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Civil Society Workshop: Raising the Voice for Sport in the Pacific

On August 29-31, 2017, 14 representatives of civil society organisations in 8 Pacific countries including Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Kiribati, Vanuatu and Federated State of Micronesia (FSM) gathered in Suva, Fiji to go through an intensive capacity building exercise on the advocacy and development of sport for development policy.

The activity is part of the project “Raising the Voice for Sport in the Pacific” led by Oceania National Olympics Committee funded by the European Union through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Technical support to the workshop was provided by UNESCO and SportMatters Australia. With an aim to strengthen regional coordination and advocacy for sport, the project builds capacity for non-state actors in sport policy advocacy and development and creates spaces for dialogues between state and NSAs across sectors on sport policy development.

The capacity building exercise is the first of the eighteen month process of sport policy advocacy and analysis by NSAs whose expertise ranges from sport management to youth development and non-governmental coordination. During the three-day workshop, participants were introduced to the global discourse on sport for development and peace, particularly the role of sport reflected in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the recent Kazan Action Plan. Applying the new Sport Policy Follow-Up Framework endorsed in the Kazan Action Plan to the Pacific context, participants identified a number of policy areas critical in the context of the Pacific such as the inclusion of youth in decision making to ensure inclusive access to sport for all and quality physical education. Practical discussions on stakeholder mapping, coalition building, policy analysis and case studies of sport policy development in Fiji and Samoa allowed the participants to visualize the operational process of policy making with a focus on sport and physical activity.

The major output of the capacity building workshop is that participants were able to understand the sport for development and peace discussion and its relevance to their country context and identify the necessary steps to conduct their own situation analysis of sport policy development in their countries. After the capacity building workshop, each of the 8 country teams will work on their workplan and start preparing for their first national consultation workshop for sport policy analysis in the last quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

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