisely why good cooperation between organisations is essential. An awareness of what an organisation can do on its own and on what points it needs the expertise of others is indispensable if you are to achieve successes and prevent failures. To more firmly establish this field of work for the years to come, organisations that carry out such projects need to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities for cooperation and cross-fertilisation.

A word of thanks

We would like to thank the organisations that contributed to the production of this publication and of the toolkit. Special thanks go to the organisations that shared with us their lessons learned. By allowing other organisations a glimpse behind the scenes, they have shown courage as well as self-confidence. It means giving others an opportunity to learn from your successes as well as from your 'mistakes'. Lastly, we also wish to thank the experts who freely gave their knowledge and critically reviewed our conclusions and recommendations.