Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Hums, Mary

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Moorman, Anita

Committee Member

Hancock, Meg

Committee Member

Shuck, Brad

Author's Keywords

sport for development and peace; capabilities approach; human development theory; sport management


Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) has become a popular approach to development. However, critical scholars remain skeptical of SDP’s effectiveness. Utilizing a holistic approach that includes local voices may help a program’s effectiveness. Scholars are searching for a framework flexible enough to accommodate the varied nature of programs. One theoretical approach is the Capabilities Approach, which evaluates well-being based on what people can do and be. This case study explored the Capabilities Approach in an SDP setting. Youth Odyssey, a non-profit organization that works with at-risk youth through adventure programming, was the case. This case study explored what role does an SDP program play in participants achieving their capabilities, focusing on identifying functionings, barriers, and capabilities. Twenty-one interviews, 43 field observations and over 100 document/artifacts provided a holistic analysis of the case through triangulation. RQ1 asked what functionings are being supported by Youth Odyssey? RQ2 explored how does Youth Odyssey help remove barriers for participants? RQ3 asked what capabilities are Youth Odyssey creating for its participants? The findings add to the limited literature exploring SDP using the Capabilities Approach. It highlighted the Capabilities Approach’s potential to use local context and address concerns of critical scholars regarding SDP from a planning/execution/evaluation standpoint. It was one of the first studies to understand the role an SDP organization played in increasing an individual’s functionings, freedoms, and capabilities using qualitative data.