Rules of the Challenge

I. The Organiser

  1. The Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge (hereafter “GDPPC” or “the Challenge”) is a year-long competition organised by IDEA Central Foundation (hereafter the “Organiser”), along with its partners and with the support of various institutions and experts. Please see the GDPPC website ( (hereafter the “Website”) for more information concerning the identity and role of the different organisations and persons contributing to this initiative.


II. Entry Eligibility and Procedure

  1. The Challenge is open to all students formally enrolled full-time in an “undergraduate program” on or before 1 March 2014 as well as to all recent graduates of an undergraduate program who have not yet enrolled in a graduate program. For the purpose of determining eligibility for participation in the Challenge, the following definitions and conditions shall apply:
    1. An “undergraduate program” shall be defined as including any first degree/certificate course in a tertiary educational establishment/university anywhere in the world.
    2. “Recent graduates” shall be defined as including any person who has graduated from an undergraduate program on or after 28 February 2013 and has not yet enrolled either part-time or full-time in a graduate program before 1 March 2014. 
    3. There is no maximum age limit; however, all participants must be at least 18 years old as of 1 March 2014. 
    4. Any questions regarding eligibility should be directed to
  2. There is no fee to register or to participate in the Challenge.
  3. Anyone wishing to participate must register on or before 30 October 2013 at the Website by filling out the registration form located on that site. Registration will be confirmed by e-mail.
  4. Individuals only may register in the Challenge; teams composed of two or more individuals may not register together to participate in the Challenge. Participants however are encouraged to discuss the topic and tasks with fellow participants and other students while developing their arguments.
  5. Students who have attended the Budapest Forum in the past are not eligible to participate in the 2013-2014 Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge.


III. 2013-2014 Challenge

A.  Topic

  1. The Organiser shall determine each year the topic for the Challenge. The topic for the 2013-2014 Challenge is: “Rethinking Drugs”.

B. Stages of the Challenge

  1. The Challenge consists of two preliminary written rounds, which serve as qualifying rounds for participation in the final round, also known as the Forum.
  2. The two preliminary written rounds can generally be described as follows:
    • Task One: All participants submit a policy memorandum (800 to 1200 words, excluding list of sources and citations in footnotes) in response to one of four task one scenarios. From these submissions up to 200 participants will be selected to proceed to Task two based on their policy memo score.
    • Task Two: A maximum of 200 students will be invited to submit a policy brief (1500 to 1800 words, excluding list of sources and citations in footnotes) presenting evidence-based arguments targeting and advocating to a global audience in response to one of the two task two scenarios. Once Task Two submissions are judged, up to 50 finalists will be invited to the GDPPC Budapest Forum based on the score of their policy brief.
  3. Only participants who submit the two papers described under number 2 in this Section will be eligible to participate in the final round in Budapest in June 2014 AND to win one of the top prizes of up to $10,000 described in Section F below. The Organiser however reserves the right to create other ways for students to earn an invitation to participate in the final round in Budapest in June 2014 and/or to win smaller prizes.

C. Rules for Written Submissions

  1. From the beginning of the 2013-2014 Challenge, the Organiser will post a list of reading materials as well as a presentation and description of the theme that will help frame the discussion of the topic during the coming year.
  2. For each round the Organiser will also post the following information on the Website at least four weeks prior to the deadline for submission:
    • A detailed description of the task.
    • Evaluation criteria.
    • Other educational materials helping the participants to prepare the tasks required.
  3. For each round, participants must follow any guidelines posted on the Website when preparing their papers. They must also follow any instructions posted on the Website concerning the manner in which to submit the papers, including electronically via the Website or by e-mail to a designated e-mail address. All papers submitted must be only in English.
  4. The Organiser aims to inform all participants of the deadlines applying to each round of written submissions at least 6 weeks prior to the date on which the task is due. Information concerning the deadlines shall be sent by e-mail to the registered participants and posted on the Website. The Organiser reserves the right to modify at any time the deadlines dates for any task.
  5. For the purpose of determining compliance with any deadline, the Organiser will accept any paper that is received by the Organiser by 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) on the date due. In case of doubt, the Organiser will consider only the time applicable in the city and country where the student’s undergraduate program is located. No paper received after the deadline posted will be accepted or marked, except as approved by the Organizer in exceptional circumstances as described by the participant in a written e-mail sent
  6. Each participant may submit only one paper for each round of the Challenge. Participants will only be allowed to submit a paper once. Multiple versions of the same paper will not be accepted. The Organiser will consider the paper submitted earliest by any participant who submits multiple versions of the same paper as being the paper submitted for review by the judges.
  7. Participants are encouraged to be creative and to develop original arguments for their positions. The Organiser shall review papers to ensure that participants do not plagiarise any portion of text from other sources, without proper references. All participants are expected to comply with the citations and plagiarism policy of the Challenge. Any participant that submits a paper that includes plagiarism will be immediately disqualified from the Challenge and will not be allowed to participate in future Challenges. The Challenge has a zero-tolerance policy towards plagiarism.

