Launch of the National Youth Debate Programme for the Model of Social and Economic Development of Albania: SCiDEV ready to kick off the 3rd Edition of University Debate Lab

Youth debate on the model of social and economic development of Albania

In lieu of successive crises in Albania and in the framework of the European integration process in the new decade that we have already entered, it is important to involve young people in the debate about the social and economic model of the country, thus ensuring the development of a comprehensive model and with the participation of the new generation.

Based on the already consolidated tradition of the Open Society Foundation for Albania (OSFA) for the debate program, as well as the revival of the debate culture at the gymnasium level by the Liburnetik Organization and at the university level by the Centre Science and Innovation Center for Development (SCiDEV ) as well as the high interest was shown by pupils, teachers, students, and professors, as well as other actors, OSFA launches the National Youth Debate Program for the Model of Social and Economic Development of Albania for 2021-2024.

The National Youth Debate Programme Goal and Objectives

The purpose of the National Youth Debate Programme is to empower young people (high school and university students) to be proactive, well-informed, and critically-minded citizens with public speaking ability and competencies to participate in decision-making processes in their community and in public life.

Specific objectives are:

  1. to consolidate the culture of debate, cultivate analysis and critical thinking, ethics in communication, tolerance, and values ​​of active citizenship in Albania among young people in high school.
  2. to strengthen the skills and opportunities for action in the public life of students through offline and online activation as well as the development of analytical, critical, and communication skills through the debate on the model of socio-economic development for the future.
  3. to promote the debate on the model of socio-economic development of Albania with a focus mainly on education, but also other priority areas for pupils and students.

Implementing organizations of the National Youth Debate Programme

The National Youth Debate Program is supported by OSFA and will be implemented by the Liburnetik Organization and SCiDEV Centre, each organization with its ongoing debate project and with an established tradition already focused respectively on high school students and students.

Liburnetik will host the Re-Debate, the National High School Debate Championship based on the ‘IDEA’ format including 20 public and non-public high schools nationwide in 11 cities. This organization works with young people in high schools across the country empowering them through active processes of developing critical thinking, ethics in communication, tolerance, and public speaking.

SCiDEV will organize the project ‘University Debate Laboratory – From Word to Action’ involving 14 universities in 5 cities in Tirana, Durres, Vlora, Shkodra, and Korca. SCiDEV works with students to empower them to be engaged in the public sphere through debate as an instrument for youth activism as well as through the development of research and evidence-based advocacy skills.

The main activities of the ‘University Debate Laboratory – From Word to Action’

  1. Project launch and promotion; (re) establishing links with universities and mentors as well as establishing links with new universities. Online promotional campaign and meetings with partners.
  2. Identification of new students and researchers through the call for expressions of interest
  3. Youth Capacity Development Program for participation, digital tools, and activation and engagement in the public and political sphere.
  4. Organizing training for students and new mentors/lecturers on the debate format and research packages
  5. Organizing university debates and organizing the final debate.
  6. Implementation of the Program “From word to action”
  7. Ongoing communication and promotion campaign as well as the involvement of other actors to ensure continuity as well as the production of video documentaries to capitalize on the experience and test the debate.
  8. Publication of blogs/articles by students / young researchers/professors on the topics of debates in traditional and new media with a focus on education and beyond.

Project overview in Albanian

Project website