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IDEA Central Asia British Parliamentary debate training concludes
Submitted by Alexander Cavell on 17 July 2012
IDEA Central Asia's intensive British Parliamentary debate training program drew to a close on Sunday 15 July. Debaters drawn from across Central Asia gathered in Bishkek for a final day of debating exercises, seminars, workshops and networking, lead by IDEA staff members Alexander Cavell and Nurlan Abdaliev, and IDEA certified trainers Sherzod Abdujabborov and Talant Smailov.
The debaters were joined by Altynai Djumasheva, IDEA Central Asia's Regional Coodinator. Altynai, along with a squad of dedicated interns, had provided continuous logistical support throughout the program, ranging from visa negotiations to travel planning and organising social events.
Focussing on public debate
The forth day of training centred around debating in public settings. The program's participants had previously received extracts from Argument and Audience, IDEBATE Press's guide to public and community oriented dialog. Supervised by Alexander, they spent the morning working together to create a framework for adapting competitive and academic debating for a wider audience. The participants discussed proposals for altering the rules and format of debates to make them accessible to different types of audience member. They also discussed best practice for devising motions for public debates, and strategies for reasoning effectively in different public contexts.
Copies of Argument and Audience were made available to each of the debating societies attending the training program, and plans are underway to produce a translation targeted at Central Asian debaters.
The pubic focus of the final sessions of the CA BP training event highlights IDEA's commitment to taking debate beyond the boundaries of academia and competition. Debaters- wherever in the world they practice their art- can make valuable contributions to the creation of more open, tolerant and accountable societies by using their skills to collaborate with campaigning groups and articulate the needs and concerns of the communities they live alongside.
Debating for a Central Asian Audience
Following a practice debate that gave participants one last opportunity to apply their knowledge of advanced argumentation and responsive speaking, Alexander led a workshop that covered the features of the re-launched idebate.org.
The program's concluding exercise handed the debaters control of their own debate. Split into three groups, they were tasked with co-operating to create two public debates that would reflect the interests and concerns of Central Asian citizens. Given the freedom to decide the principles and format that would govern their speeches, the groups produced two engaging and incisive debates on the role of social networking in political campaigning, and the role of marriage in Central Asian societies.
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