 D. Adjudication – Evaluation

  1. A panel of judges will be responsible for reading and marking each paper submitted in accordance with evaluation criteria defined for each round. The evaluation criteria shall be posted on the Website at least 4 weeks before the submission deadline of each round so that participants are informed in advance of the basis of the evaluation.
  2. A Chief Adjudicator shall be designated by the Organiser to ensure the quality and consistency of each round’s evaluation. The Chief Adjudicator shall oversee and coordinate the work of the judges. The Chief Adjudicator shall also determine, with consultation of the Organiser, the manner in which to distribute the papers among the judges in order to ensure that all papers are reviewed in a fair, objective and anonymous manner. To this end, participants will be attributed an identification code to use when submitting their papers so that no personally identifiable information can be seen on the papers when being evaluated. More information on the selection and work of the judges may be posted separately on the Website.
  3. After reviewing all papers submitted for each round, the Organiser shall notify all participants if they will proceed to the next round.
  4. All participants will receive comments on their papers to inform them of the evaluation made by the judges. These comments are intended to help the participants learn. They shall be constructive indications to guide the participants in their future endeavors. They are not intended to express any definitive opinion about the individual participants.
  5. In each round, the Chief Adjudicator’s decision shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal.

 E. The Final Stage: The Budapest Forum (June 2014)

  1. The final stage for participants competing in the Challenge consists of an event called the Budapest Forum (hereafter “the Forum”) which will be designed to provide the participants with learning opportunities while they participate in various competitive activities. Parts of the Forum may be reserved for the participants, while other parts (and in particular the last competition between the finalists) will be open to the public (i.e., guests and other registered participants). 
  2. A maximum of 50 participants will be selected based on their Task Two ranking to participate in the Forum activities reserved exclusively for them in June 2014 in Budapest, Hungary.
  3. The participants will participate in competitive rounds (semi-finals and grand finals) to compete for the scholarship / stipend prizes before a panel of expert judges at the Forum in June 2014 in Budapest, Hungary.
  4. Semi-finals: All participants will each present and defend the Task Two policy brief they submitted in February 2014 at a mock parliamentary hearing. The total score (Task Two policy brief and presentation) for each participant will be calculated, tabulated and ranked.  Participants with the top 12 scores will qualify for the grand finals.
  5. Grand finals: Up to 12 finalists will compete for the prizes through two components: team debate (in teams of two) and extemporaneous speaking. Finalists will receive scores for both components. The total score (team debate and extemporaneous speaking) for each finalist will be calculated, tabulated and ranked. Finalists with the top 5 scores will be the winners of GDPPC.The top winners will be awarded the scholarship / stipend prizes described below in Section F.
  6. Prior to making travel arrangements for finalists, all finalists must provide proof of eligibility as outlined in Section II. This proof must be sent via e-mail to the Organiser and include documentation from their undergraduate education institution, either through a certificate of enrollment, official letter on school letterhead, or diploma for recent graduates.
  7. The Organiser or its partner will cover the cost of travel and accommodation for each finalist to participate in the Forum. The Organiser however will not be responsible for any other costs that the participant may incur to participate in the Forum (e.g., costs for a valid passport, an entry visa to Hungary if required, or other incidental costs before, during or after the Forum), unless otherwise agreed by the Organiser. In case of financial hardship, the Organiser may cover the costs of some of the incidental expenses associated with the Forum. To qualify for this support, finalists must send an e-mail request to the Organiser at  with a description of circumstances and itemised expected costs. Support will be determined on an individual case basis. 
  8. The Rules and Evaluation Criteria of the final stage of the Challenge held at the Budapest Forum can be found on the website here: Budapest Forum.

 F. Prizes

  1. Out of the finalists who participate in the Challenge, up to five final winners will be chosen based on their ranking at the Forum. Each winner will receive up to US$10,000 either as a scholarship payable to one or more graduate schools of the winner’s choice for study in a field related to Public Policy, or as a grant payable to one or more non-profit institutions of the winner’s choice to work for one year in a field related to Public Policy.
  2. Each prize corresponds to a certain level of achievement and success. It is for this reason that these Rules state that “up to” a certain number of winners will be selected for these prizes. The Organiser hopes that students will qualify to win all 5 prizes available, yet reserves the right to award fewer prizes if the quality of the submissions and presentations do not justify them being awarded or if there are fewer students participating in the final round.
  3. The Organiser may give the full amount via a bank transfer to the winner.
  4. The total amount awarded remains at each winner’s disposal to be used for an educational purpose. With the permission of the Organiser, the winner may request payment of any part of the award to any eligible educational or non-profit institution up to the total amount of the award.
  5. Each winner must inform the Organiser within 2 months of the date of announcement of the prize of the name(s) of the institution(s) to which it should pay the prize funds.

G. Intellectual Property Rights

  1. By submitting a paper to the Challenge, each participant agrees to assign all intellectual property rights, in all languages and in all countries) in the paper to IDEA Central Foundation for an indefinite period. The participant shall nevertheless retain his or her moral right to be recognized as the author.
  2. If IDEA Central Foundation chooses to make any or all of the papers available to the public, it currently plans to do so under a Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Unported (CC BY-NY-ND 3.0) (see for more information). IDEA Central Foundation however reserves the right to modify the terms of this license at time of first making it publicly available.

 H. Website – Information – Modifications

  1. All information relevant to the Challenge shall be posted on the Website. The Organiser reserves the right to change these Rules as well as the information contained on the Website at any time. Participants are therefore encouraged to consult the Website on a regular basis to find the most up-to-date information. The most current version of the Challenge’s Rules and other information may be found on the Website.

 I. Grievances

  1. Participants that have a grievance or question regarding any aspect of the Challenge are encouraged to send an e-mail to Grievances will be reviewed in a confidential manner aimed at resolving the issues raised by the participant in a constructive manner. Participants filing a grievance will not be punished in any way for doing so. Grievances expressed by participants shall not be taken into account in any way when reviewing a participant’s eligibility to be invited to the next round or to win a prize.