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WASH in Schools  

You are invited to join the second in a series of three e-debates on WASH in Schools, inspired by lessons from the SWASH+ Project.

Introduction to this second WASH in schools e-debate

The key question that we are raising in this e-debate is: When NGOs, donors and other stakeholders fund direct delivery of school WASH services do they undermine the commitment of national governments and communities to do so?

Within The Hague WASH in Schools Framework for Action meeting, which was held from 24-25th of May 2011, a number of key challenges and recommendations were developed as part of the joint call to action 2011/2012. One of these key messages was the importance of increased Investment in WASH in Schools, by donors in mobilizing resources to secure children’s health, now and for generations to follow.

However, increased funding does not equate wise spending; not only is the manner in which funding is spent crucial for success but some have called into question whether some types of funding, by virtue of their very source, can jeopardize long-term impact by providing services that are the responsibility of government.

Background information on the e-debates

This series of e-debates look specifically at the issue of school WASH, inspired by questions asked during the implementation of the SWASH+ Project, an action-research school WASH project in Kenya.

There are now a total of three e-debates in the first week of September, October and November. The first of these three e-debates focused on monitoring for WASH in schools cited by the JMP Post-2015 working group. The key statement for this first e-debate was “The JMP Post-2015 Working Groups have chosen the right indicators for WASH in Schools. It focused on the JMP Post-2015 Working Groups combined “Draft Long List of Goal Target and Indicator Options for Future Global Monitoring of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene”. For a summary overview of this e-debate please refer to:

WASH in schools e-debate #2

This second e-debate focuses on: Funding for direct delivery of school WASH services from NGOs and donors undermines the commitment of national governments and communities. This second e-debate will take place between October 1st-5th.

We now invite you to help fire up the discussion and ensure we are all being challenged by different viewpoints!

How can you join in?

• Go to the e-debate page on IRCWASH. CreateDebate.com using this link. If you are new to CreateDebate.com, you will need to create a (free) account.

• Make sure you include your function title and organisation in your online profile so that people know who you are.

• Add your argument to the debate or write a rebuttal. You can link to another website as evidence for your argument or embed a relevant video.

• You can add as many arguments as you like but you can only cast one vote for each argument (you can change your vote).

• Remember to keep discussions civilised. We will observe a zero tolerance policy for abusive language.

Thank you for your input!

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Written by Andy

October 4th, 2012 at 12:49 am

Spring Fever Contest Results  

Congratulations to the winners of both CreateDebate Spring Fever contests. The winner of the “Tell Your Friends” contest will receive a $20 gift certificate to Clutch Tees and the winners of the “Earth Day” contest have won six great books from Hachette Book Group.

Tell Your Friends Contest Results

Congratulations to Kuklapolitan for getting the most people to join CreateDebate by using our new Site Invitation feature.  For inviting her friends to join CreateDebate, Kukla has earned a $20 gift certificate to Clutch Tees.

Earth Day Contest Results

Contest Winner Debate
Highest Debate Score JakeJ JakeJ Did Obama Lie?
Most Debate Views
Ledfoot Ledfoot
Should Bush and company be prosecuted for torture?
Twitter Follower
fjania Fjania
n/a
Facebook Fan
Hagaren414Hagaren414
n/a
Most Points
joecavalry joecavalry
n/a

 

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Written by Bryan

May 18th, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Spring Fever Contests  

Now that the weather is starting to warm up and everyone is gearing up for Spring, it’s time to make sure you’ve got some sweet gear to rock when you emerge from your winter slumber.  To help you out, CreateDebate has partnered with ClutchTees.com to give away a $20 gift certificate for a free t-shirt this month.  We’re also giving away some more free books courtesy of our good friends at Hachette Book Group to keep your mind sharp.

Contest #1- Tell Your Friends (April 14th-30th)

Invite your friends to join CreateDebate and win a $20 gift certificate from ClutchTees.  Simply click here and invite all of your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, and random people on the street to join CreateDebate.  Whoever gets the most people to join CreateDebate wins the gift certificate and can choose from any of the awesome t-shirts!

