GAISF announced the results of its good governance survey to Members at the GAISF General Assembly in Gold Coast on 10 May. You can find the full report here.
As another service to its Members, in November 2018 the GAISF Council implemented a governance assessment project for those International Federations (IFs) belonging to the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) and Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS).
Sports governance consultancy I Trust Sport, which worked on similar projects with the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the Association of International Olympic Winter Sport Federations (AIOWF), was appointed by GAISF to carry out the project. Analysis of a 20-question, self-assessed survey focusing particularly on transparency as a theme was at the heart of the report.
The questions ranged from policy making and availability of information to the general public, to gender balance and whether IFs had established a code of ethics.
The results found that, whilst many IFs are doing excellent work with respect to governance, there is still much scope for improvement. The report called on IFs to “act promptly to identify and implement reforms, taking account of the specific needs of the organisation and the context in which they find themselves.”
Evidence from the study suggested that it is not essential to have a large number of staff to perform well. The highest performing IFs had no more than nine staff and the top IF overall was in the “1-4 staff” category. But it also recognised that limited resources can hinder governance development.
The report went on to suggest cost and time-effective measures to improve governance, such as publishing more information, establishing conflict of interest policies and improving internal systems of control.
“As we expected there are quite a range of scores,” I Trust Sport Founder Rowland Jack said. “We have sports at completely different stages of development; some where the President was doing work on their own for a long time while others have had professional staff in place for a number of years.
“We identified aspects of transparency as important, to deal with the loss of trust which is affecting all sectors of society. In an industry where there is a lot of public scrutiny, I think it is right for a body like GAISF to support its Members on the process of good governance.
“I believe sport can bring lots of benefits to individuals and society and the federations which stand the best chance of fulfilling their mission in terms of developing their sport are the ones which are well-run and which have structures and systems in place. As an organisation, you give can work more effectively towards achieving your objectives if you are set up in the right way.”
“The role of good governance for International Federations and sports administrators is critical in the successful continuation of global sport,” GAISF Director Philippe Gueisbuhler said.
“The mission of GAISF is to serve, represent, promote and protect the common interests of our Members and to help them achieve their global objectives. Now that we have the results of this survey, we can support our Members in their individual targets for improvement.”
GAISF has already received extensive positive feedback from a number of IFs who are taking steps to actively improve their governance procedures as a result of the survey. GAISF will continue to challenge and support its Members on their important governance work.
Following publication of this study, each IF will receive a report with its own specific findings. Some basic suggestions for improvement will be provided, but it will be up to each IF to determine how they act on the information given.
GAISF is now looking into producing a set of good practice examples from the study as a tool to be used by IFs which are looking actively at how they can improve.