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Perpetuating the “lack of evidence” discourse in sport for development: Privileged voices, unheard stories and subjugated knowledge

Through an examination of the power relations embedded in the international movement of sport for development, we consider the dominant ‘lack of evidence’ discourse, which calls for more rigorous, scientific proof to validate the sport for development field. We argue that the lack of co-creation of knowledges, the politics of partnerships, and donor-driven priorities have subjugated sport for development practitioners’ knowledge, and therefore fueled this lack of evidence discourse. Acknowledging and privileging the contributions that typically female, young, black African sport for development grassroots practitioners’ knowledges make to the field will concomitantly result in a more robust evidence base and challenge the lack of evidence discourse.