Zwischen Verwissenschaftlichung und Anwendungsorientierung: EvaluationsForschung und Akteursstrukturen im Kontext von "Sport für Entwicklung"

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This thesis contributes (1) to the localization of the research field ‚Sport for Develop-ment' (SfD), (2) to the positioning of researchers in the field and (3) to the documenta-tion of German sport-related measures in development cooperation.
The documentation of sport-related measures in Germany illustrates that although ‚sport' was already part of German development cooperation at an early stage, this is hardly known internationally due to a lack of documentation so far. For the first time, the German efforts from their beginnings in the 1970s until today, including content priorities and actor constellations, are mapped. By examining the SfD measures of the GIZ against the background of pedagogical and sports science approaches and explana-tory models, it becomes clear that there are overlaps with experiential education, espe-cially in terms of content and functional logic. In addition, it shows that partner sport organisations had a significant influence on the content of the programme activities. A terminological reflection shows that it remains unclear how much development-specific content is part of the SfD activities and whether it is more the development of sport according to ideas embedded in sport-for-all principle and through the physical devel-opment of infrastructure.
To examine evaluation activities and actor structures in the context of general develop-ment cooperation, in the context of SfD, and in the context of the scientific monitoring of the GIZ's SfD sector programme as a practical example of evaluation, a perspective from evaluation research is chosen. By examining the three contexts with the help of established criteria for evaluation activities (definitions, approaches, functions, quality) and stakeholder structures (determination of stakeholders involved, roles and distribu-tion of roles), it becomes clear how ,scientific' or ,applied’ the research field is and how this is influenced by the stakeholders involved. This model highlights definitional weak-nesses, a confusing theorization process ('everyone uses what they know'), that evalua-tion is often reduced to a one-sided accountability function, a lack of evaluations for quality assurance (meta-evaluations) and ex-post evaluations, as well as challenges with regard to the evaluation of impacts and sustainability and related influencing factors (organization/internal, environment/external). The focus on the quality assurance of
evaluations and the associated use of evaluation standards reveals shortcomings in the general and sports-related context of development cooperation, especially with regard to the participation of stakeholders and the independence of evaluators. By looking from the perspective of evaluation research, it becomes clear that much more evalua-tion research is conducted in the SfD context than declared, but the model also has its limits, e.g. clear typifications of studies are not always possible.
Based on the results, the author concludes that the research field can only escape from tensions between science and applied orientations if changes take place both on the part of the researchers and on the part of the (governmental) actors in development cooperation. Further development is possible if the research field succeeds in evolving from multidisciplinarity to interdisciplinarity. To manage this, SfD researchers must break free from their disciplinary isolation and thus position themselves differently. They need to find a common language (especially regarding definitions) and common problem views (orientation towards the SDGs), and to unify theoretical approaches and methods by looking into other research and evaluation fields (especially into general development cooperation). With regards to actors in development cooperation, this means that evaluation processes should be freer and more flexible and thus be freed from the 'straitjacket of the client's wishes'. Ultimately, however, the field of research can only endure if more stable, sustainable financing structures develop, which neither the system in development cooperation system nor the university system provide so far. Optimistically, in both cases, it can be argued that the sustainability agenda will continue to have a major impact on both systems and that sport can play a major role in achieving its goals.
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages320
Publication statusPublished - 2022