3D: Data-Driven Debates is a competition that brings together youth from universities to stimulate their interest on key development topics, promote data and basic statistical literacy among youth to enable them to engage in a competitive critical debate and make informed decisions, offer an enabling environment for young people’s inclusive participation in the review and achievement of the SDGs and show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies.

Framework and objectives

The spread of incorrect news, opinionated analysis and populist debates is widespread in the Arab region. Youth need to access credible data and official statistics on their countries’ key development priorities and challenges in order to make an informed opinion, contribute to positive change in their country and the region, and hence play an active role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Youth aged 15 to 29 years represent close to one-third of the total Arab population and elevating public debate on development would not be possible without them.

The Arab Development Portal (ADP) supports open data initiatives and aspires to advance data analysis and data-driven debates, advocacy and policy-making in the Arab region. ADP is launching the 3D: Data Driven Debates competition offering youth a competitive and self-learning environment to spark a lively debate on development in their countries.

Through 3D: Data-Driven Debates, ADP aims to provide a space for youth to participate in informed advocacy and challenge traditional development narratives on their countries and the Arab region by advancing their knowledge and communications skills. The initiative emphasizes the importance of access to official statistics to support the emergence of civic engagement around countries’ priorities and challenges

Evaluation criteria

The data-driven debates will be thoroughly monitored by a panel – consisting of experts and media advisors to evaluate the debaters.

Each debater will be evaluated based on:

  1. Coherence of argument: the solidness of arguments and counter-arguments.
  2. Richness of relevant statistics: use of well-referenced data.
  3. Impact: the influence and clarity of the argument/idea.
  4. Communication: the body language, voice tone and clarity of expression.
  5. Respect of time: the degree of conciseness of arguments

The team's final grade will consist of the total grades of the individual debaters.

The best performing team will have the opportunity to be part of the Regional Data-Driven Debate.

Terms & Conditions
  1. Respecting the debate rules and ethics:
    • Debaters should never falsify, create or distort evidence.
    • The debater should never publicly disagree with the decision of the judge or the audience.
    • Winners need to be congratulated by the opposition.
    • Debaters should not insult, offend, or disrespect other debaters and/or judges in any way.
  2. Participation in the related activities:
    Participants must be available to participate in the training sessions (at least 80% of them).
  3. Participation in the national debate:
    Shortlisted participants must be available to participate in the national debate.
  4. Sole liability of the participants:
    • Neither the ADP nor the UNDP-RBAS may be held responsible for any claim carried out by the debaters in the framework of or outside the competition.
    • The views expressed reflect those of the debaters and UNDP/ADP’s role is limited to training and facilitating access to information.