Research partnerships between scholars and sport for development and peace (SDP) organizations are common, but firsthand accounts of the challenges and barriers faced by scholars when forming and sustaining partnerships are rare. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine them, and to uncover strategies to overcome these challenges across different partnership contexts. Eight prominent SDP scholars were interviewed. Guided by collaboration theory and the partnership literature, findings revealed challenges included navigating the political and organizational landscape; securing commitments from organizations with limited resources; negotiating divergent goals, objectives, and understandings; and conducting long-term evaluations and research. Strategies to address these issues involved developing strategic partnerships, cultivating mutual understanding, building trust, starting small, finding the cause champion, and developing a track record of success. Key theoretical and practical implications are drawn forth, as well as intriguing future research directions.
Welty Peachey is with the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. Cohen is with the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.