n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Participatory action research (PAR) in monitoring and evaluation of sport-for-development programmes : sport and physical activity

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


International agencies are becoming increasingly involved in sport-for-development work, as sport is seen as pivotal in addressing socio-political, health and cultural issues in affected and / or impoverished communities earmarked for 'development'. A comparative case study of the Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme (a national sport development programme) and the Active Community Clubs' Initiative (an Australian programme) in the South African context of poverty, served to demonstrate the potential role of Participatory Action Research (PAR). Utilizing the S•DIAT (Sport Development Impact Assessment Tool) in both cases allowed for quantitative and qualitative data collection, and informed researchers about contextual issues essential for interpretation and the potential application of results. A collaborative relationship developed between researchers and research subjects, as local volunteers of the Active Community Clubs were trained as fieldworkers inherent in a Participatory Action Research Training (PART) model. Following an inductive research paradigm and offering training in monitoring and evaluation, positively influenced the sustainability and 'local penetration' of the Active Community Clubs' Programme, compared to the top-down delivery and deductive approach of the Siyadlala Mass Participation Programme. Collaboration, the establishment of success indicators and benchmarks for assessing programme-related impact in a local context, contributed to the implementation of a needs-based service delivery.

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