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Sports: A Tool for Innovation and Development

IDB started its commitment in projects of Sports for Development in 2004 with the approval of A Ganar. This pilot program was launched in Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay, and trained more than 3,200 young people between 2005 and 2009. Setting the stage for years of effective youth development, the A Ganar project worked to ingrain good values in participating youth, testing and strengthening their discipline, responsibility, teamwork, communication and ambition. Preparing them for both the workforce and life in general, this project harnessed a passion for sport to successfully instill in youth the importance of these values for their overall development. Since its inception, A Ganar's success has now been expanded and replicated in many countries across the region, reaching more than 12,000 youth in: Argentina, Barbados, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico. Partners for A Ganar include AUSAID, Partners of the Americas, PepsiCo, Clinton Foundation, Microsoft, NIKE FOUNDATION and Slim Foundation. 

Since A Ganar, the Bank has built a strong Sports for Development program that has reaped positive results in countries throughout the region. This impact, however, would not have been as great without the strategic partners, public and private ones, who joined the cause over the years. Through financial resources, knowledge products, in-kind contributions, experience and innovation, these partners have helped make the IDB’s Sports for Development effort a robust and multi-faceted one, responsible for helping countless youth build a better life. Pioneers in what is now a staple concept for youth development, the IDB and its early partners enlisted a vast network to reach youth through sport, creating a decade-long legacy of success along the way.


Examples of Work Being Done By the Bank and its Partners:

Bolivia: As part of an IDB loan operation, a Sports for Development project is coordinating efforts in the Bolivian neighborhood soon to be home to a new sports center. These efforts will work to ensure transport access (paved roads), provision of basic water and sanitation, and electricity. Important partners like Baisa, Save the Children and Trilogy International have joined forces to support this project, in which gender inclusion is a key topic.
Brazil: Through an innovative public-private partnership with the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro,VISA, Fundaciò FC Barcelona, Colgate, NBA, and the support of the Government of Japan, the IDB is working on a program in Complexo do Alemão to strengthen skills and change behavior in at-risk children and youth. The IDB has committed to investing more than 30% of project resources into a monitoring and evaluation component, so it may better plan future IDB interventions across the region and contribute to project sustainability. The project’s private sector partners bring not only financial resources, but also key expertise that has proved valuable in developing a comprehensive approach to Sports for Development projects.
Colombia: The IDB, FIFA and Coca-Cola are developing the Football for Hope program in Bogotá and Cali with the support of Colombianitos and Sidoc, benefitting 1400 children between 5 and 18 years of age. Currently, the Bank is working closely with the Colombian Government and Sport Institutions (Coldeportes) to convert this program from concept to public policy, and replicate it at the national level.


Current Project Opportunities for Partnering with the Bank:

There are many opportunities to participate in new and innovative individual sports interventions:

Argentina: In Argentina, a sports project aims to improve the educational and health outcomes of children and youth. Targeting at least two centers in high poverty areas, activities will focus on nutrition, promoting healthy lifestyles and Neglected Tropical Disease prevention. Partners in the project already include Leo Messi Foundation, Fundaciò FC Barcelona and PepsiCo.

Colombia: Intended to improve academic outcomes and the overall lives of children in Manizales, Colombia, this project uses sports to promote inclusion, education and physical activity. The program aims to benefit two thousand children and adolescents living in one of the poorest areas of the city, with an emphasis on those in the highest risk conditions. Partners of the project include: The Coca-Cola Company, Fundación Revel (local partner of Fundación Real Madrid FC), Municipality of Manizales, Government of South Korea and Colombianitos.
Haiti: Seeking to provide the children of Carrefour, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, with sport and activity-based learning opportunities, this project will enhance their physical, cognitive and emotional development. Additionally, participating youth will be encouraged to play an active and positive role in their communities. Partners include the Haitian Olympic Committee, the Haitian Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Action, and the Fundación Atlético de Madrid.
Mexico: Thecommunities of Jalisco and Nuevo Leon in Mexico will be home to a pilot project aiming to mitigate risk factors associated with youth violence. The project will use methodologies that combine sports with academic and nutritional support. Partners in the project include the Rafa Marquez Foundation and Fundaciò FC Barcelona.
Paraguay: The project seeks to capitalize and adapt best practices of PARTIDÍ (Program of Labor Inclusion through Soccer), a model developed by the Centre for the Development of Intelligence (CDI) in Paraguay, as well as the A Ganar model developed by MIF. The project´s main purpose is to incentivize social inclusion while inserting youth in labor markets. Partners of this project include CDI, Fundaciò FC Barcelona and Paraguayan Government.
Uruguay: A project that uses the practice of sports to promote social inclusion and education as well as contribute to prevent and reduce violence in underprivileged communities in Montevideo. The activities will be developed in the context of a citizen security program aimed at preventing crime and violence, and promoting the social reintegration of vulnerable youth in conflict with the law in three low-income neighborhoods of Uruguay's capital. Partners of this project include: Governments of Uruguay and South Korea and Celeste Foundation.



Feb. 9, 2014: IOC signs MoU with Inter-American Development Bank

IOC and IDB signed a MoU aimed at promoting development through sport programs and projects and fostering cooperation between the two organizations, starting with the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Haiti.


Dec. 9, 2013: IDB, Nike and Brazil DESIGNED TO MOVE Champions Announce Up to $16 Million Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Get Kids Active 

IDB joined nine other organizations in Brazil to develop programs aimed at creating early, positive experiences for kids in sport and physical activity. Collectively, these ten Champion organizations intend to direct up to $16 million in resources over three years to fight the physical inactivity epidemic in Brazil. Part of the joint commitment will focus on a new pilot program to create Active Schools in Brasil, starting in Rio de Janeiro. The program will provide simple steps and tools to help schools and communities create active environments that get kids moving.


Nov. 11, 2013: Getting Ready for Rio 2016: Olympic Fervor is Leveraged to Help At-Risk Youth in Brazil

A new partnership between the IDB and the Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Games targets at-risk youth through community-based athletic and educational programs.


Sept. 23, 2012: DESIGNED TO MOVE

In 2012 IDB endorsed NIKE´s led framework for action: Designed to Move. The publication shows how physical activity has dropped in the last generations and the huge economic and human costs of it. It presents robust evidence on the priority that must be given to dramatically increase the world´s commitment to physical activity and shows how solutions can be put into place.


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