Contest #2- Earth Day Celebration (April 22nd-May 8th)

Global warming or climate rotationAre Humans Responsible for Global Warming?  These are just a couple of the debates on CreateDebate regarding Mother Earth.  Well, regardless of your thoughts on these topics,  April 22nd is Earth Day, and CreateDebate wants to help you celebrate Mother Earth by giving away some great books.  Winners will be selected for each of the following:

  1.  The creator of the debate with the highest “Debate Score” during the contest.
  2.  The creator of the debate with the most “Debate Views” during the contest.   Feel free to get creative in marketing your debate.  Post it to Digg, email your friends and family, encourage your co-workers to use it, or any other crazy idea that you can come up with to drive traffic to your debate.
  3. One randomly chosen user who follows CreateDebate on Twitter.
  4. One randomly chosen user who becomes a fan of CreateDebate on Facebook.
  5. Top user with the most points during the contest.

The following books will be given to the 5 winners:
Harvest for Hope By Jane Goodall , Gary McAvoy , Gail Hudson
The Rural Life By Verlyn Klinkenborg
Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? By Steve Lowe , Alan McArthur , Brendan Hay
Starbucked By Taylor Clark
Garbage Land By Elizabeth Royte
The Gift of Nothing By Patrick McDonnell

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Written by Bryan

April 14th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Downvoting Update  

There has been much discussion on CreateDebate about the use / abuse of downvotes on the site and certain participants getting “mass” downvoted, causing their efficiency score to drop dramatically.  In order to combat this problem and provide greater transparency around voting, we have decided to implement the following:

  1. Each downvote now costs the downvoter 1 Reward Point.
  2. The downvote is now displayed in the User’s Reward Point history.

In our opinion, the main problem isn’t downvotes, per se, but rather encouraging responsible downvoting.  We believe that flawed logic or inherently poor arguments should be downvoted, but that participants should not mass downvote a person with whom they disagree.

In our opinion, downvoting should be reserved for poorly thought out, offensive, stupid, or totally-off-base arguments.  If you disagree strongly with someone’s argument, then we encourage you to rebut their argument, citing logical fallacies, incorrect information, or poor argumentation.  In this way you can help maintain the integrity of CreateDebate and help that participant to understand what you disagree with in their argument.

If you need some reminders on how to write strong arguments, check out our previous blog post on this exact topic.

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Written by Bryan

March 16th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Mental Stimulus Package Contest Results  

Congratulations to the winners of each of the three contests that CreateDebate ran as part of our  Mental Stimulus Package in February.  This month, we gave away ninety-five books from Hachette Book Group and a $20 gift certificate to Clutch Tees.

Love Is In the Air Contest Results

Contest Winner Debate
Highest Debate Score
Frenchiak  Frenchieak

Valentine’s Day!
Most Debate Views
DaWolfman  DaWolfman

Does this saying apply to you on Valentine’s Day?
Judge’s Choice
Rothl  Rothl

Should 7th grade students be allowed to use this website?
Most Points #1
JakeJ  JakeJ
n/a
Most Points #2
joecavalry  joecavalry
n/a

 

Celebrating Diversity Contest Results

Contest Winner Debate
Highest Debate Score
DaWolfman  DaWolfman

Who was/is the greatest civil rights leader?
Most Debate Views
Frenchiak  Frenchieak

The New Pepsi Symbol?
Judge’s Choice
Xaeon  Xaeon

Is it acceptable to impinge on certain civil liberties for the sake of national security?
Most Points #1
joecavalry  joecavalry
n/a
Most Points #2
JakeJ  JakeJ
n/a

 

Show Your Tees Contest Results

Congratulations to Sparsley for proposing the Best Original T-Shirt Design for Clutch Tees as voted on by the CreateDebate community. For his creativity, Sparsley has earned a $20 gift certificate to Clutch Tees.

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Written by Bryan

March 3rd, 2009 at 11:14 am

You Just Got Upgraded!  

We just launched a new version of CreateDebate that will let you personalize your debates more than ever!  Go ahead and create a new debate.  The new interface makes it easy to insert pictures, add videos from YouTube or Google Video, add unlimited hyperlinks, format your text, and so much more!

The moderator panel has been upgraded as well.  It is now possible to edit every facet of your debates, including tags, pictures, categories, etc. It is even possible to go back and improve or fine tune older debates.

At CreateDebate, our goal is to empower people to make better decisions.  We hope that by providing you with a more powerful toolset, you’ll be able to create even more interesting and compelling debates.  What are you waiting for, go check it out!

PS – If you find any any elusive bugs, please drop a note or leave a comment (and include the version of your current browser).  Thanks!

