Our History

IDEA's origins lie in the initiviatives to promote active citizenship and empowerement fo young people 

  • Throughout the 1990s, debate coaches from the US trained teachers in Eastern Europe to use debate methodology in class. 
    Although debate was an entirely new phenomenon in the countries included in the programme, it provided an invaluable mean for students to express opinions, to meet and discuss important issues, and transform themselves into informed citizens.
  • In 1999, the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) was created by national debate programs and supported by OSF to coordinate the programme and serve as an independent membership organization debate clubs, national debate organisations, schools, and individuals with one common goal: to promote mutual understanding and democracy globally by supporting discussion and active citizenship locally.
  • For over two decades, IDEA has been bringing debate, active citizenship training, curriculum development and international student exchanges and forums to young people across the world, with a particular focus on developing democracies.
  • In the next 20 years IDEA has worked all over the world creating debate communities, promoting pedagogy of empowerement and quality of youth work in over 60 countries across all continents and we are or have been engaged with communities from following coutnries:
  • Africa: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South African Republic, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe

  • Americas: Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, USA, Venezuela

  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan

  • Europe: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, N. Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom

  • Today, IDEA is a network of member organisations, with over 1500 debate clubs and over 4000 young participants from 84 countries at IDEA Youth Forum events. We have also created a Debatabase with more than 500 motions analysed - a content-rich digital resource serving as a source of preparatory and educational material.

    These are not just fragments of numerical data but indicators of our endeavours - we organize debate activities in many languages and countries, while continuing to grow and striving constantly to improve the quality and quantity of our services - working locally, acting globally.