Community Engagement

The international guide to Designing Sport Programmes for Girls

Community Engagement

Created with support from

children watching football game

Organisations around the world that use sport as a tool to build leadership in adolescent girls have made it clear that part of the essential strategy for designing and implementing a girls’ sport programme is effectively engaging the local community. Not all of the challenges faced by organisations are the same, nor are the organisations’ strategies to engage their communities the same. Many have learned and continue to adapt and improve their strategies to engage their communities in this work, and because of this, have created better enabling environments for the girls in their programmes.

Community engagement is an aspect of every programme that must be revisited and evolve throughout the life of the programme. It is not about having one community event or publicising the launch of a new initiative. Community engagement is about building, sowing, and maintaining effective relationships with people through all of the critical aspects of human interaction – dialogue, patience, persistence, care, considerations, and clarity of purpose. It means taking time to listen to people and having the flexibility to deal with potential conflicts or problems, and being creative in finding ways to address those problems with the community, not in spite of them. Community engagement is the foundation of any organisational strategy and, as experienced by organisations, an accelerating factor for sustainable programmes. 

Defining Community

How does your organisation define community? It’s not the same for all organisations. Communities can take many forms. For some, the most important community is a village. For...

Girl-led Engagement

Community engagement for girls’ sport programmes can be a difficult endeavour. On the one hand, it is essential that on some level the community be involved in the planning and...

Continual Involvement

The input of community members is essential when developing a girls’ sport programme. Practitioners of girls’ sport programmes who wish to enter a community and put a programme in...

Community Groups and Stakeholders

An organisation’s community engagement strategy is dependent on the community groups and stakeholders who have impact on the lives of the girls in the programme. These groups and...

Promising Practices

This section outlines some best practices around community engagement and examples of these practices from various organisations around the world. The first step is to go through...

Community Impact

Sport and life skills programmes can lead to positive changes in the families and communities of girls who participate. Therefore, it can be extremely valuable to engage with...