The 2019 Visualize 2030 - Youth from the Arab region VISUALIZE their concerns on inequalities

29 Oct 2019
  • The 2019 Visualize 2030 - Youth from the Arab region VISUALIZE their concerns on inequalities


Beirut, October 14, 2019 – Visualize 2030 paved its way through success for the third year in a row!

Organized by the Arab Development Portal (ADP) – an initiative of the Coordination Group of Arab, National and Regional Development Institutions (CG), the Islamic Development Bank and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)— the third edition of Visualize 2030 data-camp was held in Beirut from 10 to 14 October.


Visualize 2030, the first regional SDGs data camp, is a unique initiative that encourages the consumption of data by youth from the Arab region in support of advocacy campaigns and innovative thinking around development priorities. It is a space for youth to channel their enthusiasm and to visualize –through data—their desire to live in a better world by 2030.

Throughout four intense days and nights of work, 65 young participants from 14 Arab countries that were carefully selected among the 464 applications received, collected and analyzed data, linking them to the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) and crafted impactful audio/visual products that highlight their concerns and ambitions.

Technical experts worked hand in hand with youth to expand their graphical literacy, enhance their skills to transform raw data into a compelling narrative and meet the goals of the data-camp: communicating and visualizing a data-driven story.

Data is a mere collection of numbers until they are turned into a story. Without adding a narrative to the data, the content can be overwhelming to most of the audience. During the 4-day training camp, the visualizers worked hard to find innovative and out-of-the-box ways to narrate their stories through data. But finding data and knowledge resources on development issues in the Arab region is not easy. They are often outdated, unreliable, and fragmented across multiple international, regional and local sources, so the biggest challenge for the youth was finding a story that is supported with credible and timely data. Youth were accessing data on their countries on the Arab Development Portal. The portal, acting as a knowledge facilitator between data users and producers, offers a dynamic database of more than 7,000 indicators extracted from National Statistical Offices and international organizations and an SDGs Tracking Tool.


The 2019 theme of Visualize 2030 was addressing inequalities in the Arab region, covered by SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. 

All youth agreed that inequalities represent a major obstacle to development in general and to youth empowerment in particular. The challenges tackled by the 24 teams covered a broad range of issues - reflecting inequalities in their countries and the region, from gender inequality to discrimination against migrant domestic workers, from inequalities in accessing education and health services to lost opportunities in conflict affected countries, and much more.


Over 100 people including youth, data scientists, experts and journalists attended the closing ceremony, which took place in the historic Beit Beirut, a building destroyed during the Lebanese war and now operating as a cultural center. A panel of experts carefully selected the winners of this data and innovation challenge based on evaluation criteria that include but are not limited to the richness of data, creativity and innovation. During the ceremony the three winning teams were announced, namely:

  • First prize goes to Harf from Yemen

Shaimaa (23), Mohammed Abdlslam (24) and Aseel Ehab (23) produced a video which tells the  story of two young Yemeni students that saw their education, future and dreams destroyed by conflict. Souad was obliged to abandon her studies because she is a girl, while Ahmad’s school facility closed to host refugees like 48% of schools in Yemen. The video highlights a frightening figure where it is estimated that if war persists till 2030, global development in Yemen would be delayed by 39 years.

“In the five-day journey, we, visualizers, learned how to find, analyse and visualize data. Above all, Visualize 2030 was a life experience compressed into a data-camp, and surely inspired us to take a step further in helping our societies more and more…” - Harf TeamYemen

Entrepioneer 2030 team addressed the effects of war on children in Syria, mainly children with special needs. The future of these children is a major concern for Mohamad Bassel (25), Farah (24) and Omar (27). The video recalls that children account for 25% of casualties and that 64% of children in Syria are in need of assistance.

“The data camp Visualize 2030 was the best experience we have ever had. The Arab Development Portal initiative promotes the use of data by young people in the Arab region, enabling creative thinking and stimulating constructive debate in the region…” - Entrepioneer Team, Syria

  • Third prize for Sanad from Sudan

Duaa (28), Ahmed (29) and Abubaker (30) talked about homeless children in Sudan and the challenges they face for being without identification documents. “These children live in the sewers and they came out of what they call their home during the Sudanese Revolution”, explained Duaa. The video reflects the shocking reality of one million children in Sudan, deprived of any access to basic services and without any proof of birth or identity of their parents.

“No words can describe how life changing the camp is. Visualize 2030 created and fostered a space for knowledge and capacities and exchange of ideas amongst us all. I recommend all youth in the region to apply to Visualize 2030.” - Sanad TeamSudan


The top three winners were offered cash prizes, but all 24 ambitious and self-driven teams went home with a life-changing experience!
All visual products are a tangible example of youth engagement and commitment to take an active role and make a difference in the lives of the people of the region. Every year, Visualize 2030 highlights UNDP’s commitment to empower youth in their journey towards a better, more sustainable future.

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