We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Sociology

Completed Projects

Sustainable Development in African Sport: Interventions in Ghana and Tanzania

A research project of the Department of Sociology.


Sport has relatively recently emerged as a significant new driver towards development in Africa. As in other development sectors, sustainability is an important policy aim but remains ‘contested, ambiguous and vague’ both conceptually and in practice (Scoones, 2007, p594). This project brings Durham University together partners from one Australian and three African universities to investigate the ways in which sustainability may be understood and addressed in respect of the use of sport to contribute to development in Ghana and Tanzania. 


The research is orientated towards the following three objectives:

1. to understand how sustainability is conceptualised by indigenous and overseas agencies that contribute to sport-based development interventions in Tanzania and Ghana

2. to learn about the factors that support or hinder the achievement of sustainable development in Tanzanian and Ghanaian sport

3. to capture evidence regarding the achievement (or otherwise) of sustainable development outcomes within Tanzanian and Ghanaian sport


Data collection has been undertaken across various different aspects of sustainability. Interviews have been undertaken with representatives of organisations and donors that contribute to the design, delivery and funding of “sport for development” programmes in Ghana and Tanzania. Research has also been undertaken through a number of case studies of school and community sites where particular sport for development programmes are delivered. Data collection within these case studies has involved interviews and focus groups with the young people who are the intended beneficiaries of the programmes as well as other relevant individuals within these communities. Much of this latter data collection has been undertaken by young Ghanaian and Tanzanian researchers trained through the project. 


Findings from the research have been and will be disseminated in a variety of forms to ensure that the project has significant impact across academia, policy and practice. Dissemination that is available and applicable to African stakeholders is of significant importance in the project.

Early examples of such dissemination include:

  • Various conference presentations and a specific workshop organised at, and live streamed from, the European Association of Sport Management conference in 2014.
  • Five Stakeholders Forums organised in various locations in Ghana and Tanzania
  • A series of video presentations on various aspects of findings.
  • Research project newsletters.

Academic publication of findings is a significant priority throughout the remainder of the project.


From other departments

Related links