Debate in Youth work and Volunteering


To adequately address challenges such as the rise of populism and political apathy or undermined notions of equality and inclusion, the project will try to fill the gap left by formal education and emphasize critical thinking and communication skills while providing a foundation for civic engagement, appreciation of democratic principles, equality and inclusion. Experience with and research of debate methodology and it’s non-formal use clearly demonstrate its potential in developing the skills and competencies needed to tackle some of the most pressing issues we’ve identified.


This project will develop outputs (tools) debate organizations need to increase the quality of their youth work, engage larger numbers of young people in inclusive and empowering education, promote the use of innovative IT technologies in learning, and build up participants and organizational capacity for youth work. Through a focus on critical thinking, civic activity, volunteering and youth work and the use of non-formal debate methods we will increase learning outcomes, competence development and empower young people for participation and inclusion.


This approach will also increase volunteer recruiting/retention and youth work development in youth organizations.

The three main objectives of this project are to meet these goals by:


  1. Promoting, professionalizing and increasing the quality of youth work within partner organizations and across the sector
  2. Increasing the use of debate methodology with the aim of fostering civic engagement, equality, and inclusion
  3. Development and use of multilingual, open source digital learning materials


Objectives, activities and impact

Within the project we will develop: 


1) Debate based curriculum for non-formal education with the aim of developing critical thinking competencies and enticing volunteering and youth work. It will focus on content themes: Democratic and shared European values, Diversity and social inclusion, Civic activism, Media and information literacy, Youth participation Local issues. These provide for the thematic backbone of the project. Competence themes (Critical thinking, Communication skills, Problem-solving, Teamwork, Youth work) focus on competence development meant to incentivize and empower young people to become civically engaged, develop volunteering and youth work capacity;


2) A comprehensive study of the existing situation in the related field with developed simulations on how to best implement debate methodology, a guide on how to best implement debate methodology and civic topics in this project and in future scenarios;


3) Development educational tools will be organized in an OER providing education on youth work quality, the sustainability of youth organizations and youth debate clubs;


4) Open source e-learning tools integrating key elements of O1 and O3 into an interactive and inclusive educational experience that allows for learning without access to real life debate education. This will dramatically expand access to comprehensive education fostering critical thinking, civic engagement, volunteering and youth work.


Consortium and partners

Coordinator: Croatian Debate Society (Croatia) 

Consortium: Polska Debatuje (Poland), IDEA (Nethedlands), Inštitut za društvena istraživanja v Zagrebu (Croatia), Slovenska debatna asociacia (Slovakia), Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga (Slovenia)


Key info:

Project is co-funded by the European Union (EU Commission) 

Programme: Erasmus+

Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practises

Action type: Strategic Partnerships for youth

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