3D:Data-Driven Debates (صار الوقت نحسبها صح) is an initiative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lebanon and Arab Development Portal (ADP) in partnership with the Ministry of State for Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth in Lebanon (EEWAY), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Sar El Wa2et”/MTV Lebanon which aims to provide a space for youth to practice informed advocacy and decision-making to challenge the status-quo.

Application criteria

Phase I — Qualifier Round:

Following orientation sessions at universities to introduce the competition to students, UNDP will launch the call for applications for the 3D: Data-Driven Debates. Interested applicants are expected to register by filling an online application.

Phase II — Training on Data-Driven Debating:

The shortlisted applicants (around 100 youth) will be invited to comprehensive trainings with economists, thematic experts, development practitioners, media gurus, etc. to prepare them to participate in the competition. The trainings will consist of sessions on communications and debate skills but will also be an opportunity to enhance participants’ data analytics and knowledge on development topics.

Phase III — The National Data-Driven Debates:

  • 3D: Data-Driven Debates participants will be joining “Sar El Wa2et” program streamed live on MTV for the whole season.
  • 6 debaters will form 2 teams to debate on key socio-economic topics in Lebanon. The 12 shortlisted debaters, forming four teams, will compete in the semi-final episode and the two best scoring teams will compete in the final episode.

This would be an attempt to show the viewing audience a new and interactive debate format providing real analysis, highlighting data-driven anxieties and interrogations of youth and avoiding the misleading populist discussions.

Who can apply?

  1. Youth aged 18 to 30 years across Lebanon.
  2. Students from all majors.
  3. While applicants will fill individual applications, UNDP will form teams composed of students from different universities
Debate rules & evaluation criteria

The data-driven debates will be thoroughly monitored by a panel – consisting of a member representing the partners (50% of the grade) and a high-level policy-maker or expert (50% of the grade).

Each debater will be evaluated based on:

  1. Coherence of arguments
  2. Richness of relevant well-referenced statistics
  3. Impact and clarity of the argument/idea
  4. Body language, voice tone and clarity of expression
  5. Respect of time

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

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.