Continuing the improvement of governance in national federations

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay


By Stine Alvad
While the EU-financed part of the National Sports Governance Observer has officially ended, Play the Game carries the project on as more nations join in.

It has been six months since the Erasmus+ supported project, National Sports Governance Observer (NSGO), launched its main results at a high-profiled event in Leuven featuring expert speakers and lively discussions about the governance of national sports federations. The seminar presented the highlights of the two-year-long project and revealed that the level of sports governance varies a lot across European states.

The project resulted in a 264-pages report examining both the countries included as well as a detailed description of the tool and a number of overall findings. To make the results and the tool more accessible, a leaflet presenting the tool and the main findings of the NSGO project has also been published. Download the leaflet here.

New countries join the project
The NSGO benchmarking tool has generated a lot of interest and a number of new countries have joined the project since the initial group set off. The new countries already involved are Australia, Canada, Colombia, Georgia, Lithuania and the USA.

Some of the countries are only in the initial phases of examining their national federations while other countries, like Georgia, has already completed a review.

The average NSGO index of the Georgian federations is 21%, which constitutes a “weak” score according to the scale of the project. The highest average scores among the four dimensions is achieved in Democracy (36%), followed by 21% in Transparency. The average scores achieved in the dimensions Accountability (14%) and Societal Responsibility (12%) are labelled as “not fulfilled”. See the Georgian report here.

Effects of the NSGO
The research continues to lead to policy changes around the world.

Anatoli Karepanov, Affiliated expert at the Georgian Strategic Analysis Center, who has been running the Georgian NSGO research, has already presented the results at various conferences including an event hosted by the sport and youth committee of the Georgian parliament during which Georgian MPs agreed that that actions from public authorities are needed for the Georgian NSGO score of 21% to rise.

The countries that took part in the first round of the project have all experienced positive outcomes in their work with the NSGO project. Some indicate that the cooperation between the federations, research institutes and governments have improved, other partners among the sports federations say that the examining has entailed a better understanding of the governance needs in the federations.

In Brazil, Cyprus, Poland, the Netherlands and Flanders, new sports governance codes or laws have been elaborated with a great deal of inspiration from and cooperation with the NSGO partners.

In Germany, the Ministry of Interiors has held meetings with the researchers from the German Sport University Cologne about the results that have drawn some controversy at they were not at the high level many in sport had expected. You can read a resume of the content and results here.

You can find selected country reports in the original languages here or see English versions of the country reports in the final NSGO report.

Since the conclusion of the NSGO project, Play the Game has embarked on a new ERASMUS+ project entitled National Anti-Doping Governance Observer (NADGO) that will assess the state of governance across national anti-doping agencies. The project is set to run for the next two years and conclude in November 2021.


* required field

What is three plus seven?

Guidelines for posting
Play the Game promotes an open debate on sport and sports politics and we strongly encourage everyone to participate in the discussions on But please follow these simple guidelines when you write a post:

  1. Please be respectful - even if you disagree strongly with certain viewpoints. Slanderous or profane remarks will not be posted.
  2. Please keep to the subject. Spam or solicitations of any kind will not be posted.

Use of cookies

The website uses cookies to provide a user-friendly and relevant website. Cookies provide information about how the website is being used or support special functions such as Twitter feeds. 

By continuing to use this site, you consent to the use of cookies. You can find out more about our use of cookies and personal data in our privacy policy.