What is the “Young Mediterranean Voices” programme?

Young Mediterranean Voices is the EU-funded Programme for intercultural dialogue and debate, aimed to promote the culture of dialogue amongst youth and creates a shared understanding with their peers across the Mediterranean. 

Who are our partners?

Young Mediterranean Voices is coordinated by the Anna Lindh Foundation, co-founded by the British Council, and developed in partnership with the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Friends of Europe, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, MEDAC and Soliya. The programme is funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the Government of Finland, the British Council and World Bank Group.

What are the programme’s objectives?

The Young Mediterranean Voices programme aims to provide young women and men with a unique opportunity to:

  • develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking and cultural intelligence through debate training and leadership;
  • facilitate constructive online engagement and participate in intercultural debate groups through virtual exchanges;
  • securing a dialogue platform for youth to discuss constructive suggestions for current challenges with experienced leaders, mentors and partner institutions working across the globe 

What Southern Mediterranean countries were included?

Eight countries from the South Mediterranean region have been implementing the Young Mediterranean Voices programme across the three years (2018, 2019, 2020): Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

How was the programme implemented?

The Young Mediterranean Voices programme was implemented through a year-long cycle of activities that run throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020. If you have already heard about the Young Mediterranean Voices programme, you have also probably come across terms such as ‘Debate Hub’, ‘Master Facilitator’, ‘Peer Facilitator.’ The below explains the cycle of activities and all these terms in detail.

Every year the programme was rolled out in four phases: 

  • Phase one: Identification and training of Debate Hubs and facilitators 
  • Phase two: Debaters training 
  • Phase three: Debate hub competitions 
  • Phase four: National Debate Forum 

Click on a breakdown of each of the phases below, to read more on the various activities that happened throughout the year-long cycle. 

In Jordan, 691 debaters participated in the programme, and: 

  • 57% of the debaters were female 
  • 91% were youths between 18 and 24 years 
  • 27 cities and governorates were reached across both rural and urban areas 
  • 94 different topics were discussed during the programme cycle 

If you want to learn what the programme has been teaching all the participants - download our Debate Manual here and equip yourself with all the right skills to become a seasoned debater. 

Phase one: Identification and training of Debate Hubs and facilitators

Identification of “Debate Hubs” 

“Debate Hubs” were identified via an open call to the Youth training and development centres and education Institutions. An organisational capacity building scheme was offered to youth-led “Debate Hubs”, to strengthen their capacity in areas such as budget management, reporting and child protection.

Master Facilitation Training 

A regional ‘Master Facilitation Training’ was organised for Master Facilitators, to hone their skills in adjudicating, judging, and hub management, the ultimate aim was the reinforcement of quality assurance across the programme. 

National Debate Training 

A national debate training was organised in each participating country to provide the necessary theory, skill and practice of debate and its formats. The training was delivered by the Master Facilitators. Through these debates, potential Peer Facilitators were identified.

Phase two: Debaters training

Kick-off meeting 

The Kick-off meeting was organised once the “Debate Hubs” and “Peer Facilitators” were identified. This event gathered “Hub Leads”, “Master Facilitators”, “Peer Facilitators”. They got to know each other, learn more about the programme and develop a timeline of activities for the ongoing year.

Cascade Training

With the support of the “Peer Facilitators”, the cascade training was delivered within the selected “Debate Hubs”. Through this process, young debaters were trained forming new debate clubs. Debate Hubs gained capacity to run a programme of local debate activities and contribute to promoting a culture of debate at the local community level.

Phase three: Debate hub competitions

Intra-hub competitions 

As part of the training cycle of the debaters, competitions were held after the Cascade Training. At this point, the competitions engaged teams from debate clubs that belonged to the same hub.

Inter-hub Competitions 

Following the intra-hub competitions, competitions were held between teams from debate clubs that belonged to two or more “Debate Hubs”.

Phase four: National Debate Forum

Following the inter- and intra-hub competitions, a National Debate Forum took place at a country level. Teams from the different “Debate Hubs” took part in this three-day event during which they debate motions that were directly linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) themes. The National Debate Forum was an opportunity to dialogue with experienced leaders, mentors and partner institutions through the Policy Dialogue activity.

Influence: National Advisory Group

The National Advisory Group brought together experienced leaders, mentors and partner institutions. It offered debaters the opportunity to transform the content generated through debates to an action-oriented outcome and positively contributed with recommendations to addressed issues and challenges at both a national and regional levels.


In parallel: Regional Leadership Seminar

The “Regional Leadership Seminar” took place on a yearly basis and represents the anchor event in an annual pedagogical programme with alumni. The aim of this Seminar was to demonstrate skills of leadership, public speaking, as well as a clear ability to progress the cascade programme’s activity in their local community.

Add-on: Strategic Comms Labs

The strategic comms lab focused on the development of youth-led creative communication initiatives to challenge counter narratives in the digital world. Participants learn enhanced digital literacy and media skills, hear from social media leading companies about how to enhance online reach, and work in groups to create new, compelling campaigns to reach at-risk audiences in their own communities and beyond. 

Grand finale: Euro-Med Debate and Dialogue Forum

A culmination of the National Debate Forums (NDFs), the “Great Debate” was a central annual event for the Young Mediterranean Voices programme. The forum involved champions of the NDFs. It also served as a major platform for dialogue and visibility. Debate motions were built both on the main trends analyzed within the grass-root debates, and SDGs themes.

External links