3 QUESTIONS TO OLLIE DUDFIELD, OLYMPISM365 ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
What is the purpose and philosophy of the Olympism365 strategy that the IOC launched in 2021?
Olympism365 is the IOC’s strategy aimed at strengthening the role of sport as an important enabler for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is the focus of Recommendation 10 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5. The strategy builds on the progress already been made by the IOC and its stakeholders to contribute to a peaceful and better world through sport every day, everywhere. It provides a streamlined and coordinated approach to this key component of our mission, and promotes the cooperation between sport, health and social development organisations as well as for-purpose businesses.
The key objective of Olympism365 is to support more people, from more diverse communities, to benefit from sport and Olympism. To achieve this, Olympism365 gives priority to actions aimed at promoting communities that are healthier, more active, more equitable, more peaceful, safer and more inclusive.
How is the strategy being developed and implemented?
Olympism365 is oriented towards system change. Practically, this means that the strategy’s outcomes seek to contribute to direct impacts on individuals and their communities, increased institutional capacity across the sport and development ecosystem, an enabling policy environment, and changed attitudes towards the role of sport and Olympism in society.
For example, one of the Olympsim365 portfolios is focused on education and sustainable livelihoods. It includes investment in projects directly supporting employability and transferable skill development through sport, but also efforts to build the capacity of sport and youth employment organisations, research and technical guidance to support stronger sport, education and youth employment policies, plus campaigns to promote the role of sport in society.
The strategy enables the IOC to support, join or mobilise collaborators and consortia of organisations with a shared commitment to strengthening the contribution of sport to social development outcomes. This includes UN agencies, development-financing institutions, public authorities, NGOs and sport for development partners, helping connect them and the Olympic Movement, encompassing athletes, National Olympic Committees and Continental Associations, international and national sports federations, and the Olympic Partners.
All Olympism 365 portfolios follow a rights-based and sustainable approach. This means we have to ensure that all our programmes are free from any form of harassment and abuse, and consider the safety and well-being of all participants. It also means that the opportunities offered are accessible to all, free from any form of discrimination, and environmentally and programmatically sustainable.
What are the key research questions coming out of the strategy that could enrich its future development?
The overarching and fundamental evaluation and learning question is to what extent, in what circumstances, how and why, has the implementation of OIympism365 contributed to more people benefiting from sport and Olympism in their community, and strengthened the role of sport as an enabler of the SDGs?
This general research question can be specified in analysis which take into account iterative planning, monitoring and evaluation and insight generation of the Olympism365 programmes. For example, in cooperation with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, the IOC is undertaking research to understand the effect of current global challenges on young people’s access to the benefits of sport. This research, conducted across 10 countries, shows that 37 per cent of young people are participating less due to cost of living pressures, 34 per cent due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, and 30 per cent because of climate change.
The level to which collective action and consortia-based delivery helps respond to these challenges and supports an enhanced scale, reach and impact of sports-based policy and programmes is another important research question.
With the support of the Olympic Studies Centre we are integrating the contribution of academic experts in each one of the O365 portfolios. Their contribution is key to responding to the relevant research questions raised above.