The University of Valencia as a participating partner in the VARIED project


After introducing LOCSUS, the research group that is part of the VARIED project, we move on to specify the development process of the VARIED project.

The VARIED project team is designed to ensure active participation from a suitable combination of complementary organizations from different fields that share common characteristics and objectives. The strategic partnership includes 10 organizations from five countries (Spain, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, and France) with significant social impact and outreach. In this case, the focus is on the academic and scientific partner of the project, represented by the Socioeconomics and Development Division of IIDL at the University of Valencia, which focuses on volunteering and inclusive physical activity.

The first task carried out by the University is the development of a guide on ethics and data protection for volunteering in inclusive sports practice. Specifically, the creation of a database with information from Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council, dated April 27, 2016, regarding the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data. This database forms the basis for all the relationships and communications developed among the project partners and collaborators abroad.

The University of Valencia initiated its tasks by requesting documentation from the different partners to analyze and study the current situation of volunteering and inclusion in sports in each of the partner countries. This process created an observatory to conduct a final study on the socioeconomic impact of volunteering in inclusive rugby and investigate the benefits of the project.

Regarding the mentioned observatory, it is an Inclusive Rugby Volunteers Observatory aimed at the joint work of people with and without intellectual disabilities. Specifically, the University of Valencia provides the structure and description of the contents developed for all the partners in order to ensure comparability between countries. The main aspects to be described include the healthcare system, the education system, service providers, volunteers, and local administration agents who, along with their families, define their environment.

For each aspect, one or more standard indicators are developed to ensure that the type of information collected for all countries is essentially the same and allows for comparison. The indicators are, as far as possible, comprehensive, easy to understand, cross-cutting, and provide clear indications of thresholds above and below, as well as optimal values. The University of Valencia provides questionnaires with template questions to guide the response to the aspects to be described and also provides a prepared spreadsheet to calculate the indicators when necessary. This activity is crucial to understand the context in which the project will be implemented.

This analysis is important for developing a socioeconomic study that measures the impact and benefits that inclusive rugby has on participants (volunteers and individuals with intellectual disabilities), as well as their immediate social context, such as family, friends, or caregivers. To carry out these tasks, the University of Valencia performs a series of actions, including:

  1. Establishing a methodological design
  2. Collecting information
  3. Organizing, classifying, and systematizing the information
  4. Analyzing: reading, interpreting, explaining, and understanding the data
  5. Drawing conclusions and documenting them in a series of best practice guides.

Furthermore, the continuity over time of the aforementioned observatory is ensured as it is integrated into the “Cátedra Ciudad de Cullera” (Cullera City Chair). The University of Valencia and the City Council of Cullera have agreed to create the Cátedra Ciutat de Cullera with the aim of strengthening institutional relations between both institutions, particularly in the fields of science, technology, research, and knowledge transfer, with the city of Cullera as the thematic scope.

One of the most interesting aspects of this new chair is the creation of a Territorial Tourist Observatory (OTT), which allows for the collection and generation of empirical