What is the Sport-Education Partnership (SEP) framework?
UNESCO is launching a dynamic, data-driven, multi-stakeholder Sport-Education Partnership (SEP) framework. SEP will unite public and private stakeholders behind an integrated vision of development which harnesses the combined power of sport and education eco-systems to progress the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Agenda (3, 4, 5, 17). The Sport-Education Partnership framework is impact-oriented and aims at creating transformative behaviourial- and systems-based change, starting with schools. The first step for this was taken with the creation of UNESCO’s Quality Physical Education (QPE) Policy Package, which practically supports governments develop inclusive child-centered physical education policy.
SEP’s intervention logic is comprehensive and encompasses three levels: policy, curricula and practice. Stakeholders will be engaged in the fields of sport, education and health at global, national and local levels.
Why is integrated sport-education vision building relevant?
Sustainable development starts with active, healthy and physically engaged citizens. The Sport-Education Partnership leverages an integrated and inclusive approach to amplify return on investment, increase impact and enhance equality, inclusion and peacebuilding. It will contribute to the implementation of international development agendas, including the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNESCO’s Kazan Action Plan (KAP), the WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA).
Schools are a natural entry-point to trigger transformative behavioral shifts related to healthy lifestyles. Exposure to sport and physical activity at an early age is critical in catalyzing lifelong participation in physical activity. It can also contribute to the development of valuable cognitive and social skills. To amplify impact, the Sport-Education Partnership framework uses a whole-school approach to support the integrated delivery of education, exercise and good nutrition, and to consolidate school-community implementation pathways.
How does it work and who is involved?
The Sport-Education Partnership engages a compact of stakeholders including policy-makers, educators, the sport movement, youth, private sector actors and experts from sport, health and education sectors. The SEP vision for change is transformative, interventions are manifold and implementation partnerships are diverse.
Actions will concentrate on three specific areas to create tangible impact and respond to identified needs:
1. strengthening capacity from policy to practice
Interventions will strengthen the capacity of stakeholder groups to plan for, develop and effectively implement integrated policy instruments, strategies and programmes; design inclusive values-based sports-education curricula and trainings; and empower beneficiaries to become change-makers. In order to achieve this, in-country interventions are planned and a suite of action-oriented resources will be developed.
2. advocacy and exchange
Activities will build consensus around the value of integrated sport-education vision building; raise awareness of new knowledge; change the narrative – framing, engaging, empowering. This will be achieved by creating momentum for integrated sport-education vision building at national, regional and international levels with partners and benefitting from affiliation with partnership “champions”.
3. research/knowledge development
Interventions will promote and support effective research, monitoring and evaluation; provide ongoing evidence to guide interventions; enhance efficacy of investment and impact-oriented activity implementation; produce state of the art research (empirical and theoretical); improve availability of sport-education related data.