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Haverford College

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East


This Independent Study Project (ISP) explores how NGO programs measure the success of their impact on female sports development in Jordan and the impact thereof on improving women’s opportunities in sport. This research relies on several theories, including Sport for Development theory (Lyras and Welty Peachey, 2011), organizational learning and learning organizations (Roper and Pettit, 2002), and monitoring and evaluation (Peters, 2016) to discover the effect of NGO programs on women's sport development in Jordan. It centers on the intersection of gender, social expectations, and non-governmental work for development. This paper aims to answer the following questions: Roper and Pettit suggest that organizations should strive towards bottom-up learning to allow constituents to define NGO practices. How might bottom-up learning redefine how female sports empowerment NGOs in Jordan assess their program’s success? How do female sports empowerment programs (NGOs) in Jordan understand the lives and aspirations of their constituents and how might they collaborate with them to increase women’s sport access? What social and cultural factors influence challenges to visibility and access for women’s sports in Jordan?

The research includes five interviews with program providers and local experts on women’s sport in Jordan. It postulates that in order for women’s sport to expand and be sustained on a national platform, the efforts and emphasis on sport for development as implemented in refugee-specific initiatives may serve as a foundation for shared learning and collaboration among women’s sports activists, but should ultimately be tailored to the needs of the Jordanian society as a whole.


Development Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Health and Physical Education | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Near Eastern Languages and Societies | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sports Studies | Women's Studies


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