Selecting the winning entries from the 2014 Global Dialogues story contest

The Global Dialogues project was founded by the Global Dialogues Trust back in 1997. In that year, the first Global Dialogues contest was to be carried out, followed by the selection of the winners and then the production of short films. We’d never been involved in any of those things before. We faced a steep learning curve on all accounts.

The 1997 contest proved to be a big success, with thousands of stories submitted by young people. We learned a lot about how to engage participants in a respectful, effective and meaningful manner. But then, we stood before another big challenge: how to select the winning stories in a way that was fair to all participants at national and international levels? Thanks to the suggestions and critical remarks of thousands of Global Dialogues jurors that year and in the 17+ years since, we have developed and steadily refined selection methodologies that are acclaimed for being rigorous, impartial and fair. In a nutshell, here is how winning Global Dialogues narratives are selected:

Step 1: The contest entries are stripped of all information about the participant, so as to avoid any kind of bias (related to participants’ ethnicity, nationality, gender, etc.) on the part of the jurors. Winning entries are selected not on the basis of the participants’ identity, but rather solely on the merits of her/his narrative.

Step 2: Highly diverse, multidisciplinary juries are composed. The juries are made up of people with many different professional backgrounds and life experiences. They always include people who have been directly affected by the phenomena at hand. Young people, and in particular former Global Dialogues contest winners, serve on the juries. Girls and women have accounted for over 50% of jurors over the years.

Step 3: In plenary, the jurors familiarize themselves with the Global Dialogues selection criteria and methodologies.

Reading and marking Global Dialogues contest entries in Nicaragua


Step 4: Over the course of several days, each contest entry is read and marked (or “graded”, as one says in the US) by multiple jurors. During this reading/marking stage, the jurors do not reveal their marks to one another. (At the international level, all of the finalist texts are read and marked by all of the jurors.)

Step 5: Using the jurors’ marks as a starting point, the jurors debate with one another until they agree on the list of the winning scripts. It is only after the list of winners has been determined that the jurors learn of the identity of the winners.

The 2014 Global Dialogues contest concluded on 31 March. In April and May, national juries selected the contest entries that went on to the final, international jury in Atlanta (Global Dialogues’ operational headquarters) at the end of June. From 7-26 July, we are proudly announcing the 20 international winners, at a rate of one winner per day, at

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Global Dialogues winners’ selection process. Thanks.

About Global Dialogues: The project was founded in 1997 by the Global Dialogues Trust (GDT, UK registered charity number 1071484). Representation, expansion, resource mobilization and international coordination of Global Dialogues are the exclusive prerogative of GDT.