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A Readiness Assessment Tool (RAT) for Developing Sport Organisations.
The Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) have directed significant resources towards addressing the perceived deficiencies in sport development infrastructure among its member NOC’s and their respective NF’s.
Dating back to the mid 1990's, considerable thought has been given to determine why or why not programs of development for sport have had such varying degrees of success, regardless of the resources committed to them and the expertise applied. At a planning workshop held in Port Moresby during 2006, a need to establish an assessment tool to measure the level of development of National Sport Federations (NF's) was recommended. This initial project was undertaken by Auvita Rapilla as part of her MEMOS studies for 2007 - 2008. Brian Minikin then took this to another level and expanded the NF Assessment Tool to include more parameters and as well, design a Gap Analysis Tool that would identify the deficiencies between what an organisation would ordinarily expect to have in place to successfully conduct a program and what it actually has in place. This formed the basis of another MEMOS project completed by Brian in 2008 - 2009.
ONOC has now developed a Readiness Assessment Tool (RAT) which is a Web Application that will Assess, Compare and Monitor the current elements that make up a NF in the context of the Pacific Region and compare it to the elements that are expected to be in place in order for a specific activity or program to be able to function.
In the process of constructing the R.A.T. information has been gathered that can be used to assess the current level of development of a NF in the context of the Pacific Islands across eight pillars of development, sometimes referred to in planning documents as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These include:
Key elements were then identified for each of these pillars that characterised the overall development of the organisation and these were ordered such that they reflected early or formative development, moderate functional development, high effective development and elite corporate development.
An Assessment Tool
Using the information gained it has been possible to classify key elements across these stages of development and link them across the pillars as well as within the pillars to give an overall picture of the current level of development of the NF and a profile of this development to see if it is occurring in a balanced way. The real value of the RAT however comes from the provision of an assessment by key sports administrators as to what elements need to be in place to enable an organisation to benefit from taking part in a specific project or program. These assessments are being tested and built on an ongoing basis to provide benchmarks for NF’s to aim for.
A Planning Tool
By referencing the organisation’s own current assessment against these benchmarks covering 8 pillars 76 sub elements and 450 criteria, a GAP analysis can now be performed that determines the state of readiness of the organisation to proceed and identifies recommended elements that need to be put in place to help the organisation become ready to undertake the desired project.
A Monitoring and Evaluation Tool
The final positive outcome from using the RAT is the capacity to reassess the organisation after undertaking an intervention and use the tool to gather evidence of the effectiveness or otherwise of its involvement in the that activity. This will enable a proper impact assessment to be done by the organisation to determine the effective of development strategies that it has chosen to take.
The RAT is available for National Federations to access and assess themselves against common programs and activities available in the Pacific Region as an online Tool under www.oceaniasport.com. Consultancy support in assisting the NF’s to put in place the elements they need in order to successfully undertake the activities they aspire to, will be available through the ONOC and its member NOCs and the Olympic Sports Federations of Oceania (OSFO) and their member Regional Federations.
The RAT is not designed to pass judgement or to determine funding levels to be applied to NF's. Rather, it is a tool for identifying the priorities for development that are required before a NF undertakes a strategic direction and as such will enable organisations to better determine their funding priorities.