Open Call: Good practices in stakeholder engagement and consultation

Presented by the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, in partnership with ThinkSport and the Innovation Booster Sport & Physical Activity (powered by Innosuisse)

Powering responsible and human-centric leadership in sports

With increased momentum, individuals and organisations are calling for change to ensure that sports bodies adopt responsible, sustainable, and human-centric decision-making practices when governing day-to-day sport and hosting Mega Sporting Events (MSE). 

In and across the sports ecosystem, meaningful steps have been taken to embed international rights standards, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs place particular emphasis on sport bodies and other relevant actors to assess potential adverse Human Rights impacts of their activities, and, amongst other steps, to meaningfully engage and consult with all relevant stakeholders prior, during, and after sporting events or activities. Principle 18 to the UNGPs highlights the need to draw on independent human rights expertise while seeking to understand concerns of affected stakeholders through consultation and taking into account barriers to engagement. 

As part of the Innovation Booster Sport & Physical Activity powered by Innosuisse, the Centre for Sport and Human Rights and ThinkSport are currently leading an initiative designed to reflect and find innovative solutions to challenges at the intersection between sport, Human Rights, and leadership.

This IB Sport & Physical Activity kicked off in October 2023 with an ideation session where participants - representing civil society, sports federations, sponsors, and global sports associations - highlighted the need to develop a methodology as a way to guide sports bodies and other industries move past barriers to meaningful engagement and shape, alongside affected communities, the future of responsible sport.

Through this initiative, the Centre and its partners hope to identify good practices of meaningful consultation and to co-create a practical toolkit that will help sports policy-makers and event hosts to truly integrate affected individuals organisations into their decision-making processes.

Open call: good practices of consultation and meaningful engagement with affected groups 

Within the next few months, and in close cooperation with participants, the Centre will map existing good practices related to conducting meaningful consultation with potentially affected groups and other relevant stakeholders in the sports environment and other industries. This mapping exercise aims to learn from sports organisations (Sport Governing Bodies, National Olympic Committees, etc.), corporates, governments, and civil society organisations about their efforts and processes in engaging with those that might be directly or indirectly affected by their policies, practices, and decisions. It will also consist of collating existing tools and recommendations in this regard.

At a later stage, such benchmarks will inform the development of a comprehensive tool tailored for day-to-day sports and sporting events.

We want to hear from you

CSHR wishes to hear from you. Does your organisation or any other organisation you know about have good practices or case studies of meaningful consultation with its potentially affected groups and other relevant stakeholders? Do you know of any existing tool in this regard? By clicking on this link you will be redirected to a Google Form, where you can share your answers with us.

We would be particularly interested in hearing your perspective on the following topics: 

  • The design and implementation of the consultation process
  • What worked well in the consultation process, and you consider best practice
  • The challenges, barriers, or limitations you faced in your consultation and what lessons you learned from it 
  • How much you were able to incorporate results from the consultation process into your policies, practices and/or decisions
  • Any public report or news media documenting the process and/or results

We would also welcome recommendations of tools you know and consider useful for supporting organisations conducting meaningful consultations with potentially affected groups and other stakeholders.

Please be aware that you can answer the form anonymously, and if you wish, your answers will be kept confidential.

Reply to our questionnaire and help us with this important mapping exercise

What is next?

The benchmark mapping will be followed by the dissemination of a survey among groups who are usually impacted by sports bodies' policies, practices and decisions - athletes, coaches, officials, MSE workers and volunteers, and communities living in MSE host cities. The survey aims to understand their needs, interests, and preferences regarding how they wish to be consulted by sports organisations and MSE organising committees in the future.

Based on the findings of the benchmark mapping and the survey, the Centre will develop a toolkit with tailored methodology and step-by-step mechanism to support actors in the sports ecosystem conducting meaningful consultation with potentially affected groups and other relevant stakeholders and integrating results in their policy- and decision-making process. 

At the end of the survey, you will have the possibility to indicate whether you would like to receive more updates from us on the outcomes of this project. 

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