Digital Content

A major training resource designed to help those working in the not-for-profit sector hone their writing skills has been just been published free of charge on the internet. It argues that better writing skills mean more chance of influencing others.

"The CDROM version has been so popular," said Firoze Manji, Director of Fahamu, "IDRC and Fahamu decided to make the resource available in the public domain as well."


Writing for Change is unique as a training resource because it contains major sections devoted not only to the core skills of writing, but also to the two crucial specialised areas of writing - scientific papers for publication in journals and documents to help campaign or persuade.

People working in research and advocacy organisations need to do lots of writing in the form of project documents, articles for magazines, papers for publication in scientific journals, proposals and newsletters - the list can seem endless. Many able and committed people find writing time-consuming, boring and difficult. Rather than sitting at a desk, they would prefer to be doing the real work of setting up the next experiment, conducting the field research, lobbying politicians or engaging with communities. Yet the world will only know about the quality and significance of their work through the documents that explain or promote it. Success depends on the ability to communicate ideas to others - often on paper. Writing for Change can help achieve that success.

Writing for Change comprises three sections: Effective Writing: core skills, Writing for Science, and Writing for Advocacy. Effective Writing: core skills, helps to develop the skills needed to write clearly and purposefully, organise ideas and express them well. Writing for Science shows how to produce writing for publication in specialist journals. It teaches how to build on the core skills of effective writing and add further skills that apply to this specialised type of writing. This section gives a better chance of getting published, discusses the ethics of authorship, how to respond to editors and correct proofs. Writing for Advocacy contains a wealth of advice on how to win hearts and minds and how to adapt core writing skills to lobbying or campaigning documents. The section looks at articles, leaflets, newsletters, pamphlets, press releases and posters.