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Written by Loudacris

December 23rd, 2008 at 11:16 am

Nominate CreateDebate!  

Mashable is once again holding the 2008 Open Web Awards.  Open Web Awards is the only multilingual international online voting competition that covers major innovations in web technology.

Help us win recognition by nominating us!  Nominations close Sunday, November 16th at 11:59 pm PST so there’s no time to sleep on this.

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Written by Loudacris

November 13th, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Karma Bombing and dealing with Trolls  

Recently on CreateDebate, we had a situation where a user, instead of attacking users’ arguments with logic and good rebuttals, decided it would be easier to try to karma bomb people they disagreed with.  They could have responded to specific points the users made, but instead went into the user’s post history and voted down almost 800 arguments of two users.

One of the statistics we use to judge the strength of a debater is the efficiency percent.  We calculate this by dividing your number of positive votes by the total number of votes.  Essentially, it shows if people think your arguments are solid, use good supporting evidence, and are well reasoned.  A recent look at some negatively scored arguments shows personal attacks, opinion without any reasoning behind it, and a few racist remarks.  The vote attack made the victim’s efficiency drop to the point that they looked like they were debating with the logic of a raving fanatic.

Any site that allows open debate or open posting where anyone can easily sign up and start putting their opinion online will inevitably get a few trolls.  Some sites deal with the problem by using moderators who vet every posting before they become visible on a site.  Some sites use moderators who watch and remove troll posts.  A more democratic version of the moderating system is to let everyone become a moderator, which is the system we’ve gone with.  Aside from showing which arguments are the best in a debate, the argument voting system allows people to vote down arguments by the trolls until they’re no longer visible, essentially making everyone a moderator.

The karma bomb we recently saw is a reflection of people using their power as a moderator to personally attack another user.  So in addition to rolling back the massive amount of downvotes, we put in place a system that watches for karma bombs like this one.  If a large number of votes are going to attack or artificially inflate people’s points, the vote system enforces a cool-down period.  The cool-down period should guide people instead to rebut arguments with well-developed arguments.

From watching the growth and evolution of many other websites who try to tackle the problem of trolls, it’s a constant battle between the “griefers” and the community.  Wikipedia, digg, reddit, mixx, facebook, myspace, and plenty of other social sites all have their own system for dealing with the problem, but it the more well developed sites all rely on the community to watch itself for trolls. We’re toying with some ideas from these sites, like how digg lets you see who voted on your arguments, or how twitter allows you to block users from showing up in your version of the site.  At the same time we need protection from trolls, we also don’t want to lose the core democratic debate process, where everyone has a say.

We’re constantly trying to make the debate experience better at CreateDebate, so let us know if the karma bomb protection is as annoying as airport security, and if you think it needs to be tweaked, or if it’s unobtrusive enough that the benefits we all get make it worth the effort.  We’re still thinking through changes to our overall points system, but this system should work in the meantime.  And as always, let us know what you think, either through site messages, or by using the feedback page.

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Written by Dan

October 15th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

New Debate Statistics page  

To give more insight into debates and a different sort of view of the arguments people are using in debates, we put together a debate stats page.  The statistics reflect the kind of language people are using to debate their points, including word length, readability scoring of the arguments, and a word frequency cloud.

We’ve been putting up the election debates, like tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate Transcript, and the VP debate stats show that Palin used more complicated phrasing than Biden.  We’re using a standard formula to rate the grade level of the arguments called the Flesh-Kincaid Readability Grade Level formula.  It takes into account the average length of sentences and the average number of syllables in those words to determine the readability of the arguments.

Since the graph of word lengths shows that Biden and Palin used about the same length words, that means her sentences were longer overall. The stats for the Presidential Foreign Policy Debate show that the language level McCain and Obama used was more similar.  Both spoke at an 11th grade level of understandability.

As always, let us know what you think about the stats page, and any suggestions about other sorts of info you would want to know about debates you’re participating in.

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Written by Dan

October 3rd, 2008 at 1:02 am

CreateDebate2008 Widget  

Election Day is closing in so quickly!  We’re happy to announce that we’ve widgetized CreateDebate2008 to help get the word out.  Now its really easy to embed and share accurate election information.

Please help us inform the populace by embedding this widget on your blog, website or social network profile!  The widget is below, give it a whirl and use the get & share tab to distribute.

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Written by Loudacris

September 30th, 2008 at 7:36 pm