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International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) funding sport for development and peace (SDP) programs are drawn to the promise of such initiatives for young women in global South countries such as Nicaragua to promote their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and prevent gender-based violence (GBV). While “international” feminist norms in support of “girl power” tend to be advocated by INGOs, gender norms in Nicaragua emphasize "machismo’ that tend to uphold male domination. Based on a case study of international-regional-local NGO relations as they “play out” in Nicaragua, this paper connects international relations studies that explore the conditions through which norm change “happens” with postcolonial feminist participatory action research (PFPAR). To conclude, we discuss how to better understand the tensions of "norms in conflict’ in SDP, with a particular focus on the pressures for local NGOs to accommodate—and connect—their contextual circumstances to the demands of transnational partners and the rising focus of Western donor organizations on “measurable” outcomes.
Hayhurst is with the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sundstrom is with the Dept. of Political Science and Arksey is with the School of Kinesiology, both at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.