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Challenges and constraints in developing and implementing sports policy and provision in Antigua and Barbuda: which way now for a small island state?

Darko, N and Mackintosh, C (2014) Challenges and constraints in developing and implementing sports policy and provision in Antigua and Barbuda: which way now for a small island state? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 7 (3). pp. 365-390. ISSN 1940-6940

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Abstract

This paper examines the challenges and constraints of sport policy agenda setting and policy development in a small nation context of Antigua and Barbuda. It also aims to understand and explore existing limitations, issues and trajectories in sport policy implementation. The project draws upon a mixed-methods approach encompassing documentary analysis, 30 in-depth interviews and visual methodology in the form of photo observations. Through this methodology, the purpose of the paper is to open up sport policy agendas allowing the ‘voices’ of those local populations, policymakers, coaches and volunteers to be heard within the context of this study and wider sport policy research. Initial findings indicate sport and physical activity as a contested policy priority, barriers in cross-departmental collaboration, elite sport and performance agenda dilemmas and considerable limitations in third sector human infrastructure and physical facilities. Implications from this small nation sport policy context highlight the need for improved public policy problem definition and the need for clarity in agenda setting within tiers of the evolving sport policy community. Finally, the tentative potential positive policy spaces for future implementation and lessons in policy design involving national, regional and local actors and agencies are identified.

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