Project information

World Debate Club

World Debate Club empowers young women and girls to be future leaders.

We ‘fuel the power of persuasion’ and use debate and dialogue education programmes in deprived areas to improve social mobility, engage young people of all genders to engage with civil society and positive change.

June 2018 - December 2019

Charity information: International Debate Education Association-uk

International Debate Education Association-uk logo
  • Need


    We fail as a society to realise our full potential. Women and girls represent 50% of the population but gender inequality is widespread and stagnates social progress.

    Social Mobility: Young women and girls are underrepresented in leadership roles in politics and business meaning their voices are seldom heard at the ‘top table’.

    Equality: Equal opportunity and gender equality is still an issue in society and women do not have equal chances to succeed at all levels in public life.


    We empower young women and girls to be future leaders in society and work towards gender equality.

    ‘World Debate Club’ encourages previously unheard voices to engage in all political, economic and public spheres by improving their confidence and ability to think and challenge views whilst proposing new solutions. We work in FE Colleges to inspire youth of all genders to speak up, in the last year 85% of our beneficiaries reported they would make their voices heard in future in public debates.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To empower marginalised youth with a focus young women & girls to have their voice heard in society


    » We provide a weekly debate club in 20 FE Colleges in disadvantaged areas of London. We coach young people to be advocates on issues they care about.

    What success will look like

    85% of beneficiaries report they are more confident in making their points heard and understood in a public debate and have their voices heard by policymakers and stakeholders.

    Aim 2

    Marginalised youth report they are more confident of positive futures + increased social mobility


    » World Debate Club improves young peoples social networks by providing positive role models as Debate Coaches to raise their aspirations in life.

    What success will look like

    80% of beneficiaries report they are more positive about the future and now look to progress further in education (improved social mobility)

    Aim 3

    To create opportunities for groups underrepresented in civil society to develop leadership skills.


    » 12 x Capacity Building workshops to develop the communication,motivation, presentation & critical thinking skills of volunteer Debate Coaches.

    What success will look like

    80% of beneficiaries report improved leadership skills following volunteering as a Debate Coach.

  • Impact


    Our vision is to ‘fuel the power of persuasion’ for marginalised groups in society , our goal is a tolerant and diverse society with young people and in particular women and girls are engaged in both civil society and in a sustainable economy.

    We measure our social impact each year against our Theory of Change KPI’s using case studies, self assessment questionnaires and feedback from colleges. We publish our social impact report each year as part of our annual report and on our website.


    Low Quality: We recruit volunteers between June and September each year via partners inc Escape the City and Team London. We run monthly capacity building workshops to ensure quality and consistency across our Human Rights themed debate curriculum.

    Failure to engage FE Colleges: By securing external funding and offering World Debate Club as an informal means of raising awareness of British Values/Human Rights we meet mandatory safeguarding objectives for education providers.


    We will report to donors each quarter on progress in each World Debate Club and provide an analysis of young women and marginalised groups views on societal issues. We will also report against the three key indicators and activities mentioned previously in line with our Theory of Change.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £500 Management and Partnership De Scaling the programme, developing partner organisations, mainstreaming good practice.
      £1,500 Volunteer Costs Volunteer Debate Coaches, per debate club, travel and subsistence of £50 pw
      £1,250 Capacity Building Workshops P/T Volunteer Coordinator / 12 x capacity building workshops for volunteers.
      £1,250 Debate Club - Outreach P/T Debate Club Development, Running a weekly debate club in 20 locations / FE Colleges over 26 week
      £500 Monitoring & Evaluation P/T Monitoring and evaluation, reporting and social impact reports.
  • Background


    We work with disadvantaged young people in London boroughs with high levels of deprivation, worklessness, low educational attainment (Trust for London, Poverty Profile 2016) including Barking & Dagenham, Newham, Hackney, Brent, Ealing, Westminster, Hammersmith, Croydon, Islington and Camden.
    In the last year in across the UK we have seen hate crime and Islamaphobia rise and the UK become more deeply divided between young and old, metropolitan and outside the cities, the better off and worse off


    Our goal is to empower more young women and girls to fulfil their potential in society in line with the global goals, but to do this we need to work with all genders.

    Our beneficiaries live in economically deprived areas and are marginalised in society, facing multiple barriers to reach the top and leadership positions.

    They attend vocational further education colleges and we provide them with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to reach the top & raise their aspiration in society

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the worlds leading provider of debate education programmes for marginalised groups to engage in Civil Society with offices in the MENA, Asia & Europe.

    In the last 5 years we enabled 1500+ marginalised youth in the UK with 21st Century skills for the Knowledge Economy, including critical thinking and consumption skills, intercultural fluency and self esteem. We provide opportunities for young people from deprived backgrounds to form new friendships outside their social networks & culture

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sophia Cannon

    Chair of iDebate (IDEA)

    Mat Corbett FRSA

    CEO of iDebate (IDEA)


will pay for one World Debate Club in a young persons FE College for one year.

‘Debating develops a number of important skills in our students, listening, critical thinking, literacy and team work. It provides the opportunity for young people to engage and understand local, national and world issues, promotes respect and understanding and builds confidence’

Emma King, Student Engagement Manager, City and Islington College, July 2016