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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 organisations 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 policies and strategies
  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.

For more information on sport's role in national development, click here

Latest news
International framework on measuring sport’s contribution gains traction

Global experts have commended an international framework which helps countries and sports bodies measure the contribution sport makes to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). MORE

Sport policy boosts countries’ fitness in more ways than one

Well-designed sport and physical activity strategies can make valuable contributions to national development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. MORE

Sport reforms in Mauritius attract Commonwealth expert

Commonwealth sport policy experts will meet in Mauritius today to draw inspiration from the pioneering sport reforms the country has undertaken with the Secretariat’s support. MORE

Sport has ‘unparalleled potential’ to boost equality and peace

The Secretary-General has outlined how sport can be harnessed to boost international development by “changing perceptions and altering attitudes”. MORE

Delegates at a long conference table discussing sport's role in developmentBalance programming and policy reform to maximise sports contribution to SDGs

An enhanced focus on policy reform and scaling access to sport for development programmes will maximise the sport’s contribution to the sustainable development goals. MORE

Tackling “action gap” will boost sport’s role in sustainable development, say debaters

An all-female team won the 4th Commonwealth Debate on Sport, arguing that “intentional action” is needed to scale sport’s impact on sustainable development. MORE

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.

Find out more about CABOS

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