Visualize 2030 is an initiative of the Arab Development Portal which aims to encourage the consumption of data by youth from the Arab region in support of advocacy campaigns and innovative thinking around development priorities and to advance their contribution to informed public debate in the region.

Visualize 2030 is an annual data camp that brings together youth from Arab countries to enhance their technical and analytical capacity to produce audio visual content on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Visualize 2030 Camp

What is Visualize 2030?

Visualize 2030 calls upon youth (aged 20-30) to use official statistics with the aim of visualizing a data-driven story that highlights concerns, hopes or ambitions regarding a development topic in a selected Arab country or for the whole Arab region. Every year, Visualize 2030 will be addressing a development theme in the Arab region within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Visualize 2030 brings together the top 25 ideas selected for a full five-day data adventure to collectively think and engage with one another in order to unleash the power of data: create a data-driven visual product that can take the form of a poster, infographics, illustrations, videos or any other visualization using the ADP Database or other official national or international sources.

Visualizers are shortlisted based on skills and innovation, taking into consideration diversity criteria, mainly in terms of ideas presented, gender and country representation. Participants are expected to be from the Arab region.

During the camp, Visualizers are granted access to on-site training and production facilities where trainers on graphic design, videography, animation, statistical analysis, visualization and communication and presentation skills are available to assist them develop their final products.

Framework

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contained in the document entitled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015. The new agenda seeks to leave no one behind and aspires to transform the world in which we live.

UN Member States have resolved “to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.”

Moreover, under the same ambitious 2030 Agenda, calls for global data to inform sustainable development policymaking are unparalleled: UN Member States emphasized the importance of “quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data […] to help with the measurement of progress and to ensure no one is left behind.” (Paragraph 48).

National statistical offices in the Arab region and other national data producers, hence, face an urgent need to adapt and develop in order to meet the widening, increasing and progressing needs of data users, including the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In light of the above, youth are encouraged to take the below into consideration when drafting their applications:

  • In your opinion and as per the official statistics, what is the most pressing problem or challenge in your home country/ Arab region that should be resolved by 2030?
  • What would you like to see happening in your country/Arab region by 2030?
  • How easy is it to access reliable statistics in your home country/ Arab region?
  • What does the “data revolution” mean for your country/Arab region and how will it affect the “status-quo”?
  • How would open data affect development in your home country/Arab region? In what way is it empowering for you to voice your opinions, take positions and contribute to positive change?

Objectives

As data revolution is a key part of the 2030 Agenda, and given that data are considered to be one of the fundamental elements of the accountability framework of the SDGs, Visualize 2030 aims to:

  1. Advocate for and encourage the adoption of open data policies and the SDGs;
  2. Contribute to the enhancement of data access, use and communication in a useful, meaningful and innovative way in the Arab region;
  3. Bring together creative development practitioners, data analysts, statisticians, data scientists, graphic designers, etc. from the Arab region for one of a kind data adventure that stimulates data-driven public debates on key development issues and offers the space for highlighting out-of-the-box ideas on pressing development challenges.

The Visualize 2030 theme

Each year, Visualize 2030 addresses a development topic within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Audio-visual products should be aligned with the proposed topic and can cover one or more SDGs within an Arab country, across Arab countries or even globally (comparing the Arab region to other regions).

Expected Outcome

The final output is a data-driven visual product that can take the form of a poster, infographics, illustrations, videos or any other visualization using the ADP Database or other official sources.

Application criteria

Step 1 — Launch the call for applications
Launch the call for applications ADP will launch the call for applications for the Visualize 2030 via a social media campaign. Interested applicants are expected to fill the online application and submit an updated professional portfolio and research samples (if available).

Step 2 — Selection of the top 25 ideas
The applications will be assessed by the jury of the preselection phase. The top 25 teams (teams of two or three) will be selected based on skills and innovation, taking into consideration diversity criteria. Shortlisted teams will be notified about their acceptance via email.

Step 3 — Data camp (Beirut)
The shortlisted teams will be invited to the four-day data camp to develop their ideas. Visualizers will be granted access to on-site trainings and production facilities but are expected to bring in their laptops and any needed software.

Step 4 — Final ceremony (Beirut)
Visualizers will present their final products during a Ceremony that will be held in Beirut and that will include pitch presentations and demonstrations of the products by the teams (2-3 minutes per team), announcement of the winners and distribution of prizes.

Who can apply?

  1. Visualize 2030 targets youth aged 20 to 30 years in the Arab region
  2. It mainly addresses young students, researchers, graphic designers, journalists, and any other citizens interested in sustainable development in the Arab region.
  3. The Visualize 2030 is open to teams composed of two or three individuals. Individual applications will not be considered.
  4. The team must include at least one designer and one data analyst/researcher/economist.
  5. The camp will be well-equipped for participants with special needs.
  6. Visualize 2030 alumni are not eligible to participate.
  7. UN staff are not eligible to participate.
Evaluation criteria

Phase 1 — Preselection (10 points)
During this phase, each submitted application will be graded and assessed against the preselection criteria (completeness of information, attachment of supporting documents, structure of ideas, and relevance of answers). The applications’ grade will account for 10 percent of the total grade.

Phase 2 — Working progress (10 points)
Over four days, the trainers (on graphic design, videography, animation, statistical analysis and visualization) will assess and grade the idea’s development and the participants’ team work over 10 percent of the total grade.

Phase 3 — Final product and presentation (80 points)
The participants will present their final products during the Ceremony, where the multidisciplinary evaluation committee will assess the final output and presentation of the 25 projects. A maximum of three minutes will be assigned to each team, the evaluation committee is also entitled to ask the team one explanatory question.

