The Oceania Sport Education Programme (OSEP) is an innovative, Pacific-led sport education programme that has transformed and complemented capacity and capability development within the sports sector in the Pacific region in the last 12 years.
OSEP was created to address a gap within the sport education space as identified in the key findings of the Pacific Sporting Needs Assessment conducted in 2004 by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), and subsequently constructed through the collaborative efforts of the Australian Sports Commission the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and the Organisations of Sports Federations of Oceania (OSFO).
Understanding the needs of its member National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and countries has been a core function of ONOC, and its overall vision for OSEP is for it to be recognised as the benchmark in sport education throughout the continental regions of the Olympic world, as well as delivering on the following in the region:
- Improving the governance and management of sport organisation operations,
- Improving coaching expertise to assist athletes to qualify on merit for the Olympics,
- Improving games preparation of athletes and officials,
- Creating training pathways for administrators, coaches, team managers and trainers,
- Improving the coordination of the sport education system.
OSEP has successfully achieved these deliverables on behalf of ONOC in the last 12 years through established pathways from foundational to masters’ levels, frameworks, policies and procedures. These have supported the development and growth of NOCs, National Sports Federations (NSFs/NFs), Pacific-based sports coaches, volunteers, athletes, team managers, technical officials, administrators, teachers, and relevant others.
The ONOC Executive in 2019 requested a Pacific-wide and detailed evaluation of OSEP to measure and establish how well it had delivered against its commitment and to measure OSEP’s organisational readiness to anticipate and sustain the future growth of the programme. The Education Commission set up a working party to develop the process, engage the independent review team, receive the recommendations, and present those to the ONOC Executive Board with a strategy plan and budget. The working party consisted of Jim Tobin (Chair), Andrew Lepani, Gill Gemming, and Inoke Bainimarama.
This was the first independent evaluation of OSEP in 12 years, therefore the main purpose of the evaluation was to assess the overall impact of ONOC’s flagship sport education programme since its inception in 2007. However, the data and insights gathered specifically for this evaluation as per the TOR on programme implementation and outcomes focused only on the last six years, from January 2013 to December 2019. The findings will assist the ONOC Executive in its planning for the next cycle of funding as well as inform strategic decision making on the future design of OSEP.
This evaluation will assist ONOC in seeking answers to the seven key questions as outlined in the Terms of Reference:
- To what extent has the programme achieved its objectives? Was the programme effective? To what extent did the programme achieve positive outcomes for individuals and organisations?
- Does the programme represent value for money? To what extent can the programme be delivered more efficiently and effectively to achieve greater value for money? What are the constraints to achieving this?
- What were the major challenges and barriers to implementation? Did this lead to innovative practices
- To what extent has there been a significant increase in sport participation? Has there been an increase in the identification of potentially elite athletes and/or other sports people?
- Has participation and performance at the Pacific and Olympic Games improved compared to previous events? Have world standings improved for the Pacific Islands? Have team rankings improved over the implementation period and to what extent can this be attributed to the programme?
- To what extent have there been improvements in delivery and support systems for sport participants?
- What are the recommendations for the next phase of the programme? Is the current OSEP strategy appropriate and relevant? How can it be refined?
Update on progress
- The OSEP External Evaluation Report was presented to the ONOC Executive on July 22, 2020.
- The OSFO representatives on the Education Commission, Gill Gemming and Regan Kama, are keen to develop a survey for OSFO members during late August/September to identify how many sports are actively recognising and utilising OSEP coaching and officiating courses as well as different streams such as administration, entourage, and event management. Currently eight sports have a formal or informal partnership with OSEP – the aim is to increase the engagement with more sports. If there are any barriers, issues or reasons preventing this involvement then identification of these aspects is needed to plan a way forward.