sportanddev: Launch of the Living Lab toolkit: Insights from the Sport and Social Cohesion Lab project

How can organisations effectively involve participants and partners in programme design? A new toolkit provides guidelines on one type of approach.

Policymakers, researchers and NGOs often emphasise the importance of inclusive, participatory programming. Project participants, local communities and other stakeholders should be involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities. However, the extent to which this happens is often unclear, and organisations often lack the resources and knowledge to fully understand how to do it in a meaningful and effective way.

The Sport for Social Cohesion Lab (SSCL) project was conceived to implement a Living Lab approach within five sport for social cohesion programmes in four different European countries. This approach was chosen to help programmes directly engage programme participants, generate understanding of the elements that promote social cohesion in a sport setting and to co-create activities and tools to explore, support and understand social cohesion within these communities.

The partners of the project have now published the final toolkit of the project. This reflects the partners’ experiences designing and implementing Living Labs in different European cities. The toolkit provides valuable insights to other organisations wishing to understand Living Labs as an example of a participatory approach to programme design or implement Living Labs themselves. It defines the concept, suggests some steps to launch a Living Lab, and offers insights on how to implement the different components of a Living Lab.

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