At the end of the ceremony, the committee will select the top 3 winners who will be offered cash prizes.

The competing ideas will be scored over 80 percent of the total grade based on the following criteria:

  • Richness of data: Does the content produced by teams use diverse datasets? How much effort did the team put into data analysis and data crunching? How well referenced are the data sources used?
  • Creativity: Is the visual content unique? Does it reflect creativity and an attempt to produce something new and visually appealing?
  • Quality of work: Are the visual product and the technical specifications of high quality?
  • Relevance:
    1. Is the visual content relevant to the selected theme?
    2. Does the idea relate to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
    3. Does the idea show a concern over an Arab country or the Arab region’s priorities?
  • Impact: Is the produced visual content effective if used in advocacy campaigns? How influential is the message/idea behind the product?
  • Communication: How clearly/concisely is the idea of the product communicated through the one-minute presentation?
  • Marketing and dissemination of final product: Does the team clearly mention the potential channels/platforms of dissemination of the product? To what extent will the product be exposed afterward?
Highlights from Previous Camps

The 2019 Visualize 2030

The 2019 Visualize 2030

The 2019 Visualize 2030, the first regional SDGs data camp in its third edition, held from 10 to 14 October gathered 65 young participants from 14 Arab countries that were selected among 464 applicants

As in the previous Visualize 2030 camps, youth from multi-disciplinary teams crafted 24 impactful audio/visual products that highlight their concerns and ambitions. The 2019 camp’s theme particularly addressed inequalities in the Arab region, whereby the teams covered a broad range of issues from gender inequality to discrimination against migrant domestic workers, from inequalities in accessing education and health services to lost opportunities in conflict affected countries, and much more.

The 2019 Visualize 2030 attracted contributions from other UN agencies, namely World Food Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The 2019 Visualize 2030 Winners
  • First place: Harf team from Yemen, produced a video which tells the story of two young Yemeni students that witnessed their education, future and dreams destroyed by conflict.
  • Second place: Entrepioneers 2030 from Tunisia, looked into their country’s social contract and the level of trust between citizens and institutions.
  • Third place: Sanad from Sudan, highlighted the challenges homeless children in Sudan face for being without identification documents.

Over 100 people including youth, data scientists, experts and journalists attended the closing ceremony of Visualize 2030, which took place in the historic Beit Beirut, a building destroyed during the Lebanese war and now operating as a cultural center.

The 2018 Visualize 2030

The 2018 Visualize 2030

The 2018 edition of Visualize 2030, held from 12 to 16 October 2018 in Beirut, brought together 50 youth from 14 Arab countries and challenged them to use their creativity and data skills to bring the vision of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs to life.

During the 5-days camp, Visualizers crafted 23 impressive visual and audio data products, including animated infographics, virtual reality games, technologically-advanced videos and interactive presentations, employing official data and statistics. Visualizers were guided by the ADP team and data analysts and worked closely with technical experts (graphic designers, animators, videographers…). They also had the opportunity to meet and learn from well-known and highly visible influencers, namely: Betty Taoutel (famous actress/director), Zaven Kouyoumdjian (well-known anchor) and Imad Bazzi (award-winning advocacy specialist).

The 2018 Visualize 2030 was held in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development.

The 2018 Visualize 2030 Winners
  • First place: Hekaya from Yemen, aimed to raise awareness on the impact of early marriage on a woman’s life and the importance of family planning.
  • Second place: ArtMoony from Tunisia, looked into their country’s social contract and the level of trust between citizens and institutions.
  • Third place: Dania Al Khalaf from Syria, called for immediate action to stop the devastating effect of the conflict, especially on children.

Over 150 people attended the closing ceremony, which took place in the historic Beit Beirut, a building destroyed during the Lebanese war and now operating as a cultural center.

Media Coverage

Jaafar AbdulKarim did a special ShababTalk episode with participants on the Ceremony day.

The 2017 Visualize 2030

The 2017 Visualize 2030

The 2017 Visualize 2030 held in Beit Merry, Lebanon from 19 to 23 October 2017, brought together 50 youth from 13 Arab countries to produce 21 audio-visual products around different priority areas, such as food security, education, economic development, peace, water, health, etc.

Throughout the camp, Visualizers had the opportunity to attend inspirational lectures and interactive sessions on open data for SDGs, data visualization tools, data analysis and innovation, data pipeline and main data challenges and that were delivered by regional and international speakers from the World Wide Web Foundation, Infotimes, Web Radar, and Data Aurora.

The 2017 Visualize 2030 Winners
  • First place: Supermilk from Lebanon, aimed to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding.
  • Second place: BrainMix from Iraq, aimed to enhance education.
  • Third place: TechArmy from Algeria, highlighted the industrial investment in Algeria.
Terms & Conditions
  1. Travel and accommodation expenses: The travel and accommodation expenses of the participants during the camp will be covered by UNDP, as per the UN rules and regulations. Participants traveling with national passports from non-exempt countries should obtain a visa prior to commencing travel to Lebanon. Participants should hence consult the Lebanese embassy on visa requirements.
  2. Participation in other competitions: The team must inform the ADP team, when submitting their proposal, if the idea has been previously used in any other competition.
  3. Intellectual property and copyright: The output of the Visualize 2030 are the property of UNDP and the participant(s) who create it. Accordingly, ADP can publish the products on www.arabdevelopmentportal.com and the social media pages owned by ADP, crediting the creators of the product.
  4. Sole liability of the participants: Neither the ADP nor the UNDP-RBAS may be held responsible for any claim relating to the activities carried out by the participants in the framework of or outside the competition.
  5. Checks and audits: The winning teams accept checks by UNDP in relation to the competition and the prize received.