Debate in the Neighbourhood

Debate in the Neighbourhood

Debate in the Neighbourhood is a family of debate education projects focused on young people living in urban and rural communities in the Netherlands. Debate in the Neighbourhood (DiN for short) projects train young people- typically between 15 and 25 years of age- how to debate in a clear, structured and persuasive way.

DiN helps young people to turn observations and opinions about the world around them into engaging arguments. Young people taking part in DiN projects are also encouraged to test their knowledge and speaking skills against one another in fun, friendly competitive debates.

All Debate in the Neighbourhood projects aim to give young people an understanding of the ways in which debate can inform advocacy and campaigning activities. Many of the youth groups taking part in Debate in the Neighbourhood use public events to build links between young people and the public officials, politicians and police officers who serve their communities.

Under the umbrella of Debate in the Neighbourhood, the following actions take place:

IDEA trains youth leaders and adults involved in informal education programs to debate and to teach others to debate. DiN training equips educators and youth leaders to plan and stage public debating events. These events give young DiN participants a platform they can use to demonstrate their new public speaking skills to their friends, families and wider neighbourhoods.

The power of DIN projects is that it brings together local communities to change on the basis of reasoned argumentation. But neighbourhoods can learn from each other and build on each other’s successes. In 2015 IDEA initiated the Open Up! learning circles to strengthen communities through knowledge-sharing and empowerment. Open Up! pioneered the mixing of debate with the performing arts and advocacy.